Posted in Content | 5-min read
"How do I make this interesting?"
One of the most challenging aspects of content writing is creating content that not only helps educate an audience on a particular topic or answer a question but to does so in a way that is entertaining, engaging, and relevant. While most people can write words, writing content worth reading can be quite challenging.
Every industry needs content in order to remain a relevant topic of conversation. In order to (a) effectively do our jobs as writers and (b) keep from going crazy, there are several techniques for keeping the less-than-thrilling subjects fun to write about and by default, engaging reads. Here are simply a handful of tips to help you write more engaging content about the seemingly less engaging subject matter.
1. Answer Target Audience Questions
Solving your target audience's problems is, hands-down, your best bet towards creating content that converts and keeps them on your website. Some organizations give out “swag” products to imprint their brand into their target demographic. These products can be everything from keychains to t-shirts, koozies and the like — things that are deemed useful. In the same way, if your content provides a value to your target demographic, they will remember where they received such useful information when the time comes that they need your organization's help.
If you produce content that helps your target demographic save time, money, or both, there’s a good chance of your target demographic reciprocating with their consideration of your organization’s services or products. While a Swiss Army knife with a company logo on it can come in handy, so too can an informative piece of content.
You likely know your target audience's questions more than most marketers do. However, if you're wondering what kinds of questions your target audience is asking online, tools like Answer the Public, Google Trends, or even playing with Google's autocomplete function is a great way to discover burning questions to answer.
2. Dive Into The History of Your Industry
As people who tend to question our own origins, we’re naturally curious about how certain things came to be. This interest leads some to pursue careers in historical research, but for most of us, an article blurb or television program will quench our thirst for a quick history lesson.
When writing about a seemingly boring subject matter, remember this important concept — everything has a history! While it may be rooted in our fascination with observing the success-and-failure of others (especially failure — something that America’s Funniest Home Videos capitalized on for decades), we all enjoy a good origin story.
The beginnings of an industry, product, service, technique, company, or individual will usually always captivate readers. There's a reason why the show How It's Made is so alluring. While compression springs themselves are severely boring, seeing one being made in a factory can be mesmerizing. So, whether your mission is to sell lumber, dentures, or even septic tanks, tapping into interesting historical tales and origin stories can be one way to thread your audience’s interest through the past, into the present, and well into the future.
3. Warm Hearts With a Touching Story
While this idea may fall into a testimonials section, most people enjoy a story with a happy ending. Even though the goal of many industries is to solve an issue, an instance where someone from the mentioned industry went above and beyond to help out a client or simply went above the call of duty is one of the many delicious ingredients in the recipe for an engaging piece of content.
Though these stories are especially inspiring for such fields as the medical industry, insurance industry, and other service industries that serve those facing physical or emotional hardships, any slightly above-and-beyond service piece can take an industry blog from informative to sensational.
4. Use The Bizarre Play On Reader's Curiosities
If our own species’ tragic history with freak shows is any indication of our interests, most people have somewhat of a fascination with the bizarre. With this in mind, most industries have some intriguing bizarre angle into which most writers can tap.
While this may be closely associated with the historical aspect of such an industry, a bizarre factoid may be right under the surface. Unusual stories have the gift of piquing the interest of many different demographics — including those who may not otherwise have had a reason to engage with a story.
5. Niche-tastic! Target Your Demographic’s Interest With Pinpoint Accuracy
In instances where quality is much more important and than the audience quantity, tailoring a piece of content to make the most impact on a very specific demographic can make a piece tremendously engaging...for that audience.
If your target demographic is an association of CPCU-certified insurance underwriters, they may derive immense pleasure from reading up on the intricacies of insurance liability protocol. Be warned that if you go “deep niche” in a piece, there’s a good chance that you will lose a good portion of the broader audience, so you may consider making this content exclusive to that demographic and target how the content is distributed. Still, going “deep niche” may be a good marketing strategy for standing out from the competition if your target demographic is extremely specific.
Bonus: Don't be afraid to experiment with new content styles and angles.
These exercises are simply meant to help you think outside of the box when it comes to producing content for your organization. Whether you want your content to tell a historical tale, to intrigue, to help out, to warm the heart, or to hone in on a specific interest, perpetually developing new ways to keep your content from getting stagnant is a great way to stay connected to your target demographic.