If you think content marketing is not for your industry, think again. Here's how you can make it work even in dry and technical industries.
Content marketing is probably the most frequently advocated online marketing methodology these days.
From small businesses and entrepreneurs, to large corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestle, everyone seems to be convinced about the effectiveness of content marketing in engaging buyers, creating brand awareness and generating more sales.
But what if you belong to a completely boring industry that offers no visible potential to leverage content marketing?
A joint research conducted by Slate.com and Chartbeat revealed that the majority of internet users do not read more than 60% of a content piece. This includes the industries that are generally perceived as content marketing friendly.
So it’s not really your industry that’s boring. It’s your content that’s not engaging your readers enough.
However, there are certainly some industries where you need to work harder to create engaging and easily digestible content (for example, financial institutions, renewable energy, retirement plans etc.).
Here are a few ways you can make content marketing work even in those industries.
1. Recognize the Opportunity and Get Ahead
You need to understand that there’s greater scope for content marketing in boring and dry industries as compared to industries like fashion, marketing and tourism.
Why? Because not many people are actually doing content marketing in these industries. If you start today, you have a great chance of becoming an industry expert that everyone looks up to.
Don’t stay behind just because you think your industry is too technical for content marketing. As an expert, it’s your job to simplify it for your readers.
So get started and take advantage.
2. Identify the Burning Issues of Your Readers
Instead of doing guesswork about what your buyers want to read, you need to have a proper problem identification strategy to find out exactly what your potential readers are looking for.
Your content needs to be in line with the requirements of your readers and your core business offer.
Here are some really effective ways to research content ideas for your ideal buyers.
- Twitter: Apart from being a social network, Twitter is a massive search engine as well. Just search for some of your industry terminologies to find out what people are talking about. Look for conversations and try identifying the questions that people are asking.
- Quora, LinkedIn Groups and industry forums: There are discussions on Quora and LinkedIn on almost every industry imaginable. Find the threads relevant to your industry and identify the questions that no one is answering.
- BuzzSumo: Use this tool to find out content by other companies that has already attracted tons of social media traffic. This will give you a good idea of what people like to read about.
Accurate identification of buyer needs will help you create targeted content that’ll establish you as the go-to source for your buyers.
3. Educate and Offer Actionable Solutions
Make sure every piece of content you create, educates your readers and helps them solve a very specific problem. Instead of writing 2000 words that serve no clear purpose, go for 500-word posts that specifically guide your readers to an actionable solution.
Educate your readers about the severity of a problem, convince them with facts, and then present your offer as the solution. Without being useful, you can’t win people over.
Find Solar Power, an online directory of companies offering solar energy solutions in the US, is a good example of how a company in a boring and dry industry can offer really useful, educational and actionable content.
Image Source: Find Solar Power
Instead of being a simple online directory, it offers some really useful and educational articles on the pros and cons of solar energy and how it can be used to optimize energy costs.
It builds a case for the need of solar energy, and then routes its users towards its online directory where they can find companies offering solar energy solutions.
Don’t leave your readers half way through the problem. Give them actionable insights in every piece of content and make sure they get value from it.
4. Build Your Email List from the First Day
If you don’t have a list of subscribers and potential customers, you don’t really have a business. In online marketing, your subscriber list is your biggest asset.
Make sure you start building it from the very first day.
List building becomes even more important in dry and technical industries, as compared to the more glamorous ones. To generate buyers from your website, you need to convert them from subscribers to prospects and then ultimately push them towards sales.
But for that, you need to work on them by keeping in regular touch via email.
Related Article: How to Make Your Email List Irresistible for Your Blog Visitors
5. Utilize User-Generated Content for Greater Engagement
A great way to develop a more interactive and engaging content marketing strategy is by encouraging your readers, potential buyers and existing customers to create content for you.
This not only gives more credibility to your brand image, but also adds a different flavor to your content. In a dry and boring industry, user generated content can really make you look apart.
A great example is Purebred Breeders, an online service that helps people find the right puppy for their family. It encourages its customers to upload video testimonials and photo shoots of their puppies.
Image Source: Purebred Breeders
This not only generates free high-quality content for Purebred, but also helps them keep their existing customers and potential buyers engaged all the time. It also gives them free marketing since any users who get featured on their homepage, usually spread the word about it in their circles.
So it’s really a win-win approach for you as a service provider.
6. Use Data To Your Arguments
In industries like finance, real estate or any other professional industry for that matter, you can add significantly more weight to your content and arguments by adding solid data and numbers.
Data-driven posts not only add more credibility to your content but also help you attract more social shares and user engagement. A great example is OK Cupid’s data heavy blog post about behavioral impacts on sexual intercourse. With one blog post, they were able to generate 26,000 Facebook Likes and 4,300 Tweets.
You can use data from different research websites or statistical bureaus in your industry.
7. Create Visuals to Make Data Digestible
Adding data to your posts is great, but no one likes going through endless charts and dry stats. To make your content more digestible, try converting your data into visual formats.
The best way to do this is by creating infographics. You can either hire a designer to create infographics for you, or you can use tools like Visme to convert your dry data into attractive infographics.
For example, look how this infographic makes a boring topic like fishing laws, much more digestible (click on the image for the full infographic)
Image Source: Visme
Original infographics also strengthen your brand image and establish you as a company with solid industry insights.
8. Simplify Your Content and Cut the Jargon
As a content marketer, you need to strike the right balance between demonstrating your technical expertise and simplifying your core ideas for the common reader.
For this, it’s crucial that you avoid unnecessary industry jargon that might be alien to some of your readers. And even when you do include complex words, make sure you clearly define them.
Write in a conversational tone and break down your posts into short 2-3 line paragraphs. Use as many sub-heading as possible and include bullet points to simplify complex ideas.
Your objective is to deliver value. Make sure your content structure is not a hurdle in it.
Content marketing has a lot of scope in industries that are generally perceived as dry and boring. And it’s not rocket science, either. By developing a content strategy that is focused on offering value to your readers and solving their problems, you can clearly differentiate your company and establish it as an industry authority.