The ability to excite and inspire is a critical ingredient for online marketing success. What are you doing today that will connect and engage viewers of your content?
Boring industries don’t have to be boring. NBC built an entire series, “The Office,” around the daily doldrums of a paper company in Scranton, PA. Nine seasons, two-hundred and one episodes, 42 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and it’s still one of the most popular series on Netflix — four years after production ended.
If NBC and Steve Carrell can transform an office servicing the paper industry into a pop culture phenomenon, you can develop content that is exciting and engaging for your industry.
Tips on Content Creation for Boring Industries
Keep reading to learn how to write the kind of online content that grabs your future customers’ imaginations and hopefully their wallets.
Step One: Discover Something that Excites You
Creating content is an exercise in creative thinking. Your best work happens when you’re genuinely engaged and excited by what you’re doing. And it’s not a linear process. Do not expect to go from brainstorming, to excitement, to amazing content.
Instead, let your subconscious do the heavy lifting. Keep yourself engaged in your daily routine of ensuring an amazing customer experience and stellar product or service. But, also, book time to let your mind wander.
Wolfgang Kohler, a 19th century German psychologist, is credited with coining the phrase “Bed, Bath and Bus”. These are the places where creativity strikes — opportunities to let the mind wander without purpose. These moments of everyday routine free the mind to work its magic in solving the challenges of the day — unlocking maximum creative potential.
If you set out to identify the aspect of your work that excites you and potential customers, in a matter of minutes or hours, you’re going to run into difficulty. The most direct path between creativity and inspiration is not a straight line.
Step Two: Research Existing Content
Once you’ve found your source of inspiration (hopefully you had a way of recording the idea when it hit you), it’s time to dig deep. Comb the internet for other discussions surrounding your topic. Read this post for how to use BuzzSumo to find the most popular content ever published by keyword.
Discover how other writers are positioning their content. Watch this short video from Neil Patel who shares his thoughts on why no business needs to settle for boring content:
Are the search results in Google inspiring, instructive, or more observational in nature? Once you understand the content that has already been published, you can begin phase three.
Step Three: Find a Unique Angle or Opportunity to Scratch Deeper
You’ve spent an hour or two researching and reading your competition’s blogs. Hopefully, you’ve experienced a few more micro-bursts of creativity as you read content from outside sources on your chosen topic.
Now it’s time to nail down what you’ll produce, and how you’ll present it. The message you want to send is important — but how you transmit that message is even more important.
Video or text? An infographic or a SlideShare? You’ll find that different formats for content offer vastly different return on investment (ROI). The investment of time, personal relationships and advertising capital needs to be carefully weighed against your current cost per acquisition (CPA).
One of the best ways to keep long-term costs for content development low is to find a unique angle that hasn’t already been covered. If you absolutely must, you can still cover an angle that’s been covered before, but you need to provide more comprehensive and up-to-date information. The goal is to create content that delivers your message in a stronger, more informative way than the content already publicly available.
Step Four: Go Visual
If you’re fighting for attention in a crowded space, it might be time to create content in a variety of formats. In the past, I’ve successfully stolen organic screen space from the competition by creating an in-depth article that includes all of these:
- current statistics
- original custom images and graphs
- a YouTube video
- an infographic
- a SlideShare
- links to additional resources
Creating an interconnected web of content that briefly covers what has been published previously, and quickly pivots to a unique angle or more in-depth coverage of the things that excite you is a recipe for success.
Understand that creating one or two quick pieces of content isn’t going to get you across the finish line. You need to constantly evolve and grow the content web.
Use insights from Google Analytics, MOZ, and BuzzSumo to gauge the effectiveness of your content as it ages. Then double-down on the aspects that are generating longer term results and conversions.
Even Boring Industries Can Get Creative
Remember, you can’t rely on a one hit wonder. Update or replace aging content because new content will grab more attention. It all starts with a moment of inspiration and personal excitement. Create a storytelling journey into a topic or aspect of your product or service that is unique.
The more content you create, the more data you’ll have. Your content efforts will evolve from inspiration to data-driven creativity. And over the course of a few months, with a little luck and a lot of hard work, you’ll find yourself generating the kind of buzz that offers the best long-term ROI.
Want more tips on making content for boring industries exciting? Check out the infographic below:
Content Creation Photo via Shutterstock
Images can help you as well. I have seen boring industries have really interesting infographics.
Yes, I agree. Adding a custom image, or a graph with interesting statistics, or a great video, SlideShare or infographic to make any content more compelling. It also keeps people on the page longer which can increase the amount of traffic Google and other search engines choose to send you.
That is a good reason why you should add these additional media. Don’t avoid using long videos as some will watch them and that will greatly increase your average time on site. But don’t prevent them from going full screen on the video or they will open it on YouTube instead and you will lose that benefit.