01 Feb How to Write Fascinating Content About a Boring Industry
Is your brand or industry boring? Of course not – even if your company manufactures an obscure part used only by tractor manufacturers. It’s most likely a very important part, without which a tractor would just sit useless, unable to operate. More people should know – and you can tell them! In the words of content marketing entrepreneur Pratik Dholakiya, “There are no boring topics, only boring content creators.” Whatever your field, you can connect with your target audience by writing content that’s fascinating as well as informative. The principles apply to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) content.
Online marketing expert Neil Patel sums up the B2B situation for Entrepreneur:
“I know for a fact that B2B blogs can be very interesting — brilliant, powerful, gripping, compelling, explosive and even viral … B2B blogs are required to be interesting! If you want a solid return on your content-marketing investment, then you are forbidden from being boring … In order to be a successful marketing asset, a B2B blog has to hold some level of appeal.”
Every industry involves some degree of change and innovation, and has some degree of influence in the larger world. Conveying these stories to your target audience can position your brand as an authority, and, of course, at top-of-mind when it’s time to choose a vendor or make a purchase. Our June 8, 2018 blog post – “What is Quality Content?” – covers the essential elements of the title. Regardless of the industry, the basics apply. Quality content is original, well-informed, informative and actionable, and connects with its audience.
Writing for Search Engine Journal, Sherry Gray discusses the challenges of injecting interest into the stories of mundane products, services or industries, noting the following:
“Marketers are called on to create compelling stories for things like toilet paper or tile grout and for companies that rent out heavy equipment or manufacture parts that go inside other products.”
Gray’s article begins with a Brand Camp comic panel by Tom Fishburne. The scene is of a marketing meeting in which the leader talks about “emotional” brands generating higher loyalty than functional brands – to which a team member replies, “But we make tile grout.”
At first glance, the situation is funny because tile grout doesn’t evoke an emotional response. However, anyone who has a tile floor in their home has doubtlessly felt frustration over dealing with stained grout. Although the emotion is negative, it presents the opportunity for a blog post on how to clean stubborn grout stains – as well as social media posts on cleaning tips, and how to prevent staining in the first place. In addition, there are many different kinds of grout, which can lead to a blog post on those types, the best application for each type and how to determine which type is best for a particular project. There’s even a glow-in-the-dark grout!
From there, content can expand to overall care, maintenance and installation for tile and stone flooring and walls. And content can be targeted to specific markets – professional contractors and consumers. Tile grout doesn’t seem so boring anymore, does it?
Which brings us back to that obscure tractor part. If your company manufactures it, you can write about challenges of the manufacturing sector, growth forecasts, and numerous related topics.
Giving your topic relevance is essential to avoid spouting statistics and inducing boredom, however.
Patel’s advice includes the following:
Be professional, but personable – If you’re writing a B2B blog or social media post, keep in mind that the real interaction in B2B is between people in those businesses. Write like a person, rather than an annual report.
Show emotion – Tell how a particular experience made you feel. Were you excited when you saw your company’s new line launched at the trade show? Say so!
Go deep – You’re dealing with industry peers who want in-depth information, not the superficial treatment that can be assembled by someone outside your field after spending an hour on Google. The more they value it, the more they’ll share it among other industry pros – which will help establish you as an expert and drive leads.
Don’t write company updates or always promote yourself – In Patel’s words, the goal of a blog is “… to provide helpful, usable information to customers and non-customers alike … A blog that is all about the specific product or service that you provide will turn people off.”
Telling the story of your “boring” brand can take other interesting directions. Your brand may not be right for Instagram, but other social media platforms can help its reach – even the highly visual YouTube, which is ideal for videos about manufacturing processes, product demonstrations and interviews with in-house experts. Start your own channel and provide content on a regular basis; embed or link to the videos on your website and other social media platforms.
Once you see your brand as interesting, important and making the world a better place in its own way, getting others to see it as you do will become easier – as will increasing your brand awareness and sales. Just remind your target market that without the part your company manufactures, the tractors can’t run. And if they can’t run, they can’t harvest crops. And if they can’t harvest crops …. Well, let’s just say the result won’t be pleasant!
As a digital marketing agency and social media specialist, Virtual Stacks Systems has a team of experienced storytellers ready for any challenge. Contact us to learn how we can help generate excitement for your brand!