Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads. That’s why so many organizations are using it to boost visibility, generate brand awareness, and attract links for SEO. But let’s face it. Creating content can be a tedious process, especially for “boring” niches. Not all industries spark interest in potential customers. Whether it’s an overuse of jargon or lack of personality within the content, many industries fall flat when it comes to creating content that people want to read.
Take law, healthcare, or insurance industries for example. Do people really want to read a long article about a heart monitor? What about an extensive article about what legal action to take after a car accident? Or how about an ebook about finding the best life insurance plan? Yawn.
Sure, consuming these pieces of content is important for the consumer to address whatever problem they’re experiencing. But is it really something they want to read? Nope. And if they do, it’s likely out of necessity or there’s nothing better on the internet.
No matter what industry you’re in, you should produce content that’s enjoyable to read, being careful to avoid these common content marketing mistakes. Your content should make the consumer feel comfortable and reassured about their situation or problem. It should not only inform, but it should also entertain your reader.
Follow the actionable tips in this article to transform and supercharge your content marketing strategy so that your audience stays engaged with your brand.
In all honesty, the “boring” factor is not really about the niche. It’s more about the way you put the content out there. That’s what will help your message resonate with your audience.
Below are some strategies you can adopt to make your content more interesting and engaging:
1. TELL A STORY
Everyone likes a good story, especially one that’s emotionally compelling. To create more interesting content, it’s important to resonate and relate to your audience. This means that you should talk about things they can relate to. For example, you may be offering legal services for personal injury.
To grab your audience’s attention, you can talk about a similar situation from your own life where you or a family member was injured and sought a lawsuit. Paint a vivid picture of the stress and anxiety you or your family member felt about paying expensive medical bills and the difficulties you faced getting legal assistance.
Once they’re interested in your story, it’s much easier to keep their attention when you get to facts and specific information. No one really wants to read about the law or watch a video on it. But when you create a more human experience, it can really resonate with people and appeal to their emotions.
An example of a great storytelling campaign is New York Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital’s video marketing strategy included patient stories, which told their audience about their experiences with the hospital and how it saved their lives.
2. CREATE CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS
Controversy can add interest to any topic, no matter how boring it may seem. You can write about a hotly debated topic or a pressing question no one really has the answer to. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you can take a strong stance on the issue of self-diagnosis in an increasingly online world.
Making a strong statement like that can spark a discussion. Lots of people are turning to inaccurate online sites to help diagnose and manage their medical condition(s). Because the controversial topic triggers a powerful emotional response, it will engage people, whether they agree or disagree. Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis is a great example of the tactic. He wrote:
“90% of the SEO market is made up of snake oil salesman. These are guys in really bad suits trying to get really naive people to sign long-term contracts. These clients typically make horrible products and don’t deserve traffic–that’s why they’re not getting it organically so they hire the slimebuckets to game the system for them.” – Jason Calacanis
While Calacanis’ statement may or may not be entirely true, he generated an intense reaction from people who both agreed and disagreed with his bold claims. He also gained lots of exposure.
3. MAKE BLOG POSTS EASIER TO READ
Perhaps this is the easiest tip to implement into your content marketing strategy. But believe it or not, many content marketers in dull industries don’t follow this practice. If your content isn’t the most interesting to read and isn’t the easiest to read, how fast do you think your readers will click away? At lightning speed, that’s for sure. Below are some formatting and writing tips you can implement to keep people reading:
- Use bullet points
- Use images and gifs, as we did in this post!
- Use header tags (i.e. H1, H2, etc.)
- Keep paragraphs short, between 3-4 sentences
- Use clear, concise language
- Avoid using passive voice
- Add some personality!
4. GET YOUR AUDIENCE INVOLVED
One of the best ways to make interesting content is to get your audience involved in spreading your message. People like to feel like they’re part of something, even if it’s a small contribution. For example, Arkansas Children’s Hospital created the #100DeadliestDays hashtag campaign to raise awareness about statistics that show kids are more likely to die or be critically injured between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The campaign also included a downloadable parent-teen driving agreement, engaging infographics on topics like fireworks safety, and fact sheets about child safety risks. The campaign was shared and spread all over social media. Other organizations even started using the hashtag, sharing their own tips on the topic.
5. BRING A PERSONAL APPROACH
Like storytelling, bringing a more personal approach to your content is a great way to draw attention to your content. People want to feel like someone understands their situation. When they’re consuming content, they want a more relatable experience, one that’s memorable and compelling.
Making your content more personal is one sure way to do that. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute brings its personal approach to cancer treatment with the You Have Us campaign.
Their powerful slogan says it all: “Right now you may have cancer. But what your cancer doesn’t know is – You Have Us.” This video is a smart healthcare marketing tactic because it makes the topic of cancer more relatable and comfortable for those experiencing the disease and even for those who aren’t.
6. STAND OUT FROM COMPETITORS
If you’re in a boring niche, one way to grab more attention from your audience is to be different from your competitors.
For example, content about forex trading can not only be dull and uninteresting but also difficult to understand. The industry is largely populated with sites that display very technical information in an inaccessible and uncreative way. MahiFX, a forex trading platform does a great job of standing out from competitors by doing something relatively new that hasn’t been overdone.
They created an interactive infographic to attract attention and interaction on the website. The infographic takes personal input from the user, compares it against a high flyer in the financial trading space, and contains a hook to get users to sign-up. It isn’t just a “regular” infographic. Unlike the typical infographic, it encourages users to take action on the website, creating an immersive user experience. That’s important when creating content in a “boring” niche.
7. USE STATISTICS
By incorporating statistics into your content, you can attract attention from your readers. But be careful. If not used correctly, statistics can make your content even more boring. Instead of just listing dry facts and figures, turn the statistical data into visuals using infographics and embedded videos.
You can also do your own research by gathering and analyzing data on a topic or conducting surveys. People love data and if presented in an interesting way, they’re more likely (61% of customers) to buy from a company that creates interesting custom content.
8. LEARN YOUR CUSTOMERS’ FAVORITE TOPICS
The key to getting your customers interested in your content is to implement a customer-led content strategy. This simply involves creating content that you know your customers will be interested in. Simply Business, an insurance broker in the UK, does a great job of this. Instead of just creating content exclusively around insurance, they’ve also created tangentially related content that small business owners will find useful, even if it doesn’t have to do with insurance at all.
For example, they created guides for social media, PPC campaigns, and productivity. The company sharpened their focus on their audience and has been successful in making interesting content that people enjoy reading.
The key takeaway here is that you shouldn’t just include your product or service in your content, but you should also discuss more general topics related to your niche. For example, Tessa Shepperson, a landlord and property solicitor, created an online legal resource center for landlords and tenants.
She doesn’t just use her blog to market her legal services, she also uses it to educate her audience. She comments on legal developments and new regulations, answers readers’ questions, and discusses relevant reports and consultation papers issued by the government and relevant organizations.
To be successful at this tactic, you must know your audience’s interests, pain points, and preferred solutions. Then, once you’ve determined what those are, you can craft content around relevant topics.
Written by Andrew Epprecht
As the Founder and CEO of Phase 5 Analytics, Andrew leads a team of healthcare marketers and consultants. He's been featured in publications like Forbes and Search Engine Watch. An entrepreneur at heart, Andrew started his first business in high school. While attending Duke University, he further developed his knowledge of online marketing and advertising. Today, Andrew uses these skills to help forward-thinking healthcare organizations attract new patients online.