When you watch a film, do you turn it off halfway? Chances are you don’t (unless it’s Glitter starring Mariah Carey, then you really should). No, you tend to watch the whole thing. So why doesn’t this translate to other forms of content? When it comes to online content, there are studies that show most people get around 60% through before switching off.
So if you wrote a 500-word article, you really could have stopped writing around the 300-word mark. But that’s just unprofessional. So you write the whole thing, and there’s a very good chance the end of your work will hardly get read.
In terms of writing for businesses, you tend to find there are ‘fun’ industries and there are ‘boring’ industries. The fun ones are things we tend to like doing (travelling, eating, using technology), while the boring ones are still essential, but might not hold interest as much for the majority of people (finance, software, legal).
Well, you can still create content which is engaging, interesting and sharable for these industries. These guys have all done it and you can too. That’s where this article comes in.
Humour is a powerful tool
The ability to make people laugh isn’t just reserved for Robin Williams and Lady Gaga’s wardrobe stylist. Brands can tap into humour to make their industry a lot more accessible. Brands can channel humour into excellent content marketing campaigns. Take a look at Dollar Shave Club and their video adverts.
Within two days, 12,000 people signed up, with numbers eventually exceeding 330,000.
Similarly, Old Spice have taken viral humour marketing by storm. You’ve most likely seen their campaigns. But let’s refresh our memories. Take a look at this video. Then back to me.
If humour is something you think you’re good at, then choose which direction would complement the industry you’re writing for and use humour selectively by creating content that isn’t afraid to poke fun at yourself.
Don’t underestimate the healing power of laughter. Done right, you can provide a unique entry point into your industry that makes topics a lot more accessible. Also, you might want to remember that….
When you are crafting content that might be considered ‘boring’, generate engagement by shifting the expectations. Say something or create something that is going to be thought-provoking. Ask questions. Tell stories. Leave questions at the end. Make a point.
This might upset your audience. This might make them sing in unison with what you are saying. But having an opinion about something, anything. That’s content that makes an impression. (My colleague Clare talked about the importance of opinions in content marketing at length in this webinar.)
If you’re struggling to get started with some opinion-making content, then have a look at Hubspot’s blog topic generator. I’m not saying you should solely rely on this, but it’s a start if you’re trying to get some new ideas off the ground. Enter a few nouns….
And let the results inspire you to create actionable, engaging content that might be a good fit for the humorous or thought-provoking angle we’ve mentioned.
We’re way past the 300-word mark here, so let’s wrap it up by saying that your content can be made much more stimulating if you…
Dress the part
Using content other than written copy is nothing new, but it’s certainly becoming more popular. 58% of customers believe companies that make video content are more trustworthy. The use of video increased 8% this year, and infographics increased 9%.
Basically, I’m saying you need to present these unstimulating topics in a visually stimulating way. I’m not saying disregard written copy entirely, but mix it up a little. Understand what topics might be better represented visually.
You don’t even have to be a graphic designer to get a little visual. Tools like Canva let you play around with images to create a wide range of inspiring or shareable content.
Small, simple graphics that are social-friendly can do more for brands than a 500-word article sometimes.
2015/2016 is shaping up to be a great year for content marketing. If you work in an industry that is considered less interesting to audiences, don’t be afraid to think out of the box once in a while. Take risks. Get noticed. Have an opinion. And remember a picture tells a thousand words.