To be perfectly honest, there are some industries and businesses that struggle with keeping their online presence interesting and engaging, and not because there’s a lack of effort. Some industries are just, well, too boring to be able to have the draw of shiny industries like entertainment or lifestyle. Think about it – how many people do you know who find it fascinating to read about plastics or paper industries or business? Is there anything interesting to be said about those industries at all?
Funny enough, there is. The problem with these industries is that their appeal is of a limited nature. They are niche interests, no matter how widely the products they make or the services they provide are used. But some people must be passionate about them. People who work in those industries, for example. In the case of plastics, a bunch of chemists and technologists might find the most recent developments in manufacturing or polymerization interesting. A section of consumers is almost always more interested in the goings on in these less appealing industries than the average consumer is.
Yes, even the boring industries have followers and enthusiasts, and it is for them that businesses operating in those industries should make an effort to provide valuable and engaging content. In fact, as little as three types of content could be all a business needs to liven up its online presence. And if these types of content are distributed across different platforms and in different forms, the effect will be even better. So videos and Vines, blog posts and images, every little effort counts. If it’s used for the right type of content, that is.
Answers to Question Your Customers Might Have
Great content is the content which provides plenty of information and helps its consumer solve a problem or find an answer to a question. Obviously, any business would want to have great content in the core of a content strategy, but the less-appealing businesses and industries need to work a bit harder on it. It’s not because their consumers don’t have a lot of questions they want answered – there’s always plenty of those, but because they need to everything exactly right to create a reasonably interesting online presence. There’s no room for mistakes.
Ideas for this type of content might look as though they’re hard to find. In reality, they are everything but. By engaging the whole business in a brainstorming session – not just managers, but everyone, it is possible to get a fresh perspective on the business’ products or service. Having contact with the consumers or customers will also help because they will ask questions if given a chance and those questions should become the topic of your next blog post, Vine, or YouTube video.
User Case Studies – Like Testimonials, But Better
The best thing about user case studies is that they can be as detailed and technical as they need to be. They can be all in numbers, percentages, and formulas or they can contain heartwarming human interest stories. Or maybe a little bit of both. Either way, they are made to provide information on the ways people are using a business’ product or service. It can contain practical information, which is something people like to read because it might help them solve a problem or find an answer to a question. They can contain technical information, which is something people with close ties to the industry might find interesting. And human interest stories are something most people like to read.
Of course, user case studies can be a slippery slope because they rely on users to provide at least a part of the content. People in charge of creating the content might be tempted to modify users’ accounts for better sound-bites, which is something that should never be done. Also, adding image or video content to a user case study is always very welcome because they might not work that well without them.
Get an Expert’s Opinion
But not only get it, make it into an article or a video. This is probably the hardest of the three types of content mentioned here to produce because it requires interviewing skills to work well. After all, it’s not only a sound-bite we’re aiming for here – we want a whole article, or a whole video clip, or an expert talking about the business or industry.
Getting an interview with an expert and turning it into content is a process. First, an expert in the industry needs to be identified. Next, out of the pool of experts, one should be chosen based on relevance to the topic, ease of communication and willingness to cooperate. After that, the person conducting the interview should prepare the questions, research the topic, and organize additional personnel like cameramen if needed. And even if the interview goes well, it needs to be formatted and outfitted for maximum engagement – illustrations for a written interview, editing for a video interview. It’s a tough thing to pull off, but it can also be very rewarding.