Imagine this: “We’re in the difficult situation of having a product people use for traditionally dull stuff. We have a boring product.” Sure, as a brand, you think it’s exciting because you know what it can do. But when you think about software that could be used for HR and Operations teams or a machine that works in the corner of a data center, I’d bet you’re half asleep already as a consumer. So, here’s the problem: most targeted content we could produce is dull as a dishwater to 99.9% of the population.
How do you solve the content puzzle for traditionally “boring product content?”
How do you solve a problem like that? How do you reach that tiny segment of the Earth that you’re aiming at? The root of the problem is SEO. Like in my company’s case producing software for HR (note: see full bio for details) if you’re targeting a keyword like employee on-boarding — one of our main use cases — you’re outclassed by high authority .edu and .gov domains before you even start. As you know, Google loves you after everybody else loves you. They love .edu and .gov domains so much, you’re always overshadowed.
Get in touch with us to make YOUR content marketing SEXY! P.S. no product is boring 🙂
Aha! Here’s a solution (It works even if your product is sexy!)
I am going to share where I place my bets. It’s called building high quality backlinks. Not black hat, but good old marketing techniques. When those thousands of people search for the term that you have an ideal solution for, they get your solution. The most targeted traffic comes through search, and the way to get better search placements IS backlinks. This is the part of the marketing process we use.
And while you do build backlinks- through guest posting and content. How can you ensure that your content is fun? I do have a few tips for you (no matter if you sell toasters or chocolates!)
A 5-Step Process To Generate Leads for Your Boring Product Content
1. Brainstorm: What Could Possibly Be Interesting About Your Boring Product Content?
The first stage of getting your niche content in front of the people who care is to brainstorm interesting topics that you can link in with the boring page.
EXAMPLE: If you want to rank for a page about HR process documents, think of an overarching theme that could include HR. Here are some ideas:
- Building / furthering your career
- Holding onto the most capable employees
- Workplace disasters
A quick Google search will reveal that this kind of content is indeed popular!
You’ve got sites like The Muse dedicated to it, which gets syndicated to Forbes & Mashable. You’ve got headlines of scandalous workplace disasters getting massive coverage. It’s MUCH more interesting than the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day HR department’s operations.
So, even though these kinds of articles aren’t targeted at who you want to get back to your site, they are a way to get backlinks to your boring page from high-quality domains, boosting the boring content where it matters (the 1st page of Google).
2. Research: What kind of content performs well in the niche?
The quickest way to see what’s popular is to use a tool like BuzzSumo, or Ahrefs’ Content Explorer. These tools let you put a keyword in, and show you the most shared content for that keyword. If you don’t get many results back, or they’re mostly old, the topic isn’t worth pursuing.
From your list of topics, spin off a few keywords. For example, if you’re looking into ‘Marketing content for startups’, try terms like:
- Content Marketing
- Startup Marketing
- Startup Growth
So, looking at the first term, we have clickable headlines like:
- Everything the tech world told you about content marketing is wrong
- How to create a content marketing strategy that you’ll actually use
- To Counteract the Future Explosion in the Demand of Content
See what these writers did? They used headlines that are functional and also make you want to see and click.
See another example- say HR and now check the following headlines:
- 15 Career Tips From ‘How I Met Your Mother’
- 16 Timeless Career Tips From Don Draper
- 6 Career Tips From Buffett, Branson & World’s Best Coaches
See this trick? Combine your “boring” topic with pop culture. Makes a difference right?
With these titles in mind, and by seeing what worked in the past, you’re all set to start drafting up interesting titles to pitch to relevant publications — namely, the publications you see publishing the content that Ahrefs of BuzzSumo turns up.
The most important thing to remember here is that you’ve got a lot of reading to do now. That’s for a couple of reasons:
- You should never pitch a blog you don’t read, because you’ll end up sending over irrelevant titles and having no idea what they’re all about
- You should read around to get a head start on the topic. You’re probably not a total expert on the subject, so time to become one.
3. Pitch: Emailing to the perfect publications
During the research process, you should have a list of 10 or so blogs. Make sure you can match the tone and cater for their audience and that they accept guest posts. You should be able to find a way to contact the blog easily through the contact form.
Keep your pitch email brief. Provide a couple of links to previously published content, include the titles you came up with, and that’s it.
If you get a request back, it’s time to move onto the writing stage!
4. Write: Structuring, Drafting and Editing
Once you’ve got your angle, which you should be able to come up with by looking at what’s popular, it’s time to structure the article. You can use a tools or the little black book to create a quick, sortable bullet-point overview of your article. And then pasting your content into a tool like Microsoft Word, Quip or Google Docs to draft it. If you work with an editor, it’s better to use a tool like Google Docs or Quip, both of which let you easily collaborate over shared documents.
When you’ve got a draft, it’s time to run it through an editing and proofing and make sure it’s up to scratch.
5. Optimization: Adding Links and Bringing it All Together
You might have to clean up the article, optimize it for SEO and make sure you’ve got your target links in there. If you write well, it’ll be an easy task. But always remember to adhere to the guidelines of the platform you’re writing for. Don’t get rejected just because you didn’t follow all the rules.
Finally, you send off the article, share it generously, run your own promotion process and give a big thank-you to the blog!
After a week or so, you can check how your links are coming along by pasting the link into Ahrefs or Moz. If all has gone well so far, you’ll notice your niche targeted content making the slow climb to the first page of Google.
There it is. The process for you.
Remember there’s no magic wand or a short cut to success. The magic is YOU. When your passion shines through, none of your content comes in the boring product content category.
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