Occasionally, when speaking to prospective customers about content creation, they tell me they have a significant concern.
You see, they believe what they do is boring.
Why would anyone be interested in what I have to show them?
It’s a reasonable enough question.
Coming from a retail financial services marketing background, I came across this objection to content creation a lot.
Pensions, ISAs, and insurance aren’t exactly going to cause your audience to break open the popcorn and sit glued to their device for the duration.
Or is it?
I genuinely believe that all content has the potential to be interesting.
It’s not what you’ve got, but how you use it.
In this blog post, I’ll share six tips for making your boring content more engaging.
1. Start with a story or anecdote
Storytelling is what makes us human.
By telling stories, you can bring even the dullest content to life and pass on information in a far more engaging way.
Have you heard about the Hero’s Journey before?
This commonly used storytelling structure requires three stages.
First, a call to adventure disrupts the hero’s ordinary life.
Second, our hero must overcome ordeals, defeating their enemy during a quest.
Third, the hero returns home transformed.
Think about your favourite movies; this hero’s journey is likely to be present because it works so well!
2. Use analogies and metaphors to help explain your point
You can bring otherwise dull content to life by explaining it with a metaphor.
Analogies are especially helpful because they aid our understanding of a new concept by creating context from our past experiences and knowledge.
Some of the best-performing brands use analogical reasoning in their market.
Take Uber, for example. Their Creating Escapes campaign is a great example, using the powerful strapline Your Shortcut to Everywhere is Arriving Now.
When considering the metaphors that could support your brand, making your content more interesting, consider the ‘seven giants’ coined by Gerald Zaltman:
Balance, transformation, journey, container, connection, resource and control are the universal metaphors that span countries, cultures, languages, and dialects.
3. Quote experts or other well-known sources
Quoting an expert in your content is a powerful persuasion technique.
While we might gradually lose our trust in experts of all types, the latest research found that academics and technical experts remain more trusted than other spokespersons.
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer survey asked respondents about when they formed an opinion of a company, and 59% said they continue to consider a technical expert and academic to be most credible in providing them with information.
When we quote experts, we borrow their authority, and this reinforces our credibility at the same time.
Cite your sources and bring opinions in your content to life by including expert-led commentary.
4. Use images, infographics, and videos to break up the text and add visual interest
Blogs and articles are a powerful part of any content marketing, but reading through hundreds (or thousands!) of words can be tedious.
As you write, break up the blog with a mix of images, infographics and videos.
Breaking up the text and adding visual interest to the article will help make it more interesting, even if you perceive the topic to be dull.
At a minimum, make sure you intersperse your copy with sub-headings. They help with search engine optimisation too!
5. Add humour where you can
People buy from people. When creating and sharing content, you want to bring as much of your unique personality to the topic as possible.
You might be writing or talking about accountancy or law, but you can still introduce humour to the subject.
Dark humour is fine, too, as long as it’s clear you’re not mocking your target audience.
And, if you’re not a naturally funny person, you can find other ways to spice up your content with sprinkles of your personality.
Just be you.
6. Don’t be afraid to court controversy
Small business owners are often afraid to get involved in what some might consider controversial topics.
We fear being ‘cancelled’ by the permanently offended or maybe upsetting an existing customer who takes offence.
Here’s the thing; you can’t appeal to everyone.
In fact, the more you appeal to one group of people, the less you will appeal to another.
Be a bit like Marmite. Create content that causes people to either love or hate you.
Hate is a bit strong. But you get my point!
Assuming your opinions aren’t genuinely abhorrent (!), let them out in your content marketing. Be true to yourself, and your tribe will soon find you.
So, how can you make your content more interesting? By following these six tips, of course!
But don’t stop there – get creative and find what works best for you and your audience.
The most important thing is to keep creating quality content that engages your customers.
What boring topics do you have in your content queue? How will you make them more interesting?
If you need help putting any of these into practice, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help!