You’ve no doubt heard the expression that content is king. That makes sense, as 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing and 78% of chief marketing officers believe custom content represents the future of marketing.
But just because you know content is important doesn’t mean it’s always easy to create. Even for those working in cutting-edge industries or with highly visual product offerings face challenges when creating content for marketing purposes. However, if you’re operating in a sector that’s known for being a bit dull, you’ll probably find it even more difficult to create something truly compelling for your target audience.
That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to subpar results or dismiss content marketing altogether. You’ll simply need to employ different tactics when developing your content marketing strategy.
After all, it’s really about how you present your content that will make a difference. Even if your industry is objectively on the boring side, it doesn’t automatically follow that your content will be, too. If you actively work against that idea and utilize the tips we’ve shared below, you’ll be in a much better place to promote a business that might otherwise be overshadowed by others in the marketplace.
Keep It Conversational
Whether your industry is highly technical in nature or predisposed to using more formal jargon, it’s a good idea to remember that content marketing needs to resonate with the whole of the internet. Writing online content is a lot different from writing a user manual or a scientific study; the content you create for marketing purposes needs to be easily understood by the masses and make your business seem approachable — even if your target demographic might be at a more expert level of comprehension.
In other words, you’ll want to take out the fluff and flowery speech. Instead, focus on language that’s concise and strong. While you shouldn’t take the approach of “dumbing down” your content, you also don’t need to make your audience work harder to understand your meaning. Why use more words when few will do?
This might mean you’ll need to be ruthless in your editing or explain to your clients that there’s a time and place for more technical writing. To keep your marketing content from coming off as dry and confusing, you’ll want to take a punchier and more casual approach. Really, you should write with the average person in mind; although your ideal client may be someone with more advanced understanding, it’s important to remember that you’re less likely to alienate someone who already has the knowledge than someone who’s more of a novice.
Opt For “Edutainment”
To that end, you’ll want to provide a lot of value in the content you create. Your main objective shouldn’t be to pitch and sell a product or service. Instead, you should focus on educating your audience by providing solutions to their problems. This is a good rule of thumb for any kind of marketing content, but it’s especially useful for industries that are seen as mundane.
Rather than go the self-promotional route, your marketing should cement the business’s position as an industry leader. By becoming an expert in a specific niche, a brand can be seen as the go-to resource for essential information on a given topic. You might actually consider targeting people who aren’t directly involved in your industry at all, as this can increase brand awareness and perception. When you develop content for audiences that aren’t already in your specific niche and show them why and how your product, service, or sector can help them, you’ll have a better chance of expanding your customer base and improving leads, traffic, and conversions.
This might include doing more than publishing blog content on your own website or posting regularly to social media. Consider branching out into guest blogging to share your insights with other readers, participating in industry round-ups, or contacting journalists who might need credible sources for their own pieces. Not only can this allow more people to learn about your brand, but you might even get a link back to your website — which is an important component of any digital marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that the more humor and creativity you can tap into, the better. If your industry is already on the serious and hard-to-understand side, you’ll want to explain these concepts in a more welcoming way. By taking a slightly different approach to a topic, you’ll stand out from others in your field and may actually get others interested in what you’re all about. Marketers who are simultaneously able to acknowledge the established associations of a given niche while turning those assumptions on their heads often find success with a less conventional marketing strategy. You don’t necessarily have to do what everyone else in your industry is doing; in fact, you might be better off by doing the opposite!
Use Visuals To Your Advantage
Seeing a big wall of text is an intimidating prospect for anyone. And when you’re searching for information online, you want something quick and clear. While you might be better equipped than anyone in your field to explain how a product works or how to solve a certain problem, you’re not going to have much success if every post features paragraph after paragraph of dense data.
Long-form content is a great way to keep readers on the page. But the key is not to rely on lots of text. Instead, you’ll want to break up your text into shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs. And whenever possible, you’ll want to use graphics and video content to do the explaining.
If you really want to make a difficult concept more compelling, turn to a visual medium. You can create some graphics yourself in a variety of programs like Canva or Adobe Spark, but you may want to consider working with a graphic designer to create infographics and other visuals you can use on your site, on social media, and even in guest posts.
Readers tend to love these kinds of original visuals, as they tend to drive the most engagement of any visual format used by most marketers. According to data compiled by Forbes, 56% of companies surveyed use infographics, with 84% of brands that have used infographics considering these visuals to be effective. The reason why is that an astounding 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual! Visuals have been shown to improve learning and retention by a staggering 400%. So if you really want to get a concept across in a way that’s much more exciting, you should be relying on infographics.
Another visual medium that’s growing in popularity and that can be used to great effect by more “boring” industries is video. Although you might not think your skillset lies in video production, consider the fact that consumer internet video traffic was predicted to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic worldwide by 2019. Around 55% of people watch videos online each day, with 92% of mobile video consumers saying they share videos with other people. And not only has the number of videos that appear in Facebook’s newsfeed increased by 3.6 times in recent years, but roughly 90% of people say that product videos are beneficial during the decision-making process when choosing which items to buy. Even more compelling is the fact that including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. So if you aren’t using video as part of your content strategy, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity.
Don’t sweat it if you aren’t well-versed in video content creation. The good news is that consumers don’t mind if a video doesn’t seem slick and professional; they’re more concerned with the value it provides. If you’re able to offer a quick solution or start a buzz about your brand with a three-minute video, you can end up making a huge difference for your business.
Knowing the right marketing tactics to employ for a given brand or industry isn’t always easy — and that’s especially true if, at first blush, the niche seems less tangible or less exciting. But by relying on these simple marketing tips, you can stand out for all the right reasons and connect with a target audience in new and effective ways.
Author bio: Jim Holmes is a Client Relations Manager at Zivvy and has over 12 years of experience overseeing deliverables for a wide variety of digital marketing accounts. He has helped numerous companies grow their online presence with SEO, Social Media Marketing, and PPC.