I recently read an article by Hubspot on how to make content exciting for boring industries. It made some great points, but I wondered how it would relate to an Irish context?
The main takeaways? Get creative with your content and don’t overcomplicate things. Here at Brightspark, we like to think we’re doing that already. Read on to find out how you can make your content exciting, no matter who you are!
Good content aims to educate and help the average user. No matter how boring your content may seem, it should make someone else’s life easier.
Irish example? Public Policy Infographics
Public Policy is an economic think tank that helps to make big economic concepts understandable and relatable for people. Amongst other things, it is well-known for its highly engaging and useful infographics.
These are clear examples of economic content being made sexy – so a big tick for Public Policy!
2. Write Like You Speak
This is a big one, especially if you blog! It is best not to adopt vocabulary that sounds convoluted because it will alienate your potential audiences and decrease your possibilities of conversion.
Brightspark Translation: Don’t use language that you normally wouldn’t because your reader will be intimidated and may not convert to a sale. Isn’t that better?
Even if your topic is complicated you should write using simple English. I’ve written before about the Flesch Kincaid Readability Index, which is a score for measuring simplicity of language. You can test yours here. For online, you should aim for a score of 6.
Irish Example? EBS
Banking isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but EBS gets the balance between important information and clear copy just right. It also writes content that is useful – for example in the Savings section on its site it has blogs about how to teach children to save! This is an unusual choice but its something many will read.
3. Use Humour
Irish people love humour, so this one is already relevant. You can bring some funny into any aspect of your content, as long as it is relevant.
Irish Example? McInnes Dunne Lawyers
When Irish lawyers John Dunne and Peter McInnes decided to include GIF images in their website as a fun alternative to regular photos it was a humorous way to stand out from the crowd. It was simple but effective, and the lads sense of fun shone through!
If you are worried about your content confusing your reader, just simplify it. Almost every topic can be made a lot easier to understand with some careful thought.
Strip it back to the basics, be very strict about people adding in stuff that might take away from the simplicity, and you will be OK.
Irish Example? Inflation.ie
The topic of inflation hasn’t always been the most straightforward. Which is precisely why Public Policy wanted to create a microsite that helped people understood what CPI meant for them.
Users answered a few simple questions and were instantly given a clear result. No messing around!
5. Edit For Brevity
In this day and age you have to understand that most people skim read on the web. If you take too long to make your point your drop off rate will be higher.
So if your topic is tough, keep it short and sweet. See what we did there?
Irish Example? Barrett Opticians
Recently we designed the website for Cabra Opticians, Barrett Opticians. One of its specialities is treating children with dyslexia who may suffer from eye strain. To convey the important information it was important to keep things short, fun and easy to understand! You can check the process in full here and see for yourself.
6. Give Readers Little Mental Breaks
It is a sure-fire way to keep your average skimmer happy. Just try some of these:
- Format your blog post
- Use images where you can
- Break it up with lists
These are all great ways to let your reader have a little break. This is a basic rule for web writing, but you’d be surprised how many people forget.
Irish Example? This Post!
A shameless plug here, but our blog is a great example of this! Even this post has formatting, lists and images to engage you (yes you!) reading.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let them boost your “word count”. While your reader skims through your text, a well-placed image will keep them engaged and on the page.
There are plenty of great examples of this in different industries, but we have
Irish Example? European Pension’s QROPS Guide
This download uses lots of fun cartoon illustrations to engage with readers. The information isn’t the most exciting, but a combination of simple language and engaging design mean they won’t be bored!
Content marketing is all about positioning your business as a thought leader. It is also about engaging with the right influencers. So interviews are a great way to do both.
Podcasts, blogs, video, there are many mediums that you can conduct a meaningful interview with someone in your industry. So budget shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Irish Example? John Murphy’s Podcast
John Murphy is an excellent business coach. And he regularly interviews other influential people on his podcast. These podcasts have become incredibly popular and drive a huge amount of traffic to his site. Not only does he have varied and useful content, but he is seen as a trusted source of information.
9. Shock/Take A Stand
The Hubspot article urged to shock reader’s pants off. Unless you have something particularly explosive to say, this may not necessarily apply to you.
But you can take a stand. Always promote what you believe is right, even if it goes against the grain. No matter what you’re talking about people will respect your integrity.
Irish Example? #30pc
Recently a well-known digital marketing conference released an all-male line-up of speakers. The response from women in the industry was heart-warming and reaffirming.
And what happened next? That event listened and improved its gender balance. A great step in the right direction!
You might have noticed that many of the examples included in this post are our work! Shameless promotion, but also proof that we are doing in Ireland what the big guns are talking up in the States. If you’d like a little help converting your boring content into something that excites, just give us a call.