Let’s face it, not every business niche is sexy. Just because what you do doesn’t make for interesting cocktail party banter doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of content marketing. You just have to be smart about it.
A wise editor once told me there are no boring topics, only boring writers. I suspect many people would be interested in learning more about what you do, the services you offer and the benefits you provide to clients or customers.
“Groundhog Day”s Ned Ryerson — while enthusiastic — did little to convince Phil to buy life insurance from him. Don’t be like Ned.
Content Marketing for Boring Industries
For starters, imagine that you’re at a conference with other people in your profession. I’m sure you have interesting conversations.
- What are the latest developments in your industry that get you excited?
- What are the challenges you face?
The business of website development, or marketing, or writing is not that exciting to most people, but get a bunch of folks involved in those professions together and I guarantee you they’ll get excited talking to each other. I suspect it’s the same in your industry.
The trick is to package that excitement in an article that talks about what you care about, why it matters, and how it benefits people. The benefit might be to an individual or society in general.
What are some things that someone in your profession knows that would help others if they knew, too? Remember, people are selfish. They want to know what’s in it for them.
And there’s a reason we say knowledge is power. People in technical professions know stuff that the rest of us don’t. Content marketing is a great business-building tool for people like you because you have an opportunity to educate and impress at the same time. You share your knowledge and reap the reward of being perceived as an authority.
That’s something marketers have learned from psychologists — people listen to those they perceive to have authority.
What sort of things about your profession might people find engaging?
To help answer that question, I reviewed some of the other psychological motivators that marketers use. The desire to avoid loss motivates many people.
Is there something that you or your business do that protects people from loss? The loss could be financial or material, or perhaps a health risk or even a risk to life. People fear loss and an article that shows how your product or service protects them from it in some way will get high readership.
The point of content marketing is to build your business by providing valuable information to an audience made up of prospects for your products or services. You establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert, and when they need what you offer, your name comes to mind.
What is it you have done to help people solve their problems?
Think of your very best customer, as an example. How have your products or services helped this customer?
Your prospects are people like your best customer. Depending on the nature of your business, they may not be exactly like your other customers, but they are likely to have one thing in common — a problem that you solve for them.
People want their problems solved. Tell me a story about how you solved a problem for someone like me and I’ll be interested!
So, you’re getting the idea that you do have a story but wondering where you would publish articles about your business, right?
Here are some ways you can use content:
- A blog tied to your website is a good first step. Consistency is important with content management, so plan to post on a regular basis.
- You can use Facebook or other social media to drive traffic to your blog post. You might even use Facebook advertising to extend the reach and hopefully build traffic on both your page and your website.
- Getting others to share links to your blog post on their websites is another way to reach a larger audience.
- Your could combine blog post with other material to create an email newsletter.
The important thing is to focus on getting your articles in front of as many potential customers as possible on a regular basis.
About Those Articles
My guess is that if you are concerned that there’s nothing exciting for someone in your business to write about that you’re also not a writer.
That’s O.K. Most of the writers I know are not also computer programmers or chemists or accountants or any of a number of highly specialized professions. Nor are they plumbers or roofers or auto mechanics.
When a writer needs something that is out of their realm of expertise, they turn to a professional, and you can do the same.
Involve Your Team
Yours may be a solo profession, but if you work with a team, consider getting them involved with your content marketing project.
Others who work to serve your customer base may have different perspectives to bring to the storytelling effort. It’s possible, for instance, that your customers have shared something about your value to them with one of your subordinates that they haven’t told you. That information could help your writer develop another interesting angle.
Content marketing is not likely to yield instant results. You’re making an investment in business development that requires a commitment to regularity.
Let’s say you decide to establish a blog. How often would you need to post?
Daily (Monday through Friday) would be great. But that doesn’t mean you need a complete article every day. Your plan can include a variety of daily blog posts.
Perhaps you’ll start the week with a fresh article. On Tuesday you post an inspirational quote related to your business. You follow up Wednesday with a suitable photo of some sort.
On Thursday you comment on an article of interest from some other source (within the realm of interest to your audience) and include a link. You end the week with a brief preview of the article you will publish the following Monday.
This way your blog has fresh content on a regular basis, which helps you catch the attention of search engines and keeps your audience engaged.