What kind of business do you think would produce the most interesting content – an extreme sports retailer or an accountancy firm? If you think of extreme sports, you think of cool members of staff, possibly called Jonty, posting Go-Pro videos of themselves nollying into a 50ft halfpipe, prompting triple-figure Facebook ‘likes’, right?
While accountancy lends itself to blogs about the ‘109 common errors people make when filling in the “AA01 Change of Accounting Reference Date” form’… It’s easy to make the assumption that nobody is going to find your subject matter interesting if you are not in the B2C space or you work in a technical industry.
Make ‘boring’ content interesting: consider your audience
You can start by not being so negative! If you believe that your content is boring to begin with, then you’re going to have a hard time of convincing your audience to think differently.
Someone might want to read over 100 minor administrative errors people make on obscure forms, but they’d definitely be an outlier in that regard. However, there are plenty of accountancy subjects that people do want to know about. With a proper grasp of your audience and who you want to be creating content for – which you can do through developing accurate personas – you’ll have a better idea of what they want to hear. And then what you might create for them.
Machinery, dentists and pest control: three case studies that might surprise you
Caterpillar, builders of important but fiercely dull (unless you are a three-year-old boy), heavy machinery, was stuck in a rut of safe marketing. Less concerned with singing their products’ praises than making them the best they could, their content wasn’t what you could call ‘interesting’.
So, in April 2014, they took a risk and experimented with a series of videos – with the tag #Builtforit – that saw Cat equipment undergo quirky challenges: a game of giant Jenga; a Cat smart phone being dropped, drowned and run over by rugged multi-terrain loader; and a mini excavator successfully navigating a glassware display.
But Cat isn’t the only example. There’s the case of the small family dental clinic in Canada that blogs about quirky tooth-related topics and get lots of traffic for it. Or pest control experts Rentokil addressing the question of whether cockroaches like rock music.
The secret is to get across your message, but do it with the understanding that while your audience want to find out about your business, they have other interests, too. And if you can combine those two, you’ve quickly engineered a wider net to cast.
The bottom line? Not all industries offer the constant drama of the extreme sports world, but that doesn’t mean your content has to be boring.