Compelling content can deliver meaningful business results for any company, in any industry—but some may have to work a bit harder to arouse interest.
Certain industries, topics or products are naturally fresh, flashy or alluring, but what about annuities? How can you make tax returns or estate planning sexy?
It’s not a knock on insurance to say it’s a tedious, uninteresting subject for most people. It’s OK to admit that. However, that’s not a license to bore your readers to death.
It’s possible to mine rich, persuasive stories from even the most mundane, dreary or convoluted companies.
Here are four quick ways to make your “boring” industry a bit more interesting:
1. Always be helpful.
If your content is helpful, informative or useful for your target audience, someone out there is going to find it interesting.
Take the example of an estate planning attorney. You might blog about how to draft a will, or you could pen a post about when a living trust is necessary. Perhaps you could write a series on how to choose guardians for your children.
Those topics don’t jump off the page for the average person, but you can be an expert, empathetic guide for someone going through a difficult period of life. Providing practical information in a clear, concise manner is an easy way to make a fan for life.
Remember: Helpful content is just as useful as “exciting” content.
2. Eliminate jargon and annoying buzzwords.
Copy that’s bloated with buzzwords, acronyms and insider jargon will quickly lose readers. Keep your word counts low, and strip out any terms that might cause even momentary hesitation or confusion.
Instead of trying to impress readers with your knowhow, write from your ideal customer’s point of view. What are their pain points? What answers do they seek, and how can your organization come through for them?
Ruthlessly eliminate jargon and other nonsense from your writing and prioritize clarity in everything you produce.
3. Inject some personality into the copy.
Your business may be boring, but you don’t have to be.
Spice up your prose with your unique personality, and perk up your pieces by sprinkling in some lighthearted fun.
Try adding personal anecdotes, gentle self-deprecation or good-natured humor.
Another strategy is to draw connections to TV shows, movies or other pop culture reference points that might reel in more readers.
Adding humor into corporate writing is always a gamble, but it’s usually a risk worth taking.
4. Don’t do it yourself.
If you lack the energy, creativity or time to launch a compelling content campaign, ask for help. There are loads of wonderful writers (and laid-off reporters) out there who can produce sparkling work for a comparative pittance, so don’t be shy about seeking professional help.
Your industry might seem like a bleak desert where compelling content goes to die, but there are always interesting stories to tell. The trick is to find out what, exactly, your audience cares about.
A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.