Leadership

There's No Such Thing as
Boring Content

by on 2nd December 2014

There’s no such thing as “boring content”.

Imagine the scenario. You’re a marketing consultant, hired to help bring a product into market. Very specialist item, limited audience, technical product, perhaps it’s an idea you’ve never come across as a concept before.

“It’s difficult marketing in boring industries”.

How does that sound to your client? Or your team?

Whenever we label content as “boring”, we’re really admitting we have no idea how to approach marketing something.

Worse, I think we’re restricting ourselves by the statement. You’ve mentally prepared yourself with the idea that a campaign is going to be difficult, impossible, a failure, because it’s boring.

There’s no such thing as boring. Even this AMA thread with a vacuum cleaner repair technician gets pretty interesting.

The world we’ve built isn’t boring. We make the world boring when we decide not to learn more about it, or, as soon as we stop thinking creatively about it.

Don’t listen to a single blog post on “marketing in boring industries”. If you do, you’re going to struggle from day one. Instead, follow this tip:

Read this classic 15 page book by James Webb Young. It’s called: “A Technique for Producing Ideas”. It’s a classic text (written in the 1960’s for ad creatives in copywriting). It’s about 30 pages long, and a surprisingly small and quick to absorb paperback.

Webb Young’s concept is utterly simple: absorb a subject, collect and curate snippets of useful data, research, live and breath the topic for as long as you can. Do that long before you attempt to come up with any ideas. We’ve based our creative method in this direction, with some enhancements of course.

To make the process as efficient as possible, we use a tool called Mural.ly, a collaborative ideas board – you can drag and drop copy and images from your web research, and arrange each idea into categories and order by chronological importance. What starts with a mish mash collection of random bits of information around a topic can end with inspiration for angles that stand up to scrutiny from even the most informed experts in the field.

builtvisible-in-murally

The real trick is to collect your research, review it, and then walk away for a time. When you return to your work, repeat the process and as you begin to feel ideas appearing, write every single one of them down, even if they’re not that great at first.

There’s no such thing as boring content. Content can be inspiring, in-depth, exploratory, guiding, challenging, emotive, frustrating, problem solving, and many, many things. But you’re a content marketer, don’t label what you produce as boring.

Responses

  1. Sure thing! There’s no such thing as that (boring content) maybe there’s a lot of unneeded ones or over circulated/curated articles but boring…. no.

  2. Hi there. Nice article written by Richard. I alos think something like “boring content” in “boring industries” does not exist because for some people the content may be boring but for the others it’s not. If I am intereted in for example playing chess, petrol industry, or ski jamping, I will probably read stuff about them! Also I guess it’s not about the industry itself but morea about the article (content). Come on if you are an expert about something you are capable of writing really interesting content so that it is never boring.

    Thanks
    Kris

  3. So true, Richard! In the clickminded seo training class I took, we learned the importance of thinking creatively about topics which may otherwise seem boring. The example was broccoli. :)

    P.S.- I can’t wait to check out Mural.ly!

  4. Great topic! I agree, there is always a way to make content more engaging or provoking. I think presenting content in a visually appealing way is important too for making content exciting. In today’s digital and mobile world, it’s increasingly more important to present online content that can be read on different mediums like smartphones and tablets.

  5. Is it 15 pages or 30 pages?

Comments are closed.

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