By Rachel Moore
“I work for a technology and financial services company that develops and manufactures products for the generation, transmission, distribution, control and utilization of electrical power.” Sounds like a content marketer’s worst nightmare, right? Wrong: that company is General Electric (GE), and they are widely renowned as one of the best, most creative content producers in the B2B space.
How do companies in “boring” industries like GE excel at content creation and keep their content marketing plan chock full of traffic- and lead-driving resources? By thinking outside the box with the content assets they create.
Here are six ways companies in otherwise “dry” industries can create remarkable content that works overtime to achieve inbound business goals:
1. Tell a story.
I'm going to give you the opening sentence to two blog posts. Which blog post would you rather read?
- “Earthquake-resistant building materials are an essential part of any modern construction project."
- “Robert Robertson almost lost his entire life savings because of one construction mistake: using the wrong building materials.”
2. Create "Human Interest" content.
Related to using stories to relay facts instead of laying them out in a list, putting a personal spin on things can also help make otherwise “dry” industries seem more accessible. Personal content is the “human interest” section of your website: it may not lay out all the facts and figures about your products themselves, but it creates a large-scale case for why those products are useful, and why your company is the right choice for customers to do business with.
In the below example, a “boring” industry – aerospace manufacturing – has created content with a distinctly personal tinge:
Here, Boeing shared a blog post that discusses how their manufacturing plants have made a positive impact on the local community.
3. Make it relatable.
One of the reasons some industries can seem “boring” on the outside is because their complexity can make them seem inaccessible and uninteresting. So, especially for businesses who offer complex products and services to consumers or must sell highly technical or niche solutions to markets that may not specialize in them, content that explains these solutions in a relatable way can be a great option.
Below is an example of this type of content from GE:
In this example, GE created a periodic table of experiments that uses short videos featuring emojis to explain the science behind each experiment. It is a fun, attention-grabbing, and interactive way for visitors to learn more about GE’s industry without getting lost in the technicality of it.
4. Use infographics.
Infographics are a great content choice for “boring” industries looking to spice up their content marketing plans. While not necessarily the best tool to generate leads, Infographics are highly sharable and can be a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site. Whether it’s explaining an entire business model at a high level, looking at the benefits of a specific product or feature, exploring the market, talking about a use case, or otherwise, it’s hard to find a topic that doesn’t make a great basis for an infographic.
Here’s an example of an infographic from Statoil, a Norwegian petroleum products organization:
In this infographic, Statoil simplifies the complex concept of carbon pricing and carbon markets. By putting this information into infographic format, Statoil makes it significantly more likely that users will share it than had they written a blog post about the same topic.
5. Spice up content with memes or cartoons.
Using memes or cartoons (or cartoon memes) can be an excellent way to make complex, technical content more interesting. In the below example from GE’s Facebook page, they’ve created a cartoon is not only eye-catching, but encourages engagement from their audience:
Although GE obviously doesn’t manufacture Morse Code technology any longer, featuring it in this cartoon is a nod to their heritage, shows their personality, and offers a great opportunity to interact with a larger population than they may have otherwise.
6. Let your brand's personality shine through.
Your industry may be “boring,” but your company and your customers certainly aren’t. So, where appropriate, show some personality in your content. In this example, microprocessor chip manufacturer Intel shares a Vine clip that appeals to their persona’s sense of humor:
Intel’s use of the hashtag to increase the reach of their post, coupled with the science fiction and pop culture reference also help to even further target this post to their specific persona.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – flashy, no-frills, boring or otherwise - with a little imagination, you can create a content marketing strategy that delivers real business results. What are some of the types of content your organization has created to drive engagement?