Pop culture and entertainment-centric content tends to have a leg-up on more traditional businesses when it comes to being interesting. Millions of people might be interested in a new blockbuster movie, but how many people outside your industry would be interested in a new die-cutting machine or law practice? Not all subjects are naturally interesting to the majority of the population on their own—but don’t misunderstand. Just because a subject isn’t naturally interesting doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting. Any topic can be interesting if you present it the right way.
It’s not just “boring” industry content that could use a bit of sprucing up—chances are, you can benefit by making your content more interesting no matter what business you’re in or how long you’ve been a content marketer.
When you’re ready, try using one or more of these seven tactics for making your content more interesting:
As a general rule, content that has a practical use is naturally interesting—or at least more interesting than content that is not. For example, a post about the chemical makeup of baking soda isn’t very interesting—but a post about how to use baking soda to clean your house might be. Focus on writing subjects that your readers can take and use in real life. How-to, instructional, and other informational posts tend to do this naturally. For topics that don’t lend themselves to this level of practicality, you’ll have to get creative; instead of writing a review, write a buyer’s guide. Instead of writing a news piece, write an opinion piece that makes suggestions on what to do next.
Written content is probably the easiest to create, and the most useful in terms of optimizing your site for SEO, but images and video can quickly turn an otherwise flat, stagnant piece into a much more captivating and diverse one. Vision is the strongest human sense, so people are naturally drawn to visually appealing pieces. Break up your bulky content with whatever images you can find—they could be photos of your subject, images that illustrate a concept, or memes that lighten the mood. Using video to engage your audience adds further to your content marketing strategy.
One of the biggest secrets to success in content marketing is writing in a consistent brand voice, and most brands want their voices to be professional, authoritative, and distinguished. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but strict adherence to those brand qualities lends itself to heavy, plodding, uninteresting content. Instead, take the main characteristics of your brand’s voice and blend them with your own personal style. Inject your own personality into your blog writing, and adopt a more casual, conversational tone to liven up your piece.
People love jokes, and even boring or flat subjects can be made more interesting with a little bit of additional humor. As you’re undoubtedly aware, there’s a fine line here—so be careful not to post any offensive, obnoxious, or excessive material. Instead, use jokes sparingly throughout the piece, and try to balance your humorous observations with your more serious, professional ones.
Metaphors and illustrations give you a lot of creative flexibility. If your ordinary subject is boring, try turning it into something more interesting with a playful or unique illustration. For example, if your business provides supplies to hospitals and doctor’s offices, you could liken your production process to something more people are familiar with, such as the production of sandwiches. Feel free to get creative here—the more unusual and playful your metaphor, the better.
To get away from the “boring” factor of your industry, relate it to something else entirely with a creative metaphor. Compare your subject matter to something more familiar or more interesting; this is especially effective when your target audience isn’t necessarily familiar with your industry from the get-go. The more creative, the better, so long as your metaphors make sense in context.
People are naturally interested in stories, so try using narratives throughout your content to make it more accessible. These stories can be real-life examples, like case studies, or could be illustrations that help people understand an otherwise complex or uninteresting subject. For example, let’s say you’re a lawyer trying to explain the legal ramifications of different types of at-fault car accidents. Rather than recapping the main laws dictating different situations and legal ramifications, use made-up examples to walk people through it in a narrative style. It makes your piece instantly more approachable, and usually does a better job at driving your main points home.
It’s tough to think of your content in terms of a narrative, especially if you’re constantly ingrained in the technical details of your industry, but framing your content in the form of a story can go a long way in making it more exciting. For example, if you’re used to writing posts about the technical details of your manufacturing process, you might have difficulty thinking beyond the numbers and technical lingo that usually go along with it. Instead, force yourself to weave a narrative—tell the story of the journey each product makes throughout your factory. Tell the story of how a product gets to your consumer. Of course, the type of story you tell and how you tell it is up to you—just make sure it has a beginning, middle, and end.
Content isn’t interesting if it just tells you what you already know. Try to aim for unexpected topics, or if you choose traditional or familiar topics, add in something surprising to jazz it up. For example, if you write a post about a new piece of equipment that’s making a big impact in your industry, don’t just describe it and state what it’s doing. Add in something surprising about its implementation, or about the possibilities it offers, such as mentioning an unconventional use for it or posing a strong counterargument to the typical stance toward its effectiveness. Shocking or unexpected data also works well here, so do your research in advance.
Curiosity is a natural driver of excitement. Think of all the articles on the web you’ve clicked to read simply because of a tease in the headline—something like “and you won’t believe what happens next.” Even though we’re not directly interested in the main topic of this content, our curiosity gets the better of us. You can use this to your advantage in practically any industry; use suspense and teasing language to draw your readers in. This is especially useful when applied to the title or the introduction of your article.
Theoretical posts and news updates can all be very interesting features, but making your content actionable is a surefire strategy to make your piece more interesting. By actionable, I mean including steps or advice in the body of the article that makes its subject matter both practical and executable for the reader. Anyone reading the article should not only understand what the article is saying, but also how the information in the article can be applied to his/her own life. The easiest way to do this is to transform your content into an interactive tutorial, though this isn’t possible for all content types.
People have short attention spans. There’s nothing wrong with having strictly written content for some articles, as long as you segment it into subsections, but if you want to amp up the “interesting” factor, include different mediums. Use an infographic to illustrate your point, or include stock photography that highlights different sections of your work. You could even embed a YouTube video that demonstrates a walkthrough of the steps you outlined in writing. Get more attention through visuals and your audience will become more engaged.
As a general rule for content strategies, you want your material to be evergreen—meaning it will be just as valuable on a random date five years from now as it is today. However, if you’re looking for short-term bursts to make your content more interesting to your current audience, you can leverage the power of recent trends. Look for industry news that has shaken up the market, or wider public incidents that have garnered a ton of attention. Find a way to work these topics into your material, and promote them as much as possible for as long as the trend remains.
People are tired of reading regurgitated material. Incorporate more original facts and statistics into your work wherever possible to make it more interesting. Using facts, as long as you cite them, makes you appear more authoritative, and makes users feel more connected to the story they’re reading. Your best bet is to perform the research yourself and publish the results, which can serve as content by itself. If you don’t have the time or resources for this, feel free to use statistics posted by third party authorities.
You can’t write content for “everyone” and have it be interesting. You’re much better off writing content for a very specific target audience and highlighting subjects and ideas that are important to members of that audience. For example, if your company caters to young men, go out of your way to select topics and write in a style that would uniquely appeal to young men. It’s up to you to discover who your core audience is and which content factors are most interesting to them. Once you find those out, you can start weaving them seamlessly into your campaign.
One of the biggest symptoms of a “boring” industry is its lack of relatability. Imagine yourself describing where you work to a stranger—can you imagine the stranger responding “I don’t know anything about that”? If so, your content likely fails to generate enthusiasm simply because people can’t relate to it. If this is the case, work to make your content more down to earth. Focus on topics that affect the common person. Replace technical terms with more ambiguous but easier-to-understand colloquial terms. Relate the topics of your industry to those that are more familiar.
Some businesses make it a point to stay away from controversy. They keep their opinions in the middle of the road and try not to mention any topic that could unsettle any portion of their audience. But if you want to make your content more exciting, you have to fight against this notion. Don’t be afraid to take a stand on a controversial issue; you might alienate a portion of your audience, but those that remain will be even more interested in what you have to say. Plus, you’re bound to stir up a discussion!
Some types of content get bogged down simply by their length. Highly technical and niche industries often demand long-winded, descriptive content, but that approach can actively drive users away. Instead, work to find concise points within the body of your content, and format your piece to highlight those points—for example, you could include a bulleted list of potential benefits to the process you describe. This will make your post more scannable and more digestible to audiences who may otherwise be alienated by its girth.
The best way to improve over the long term is to make changes in an iterative process. Measure how effective your content currently is, make one change at a time, and take more measurements to see how each change affects your overall impact. This way, you’ll know exactly which changes to exaggerate and how to improve your content further in the future. Remember content marketing is a long-term strategy, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to find your perfect groove.
Interesting content isn’t just about making your job more fun or making your content more likely to attract visitors (though those are nice perks). It’s also about making your brand more relatable, and making your industry more approachable. It’s about forging better, more personal connections with your potential customers, increasing your conversion rate, and entering into new client relationships with a warmer foundation. All of this starts with more interesting content—and these tips will help you get there.
Even if you don’t work in a traditionally “boring” industry, you can use these strategies to make your content more exciting, and therefore more appealing to your target audience. With practice, you’ll become even better at making your content more fun to read, and before you know it, it will all come naturally.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.