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March 18, 2014

#Pubcon Liveblog: Creating and Selling Awesome Content in Boring Niches

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Do you think your business is “boring”? Do you struggle with creating content that matters? The next presentations are for you.

Creating Content for Boring Industries

Kelly Ament @kellyament, Get Noticed Get Found

First, let’s dispel a common myth. There’s no such thing as a boring industry. Every industry exists to fill a need, to do necessary things, for people who care about getting the best service.

There is, however, boring content. This includes content that is not useful, doesn’t speak to target audience, or isn’t interesting or entertaining. Good content furthers your strategy and goals.

Writing Words of Wisdom

  • Answer questions. If you’re the business or brand that’s answering questions honestly and sincerely, that establishes you as a trustworthy brand.
  • Get inspiration from others. The best writers are the best readers. See what works for others on a variety of mediums. You can repurpose/curate content.
  • Get creative. You don’t have to stick with safe subject matter. Look for new spins to put on old issues. Make your delivery unexpected and interesting.
  • Write for people; optimize for search engines. The ultimate goal is converting the prospect into a buyer. Create content people will share, enjoy, persuade them to connect with the brand. Then go back and optimize for search engines.

Selling Guns 2 Gandhi: Getting Content Buy-In

Steve Floyd @nawlready, AXZM

You came up with a fantastic content strategy but then it gets shelved. Here are things he’s done to help him get wins. You can’t expect a content type to fit every business. The future of search is very creative. You have to stand out to your customer in everything you do by way of content.

If you want to get buy-in you have to keep it simple.
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The key is balance. Give stakeholders the info they need to know now and hold back the things you don’t need to give them up front, things you can drip as needed and when the time is right. Condense and centralize documents. How do you do that? The super awesome content strategy worksheet: http://axz.mx/super-awesome-csw. It’s got content types, it’s mapped to personas.

  • It includes key message architecture which a writer needs to keep voice, tone and messaging consistent.
  • It includes a buyer persona worksheet (including Experian and Nielsen big data).
  • It includes a content audit worksheet connected to the Moz API.
  • It includes an editorial calendar.

Use every tool in your arsenal: axz.mx/best-tools. Let the data guide you. The C-suite speaks in the language of money. You need to learn the language. They want to know conversion, sales and cost of acquisition. Play your presentations to the channels they value most (on an individual level — everyone’s different).

Create an experience in your presentation/pitch: axz.mx/ru-experienced. Look at Tinder Box and Bidsketch. People buy big ideas, not tactics. View his presentation with links to all the tools at axz.mx/gandhi-gun.

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2 responses to “#Pubcon Liveblog: Creating and Selling Awesome Content in Boring Niches”

  1. Jack writes:

    Haha, wow. Well, this one hits really close to the bullseye for me at the present time. Like, literally the present time. I’ve been trying desperately to write some semblance of out-of-the-ordinary content for what I consider a “boring” industry (my own) since like 5 this the morning (can you tell by these incredibly poorly-diagrammed sentences?).

    These have motivated me to shut up and carry on for now. Let me just tab back over to Sublime Text…

    P.S.: Regarding selling guns to Gandhi… I had always thought that he was more of a fan of “nuclear weapons.” (Anyone else play Civilization?)

  2. Chelsea Adams writes:

    jack,

    So glad we caught you at 5am! Some may argue that time — in the midst of delirium — is when people are most brilliant. ;) I think writing content for “boring” brands is a pain point that a lot of businesses struggle with because, well simply put, not everyone and everything can be as exciting as GoPro all the time.

    This same topic (creating content for a “boring” brand) actually came up in an SMX West session I was in last week (http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/smx-liveblog-twitter-business-14c/). The audience member wanted to know whether their incredibly boring and “kind of depressing” business (she worked for a law firm that dealt mainly with divorce litigation) could successful on Twitter. The answer the presenter gave was a big fat YES. Followed up with a lesson about how social media — and all content creation, in general, really, is all about connecting human to human. Sure silliness can be a part of that connection, but it isn’t the only dimension that can garner success in Twitter (and in content creation, big picture). The action item given was for the boring business rep. to ask herself “how can I serve my community? What do my clients (and potential clients) need?” and go from there. For example: if you’re a boring divorce litigation provider, what about hosting something like a Divorce-themed TwitterChat (#DivorceChat) so that people [your potential consumers] can get together and ask each other – and you! – questions.

    Creating engaging content for a toilet paper company or a body wash or a plumber or a rubber molding factory or some other utilitarian business that provides a, say, less than sexy product or service can be challenging! But who doesn’t love a good “think outside the box” challenge? If you need even more inspiration, check out Charmin — their content marketing is killing it (http://www.charmin.com/ – http://www.charmin.com/find-public-restrooms.aspx) and toilet paper is probably the most boring, unsexy thing you can possibly think of. Another great example: Old Spice! That company was on its way to archive land until some inspired marketer gave them content CPR. Now they are a brand that other not-boring brands model their marketing after!

    Sorry for the long post; as you can see I am clearly inspired by this topic :)



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