I read a post awhile back by my friends over at Calloway Green entitled Creating Compelling Content in Boring Niches which did a really good job of explaining this issue and ways around it. The truth is that everything and nothing is boring, it all depends on the audience.
Having recently made the switch from client-side to agency-side myself (more on that in my next blog post) I have found myself in a position where I’m now working with clients from a very broad range of industries and sectors, not only selling products but also services. Truth be told not all of it is what I would personally find interesting, but that’s my point, I’m not in their target audience so I’m not going to find it interesting to see content relating to these companies.
This ethos was illustrated to me personally just the other day when I announced triumphantly to my friends and family that I was now a certified Google Partner having passed the Google AdWords exams…. Only to be met by a glazed look of disinterest, not because they weren’t happy for me but because it had no relevance to them as individuals or professionals.
I think once you realise that anything can be interesting to the right audience it’s easier to get a bit more creative because it becomes all about making the content engaging rather than being about the actual content itself. In the post I mentioned earlier they raised several points I agree with:
1. Answer a question before it’s asked.
2. Be Topical
3. Be Creative
If you can find what your users are looking for before they even know themselves then you’re onto a winner. The ways of getting an idea of what that may be are varied, such as Yahoo Answers as suggested in the post but this can be taken further I believe and you can be more specific than this for your target audience. By using your own Analytics data to see what your users are searching for on your site, using Google Trends, Twitter Discover, LinkedIn Pulse or the newer Facebook Trending topics to customise the content your creating for both your existing audience and to attract new users, you just have to find the link between what you’re selling and what’s topical.
This isn’t a new concept at all, in fact quite the opposite, only today I was reading about How Google Ruined ‘What Time is the Super Bowl?’ which is all about how SEO experts of years past used Google Trends to target what people were currently searching for, in this case Craig Kanalley of the Huffington Post noticed people were searching for the time of the Super Bowl. Now although Google may have wised-up to this as an SEO cheat it is still a damn good way of getting your content in front of the right audience as long as it’s relevant. Just remember, everything is interesting to someone.