Facilities management, home mortgages, and customer service software… doesn’t the sound of those just make you want to jump with excitement?
It’s a dull world out there for some B2B companies, but that doesn’t mean that your content should be boring and dry. Here are some tips for making your content exciting enough to get noticed, regardless of whether you sell high-speed thermodynamic rocket boots or ergonomically correct office chairs.
1. Make Your Blog Content Readable
Long paragraphs of content bore readers, so if you are starting off with a less-than-exciting industry and you publish boring content, your chances of high "shareability" and content success are slim.
To keep your content easy to read, break up your posts into small blocks of text, no more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph. Scannability is important so your readers do not have to work hard to digest your content.
Paragraphs can even be one sentence long like this one (gasp, don’t show this to your college English teacher!).
Here are some other tips for creating readable content:
· Create bulleted lists (like this one)
· Use formatting like bold, underlines and italics to add interest but don’t go overboard.
· Bold headings and sub-headings
· Break up the post into separate sections divided by H2, H3, and H4 headings. Use H2 headings for the main section headers like the section heading above “1. Make Your Blog Content Readable”
2. Find Their Pain, Educate, and Solve Their Problems
In every industry there are problems to be solved and pain to be eliminated. It doesn't matter whether you are selling mortgage advice or flying cars; people want answers and solutions to their problems.
Discover those problems and use your content to educate your audience and provide solutions. When you can tap into the deep needs of your target audience and answer their questions by providing solutions, your seemingly boring industry content can turn into a wealth of resources for people desperate for answers.
How do you find out your industry problems? If you have been working in your industry for a while, you likely know what its pain points are. But, if not, research:
· What people are asking and commenting on your blog or competitors’ blogs
· Conversations around your industry in forums, social sites and Q & A sites like Quora
· What are your customers saying? If you have a sales or customer service team, ask them what your customers’ most pressing needs are.
· Check bestselling books in your industry and note what solutions they provide.
For example, if you sell mortgages, consider educating buyers on getting through the buying process. Having been through it myself, I know it’s stressful, scary and overwhelming to people who don’t know what to expect. You can speak to the deep pain points of your audience (fear, apprehension, overwhelm) and educate them on the process so they can feel more in control and less fearful.
3. Share Stories and Keep It Real
By far, two of the most powerful mediums for establishing a connection with people is storytelling and transparency.
Personal and professional stories captivate people because they hit the viewer or reader in a deeper place than their brains (we’re talking heart level) which creates an emotional connection. When you can emotionally connect with people, you know you have created vibrant and meaningful content.
Many B2B industries don’t feel they can dive into storytelling and transparent topics for fear it does not follow proper business communication protocol. But, remember that people are behind those businesses; people who feel emotions just like the rest of the consumer world.
Being transparent also does not mean sharing your company profits and team salaries. It involves revealing a more personal side to your brand and allowing people to see your genuine desire to aid them. By sharing professional stories about your brand or even user-generated content like customer stories, it can go a long way to humanize your content, that is, take it from boring to extraordinary.
Follow these three tips and start practicing targeting the deep needs of your customers with valuable content that is easily digestible and problem-solving. In doing so, you may notice that your industry is not so boring after all as there really are no boring brands. Every industry serves people who are hungry for answers and solutions, and this makes them interesting. Give your audience what they want and your content will remain vibrant and exciting for the long-term.