When one speaks of “exciting” industries, three things immediately come to mind: lifestyle, food, and travel. But automation software, tire technology, or cleaning supplies? Yawn, yawn, and yawn.
They’re as “boring” as they come, but this doesn’t mean such industries can’t make use of content marketing to grow their brand.
How to write content for “boring” industries
Flip the script.
Say it with me: “There’s no such thing as a boring industry, only snooze-worthy content.”
I have a friend who can talk about computer hardware for hours on end, and then segue to guns and ammunitions without batting an eye. Another friend is a bonsai grower who’s probably seen every bonsai-related video on YouTube, and still another is a Volkswagen Beetle enthusiast.
Aside from having unique and interesting friends, what am I trying to say?
Whatever your industry, there’s someone out there who’s prepared to listen to what you have to say.
Educate your readers.
People crave for information to help them arrive at a decision, life-changing or otherwise. As such, be helpful. Be the educator in your field. Become the expert they can turn to in their times of need.
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Flow Metrics, a manufacturer of flow meters and associated flow computers, for example, shares helpful information on petrochemical turbine flow meters, the role nitrogen gas plays in our everyday lives, and other topics that resonate with professionals from the pharmaceutical, aviation, and oil and gas industries.
The Allstate Blog by the Allstate Insurance Company offers information on a wide range of topics, from home maintenance to road safety, from small business management to disaster planning for pets – topics people encounter every day of their lives.
HubSpot, a marketing and sales software distributor, provides helpful research and analysis, and actionable tips and industry best practices that make it easy for marketers and business owners to market their offerings.
Ditch the jargon.
“Avoid jargon” is content-writing advice best taken to heart. Sure, it’s important to send the signal that you know what you’re saying, but if you alienate those not yet expert enough to decipher “expert talk” peppered with industry jargons, you may miss out on the opportunity to connect with them.
In a nutshell, content marketing is communicating with your target audience through relatable content. There will be instances when jargon use is totally necessary, but if you can help it, speak with your audience using words that are easily understood.
Avoid generic content.
“Generic content” refers to content that doesn’t stand out, or content that’s been covered extensively by other websites. Instead, consider using the “skyscraper technique” popularized by Backlinko, which involves three steps:
- Find high-performing content. By that, we mean content that industry influencers are linking to, or sharing heavily on social media. Buzzsumo is a good tool to use to scrape the web for high-performing content.
- Create better content. No matter how good a piece of content is, there’s always room for improvement. Make your content more in-depth. Include more real-world examples or images. Instead of just 10 experts in a roundup, interview 25. One important thing to note: The skyscraper technique isn’t about infringing on someone’s copyright; it’s about building on proven content.
- Get people to link to your content. This is where things can become tricky. Cold-pitching content to people who don’t know you may not always work. But if you reach out to the right people, things can get rosy. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the link-worthiness of your content.
A word of caution: It’s possible that this technique may not work for your niche, as some marketers have professed over the years. If this proves to be the case, Growth Hackers has a compilation of growth case studies you can check out for inspiration.
Tell a story that’s not about your product or service.
How many ways are there to clean a toilet using the toilet brush your company sells? For argument’s sake, let’s say 100. So if you’re writing about the different ways to clean a toilet, such as with baking soda for the first post, with vinegar for the second, with bleach for the next, and with Coke after that, by post 100, you’ve seriously run out of ideas.
What you can do is write about completely different topics. Red Bull is a caffeinated drink but tackles motorsports, sleep patterns, tire wear, and brain training. Michelin is a tire manufacturer. But to boost car travel, and therefore tire sales, the Michelin brothers came up with the Michelin Guide containing valuable information for motorists. Even Benjamin Franklin used the Poor Richard’s Almanack, an annual almanac publication, to promote his printing business.
Show your funny side.
How about a joke here or there? Okay, maybe not in an academic paper. But if it’s a blog you’re writing for, sense of humor can go a long way. Remember this equation when writing for “boring” industries:
Boring topic + boring tone = reader gone in a heartbeat
As a rule of thumb, if you’re having fun writing your content, chances are your audience would find it fun, too.
Explain complex ideas using familiar scenarios.
How do you explain the concept of the cloud to a non-techie? If the person knows what Facebook is, you have your starting point. You store information, such as documents, spreadsheets, databases, images, and videos on the cloud without using a physical device’s internal data storage system.
You can even log into Facebook from any internet-connected device, which is exactly what cloud-based applications are.
No matter the industry you’re in, there’s always a way to create helpful, shareable content. When crafting content for “boring” industries, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are your best friends, and so is knowing what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.
Image credit: Pixabay