Creating content is often a daunting task.
It’s even more complicated when the industry you are working for is not all supermodels and fast cars.
What to do when you need to create content for a boring industry? There are two main ways:
Create content for the “weird” people who find the industry interesting. Ask them what they want to know and fill that need. The downside is that this audience might be limited and not your ideal customer base.
As an alternative you can create content about something completely different. Find a topic that is important to your customer base and talk about that. If you can tie it to your industry – great! If not you will still get visibility to your brand, and the interestingness of the topic will rub off on your brand.
Let's take an example like RedBull. It’s sugar fizz with some stimulants in it. Not something you can talk about for hours. However, they have found a way to be extremely cool in the eyes of their potential customers by dominating the field of extreme sports.
I found this is a great slide deck and just had to share it with you. Most of us are the marketers who need to do content marketing to produce results in boring industries.
- Ball bearings
- Nuts and bolts
Let's face it most areas of business are not fun that you would want to read about first thing in the morning. Find out how to do content marketing for boring businesses.
Example of Content Marketing for Boring Industries
American Express has created a whole business portal for content marketing that has (almost) nothing to do with credit cards. Open Forum has everything that a small business would need to start and manage its day to day operations from strategy to team building.
Of course, you may have a bit fewer resources as American Express and creating this amount of content is out of your reach. This example helps you understand that you can focus on the topics that your product or service enables.
If you are selling construction materials for small contractors, then don’t write about screws! Write about how to improve their sales and client relations. How to optimize workflow and logistics. Buying screws is not their problem! Find out what is the problem, and address that.
Easy way to create the content your audience needs
Research the problems that your potential customers have. Create a long list of problems and questions that need an answer. Then find out who is answering those questions right now. First, try to find areas where competition is low, and you can easily improve on the existing answers.
First piece of content
Create one large article about those topics. Answer 10 to 15 important questions and create an epic piece of content that is 2,500 to 4,000 words long.
- Create a highly visual slide deck about the questions and share on Slideshare.
- Make a video based on the slides and promote it on Youtube and Facebook.
- Link all that material back to your original FAQ article.
- Find all the blogs and forums where your target audience is asking those questions. Register, write a short but valuable answer and link back to your original content.
Expand to cover all the top areas
Next, create a long post out of each question. Ideally, you can pump out one awesome piece of content per 2 weeks. Adding it all up means that it will take about 6 months to cover all the questions.
Every time you post a new article link to it from the original post and crosslink with already published articles.
Create an ebook and use it as a lead magnet
In half a year you will have 11 substantial blog posts in your field and now comes the last step. Combine all the posts into an ebook. Use that ebook as a content upgrade for earlier articles and other material that you have on your site.
Make sure you put product and service offer in your ebook.
Create an autoresponder sequence and send your subscribers additional materials and offers.
Select another topic area, rinse and repeat.
Repeat this publishing schedule for 3 cycles; then you will have enough content to go against all major competitors. Also, after two or three cycles you have enough content that you can simply update old content to keep the machine going.
When you create all that content, don’t let it go to waste. Make sure your content stays fresh for years, and you treat it like an asset or product portfolio. Here’s the process you can follow:
The content portfolio management
A piece of content has to live as long as possible. The goal is to get the maximum amount of business value out of every material created. Longer lifespan will spread the resources needed to create that content over more leads and sales. Longer lifespan will lower the cost per lead or sale.
The process starts as a regular content creation project I described above.
- You create and launch a piece of content.
- You get the SEO on-page optimization right.
- Next you promote that content to your existing audience: email, social media, push notifications.
- You build some links and earn some for free.
After the initial promotion you may want to atomize XXX the content into different formats, such as video, slides, infographics and ebooks.
Link all pieces of content together and also with your products, services, and references.
The regular content creation process ends here. Most content marketing professionals just abandon their content and move on to new things.
But this is only where the journey starts. Usually, most of the content created gets its traffic peaks at the beginning of its life. You don’t want that.
Don’t be like most content marketing professionals!
The goal is to improve and promote your content continuously. The continuous improvement will lead to ever growing traffic and domination of Google’s search results. The results will last for years… and years.
The content update cycle
3 to 6 months after initial publication and promotion update your content with new material and run it through the promotion cycle. I would time the first update to 2 to 3 months following first publication.
Whenever possible add fresh material to your content. Update data and statistics, improve readability and add new examples. Make the new material stand out so that the people who have seen that content before will find additional value in it.
Regular updates and promotion
After that update your content 1 to 3 times per year. The frequency depends on the topic, now material, and the amount of content in your content portfolio.
Make sure always to promote your updated content in all the relevant channels. You may think that people will notice that they have already seen the material. Don’t worry, most don’t, and your updated content should also be interesting to those who have already seen it.
SEO changes! Doh! One month the description tag is 160 characters, then it’s 320, and then Google changes it back again. The fundamentals of SEO don’t change much, but there are always improvements you can make. Find out what Google Search console thinks about your specific piece of content and make improvements accordingly.
Photo via Visualhunt.com