Stuck in a Boring Niche? Content Marketing Can Still Work for You!
If you’re reading this article, I imagine it’s because the headline hit you a little close to home — your business niche is boring.
Content marketing means publishing articles to send traffic to your website or to help convert your site visitors to customers or prospects. So why would anyone want to read about your dull business?
Here’s the deal. The dull business is a myth. That’s because there’s a simple principle at the foundation of every successful business: Find a need and fill it. People have needs. People aren’t dull, they’re clients or customers, the lifeblood of your business. If you’re in business, that’s because someone needs what you sell or the service you offer.
Don’t Despair, Make a Plan
The truth is, the average person may have zero interest in your business. But don’t despair, because you’re not looking for the “average person.” You want to reach individuals who need what you have to offer.
Just do these two things to get started using one of the most effective methods to build business through online marketing:
- Make a list of everything you think people needing your goods or services should know before they make a purchase or contract for services; and
- Make a list of websites that individuals in need of your products or services would visit to learn more about what you sell or the service you provide.
When you finish this article, you’ll be ready to put together an action plan to use content marketing, even if you have a so-called boring business.
You’re the Expert
Your field may not make you a captivating dinner party guest, but if someone needs what you offer, they’re looking for expertise and guess what, you’re the expert!
So, back to your lists. From your first list, make another list of 12 topics you can cover in articles.
I wanted to give you some examples here, so I did a search for “most boring profession” and accountant came up quite a bit. So we’ll pretend you’re an accountant.
I know a little about accountants, and I suspect that you specialize. I’m going to say that you’re an accountant who specializes in business valuation analysis. Whoever heard of that? Would you believe I just did a web search for “valuation analysis services” and came up with more than 3.3 million results!
Your Topic List
For our exercise, what 12 topics might you cover in articles for people needing such a service?
Here are some ideas:
- How to gather information necessary to value your business
- What should you expect to pay for professional business valuation?
- How will taxes impact your business valuation?
- How proposed laws may affect your business valuation
- How to choose a professional to help you value your business
- Should you have your books audited before a valuation?
- How to calculate multiples for your industry?
- The role of inventory in business valuation
- How to account for value of goodwill in sale of business
- Are you trying to sell assets or liabilities?
- How to value hard assets in sale of a business
- Does an unprofitable business have value?
You’re not going to read these headlines in People magazine. But for people needing business valuation services, the information in these articles will be invaluable.
If you own a company, or want to buy one, or are a partner in a firm that’s about to split, or are thinking of getting investors, all of these topics would be of interest to you.
A 12-Month Content Plan
So translate this to your business. Think of 12 essential “how-to” topics or questions you can answer for people. From this, you can develop a year’s worth of monthly blog posts or newsletter articles. You might organize the same information into an infographic. Or you could narrate a podcast or make a video of yourself sharing a slide presentation with the information you’ve assembled.
All of this is content! Valuable, informative, educational and maybe even entertaining content about a topic of interest to the people in the market for what you offer.
Preparing Your Content
Just because your subject matter isn’t likely to be on the cover of People magazine doesn’t mean your articles should be dull. Think “light, bright, and tight,” as a writing style. Short sentences, short paragraphs, and sub-heads work well on the web.
The focus of your article should be the person who needs help, not what you offer or how good you are at your business. Remember your reader is looking for information. If your article is a “how-to,” provide specifics.
Here’s how content marketing works: Because your article is so helpful, you will be perceived in a favorable light and have a good chance at getting business from those who read your articles or at least the articles will help build your reputation.
Where to Publish
Once you have a plan and have written at least some of your articles, you’ll want to get them published. And you might write shorter (or longer) versions on the same or related topics. That’s because search engines won’t rate your articles as high if they see the same text in multiple places. So keep this in mind.
Remember the second list you created, of websites that people in need of your goods or services would visit? Perhaps these websites have blogs and would accept one of your articles as a guest post. If so, make sure they will link from the article back to your site.
It’s an excellent idea to have a blog on your website. In addition to the items discussed here, you might post links to news you think would interest your customer base or other types of content.
You might put together an ebook with your articles and offer it as an incentive for website visitors to provide you with their email address. Then you can send them an occasional email or newsletter.
It Takes Time
One of the most important things to know about content marketing is that it takes time and commitment, even for the flashiest professions.
Any business is appealing to those who need what it offers. Use online content to share your expertise and build your reputation. With that foundation, you’ll increase traffic to your website and have a good chance to convert visitors into customers.