Do you work in a boring industry? When you talk about your job, do people quickly zone out? Maybe you work for a plumbing company, or sell life insurance, or make drywall (someone’s got to do it). One of the most challenging parts of working in these industries is writing for them. It can take a moment to generate interesting content for a deodorant company, after all. But, if you work for a company that doesn’t excite 90% of the population, don’t worry! Just because your industry is “boring” doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to writing bland content. In fact, some of the most epic marketing campaigns were created for companies that seemed the least likely.
How do you do it, then? How do you write interesting content for less than fascinating industries?
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid dull language. There’s a fine line to tip-toe around when writing for boring industries, although the same is true for writing about most things. Use words that capture attention and keep your audience interested – without losing them in the chaos of your flowery verbiage. For example:
- Too Boring: The handsome man walked in the room.
- Too Elaborate: The devilishly good-looking male homosapien strutted into the lavishly decorated abode.
- You want to find a happy medium – something more along the lines of: The attractive gentleman walked briskly into the room.
- Be educational. What are people searching for on Google? What do they want to know about your industry? No matter how mundane your product/service is, there will always be people who are interested in knowing something about it, as it pertains to their problems or interests. For example, if you work for a hardware company, you have a never-ending list of instructional DIY content you can write. If you own a chair rental company, you can write about tips for throwing great parties, how to select the right chair for your event, and so on.
- Show you’re a human being. It’s 2017, and it’s no longer necessary (or effective) to employ robotic language and phrases. Speak/write conversationally. Use apostrophes. Maybe it sounded better in your English 101 class to write “They would not budge.”, but “They wouldn’t budge” is easier to read, and you’re much less likely to lose your audience this way. The more like a real human being you sound, the more your customers will relate to you, and in turn, the more they will like you. The more they like you, the more likely they are to spend money with you. The more likely they are to spend money with you…well, you can probably see where this is going. Take Geico, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance, for example. Most people would probably agree that insurance companies aren’t exactly sexy. These three specimens, however, have scooted ahead of the competition and established themselves as interesting, trendy, relatable, and even funny. How’d they do it? They weren’t afraid to push the envelope (tastefully), they showed their brand’s personality, and they didn’t give up: they stayed creative.
- Don’t get bogged down in company jargon. One of the fastest ways to make your readers’ eyes glaze over is to use words like “CRIN” and “NPO”. Avoid using inner-company/industry lingo as much as possible. If you must use a company jargon buzzword, follow it by a short, simple explanation of it’s meaning. A good rule of thumb: write for a 5th grade reading level. You won’t lose credibility in writing more clearly and simply. Instead, you’ll have a better chance of getting through to a wider audience.
- Get to the point. Shorter is usually better. Particularly in the digital world, the more direct and concise you are, the better reception you’ll receive. With approximately 23094238 things vying for a person’s attention, you’ll only get a few seconds before your audience moves on to the next thing. In those precious moments, you need to grab their attention, and keep it. So cut the fluff, be clear, and wrap it up.
When you’ve brainstormed your topic, written your content, and are ready to publish, ask yourself one final thing: would you read it? If it’s not interesting to you, it’s not interesting to anyone else, either. Writing is a process. In a way, it’s like like taking photographs. Sure, you could snap a quick shot and be done, but no one will give that photo a second glance. Just like it takes time and practice to make your photos interesting and worth people’s time, it takes time and practice to write quality, interesting content for companies that are perceived as dull. Always remember: just because your company is boring doesn’t mean you have to be.