Making interesting content is possible, even for the dullest of companies. It does require some thoughtful planning, creativity, and focus. To help, here are some tips how to make interesting content, even if your business isn’t.
Not everything in the business world is super interesting. There are plenty of industries that are absolutely essential for the world to function, but lack any type of flair. Just because the thing a business does is naturally uninteresting, doesn’t mean its marketing has to be also.
Friendly Tone, Passionate Voice
Even the most boring topics can be made interesting by somebody passionate about it. Hopefully, you have a similar passion for your business, and honestly believe that it provides an important product/service.
As you produce content, let that passion show! It comes across in your work when you care about what you are talking about. Be excited, use an exclamation point once and awhile, go out of your way to show you care!
Your content also needs to be friendly. It’s easy to think that being professional means acting like an emotionless robot, but that isn’t the case. It should feel like you are talking to a friend, not acting like a salesman or lecturing like a professor. Your brand should have a very specific voice that is unique to you, but it has to be passionate and friendly.
Another key part to your voice is being transparent and truthful. People are naturally distrustful of businesses today, thanks to large corporations only interested in money. The voice in your content needs to seem like a genuine human who is interested in their customers. Being a truthful business comes with a lot of benefits, including building a healthy reputation and avoiding legal problems.
Produce Extremely Helpful Content
This suggestion is one of the most popular in content marketing, but it’s true. If you provide a solution to a problem, no matter how boring it might be, people will be grateful for it. Providing clear directions, with useful images, and avoid pointless fluff can get the job done and give people focus long enough to consume your content.
Another specific tactic is to provide tutorials for specific practices in your industry. People are constantly looking for how to do something outside of their wheelhouse and providing a tutorial sets you up as an expert and solution provider.
Mixing Up Your Content Format
It’s easy to get into a content pattern. If you run a blog, you produce articles and little else. If you produce a Youtube series, you do that and that alone.
Having a variety of content formats for your site keeps things interesting for your readers. If they want to spend five minutes reading a blog post, they can. If they want to invest an hour listening to a podcast of you going incredibly in depth about a specific topic, let them. Just as a TV show would get boring if every episode had the same jokes, pacing, and plot, long time readers get bored of the same content format time and time again.
As you mix up what you produce, you can get a better sense what engages and performs best. Maybe your blog posts are really dull and lose visitors, but your video series gets tons of engagement. Use that data to better refine your tactics for the long term and have a good variety of high performing content.
Bait, Hook, and Reel Them In
How you set up and structure your content is key to keeping people engaged. The bait, hook and reel them in tactic is a particularly useful one. Here’s how it works.
The bait is the initial thing that pulls them to your site. This needs to tell them “hey, you have this problem in your life? We understand that.” The bait is in the page’s title/headline and meta description, along with maybe the first paragraph. Strong headlines can make or break an article. They need to both intrigue a reader to come check it out, but informative enough that they understand what they are going to receive.
The hook is telling them you have the solution to said problem and detailing it out vaguely. Some would consider this the “thesis” of your content. It tells them that the problem is solvable, and that you will tell it to them.
Reeling them in is the rest of the article. You give them enough information to pull them along, making each section another nugget they need. You don’t dump it all at once, you tease them along until, by the end, they have all of the solution. Move to fast, and they’ll get confused and frustrated. Move to slow and they’ll lose interest.
Understanding Your Market
What do you find interesting? Maybe it’s new research about how to better engage followers on Twitter to boost your engagement rates. Maybe it’s videos of cats jumping into boxes.
The point is, everybody has their own interests, and while something might seem boring to you, it could be interesting to somebody else.
So what does that mean for you? Well, you need to find out what is interesting to your target market, and then do it. There are a few different ways to do this.
The first is to talk to them. Unless you are absolutely starting out, you have customers. Reach out to a few of them and ask if you can interview them. Ask them questions about what they like to do, what type of sites they like to visit, and what they enjoy reading. Find out other things about them too. Demographic things. Like how much schooling they’ve gotten, their age, gender, race, employment, family status and such.
You’ll start to notice trends. Combine that data with what is on your site’s analytics to find what types of content works best with your target market. If you have access to it, compare your findings to big data sources to achieve an even stronger understanding. Doing so will help identify what demographics your target market is part of and what that means for your content.
One major demographic that is heavily influencing the online business world are millennials. While stereotyping an entire generation is dangerous, there are some tips to better market to them. This can include things like having short, easy to digest content, and having a more light hearted voice in your writing.
Staying Interesting Over The Long Term
Being interesting isn’t a one time thing. It requires a long term creativity to consistently produce interesting content. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and to take small breaks to brainstorm new tactics to stay fresh.