We hear it all the time, “No one cares about reading content for our business, it’s way too hard for people to understand.”
How do we respond? “You’re wrong. You have an opportunity you don’t even know about yet.”
The fact is that many of the more complex (or also referred to as, “boring”) companies find it challenging to increase website visitors and improve their conversion rates because they’re using more traditional forms of marketing. They use these methods because they simply don’t know any other way to get their name or message out. They might want to take advantage of inbound marketing, but they don’t know where to begin.
The good news is that there is an answer and it lies in the development and execution of a thorough content marketing strategy. Content marketing offers complex companies an unprecedented advantage over their competition. Why? Because while your competition is stuck in the abyss of making countless cold calls, you are the one standing out online, driving qualified leads right to your business.
But how do you do it, and what is content marketing anyway? It’s probably not as "complex" as you think. Remember, with inbound marketing, your potential viewers are using search terms that will point them right to your content. They already have a basic need, so it will simply become your job to answer that need with your content.
Take these tips to get started turning complex content into lead generation:
1. Have Some Brainstorm Sessions
Take some time to sit down with a variety of different people from your organization to discuss the true needs of those who will be reading your content. Take a focus on your company mission and define exactly what you are trying to tell your customers, even if it may be hard for some to understand. Break down what it is you want to relay at the fundamental level, as well as the more advanced. This initial brainstorm session will help you to identify what content you need and how you can best create that content and overcome the complexity of it. (Maybe even consider taking some time to develop personas to help you identify who exactly you are talking to.)
2. “Dumb It Down” or, “Keep It Simple & Stupid”
You might be the smartest person out there when it comes to something like manufacturing plastic molds, but all that becomes irrelevant if the person you are talking to can’t understand what you're saying. Your content will need to break things down for them. Here are a few suggestions of how to do that:
- Answer some common customer questions
- Supply research studies to support why your product or service is important
- Tell human stories and give examples that will identify with your audience
- Create analogies to compare and contrast your product against something more widely understood
Also, make sure you have content that addresses the very basic parts of your business. Even if you think the content may sound overly simplistic, your potential customer may not think that way, so you will want to meet that need.
3. Don’t Avoid the Specifics
With an effective inbound strategy, there’s going to be a lot of content being created or repurposed. Because of this, it’s important not to ignore those who are of a higher level of understanding of your product or service. You’ll want to create some content that gets into the specifics for those at different levels. Ask yourself: what is a very pointed question you receive from your more knowledgeable buyers? Use that question as the topic of a blog post. It could be that another more knowledgeable buyer who uses your competition might be wondering (and Google-ing) the very same thing.
4. Ditch the Big Words and Shop Talk
Remember back in high school when you thought putting in complex words in your research paper would mean you would automatically get a good grade? That probably didn’t work out so well back then, and it won’t in content marketing either. People want to be able to read through your content without requiring a dictionary. Online viewer time is too precious to have people abandoning your site because it looks like you are talking to them in a different language.
Another tip? Keep your “shop talk” and acronyms to a minimum. Believe it or not, everyone may not know what you mean, even if you think they should.
5. Check Your Facts
Nothing is worse than writing like you are an expert on a complex issue or topic about your business/industry and being called out for being incorrect. Make sure you’ve had someone review your content so you are presenting the most accurate and clear message possible.
The problem with most complex industries isn't that your business is too complex for content marketing, it's that you've let yourself become too complex to relate to those who aren't. Taking some time to collaborate with others, identifying your message and engaging a competent writer will help you to take any complex topic and make it understandable to your potential customer. Keep in mind that the complexity of your business or industry isn't the problem, it’s the way you are relaying that complexity.