As a copywriter for a business communications provider, I know all about the challenges of trying to create compelling content in an industry that, well, isn’t always that exciting. My daily content topics around my company’s products like hosted VoIP, SIP Trunking and cloud PBX probably make some people’s eyes glaze over.
While there probably aren’t a lot of you who are doing marketing related to Internet telephony, we certainly all have moments when we feel like our content is just plain boring, no matter what we’re trying to sell.
If you’ve felt boring industry fatigue, fret not. When traditional marketing ruled customers’ purchasing decisions, advertising had to be flashy to try attract as much attention as possible.
Today, inbound has taken over the marketing world as a means to provide customers with helpful, useful content rather than attempting to grab their attention. Being the information hub for your customers is something that you can always do, no matter what you’re trying to sell. And it’s the most valuable thing you can be to your loyal customers and potential buyers.
But how do you create excellent content that really digs deep into the issues your customers want to know about? Here are a few tips for creating exciting inbound marketing content, even in a “boring” industry:
Focus your marketing efforts primarily toward “warm” leads, or potential customers who are already out there looking for information about your products and industry. Warm leads care about the content that you’re producing, so it will never be boring to them. Provide them with the information they need and engage them by answering their questions. They’ll thank you for it by continuing to interact with your brand and seek out your content.
2. Solve problems
Our parents went to a salesperson at a physical store to find out about new products or to get an opinion about the best brand of TV. Today when we have a problem or a question, we go straight to Google to find the answer. That means your company should be first in line to give them all of the information they’re looking for, and you need to attract them with great content that really gets to the heart of their issue. Your goal as an inbound marketer is to gain your customers’ trust by giving them objective, useful insights.
3. Be a newsroom
In the age of inbound, your marketing department should function just like a newsroom. The 5 Ws of journalism should be your best friend (Who, What, When, Where, Why — and don’t forget How). If your audience wants to know how to buy a new house in 2013, answer the questions that they’re going to ask. Where should I go to find the right realtor? What is the typical down payment for first-time homeowners? How will the current housing marketing affect the price of new homes? Content that answers their most basic questions will get them to the next level in the buying process, and help them trust you as a reliable source.
4. Find new angles
Discover new angles for your content when you feel like things are getting boring. Some great places that you probably haven’t thought about include your customers and your sales team. Talk to them about what questions they had during the buying process or what questions they get during the sales process.
Also remember to check news sites for current events tied to industry products or services. Linking your marketing efforts to relevant events and things your customers care about is the easiest way to keep them interested. Maybe one of your buyer personas loves the television show The Walking Dead. Come up with a creative way to incorporate zombies into an article about customer service horror stories around Halloween. Have some fun with this! Staying on top of trends that your customers care about helps you stay relevant, keeps your content fresh and, most of all, lets you be creative.
5. Monitor and measure
As every content marketer knows — your boss is going to want to see that your inbound marketing efforts are working. Be sure to measure page performance, clicks and links to your content. Test different Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and do research about which social media platform to spend time on and at what time of day. If you left, would people miss you? Then continue to test and test again so you can better tailor your content to fit your customers’ needs.