I get it.
You’re in Manufacturing, Taxes & Accounting, Real Estate or any of the other industries that are perceived as boring and you don’t consider content marketing.
You think any content you create will bore your readers to death.
You’re probably right.
But what if I told you that you can grow an audience and engage with it through content? And what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be stressful?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
By incorporating the following four tips into your content marketing strategy, you can easily build yourself a continually growing audience and create content that will allow you to actively engage with it.
Does that sound like a plan?
Great, let’s get stuck in…
Simple Way #1 – Provide Value By Focusing On Their Problems
You’re an expert in your industry.
So, think about it: How many questions have you received in the course of your career? How many of them seemed so easy that you were even surprised someone asked?
Your knowledge is invaluable and even things that seem obvious to you or topics that seem a little mundane could be turned into helpful pieces of content.
Every time you think of creating content, be it a video or blog post, think about the problem you want to address. Then focus on the solution (or mix of solutions) that can best address this problem.
You can even start the other way round. Think about why you sell or make certain products. What kind of problem do you try to solve? Boom! You have a problem you can talk about. Just make sure you don’t fall into the temptation of over-promoting your brand.
To people that need it, content focused on addressing a problem is never boring. For instance, writing about software development isn’t the sexiest topic on earth. But to a budding software developer, a YouTube video on the topic is a masterpiece.
You think topics on taxes are boring? Wait until you have to file a late tax return.
Apart from relying on the internal experience, take some time to research relevant keywords. This will give you a better understanding of what your target audience is looking for. And to make sure it reaches those that need it most, optimize your content. The greatest content isn’t helpful if you hide it.
Simple Way #2 – Listen To Your Audience
Once you start creating relevant content, you appeal to a particular group of people. This provides you with a platform with which to interact with them. Make use of this by trying to understand who they are and their responses. This will help you tailor your content to make it more focused to your audience.
One of the most effective ways to understand your audience better is through social listening.
This is where you search the web and social networks to see what people are saying about your company, competitors and other relevant topics in your industry.
By following conversations your target audience is having with other people or your competitors, you can see opportunities you’d have otherwise not seen or ignored. For instance, you can see new trends and reshape your campaign through more appealing messaging by basing it on what’s happening at the moment.
You can also understand your audience through email. Encourage the audience to subscribe to your mailing list.
Through this, you can make it easier for them to engage with your brand by letting them know they can reach you through email with any questions. You can also reach out to them when you need to conduct a survey.
This kind of interaction is like gold dust for Content Marketers. It’s like having a telepathic understanding of your audience and you can create content based on their responses.
Simple Way #3 – Be Conversational & Informal
One reason in particular that “boring” industry content has this reputation is because it’s often delivered blandly in an attempt to sound professional. But the result is always the same: The audience becomes uninspired and bored.
You’re not speaking to insiders in your industry so forget about preaching to the choir. Your audience needs to be converted.
So how do you create content that your audience will consume casually and still get your point?
The first thing is to cut out the jargon.
This makes it easier for the audience to understand what you are saying. If you feel like a point is difficult to get across, use a relatable analogy. And while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to show your sense of humour. A light tone goes a long way into attracting and keeping audience attention.
In the case of written content, break up the body into short paragraphs and the paragraphs into short sentences. This makes the layout look more “inviting” to the reader even before she starts reading.
Also, use numbered lists & bullets, images and other elements of formatting like writing certain text in bold (e.g. headings and subheadings) or in italics. This makes it easy for the readers to easily skim through your content.
Lastly, edit your content. The goal here is to make your content as brief as possible while maintaining the message.
Simple Way #4 – Go Beyond Written Content
Content marketing isn’t limited to written content. Written content itself takes many forms that you can experiment with and find out which mix works best for your company.
For instance, while emails should be short and simple, long-form content (like “How To” posts) provides you with the opportunity to discuss a topic on a deeper level and showcase your expertise.
Other long-form content types like webinars give the attendees an opportunity to interact with you or your team one-on-one. This builds up trust and loyalty to your brand.
For loyal email subscribers, e-books go a long way to building trust.
The growing popularity of video content is also proof that content marketing takes diverse forms and is filled with opportunities.
eMarketer predicts that about 77% of the internet users in the UK will watch some type of video in 2017. This will make almost 4% increase compared to 2014 numbers. It’s expected to rise to 78% in 2018. This goes to show how popular video is becoming. Why not start embracing it now?
Remember that your business is unique and you should test different types of content. Your audience is made up of individuals and they will have their own preferences for consuming content. Some prefer written whilst others like visual, video or even audio content.
Creating content that engages with your audience is a matter of taking the right information to the right people at the right time.
There you go. Four easy tips you can start applying today to create the most exciting and valuable content in your industry: Provide value, understand your audience, be conversational and experiment with different types of content.
But that can’t be all of them. Is there any other tip you think could be helpful to fellow readers? Any tip you’d like to explore and expand? Or would you like us to elaborate on one of the tips above?
Don’t be shy – let’s get talking in the comments below.