Marketing Blog

How to create engaging content in “boring” niches

22.10.18 EN main

Creating content for a trendy industry is easy and fun. But you don’t always get to write about things you like. There is a chance that the industry you have to promote is boring.

Since content is the best way to win millennial hearts, creating a strong content plan is a must. How do you go about it if you can’t think of anything interesting to write about?

First, you’ll have to learn to like the industry you are writing about. Without that, you can’t create anything worthwhile.

Once you do that, the only thing you have to do is to apply the best writing practices to the ideas you gather. All of that is covered in this article.

 

Learn to love your industry

Interesting and boring are two words used to describe the way of presentation, not the subject itself.

Is oil industry interesting? As an employee, you have to work in harsh conditions away from your family day in, day out. But it managed to get a Discovery Channel documentary.

The TV show took what seemed boring at first and looked at it from an interesting angle. That is what you need to do when creating content for a boring industry.

You’re not going to write gonzo pieces on how employees in the industry spend their working days. What you will do is apply the same principles, rather than methods, to your boring niche.

 

General principles of writing for a boring industry

You are here to help people

Most of the content you are writing is going to be for people at the top of the sales funnel. They’re not looking to make a purchase just yet. They are just browsing.

Whether it is a problem they want to solve or sheer interest, they need your help. They need your advice. They need your experience.

Whenever you create an article, make sure it helps someone.

Answer questions

The most obvious way you can help someone is to answer their question. Most Google searches are questions.

If a person is googling a specific question, they are very motivated to get the answer. The industry doesn’t look boring to them at all.

There are questions that millions of people are looking for right now, and can’t find the answer. It especially the case for the niches that are considered dull.

How do I water my bamboo tree? Can I fix a Philips hair dryer myself? How much extra will I pay for life insurance if I’m overweight?

Be the first to answer these industry-related questions, and success is sure to follow.

Be the best

It might be an obvious thing to advise, but this just needs to be said.

There are so many pages on the web that answer the same question in the same manner. You don’t have to be one of them.

If you are about to answer a question for your readers, be the best one to do that. Check what your competitors have to say and come up with a better, more detailed answer.

Think about SEO

SEO is the best strategy for long-term growth. Some marketers often forget to think about it when creating a content plan

When you put a piece on your editorial calendar, think about two things:

  • Is it going to help someone?
  • Can I get other sites to link to it?

Not a single great article became a source of traffic without promotion. You have to consider this before actually writing one.

For more ideas about SEO, consult this SEO checklist.

Don’t conform

It’s easy to do what everybody else is doing. Create a standard set of pages, cover a standard set of keywords, write on a standard set of topics.

But it doesn’t work. There are hundreds of similar sites out there, and they have already written about it.

If you want your business to prosper, you have to excel. Excel at your topics, at the quality of your content, and at content promotion efforts.

 

How to find content ideas for a boring industry

Brainstorm

Gather a team of content creators and try thinking like your clients. It would help if you already have figured out buyer personas.

Think what are the possible reasons for them to come to your site. It may be that they are at the very top of the sales funnel and just looking for general information. They can also be looking for a very specific question or a quote.

For instance, if you promote a real estate agency, you can focus on people who are looking for condos for rent.

In this case, they can be interested in what is the cheapest neighborhood in a city. How can they persuade their landlord to allow them to have a cat? How to avoid fraud?

Take a couple of hours and come up with the general outlines of possible questions. You will elaborate on them later.

Talk to your client

Since your clients are the experts in the field, you can consult with them. The best type of content you can get out of it is frequently asked questions or a good op-ed.

The last one is gold. The experts in the company you are promoting probably have opinions on hot topics in the industry. Use that to get into the public dialogue with your article.

These are great for content promotion as well.

Browse the web

This can be a long and boring process, but it’s worth it. There is no better way to know what question people want to be answered than to actually find them on the Internet.

Take advantage of sites like Reddit, or Quora. People ask a lot of questions there. Some can become a core of your content piece.

Try hitting a few keywords in Answer the Public. This website looks for questions with a specific keyword that people search on the web. There are 140 questions for the keyword “insurance” and 500 suggestions for further search.

The odds are you’ll find something for your boring industry as well.

How to write engaging content

Engaging and interesting content is all about the style. Here are 5 tips on how to make your style engaging.

Less is more

Do you have time to read a 2,000+ words article on a topic that needs a simple answer? Probably not. Neither does your target audience.

This is why a recent digital marketing survey states that clients of B2B industries want short content optimized for mobile.

Make sure you don’t write more than you need to cover the topic. Being wordy only makes your content look unprofessional.

Some topics may be too difficult to be explained in under 1,000 words. In this case, stick to the following advice.

Use visuals

The same survey found that people want information to be presented visually. People will always prefer watching a two-minute video or looking at a chart to reading an article for seven minutes.

Invest in freelancers or hire an agency to help you with visuals and you may see the traffic increase.

This is especially powerful if you want to explain complicated ideas in a simple way.

Make it readable and scannable

It may be that some of your readers don’t want to read the whole article. They are only looking for specific information, or want to get the overall idea about it.

Structure the article well and make your wording as clear as possible to appeal to these readers. Make your paragraphs short and to the point. Don’t write a paragraph, if you can make a bulleted list.

Make your CTAs clear

Users won’t engage unless you show them how.

Do you want the visitors of a webpage to make a purchase? Subscribe to a newsletter? Request a free trial of your software?

Whatever it is, make sure your readers know the first step. Putting a huge red button underneath the text of the article is not the best idea. Telling your readers what they can do next, however, is a must.

Don’t sell

There’s nothing that can leave a bad taste in your mouth as much as explicitly selling something.

You’re not writing a sales pitch, you’re helping your visitor. Including something pushy will only make your readers leave the site in disgust.

Yes, you are writing this piece of content to sell something in the end. However, there are better ways to get them to convert than turning your content into a sales copy.

Final thoughts

Creating good content is never easy. Especially in an industry where you can’t think of a single interesting thing to write about.

Learn to love your industry, find interesting content ideas, and execute them well.

This is the recipe for success.

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by Shirley Lowe J

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