‘How can I create content for my boring industry?’ is a really common question in content marketing circles.
The first thing to remember is that the definition of ‘boring’ is different for everyone. Just because you find your industry boring, that doesn’t mean everyone does.
I’m fascinated by Ancient Egypt. Is everyone? No.
I love learning about skincare. Does my boyfriend? No he does not. He’d fall asleep before the end of the first sentence.
That doesn’t mean any of those topics are more or less boring. It’s all about personal experiences and attitudes. Anything can be interesting if you look at it the right way.
Which means that just because you find your industry dry and lacking in content ideas, that doesn’t mean that it actually is.
In fact, if most of your industry feels the same way, that means there’s a big gap you can fill with interesting, creative content.
Here are some tips to help you come up with content ideas for ‘boring’ industries.
Step one when creating content for ‘boring’ industries: be helpful!
So-called ‘boring’ industries are sometimes seen that way because they’re quite complicated, new, or otherwise intimidating.
So, you could create content talking about common questions, myths, and mistakes surrounding your industry.
According to Edelman/LinkedIn, 54% of decision makers spend more than an hour every week reading thought leadership content. The more helpful your thought leadership content is, the more people you’ll attract do it.
I really like the content accountant Mahmood Reza creates for his YouTube channel, I Hate Numbers.
I particularly love the name of channel because, well, I hate numbers. The name alone creates empathy between him and his target audience, since most people who outsource their accounting are likely to hate numbers, too. And he shows that he totally understands this hatred just from his channel’s name.
The right content doesn’t just build you up as a thought leader, though. 43% of marketers said that video reduced the number of support calls they receive.
If your support team is particularly overwhelmed, creating content that answers common questions just may give them some much-needed time and energy back.
Ask your audience
To figure out what to write about, it’s as simple as asking your audience. What are the common questions they want to know? What do they ask you before buying? What do they message you about on social media? What are your competitors creating content around?
If you’re not sure, or you’re just starting out, go find people to ask!
Ask on social media, your email list, or any communities that you’re a part of. The more people you speak to, the more data you’ll have, and the more you’ll notice patterns that can inspire your content creation.
Put some personality into it
When your personality comes through in what you do, it makes your content more memorable.
Sharing your opinion is one way to do this, but there are lots of others, too.
For instance, I often compare copywriting to Animal Crossing or Back to the Future. I used Pokémon to demonstrate story structure. I have a blog post in progress about how content marketing is like managing wavy/curly hair.
All of those comparisons are unique to me and the things that I enjoy outside of writing. They give context to what I’m saying, add a humorous twist to things, and make the lessons more memorable because they’re tied to tangible examples that many people are familiar with.
Jokes are another way to show personality, but be careful of who and what you makes jokes about. It’s usually safer to make self-deprecating jokes about yourself, or Christmas-cracker style jokes. These are less likely to be divisive than something political or from pop culture.
Don’t make it about you
Content marketing isn’t about what you want to write about. It’s about what your audience wants to know. When you focus on this, it’s a lot easier to come up with content ideas.
Writing in second person is an important part of content marketing that most businesses default to now.
But that’s not enough to make your content interesting.
You need a deep understanding of what your audience wants to know.
Perhaps even deeper than what they explained when you asked them about it.
If someone knows they have a problem but doesn’t know a solution exists, you can create awareness content to explain that it really does.
This is great for guest posts on industry-related websites, as it’s not salesy but it does build brand awareness if you’re the only person with a solution to their problem. (I’ve done this in the past for a new product, and while it was a long-term investments, it paid off.)
Figure out why you’re doing it
It saddens me how often I speak to people – from a range of industries – who blog because either they were told to, or they feel like they should. They don’t understand how content marketing can help them, which means they don’t get see the results that they could.
Are you content marketing to grow your community? Enhance your thought leadership? Build your funnel? Get more leads? All of these – and more – are valid reasons.
Whatever your reason, reminding yourself of it when you’re feeling demotivated will help you find your inspiration again.
Understand the psychology behind content creation
There’s a reason why content creation works – and why it doesn’t. You need to have an understanding of what that is so that you can get the right type of content in front of your audience at the right time.
(Wondering where to find all that info? It’s coming up on this very blog!)
At its most basic, it’s all about what we’ve already covered multiple times in this post: know your audience! (Better than they know themselves.)
Make sure you have a strategy
Having a strategy means that you answer all your prospects’ questions before they buy. Maybe even long before they’re ready to buy.
68% of prospects these days don’t want to speak to a salesperson before they buy; they want to do their own research instead. Which means your content and copy need to work harder than ever to answer any questions that may come up.
The only way you can do that is with awesome sales copy and a content marketing strategy that includes awareness content, consideration content, and purchase content.
Without a combination of these content types, you’re going to have gaps in your audience’s knowledge and miss out on potential sales you could’ve gotten.
Many businesses neglect consideration and purchase content, particularly if they’re smaller, because business owners feel uncomfortable drawing attention to themselves. There comes a point, though, when you have to start talking about yourself and see it as another way to help your audience, rather than bragging. It’s only then that you’ll be able to make more money from your content strategy.
And let’s not forget: these sales are passive. Once you’ve got a decent funnel up and running, it can run and run and run.
Having a strategy also leads to a 27.1% higher win rate and 18.1% higher quota attainment compared to those without a content strategy.
So, while creating a well-rounded content strategy can take time, it can also make you a whole lot of money.
Content created for so-called boring industries doesn’t have to be boring for your audience to read, listen to, or watch.
Instead, it’s all about answering prospects’ questions in a way that’s interesting to them.
And, if it’s interesting to them, it’s probably going to be more interesting for you to create, too.
If not, you can always outsource your content marketing 😉