“Why should anyone read my content?” That’s a key question those who write for the web – or indeed for print – need to ask themselves before they even consider penning a piece of content to promote their brand, service or product portfolio. And this is even more true for industries that typically operate in what is often perceived as the “boring” sectors. Think the legal, insurance, accountancy arenas to name but a few. While creating content for these industries may be more challenging, it’s definitely not impossible.
Here are our five tips to help overcome hurdles when writing for such audiences…
Set limits when writing an article or blog post
Time is of the essence when writing for the web. Increasingly, we’re being bombarded with content – both visual and text – from every angle. Readers simply won’t read your content if it’s too long, text heavy or tedious! Discipline yourself to a word count and stick with it.
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes
Think about the content that you like to read and share on any given day. Ask yourself questions such as: ‘what makes me click onto an article?’; ‘why do I leave a piece of content after a few seconds?’ and ‘what makes me stay reading an article?’.
Hubspot uses the term ‘snore-worthy’ to describe industries that are viewed as being boring and what they are doing to overturn this. If you are writing such content, it’s vital that you ask yourself is your content exciting, inventive and share-worthy. This needs to happen before you ever post it on your blog and distribute on your social media and business networking platforms.
Make your content ‘fun’
In a world of news about disasters, political upheavals, terrorism and wars, people won’t read your content unless it is fun or entertaining in some way. There’s just too much content out there. Never has this been truer for traditional industries that are vying to rise against competitors and gain the edge.
Taking the insurance industry as an example, who really wants to read about premiums, policy data and all of the jargon that people typically hear when dealing with insurance providers? With content for insurance, it needs to be short, snappy, jargon-free and fun.
If you are writing about a travel insurance, why not write about it from a different perspective. You could create an infographic on ‘7 things to pack in your hand luggage for a long-haul flight, for instance, rather than writing a long-winded article about the benefits of travel insurance. This type of lighter content can prove very effective when you tie it into your overall brand message. Just make sure to link back to your webpage to enable users to take the next step. They may want to learn more about the product, purchase it or share the blog post with a friend who is about to go on an overseas trip.
Ever hear he Chinese proverb: A picture can tell a thousand words? People love images, so make sure you draw upon them to tell your brand story. The same is true for video content, podcasts, giphys and visuals. Embed these in content and learn how to use them if you have not done so already. Such visuals will break up text and could make a reader stay on your page for longer.
Re-read and revamp your content continuously
Content ‘lives’ on the internet, so make sure that you are always reviewing the type of material you are posting. You can re-use it by linking a follow-on article, for example, back to it. This will both bring readers back to your brand and also help retain existing customers, win new ones and target younger audiences who are especially likely to share ‘meaningful’ content with their peers.
Hubspot has an insightful (and free!) report on 16 Companies in ‘Boring’ Industries Creating Remarkable Content that’s worth dipping into to get ideas about making content more compelling.
SEO.com offers a good view on how to solve the inbound marketing puzzle when writing for such industries. In the article How to Write Compelling Content for a Boring Industry, it offers some tasty advice on how to write with personality in order to connect with customers.