How to Use Content Marketing For a “Dull” Industry
Content marketing is all about creating, distributing and sharing meaningful and efficient content that attracts and engages your target audience, drives traffic to your website, boosts the awareness of your brand and, eventually, increases your sales.
Creating fun and attractive content that provides extra value to your readership is easy if you own a cosmetics or video games e-commerce site.
But how do you craft a remarkable content marketing strategy in a “dull” industry? Consistently producing compelling content on safety equipment, apparel, tools, and items seems somewhat challenging, right?
Not necessarily. It just means that you’ll have to be a little bit creative and make an effort to understand what your prospective customers are looking for.
Your industry exists for a reason and whatever your business offers will be interesting to your target audience – you just have to know how to deliver it.
The following tips will help you come up with great ways to begin turning your ugly duckling into a swan.
Do Your Homework
Let’s assume you’ve already done your initial market research and you have a clear perspective on what your target market is.
Knowing the needs, interests, attitudes, demographics, and psychographics of your prospective customers is crucial for your content marketing strategy.
Learn about your target audience’s favorite topics through social media channels. These topics don’t necessarily have to cover the features of your products or services specifically.
You can come up with certain general-interest topics that your business can easily be related to.
Let’s say you sell office supplies; the best way to engage your audience is through interesting how-to articles on office organization or establishing efficient working habits.
There are many tools that can give you an idea of the type of content that gets a lot of attention on social media channels.
For example, by searching a general query “office organization” with the Buzzsumo tool you can get great ideas for specific, yet engaging topics relevant for your business.
Buzzsumo gives you an insight into the number of total shares of specific content across the most popular social media sites.
The screenshot above clearly indicates that topics related to office organization are mostly shared on Pinterest, which is due to the fact that the content relies heavily on the visuals.
Having a general idea of your audience’s media habits will enable you to create the content they prefer and are more likely to engage with and share.
You know who your ideal customer is, so you probably know why they’re potentially interested in your business.
You can also assume what problems your ideal customer might be facing, some of which go beyond your products or services.
Anticipate those problems and create actionable and useful content that provides solutions to your prospective customer’s problem.
If you’re a mortgage provider, you know your ideal customers are homeowners, so you can go well beyond the basic topics such as “How to Apply for a Mortgage” and write about anything that has to do with buying or managing a home.
Even though a topic such as “How to Do a Home Energy Audit” seems boring, it’s bound to be interesting to your prospective clients because they find great value in the information provided.
Use Simple Language
The fact that your audience is familiar with your products or services doesn’t mean they’re as proficient in the field as you are.
You’re not writing content for your colleagues and you’re certainly not trying to dazzle someone with the fascinating richness of your vocabulary. Keep it as simple as possible.
People expect web content to be presented and written in a specific way. The style is generally more informal and conversational, so using simple and clear phrasing is crucial.
Even if you need to use certain technical terms related to your field of expertise, there are ways you can formulate your sentences to give your text a simple, conversational style.
Consider the way people read, or rather skim through the web content. Web users search for specific information that they want to understand quickly, so eliminate the business jargon and write as you would say it.
Find an Angle
You probably have a general idea on the topics that you could cover by now, but in order to make your content as useful and as helpful as possible, you need to find a specific angle that your readers will perceive as relevant.
A generic piece of content on home renovation is not as nearly engaging as a specific and detailed one, covering “13 Paint Colors That Make Your Small Space Seem Bigger”, for example.
The first step of finding an angle your audience will respond to is crafting an engaging title.
If you need a little inspiration, there are plenty of great content idea generators online that can boost your creative energy.
Suppose you are an eLearning software training provider; you know your audience is interested in learning apps.
Instead of writing about learning apps in general, and giving information on their functions and features, approach the matter from a different perspective: list a number of ways these learning apps can increase your readers’ productivity.
Help Your Readers Relate
Certain key principles of psychology can help you create a content marketing strategy that will knock you readers’ socks off.
For starters, appeal to their emotions by crafting a piece of content they can relate to; engage their senses and inspire their imagination through storytelling.
Scientists have detected that the human brain recognizes stories as patterns; when we hear or read a story, we tend to visualize ourselves as part of situations described in those stories.
Our brains respond in similar ways that they react to reality. Instead of writing about Instagram marketing strategy in general, you can craft an article on “How [My] Startup Made Its First 1,000 Sales Using Instagram.”
You can also help your readers relate to the topics you cover by using simple analogies to explain particular concepts.
Oftentimes a topic seems off-putting and dull because it’s too complex.
For example, if you’re an SEO agency, covering a topic on how Google crawls and indexes web pages, you might try to break it down by simply comparing Google’s index to the reference section of a book.
Pay attention to the tone and voice you’re conveying in your articles. Add some personality through humorous remarks and lively comments.
It will come off as natural and authentic. Your readers will start perceiving you positively and connect with you and your brand much more easily.
Stay to the Point
When you’re passionate about something, you’re much more likely to write about it in too much detail.
You easily get carried away or sidetracked by all the interesting little facts that you deem worthy of mentioning. That’s why you have to edit.
You’ve picked a specific topic for a reason. Stick to it and save the extra ideas for the upcoming posts. You’ll be needing them.
Avoid fluff content and redundancy as it causes confusion and repels readers. People want to get to the point fast; the less it takes for them to get to it, the less likely they are to give up on your post and move on the next.
Give Readers Little Mental Breaks
In content marketing, first impression is everything. If someone lands on your website and comes across giant portions of bare, monotonous text on a complex topic, they will probably leave the website within a matter of seconds.
People don’t actually read web content, but rather skim or scan through the pages. There are certain things you should bear in mind when formatting your next engaging post.
Readers conform to the so-called “F-pattern” to search for the best parts on the page.
They first scan the top of the page, moving on by looking down the side until something grabs their attention and makes them actually read a sentence or two.
The text must be easily digestible and broken into paragraphs comprised of two to three sentences. Keep your sentences short and simple.
The best way to accommodate skimmers and scanners is to break up the main points with bold subheadings or numbered lists (depending on the topic covered).
The content will be far more engaging if you include visuals (screenshots, photos, charts, graphs, or videos) that enhance your topic.
To give your readers even better experience of the content, you can tell part of your story (or entire story) through different mediums, such as infographics or podcasts.
For a topic that greatly relies on numbers and data, an infographic depicting these numbers through vibrant colors and animations is much more likely to engage a reader.
Finally, end a post with a call to action to encourage reflection on the topic or discussion. You might get some valuable insights on the topic and different opinions that could inspire your next great post.
Content marketing offers great opportunities across industries. You just need to know how to use it to your advantage.
We’ve given you a list of simple but effective tips on how to approach your content marketing strategy to produce the desirable results. It’s up to you to develop it in a way that best suits your requirements.
Monitor the performance of your content regularly so you can get a clear idea of what your audience engages with most.
Pay attention to the trends by learning from your competitors and industry leaders so that you can readily adjust your approach and always keep your audience hungry for more.