Content Marketing 101: Engaging Content About Boring IndustriesWelcome guest blogger, Samantha Salter, a content specialist and co-owner of Upspring SEO. When she’s not putting her SEO skills to use, she enjoys exploring the outdoors of Colorado and spending time with family and friends.
By now, nearly every business owner who understands the importance of SEO is also aware of the significance of utilizing modern content marketing and development strategies. You’ve undoubtedly heard the famous phrase, “content is king”, and while the expression may be overused, its essence is entirely on-point. No matter what type of business you own, creating content that provides your readers with knowledge, advice, or insight about your industry is a must for boosting your online visibility and creating brand awareness.
Unfortunately, not all businesses center around exhilarating topics; in fact, very few industries boast the ability to get their readers’ hearts to flutter. Realistically, heating and air conditioning companies might be absolutely necessary and valuable, but the field may not allow many opportunities to create a page-turning, edge-of-your-seat kind of piece. If you’re struggling for ideas on how to write engaging material about your own company, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Whether you’re writing about fascinating technological developments or home alarm systems, no reader is going to be inspired to finish a piece of content if it’s not the least bit relatable. Try to write in a way that balances professionalism and expertise with personality and, if fitting, humor. The more conversationally you can create your content to read, the larger you can expect your audience to grow to be, so try to avoid using industry jargon that only experts can understand. While you don’t want to talk down to your audience, you want the average Joe to be able to follow along and pick up on the nature of what you’re discussing.
Know Your Audience:
An important aspect of building captivating content is to know your audience, so think long and hard of who your average customer is. What age range does your clientele typically fall in? Are they upper-class, middle-class, etc.? What is their general understanding of your industry? Answering these questions will help guide you on how to create content that readers who are searching for information on your niche will find useful, valuable, and even interesting, and similarly, it will allow you to discover what kind of tone is appropriate for your target audience.
For example, a fashion-based ecommerce website can get away with a more casual, loose attitude than, let’s say, a medical supplier likely could. The mistake many first-time content marketers make is that they try to write in a one-size-fits-all kind of way when they actually have a very specific customer-base that they could be writing for directly.
Provide Actionable Advice:
Engaging doesn’t have to mean thrilling; it can also mean helpful and purposeful, so if your industry is fairly dull on the surface, create your content to shed light on subjects many of your customers inquire about. The best way to do this is to think about the most frequently asked questions that clients come to you with, and after you have a concrete list, try to answer those questions with your content. For instance, if you install furnaces, a post on how to clean a furnace at home would be a great item to publish on your blog. DIY advice and how-to tips are always appreciated and utilized, and the main goal of your writing should always be to provide your reader with value and expert guidance that they can effectively put into action.
Don’t Blast a Sales Pitch:
Nothing makes readers roll their eyes more than coming across content that is clearly trying to sell a product or service. That’s what advertising is for. While subtly and strategically making references to what your company can offer readers is harmless, avoid publishing content solely to pitch a sale. As we’ve stated above, online users are more interested in reading something that can help them find a solution to a problem, see a topic from an alternative perspective, or create awareness of something new developing in the industry. In other words, focus on your field as a whole, not only on your own company.
Make Your Content Easy to Read:
You could have the most resourceful and riveting piece of content ever written, but if you fail to properly break up your text with headers, titles, bullet points, etc., many readers will run straight away from your long slab of words. Online users want to be able to zero in on the piece of information they’re looking for, and if your material is impossible to skim, you can almost guarantee that no one will stick around long enough to read what you have to say.
Look at Competitor Strategies:
If you’re lacking inspiration on how to write engaging content on your own industry, you can always keep an eye on what strategies your competitors are utilizing. While you don’t want to copy their ideas exactly, knowing what other professionals in your field are up to can help ignite some ideas of your own, and paying attention to the amount of likes and shares on industry-related articles can help narrow down what tactics do and don’t work.
To sum it up, you can create engaging content on any industry as long as you write in a personable, helpful, and easy-to-digest manner. The more you do it, the better you’ll get, and remember that you’re the expert. You have all of the knowledge and capability to produce content that sells, so take a deep breath and quit trying so hard!