Why content writing for "boring" industries never has to be dull

All articles | Marketing
Published Jun 15, 2015 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Some industries seem like they were made for content marketing.

But others, particularly in the B2B sector, can appear to present more of a challenge.

Perhaps you love your job and the company you work for but, when it comes to content writing, you feel the subject is quite, well… dull.

But is it time to take a fresh look?

Is there really no such thing as a "boring" industry – just boring content?

When people have a problem, they seek out information. And content that helps them find a solution can be highly interesting, whatever the subject.

So here are three questions to ask yourself.

What do your customers want?

To create remarkable content you need to really know your audience.

What problems are they trying to solve? And how can you produce objective, informative content that will genuinely help them?

Mindy Weinstein, director of training at Bruce Clay, writes: “No topic is truly boring. What might have been boring to me previously, such as rodent removal or extermination, all of a sudden becomes a very interesting topic when I am battling giant tree rats in my attic or car.

“I don’t know about you, but when I am faced with a new problem, I start to notice possible solutions all around me. I read articles I never thought I would read, because the boring topic is no longer boring to me.”

So your content doesn’t have to be exciting in the traditional sense; it doesn’t need to go viral or appeal to the masses.

But it does have to address your ideal customers’ specific pain; it needs to be relevant to them.

You're an expert on the topic they're researching, so cultivate your knowledge to provide a solution.  

How can you be unique?

If we try to be something we’re not in an attempt to make our industry seem “sexier” or appeal to a wider audience, as often as not we will completely miss the mark.

Trying to be “cool” or tap into mainstream trends will never ring as true as keeping your content focused on topics that you can really get your teeth into.

In a recent podcast Copyblogger’s editor-in-chief, said: “I always say there should be people who hate your writing. When everyone likes your writing, you haven’t made enough progress.

“There should be someone who thinks it’s really dumb that you wrote about a great recipe for an organic, non-toxic bathroom cleaner.

“Because for every person who thinks it’s dumb, there is another person who is so happy you shared your recipe because it’s exactly what he was looking for.”

Delving deeply into the specifics of your industry may alienate most people, but it will be a magnet for the right people.

It's easy to become so accustomed to the workings of your industry that its complexities seem commonplace.  

But your audience wants to know more. 

And they will be intrigued by your ability to address specialised or niche subjects in a compelling way.

Which medium should you use?

So we’ve focused on content writing but there are of course other types of content

Perhaps our "boring" topics seem dull because we’re using the wrong format.

For example, you might have collected lots of interesting data from industry reports. Instead of simply writing about your conclusions, maybe you could create a colourful infographic highlighting key findings and trends?

Or maybe you’ve secured an interview with an industry expert, who’s also got a fantastic sense of humour; so how about recording the exchange for a podcast?

Or why not produce a short how-to video or take your audience on a behind-the-scenes tour of your facilities? 

Thinking outside the box and combining different elements of the digital marketing mix will ensure that your content is as engaging as possible for your target audience.

No industry is ever really boring to the people who need its products or services. How could it be when it can help to alleviate their pain?

Recognising this will enable you to create great content that addresses the pain points of your ideal customers. 

Thinking about what your customers really want, focusing on the specifics and using a variety of mediums will ensure that your content is never snooze-inducing.

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Published by Jeremy Knight June 15, 2015
Jeremy Knight