How to Write Content for Boring Industries
What do you do when you have a business who needs good content for a really boring industry? If you’re writing for SEO, you have to write long content that’s totally unique and speaks the audience’s language. I get it- this seems impossible.
Here’s some specific strategies I’ve used in the past to try to help overcome this.
Use Social Media to Find Topics
I often work with industrial companies that can be hard to write for. For example, let’s consider a company that does rock crushing. Now, rock crushers are very important. However, I don’t think many people truly appreciate very perfectly ground pieces of gravel. So, how are you going to write unique, compelling content on gravel?
One of the approaches I take is to look at social media. I use Facebook search and Twitter search to look at what other people are asking about a topic. A Twitter search allows you to put a question mark in the search box, and it will tell you topics that are questions. Use those results to brainstorm. It’s Twitter, so you know people are asking questions. You might see the question, “Does anybody know how to create three-quarter-inch gravel?” Now I know what to write about for that business. Sometimes social media can help you generate content ideas that are relevant.
The Sales Team Can Help with Content Ideas
Another strategy that I have used is talking with the company’s sales team. The salespeople know what questions customers are asking. What are the topics that they’re tired of answering all the time? The sales team is going to be able to help you find topics. Now, you’ve got topics to write about, but you’ve also done the sales team a favor because the next time someone asks that annoying question, they can send the link to the blog post where you’ve answered it.
Listen to Phone Calls
Yet another option for coming up with content ideas for boring industries is using phone calls. Those of us who do marketing are used to tracking phone calls. “These calls may be recorded for customer service”, and I might be the one that’s listening to it. I find listening to phone call tracking is a great way to find topics. For example, I had a client one time that installed swimming pools. While pools can be fun and interesting to write about, there’s only so much to say. When you’re on the hook for two blog posts a week on pools, what are you going to talk about? I listened in on phone calls. With this swimming pool client, I found out that the receptionist would get a question and say, “No, we don’t do that.” They got the same question several times and responded that they didn’t do that. Well, they did do that. That was the perfect opportunity to write about that service, informing their customers that it was something they did that the receptionist didn’t know about.
I had another client that did sports jerseys for high schools. They received calls asking, “Can you do jerseys for my roller derby team?” Their response was, “No, we do soccer, we do football, baseball, and basketball. We don’t do roller derby.” They got enough calls with people asking about roller derby uniforms, that they looked into is and found that they could easily do roller derby uniforms because they were just like soccer jerseys. By listening into the phone calls, not only did we find a new topic to write about, but we found a whole new product for the business. And guess what? They were the only people on the internet (at the time) that produced roller derby uniforms. Cha-ching!
Sometimes companies will not have the marketing budget to allow phone call tracking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. All you need is paper and pen. When a customer asks a good question on the phone, write it down. You could get a list of great topics for what is otherwise a boring industry.
I feel your pain. Some industries are hard to write about. I hope some of these strategies can help your SEO campaign in a boring industry.