How To Write Compelling Content For “Boring” Industries

January 6, 2016 Steve Maurer

Content Marketing for boring industries

You can’t.

You can’t write compelling content for a boring industry no matter how hard you try, so you might as well just give up right now. Don’t even attempt it because it will only frustrate you to tears.

If you try to write for a boring industry and your heart isn’t in it, you will fail. And I mean utterly fail. If you can’t get into the product or service, your article will take a nosedive.

I write compelling content for boring industries. In fact, I love writing content for boring industries.

I relish it because I know the real secret behind writing for boring industries.

The secret to writing for boring industries is . . .

There aren’t any.

Say it out loud with me: “There are no boring industries.” You might not be too keen on a particular industry, but somebody else is.

As a matter of fact, they probably love that “boring” industry.

That somebody else is your client’s prospect. Without your client’s boring product, their business might suffer major setbacks. They might not be as successful as they should be.

They need your client’s boring product or service; they just might not know it yet.

How to relieve the boredom

You’ve got to understand why you think it’s a boring industry. Keywords here are “you” and “think.”

Maybe it’s not very glamorous.

Or it’s boring because you don’t need the product. (You’re not buying the product, you’re selling it.)

It’s boring because you don’t know the ins and outs of the product, service or industry. And since you don’t understand the industry, you can’t “love” it enough to write effectively about it.

Learn to love it.

  • Research the industry and learn everything you possibly can. Discover their features and benefits, their strengths and even their weaknesses. (Sorry, but you may need to do some hardcore content research.)
  • Research the industry’s customers and prospects. Uncover their needs, their wants and even their desires.
  • Then, find the intersection of the industry’s characteristics and the prospects requirements and develop content that addresses this intersection.

“Steve,” you say, “that’s nothing new. That’s the process we’ve always used to write good content and copy.”

Yes, it is. But if you find the industry boring, you must double your efforts, study more intently. With a so-called “exciting” industry, the research is much easier. Boring industries — boring to you, that is — take a lot more effort to understand and appreciate.

A boring industry example

I’ve written plenty of articles about content marketing. But I want you to know that content marketing is not all that I write about. Not by a long shot.

Here’s an intriguing industry: commercial network cabling and cabling accessories.

Kind of makes you want to break out in song and dance, doesn’t it?

Me neither; but I’ve learned to enjoy writing about it, even love it. Here’s how I developed a warm fuzzy feeling for commercial network cabling and cabling accessories.

  • I studied the industry intensely. I watched hours of video on the manufacturing process. I learned the differences in the materials used by various brands of cabling manufacturers and why these differences are extremely important.
  • I immersed myself in the nuances of proper cabling installation and how it affects network signals, including Wi-Fi. I studied cable splicing and termination and even discovered the differences between riser cable and plenum-rated cable.
  • Then I found out why all this makes a difference in the customer’s satisfaction with their network’s performance. And how choosing cheap or unsuitable materials will create dead spots and dropped signals. (I hate dropped signals.)
  • And I finally understood how my client’s product knowledge and guidance helps installers construct the most efficient, cost-effective installation possible.

Cool, huh?

The same process applies to other exciting industries I’ve written for, such as computer hard drive repair, circuit board design and even ball bearing manufacturing.

(Ooh! Sorry, a chill just went up my spine!)

It all comes down to this: Your client makes it, somebody else needs it, and it’s your job to bring them together. And you get paid well for doing that effectively.

That makes it exciting.

Compelling isn’t “fun” and conversion isn’t clicks or sales

Before I leave you to explore the wonders of ball bearings, circuit boards, and hard drive repairs, I want to make sure you understand what "compelling" and "conversion" really mean.

I already know that some are going to vehemently disagree with me. But I think the terms "compelling" and "conversion" are often tossed around too carelessly because they’re either misunderstood or misused.

Here’s what the Unabridged Merriam-Webster dictionary says about "compelling":

  • Driving
  • Demanding respect
  • Calling for examination, scrutiny, consideration or thought
  • Demanding and holding one’s attention
  • Tending to convince or convert by or as if by the forcefulness of evidence

Is that how your content marketing reads? Does your writing do that? Is your evidence forceful enough?

What about "conversion"? My favorite definition of conversion is this, again from the venerable M-W Dictionary:

(2) : a change of one’s feelings or one’s point of view from a state marked by indifference or opposition to one of zealous acceptance, liking, or devotion.

Sounds almost spiritual, doesn’t it?

And in one sense, you are actually evangelizing your reader to a degree. You are, after all, showing them a new and better path to follow.

Signing up for a newsletter is not conversion. That’s getting permission to market to the prospect. Clicking on a link to download or visit a website for more information is not conversion. It’s additional engagement. Those are both calls-to-action.

Conversion is changing your reader’s mind and causing them to heed those calls to action. It’s their realization that what you have to offer is vital to them, and that leads to the sale.

So I guess you really can write compelling content for a boring industry. Content that truly converts.

But only after you’ve become a convert yourself.

Learn more tips for creating content for "boring" industries in our webinar: How to Create Engaging B2B Content.

About the Author

Steve Maurer, Maurer Copywriting is a freelance copy and content writer in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His tagline at Maurer Copywriting , Professional Freelance Business Writing – Plain and Simple, explains both his target audience and his writing philosophy. You can meet him on LinkedIn or call him at 479-304-1086.

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