Although TikTok and Instagram may seem to be grabbing most of the attention, when it comes to strategies for content marketing, the benefits of blogging continue to grow. You don’t have to take our word for it: A recent study by the online marketing company Databox revealed that companies find blogging even more effective today than in previous years.
However, some companies are still reluctant to use blogging as part of their content marketing strategy because they’re concerned that the topics aren’t “sexy” or appealing enough for customers. Sound familiar?
It can be challenging to produce long-form content that covers a technical or dry topic and still engages readers enough to make them stay with you all the way to the end. But when it comes to your content marketing strategy, there’s really no topic that is too dull or uninteresting; it just needs the right mindset and approach.
Here are five of the most useful secrets content writers use to take those blog posts from “blah” to “ta-da!”
1. Understand Your Target Audience
Every company requires customers if it wants to stay in business, so that’s your best place to start. It’s important to know who you’re talking to/writing for before you develop ideas for blog posts. Whether you call them a buyer persona, target customer or something else, you must have them in mind before you start writing. (It’s kind of like looking at the jigsaw puzzle box before you start doing the puzzle.)
That means having a good idea of their age, gender, hobbies, interests, occupation and the key problems or pain points that would make them want your information. Understand what motivates them, why they’re looking for your information and what would make its presentation more appealing to them.
Use analogies that are relevant to their lives and needs — and also adjust the tone to something that is friendly and welcoming to that target audience. Then, once you know who you’re writing for, you can start shaping content that will keep them interested and engaged.
2. Start With Why
Next, start thinking like a 3-year-old. (And by that, we don’t mean lying on the floor and screaming until things go your way.) The main question children ask is “why” — and it’s the question you should ask, too.
Why does your target reader want or need the information you have? Why does it matter to them, and why now? If you start framing the information in terms of what specific needs they might have and what specific problems your product or service can solve, you’ll get even closer to understanding the best way to present your information.
3. Harness the Power of Humor
Nothing punches up a blog post like a well-executed punchline — and that’s particularly useful when you’re writing about a topic in which humor is unexpected. If you can make your readers chuckle, you have a much better chance of keeping them engaged.
Using humor has several other benefits, too — it can make readers feel more connected to you and your topic, it helps them remember you better afterward, and it also makes the job of writing more fun and entertaining.
Once again, this is where knowing your audience and understanding their “why” pay off; it will inform the kind of humor you use and how you work it into the topics you’re writing about. Keep in mind that most humor is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition, so the kind of humor you use for male audiences may be different than for your female readers. As you play around with the subtle use of humor, you might be surprised to learn how well it fits into your content strategy.
4. Be Like BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed is one of the great online success stories because it creates content that not only draws people in but makes them want to share it. That’s due to a combination of concise, well-written copy and engaging images. Its MO is simple: Make it smart, make it short and make it shareable.
Brands can learn a lot by following BuzzFeed’s lead; using listicles, GIFs and images are a great way to keep readers engaged. A humorous and well-placed GIF supporting a dry topic can be a fun and effective way to make them want to stay on the page — and then share it with others. That imagery also does some of the heavy lifting normally left to writers, and when done correctly, allows you to deliver your message effectively without having to get too bogged down in details.
5. Let Your Personality Shine
Customers connect with a brand because they are connecting with the personality created for that brand. The same should be true of your blog posts. Nobody wants to read content that feels like it was written by a robot (unless it’s a really cool, funny robot) or is just a rehash of something they can find somewhere else. Connect with your audience by making your personality part of your post.
That can mean sharing anecdotes (again, humor comes in handy here) and making the topic relatable. It also requires adopting the right mindset, so instead of thinking of the topic as “boring,” start looking at how you can make it more energized and exciting to the reader. The more you let yourself enjoy telling the story of your product or service, the more customers will enjoy reading it.
Bonus Tip: Let the Pros Do It
There’s one more solution that will transform your boring blog topic into the best article the internet has ever seen. (OK, that might be a stretch, but you get the point.) Hiring a professional is one way to ensure that you’re getting the kind of content your customers and prospects are looking for.
The right content marketing agency can help you develop content that connects you with your customers. It can provide fresh ways to look at topics that might seem boring to you and present them in a way that showcases your brand’s story and message to excite and engage customers. Because there’s really no such thing as a boring topic — just boring approaches.