Everyone who knows how to deconstruct their ideas and rearrange their elements into a linear stream of words can write content for brands who are in the entertainment industry.
The whole process of writing content for such blogs, magazines and other publications that tend to inspire people, trigger their most intense emotions and inform them about activities of people and things that they truly love, is more than a pleasurable experience.
But what happens when you find yourself in a situation where you have to create content for companies that don’t really offer flashy and attractive services?
Let’s be frank. Writing content for a web hosting company is no easy task. Although quite important, web hosting is not something that most people are usually excited about it. Those who are, already know everything there is to know about it, and those who aren’t, are not even interested in learning the essentials.
So, how do we get people excited about something that they aren’t excited about? – By thinking from a different perspective, digging deeper and finding those specific details that tie everything together.
Creating content for boring industries is basically the same as creating content for any other type of business that people find interesting. The only extra spice you need to apply here is to think beyond the keywords and your basic SEO tricks, and focus heavily on whom you’ll be targeting with your content.
When you really sit and think about it, every business out there is basically a machine that provides solutions to certain problems. If people suddenly stopped getting hungry, all restaurants would immediately go out of business. If cars were perfect, auto shops wouldn’t exist, and so on, and so on.
Just by focusing your content marketing on a problem and how a certain product, service or business is going to solve it for everyone who comes into contact with it, you already have your hands on something that a large number of people would be more than interested to read about.
Robin Swire wrote a great article about this subject on MOZ a year ago, titled “The Art of Thinking Sideways: Content Marketing for “Boring” Business”. Be sure to read it.
As Mr. Swire cleverly stated in his post, to create outstanding content, you need to go beyond your own expectations. If it doesn’t “wow” your clients, it will never “wow” your targeted market and get those highly authoritative, juicy links. I agree with everything here, but I also think that there’s a lot more to it.
I personally think that there’s no such thing boring business, only boring content. Every business has its interesting side. There’s always something there that stimulates generations of people to dedicate their time into making it their life’s calling.
We live in a day and age where people’s decisions are mostly driven by what they read online. We are all dependent on information, and if presented right, with all the delicious benefits, there isn’t a single subject that people wouldn’t consider reading.
Don’t Bury The Dead Yet, There’s Still Some Meat On Those Bones
As a person who has been writing content for quite some time now for all sorts of different companies, I have learned that the first step in figuring out how to create engaging and interesting content for your targeted audience is to audit what you already have on your site.
The cornerstone of your new content strategy lies in understanding what makes those people who are already visiting your website keep coming back for more. Once you figure that out, you’ll have a solid foundation on which you can later build your new content marketing strategy.
Auditing an entire site can be a painful process. Sure, there are tools out there that are designed to help you bring this exhausting mission to an end as fast as possible, but still, even with them by your side, you’ll still need to do some heavy lifting.
Luckily for you, Simon Penson wrote a great and pretty detailed blog post for SearchEngineWatch about this subject. Read it now and learn how to audit your entire website without losing your mind in the proces.
Create Content for Your Audience, Not Yourself
Many people make this mistake. They all produce content that seems interesting to them, without ever considering the fact that their targeted market not might share their enthusiasm.
Like I already wrote millions of times on this blog, knowing your desired users intent is probably the most important thing when it comes to setting up your content marketing strategy.
Even though this is something that almost everyone who has a steady internet connection is already familiar with, people still somehow manage to screw it up. A lot of businesses out there still create sterile and boring blog posts that nobody likes, only because they fail to see content marketing as something more than just blogging for keywords.
Yes, keyword selection plays an important part in your content strategy, but you shouldn’t focus all your energy on it. Every content marketing strategy starts and concludes with keeping users coming back for more. Your goal here is to figure out what your potential customers need and give it to them in a manner in which they prefer to receive it.
With this in mind, your content ought to be developed around the interests of your audience. In order to create such a thing, you must first get to know to whom you’re speaking to. You must first know who your potential customers are, what they like, what they dislike, where do they hang out online, and what kind of content do they usually follow.
Ken McArthur wrote a short and sweet piece on his blog about how to find who’s your audience. Read it, I think it will help you gain a lot more detailed picture on what and whom you should focus here.
For example, as our research has shown, a vast majority of people who visit our website on daily, weekly and monthly basis are owners of small and medium online businesses (or are planning to start one) who are in need of a stable, fair and reliable hosting solution for their company website.
Going deeper into detail, we came to an understand that these individuals visit content driven websites such as Search Engine Land, MOZ, Content Marketing Institute, Backlink, HubSpot who mostly create blog posts that serve to educate young entrepreneurs and help them overcome some of the more common mistakes that people tend to make when starting an online business. Knowing this, we have decided to shift our focus from writing boring web hosting content to content that’s directly related to the do’s and dont’s of running a successful online business.
With currently more than 10.000 active paying customers from all over the globe on our servers, I think we’re on the right track.
What we’re doing here is feeding our targeted audience with content that’s of high interest to them. Creating a customer-focused and customer-centered strategy is something that is very important to us because as much as our clients are interested in getting quality service, so are we in reaching out to new high-quality clientele.
Patience is Bitter, but its Fruits are Sweet
Although this is the right way to go, this strategy still has some holes in it. This kind of content requires time to work, and we all know that most business owner hate to wait. Well, tough luck.
It always surprises me how quickly most businesses write off blogs because they don’t convert or instantly gather large number of followers. A lot of old school businessmen fail to see that content needs time to work. They’re all concerned about silly metrics that aren’t really capable in measuring the impact that certain pieces of content are making on your business.
Content marketing is not like online advertising. You cannot see what you gained from it just by looking at the numbers. Next to building your audience and helping you climb up the ladder of Google search engine results, this form of marketing has significant effect on your brand authority, which is a pretty big deal. Positioning you as a trustworthy source and expert in your field is something that has no price. This kind of thing will encourage people to talk about your work offline and online, and thus, help you grow into a real powerhouse in your field.
If you see people engaging with your content, and if you see them commenting on your posts and sharing them with their friends and business associates, stick with your content marketing strategy even if it isn’t going as well as you hoped for. People need time to form new habits. It will take more than a dozen blog posts and viral use cases / case studies to stimulate people to visit your website every single day and make it their new “home page”.
Be smart, be persistent, and I promise you, you’ll live to see your efforts pay-off.
Once again, thanks for reading,
See you soon,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.