As a small business owner, you love what you do (or at least I hope you do!). It’s why you get up in a morning, to help people who need what you can provide to the world, whilst also keeping a roof over your head.
However, if your field is considered particularly dry and boring to others, how do you convince other people that your specialist subject is actually really interesting and that your readers should stay tuned in?
Let’s break down 9 ways you can make a typically boring concept sound more enticing.
1. Remember the Emotional Upshot
Always empathise with the emotions that go into your average purchase. No matter how dry your field might be, all companies provide a product or service that alleviates a problem, and problems come along with some level of worry and consideration.
Remember what happy customers say about you; what did you do to “turn their frown upside down”? Why is your offering so important to them? Understand your audience, grasp why they need what you provide, and fundamentally understand the emotion-driven reasons that people buy from you. Use these emotional cues to make your content more appealing.
2. Once Upon a Time…
Think of a particularly worst case scenario that your company could resolve and how you’d take that strain away from the customer – yes, even if it’s totally hypothetical. Use stories to get people to realise that your topic isn’t boring, it’s actually quite relatable.
Psychologically, we’re particularly attuned to storytelling. By framing your offering as a story, you’re putting it in a way that makes it instantly engaging. We also like to see stories through to completion, with any loose ends tied up into a neat bow. Therefore, stories that see a situation through from start to end are an engaging way of relating your topic to real life without eliciting yawns.
3. Don’t Forget to Format!
The way you present your text can have a big impact on how people respond to it. Think of it this way – if an article is presented as a large and impenetrable wall of text with no paragraphs, headings, formatting or images – are you really going to be that tempted to wade through it?
There are plenty of ways to format your text to make it seem less monolithic; break down large confusing topics into smaller bite-size chunks; use line breaks, subheadings, and images to punctuate sections and keep your text visually engaging; edit mercilessly to make sure you’re not rambling; and don’t forget that you can always present a blog post as a numbered list (like this one!).
4. Always Be Approachable
This one may need some care and consideration depending on the nature of your industry, but always try and make any content as conversational as possible. As the old adage goes “people buy from people”; so always put yourself out there as genuine and approachable by writing in a friendly, colloquial and understandable way.
If you’re already comfortable with “writing how you talk”, you can take it to the next level and crack a joke here and there. Obviously if your organisation deals with sensitive topics and raw emotions, then jokes are out of the question; but if not, then a bit of clean and inoffensive humour (note the emphasis) is unlikely to hurt.
5. Give Away Secrets
Your topic might be dry, but practical advice is rarely boring. Think of a free bit of advice or a “how to” that you can offer your readers, even if you consider it a bit of a secret. If you’re asking yourself “won’t telling the world how to do my job hurt my business?” then don’t worry – it rarely does. Check out this article from marketing boffin Jay Baer about why you should totally share your “secret sauce” with the world.
6. Let’s Get Visual
If you’re trying to keep your text as engaging as possible but it’s just not happening – consider your alternatives. Is there a way that this subject can be better represented through a visual medium? Diagrams, animations, infographics, videos, and charts are all easier than ever to create and publish with modern software tools and sharing media.
If you’re using data to prove a point, showing it in a chart or infographic might be worth looking at. If you’re looking to explain a particularly complex procedure, then an explainer video with a demonstration might be the best way to get that information across. Don’t limit yourself to just text – think outside of the content marketing box!
7. Answer the Right Questions
Get to know the questions your readers are most likely to need answers to. When you’re brainstorming content topics, use Q&A sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers to see what questions real people are asking about your field.
You can also see what people are asking Google by using keyword research tools like Answer The Public and Google’s Keyword Planner. Taking a look at how people are finding your site in Google Analytics can also be worthwhile. Are people landing on your site after asking Google a full question? If so, it might be worth answering it directly.
8. Label it Correctly
Always remember the importance of choosing a strong headline. The title is the one thing that most people are going to see, so it needs to persuade people to click through. Take extra care to make it indicative of the article’s content, whilst making it desirable for the person to click.
Providing a strong meta description is also crucial to encouraging clicks through organic search. The importance of meta tags in search ranking may be waning, but the headline and meta description are what people use to judge whether a search result is worth a click or not, so take care to formulate something enticing, but accurate.
9. Remember What’s Next
Whenever you write a piece of content, always consider what action you want people to take after reading. Do you want people to buy a particular product or service? Do you want people to share your article on social media for increased exposure? Do you want people to download your lead magnet or get in touch for a free discovery call? End on a strong call to action, asking the reader to do what you’d like them to do next, positioning that action as the next logical step.
And on the subject of CTA’s, if you’ve enjoyed this article, why not share it with your followers on social media? Just click below to share it with your Twitter followers!Check out these 9 ways to make a dry topic sound interesting. Click To Tweet
How would you make a boring topic more interesting? Do you work in an industry that many people consider quite dry? How do you get around that? Are there any other ways of making content more interesting that I’ve missed out? Let’s have a chat in the comments!