“Useful & Enjoyable & Inspired = Innovative Content.” – MarketingProfs
Content is everything. With a bit of creativity, you can publish informative content that keeps clients and prospective clients engaged with your material.
Some industries, though, can feel impossible to generate interesting content for. A flower shop or dog walking service with an attractive Instagram account is going to get a lot of traffic. But a carpet cleaning service? An HVAC company? That’s a lot tougher.
So how do you create engaging content to draw attention to your company and build your business? Follow these tips for generating content that will make even the dullest industries sound like precisely what you need!
Fill A Need
Even the most mundane topics can be interesting when you find them when you need them.
Example: Carpet cleaning isn’t exciting to anyone. Unless you’re in your twenties, your parents have left you at home for a week, and they’re coming home tomorrow. Then, suddenly, all you want to know is how to get that ground in gunk off the rug! There’s an entertaining story right there, that everyone can relate to.
Figure out what your ideal client or customer most wants to know. Give plenty of opportunities for customers to connect with feedback and conversation. Talk to people, and find a way to use your content to answer their most common questions. Then, veer away from the more common, into topics you think aren’t getting enough coverage. Providing valuable information will keep your content relevant and respected.
No one wants to read big walls of text. Use pictures when you can. Don’t pad your words. Keep your information bite-sized, and make it easy to parse, with lots of headings and visuals. Thought it might not make your industry more exciting, it’s way more interesting than two pages of a long-winded blog post! How-to posts complete with pictures, and listicle posts with lots of sub-headings work best. A great example is this slogan of the Dutch tax service: “We can’t make it more fun, but we CAN make it easier” – which is exactly what they deliver, breaking the tax filing process down in simple steps.
One of the unexpectedly positive sides of a more boring industry is how easy it is to develop content topics. The only people who are looking for information on your industry are the ones who specifically require it. Anyone looking for a plumber or an office cleaning service actually needs one.
So focus on your clients — substance over style. As I’ve already mentioned, listicles and how-to posts are excellent sources for content. Find the right places to replace the text with visuals, like a diagram.
Use plain language, rather than filling your content with jargon, but don’t dumb it down. A good way to do that is with some personality.
This may sound like contradictory advice, after all, I’ve said about being practical and concise, and focusing on substance more than style. But adding a personal story to your brand, and your content makes it more engaging. For example: Are you an insurance company looking to sell claims, and you want to offer your clients a piece of content on how to compare insurance packages? In your intro, you could talk about a time when your teenager destroyed your carpet, and the coverage provided by your insurance.
A strong brand story can also help. Add your employees to your about page, making it easier to connect your company with real people. A timeline or the history of your company can help build on the brand story and help create a connection and context for your marketing content.
Do Your Research
If you’re going to claim yourself an expert, you need to be an expert! Content mills and general writers won’t have the expertise or the time to dive into real research. Set yourself apart by doing the work. Learn the problems your clients don’t even know they have, do your research, solve them. Use your own expertise, or hire another expert. They can give your clients the information they want, and help establish yourself as a one-of-a-kind expert in your field.
Try An eBook
Publishing PDF guides are a great freebie you can offer to engage with your content. When you’re writing a guide, make sure it’s a topic you cover on your blog or website and do the research to keep it up to date. This doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. An ebook of 20,000 words is considered at the higher end of average for a project like this. Just make sure it looks great as a PDF and has the information your clients need. And be sure to add your logo and contact info!
Say It With Videos
Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a message in a video, in comparison to the 10% they retain the information in a text? If you want to make a boring topic more interesting, video content is the way to go.
While cell phones currently carry pretty impressive cameras, you’ll want to go about creating your video content professionally. Keep it well-lit, and make sure the sound is of high quality. Bad sound will cause someone to click off even faster than low-quality video.
Keep your videos like the rest of your content: Short, concise, informational, and with a little personality. Avoid cheesy gimmicks like a flashy editing style or infomercial-style music cues. Just open, straightforward, expertise should get your content shared.
Social media and content marketing have made it easier than ever to create cost-effective marketing strategies for every business. But not all industries translate to visual media or create riveting viral blog posts. Just because the topic may not hold an audience, doesn’t mean your company can’t benefit from content marketing. Follow these tips to find what’s interesting in your industry, and keep the attention of even the most skeptical.