It often feels like companies like Disney, Ferrari, Chanel and Quicksilver have it easy when it comes to content marketing. When your industry deals in products or services that are already considered fun, glamorous or interesting, creating content can seem so easy.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to find out about behind the scenes costume designs in Star Wars, read the 10 most famous supercar owners or watch an adrenaline-filled surfing GoPro video?
Now, when working in industries that perhaps don’t have the same kind of gloss, coming up with engaging content means you have to be a bit more creative. The truth is, any company can make content marketing work for them, from file storage websites to pressure washer catalogues; you just need to know how to work with what you’ve got.
Write for the fans
Every product or service is created with an audience in mind. No matter what you’re selling, you can be sure that some people out there will be really, really passionate about what you have to say. All you have to do is find them and engage them.
You should bear this in mind when you are creating your content. Try and get into their mindset - what will they want to read, why will they want to read it and how can you make things exciting for them?
Knowing your audience inside and out will ensure that you are creating content for the people who will find it useful. It’s much better to attract a smaller amount of relevant traffic than a large audience of people with no real interest in using your products or services.
Position yourself as an expert and an educator
In any industry, it’s important to position yourself as an expert in your niche. This strengthens the connection between what you offer and your audience.
Make the effort to develop thought leadership pieces about your industry. Comment on recent events that may have happened, talk about times your industry has been mentioned in the news, cover as much as you can without actually mentioning your company overtly. Try to use to 80/20 rule: use 20% of your content to promote your brand and dedicate 80% to providing information that really interests your audience and starts conversations in your industry.
Work on getting your content on different sites like trade magazines, expert round ups and connect with journalists who may need a comment about your industry. This way, you will be seen as an authoritative voice, and the content you produce will have trust and respect behind it. This is not an overnight project; establishing yourself can take months of hard work, however it is worth the effort.
Create useful tools and guides
Creating content that will actually be useful to people who use your goods or services is a great way to increase engagement with your brand. Have you noticed that your customers all seem to have similar queries? During networking events, do people often have the same kind of comments? You can capitalise on this.
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For example, if you work in a company that sells laptops and you always seem to receive lots of queries about laptop accessories, create an accessory guide that details the main points people need to know and recommend products that will help them. If you work in real estate and have noticed that people are increasingly using social media to look for a house, create a guide on how to use social media to sell your house.
Guides are your opportunity to be creative and show how knowledgeable you are about your area, plus you are giving people practical advice that they can use. Take the time to create something you really think will be useful to your potential customers.
Jump on pop culture bandwagons
So your nuts and bolts factory may be worlds away from anything currently in pop culture, but that doesn't mean you can use what’s popular to create great content. This point does depend on your industry and the image you want to portray, but it can work really well if you use a bit of creative flair.
This content method usually works best after a star or a TV show has been in the press recently. For example, a blog post entitled “5 things Beyonce's Lemonade can teach us about processors” could work well for an IT company. The title is intriguing, relevant to the zeitgeist and is a bit more exciting that “5 things smart planning can teach us about processors”.
It is true that you may need to get a bit creative when coming up with ideas - but that’s the fun part!
Think outside the box (or the fridge)
When you're planning content to get your point across, try to think a little differently. Instead of writing a blog post about how to do something, instead title it “ 7 useful tips about XXX”. If you want to talk about your industry, use the format of “10 things you might not know about nuts and bolts”.
A great example of thinking outside the box is AO.com. These guys took a hard left on convention avenue and decided to sell fridges, dishwashers and cookers their way. Take a look at one of their latest videos below to see their approach to promoting white goods:
Even when you are writing about an event, regulation or key dates in your industry, it does not mean you have to be completely dry. Come up with angles that will make the content fresh and innovative. Video always attracts attention, and you can create a heartwarming, funny or interesting video about almost anything.
As you can see, you don’t have to work for a big name designer, an exciting destination or a hip and cool brand to make interesting content. All you need is the ability to understand your audience, the enthusiasm to present new ideas in a different and exciting way, and a strong creative flair.
So what are you waiting for? Go and create engaging, relevant content now, and don’t forget to give theEword a shout out if you go viral!
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