Over the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence of storytelling in the content marketing world. Brand journalism, or the art of sharing brand stories via marketing channels, is not a new concept but, within the digital sphere, it’s in a constant state of evolution. According to Hubspot Marketing Fellow Dan Lyons, “Inside brands we're actually able to do the kind of journalism that mainstream journalists used to do.”
For creatives, this is an exciting turn of events. Any chance to utilize our talents and add linguistic flavor to a marketing strategy is a welcome opportunity. However, it also presents a unique set of challenges. Some topics, such as specialty manufacturing, don’t exactly lend themselves to colorful narratives and harrowing tales—or do they?
Power giant General Electric, for example, produces fascinating content on a regular basis. The GE research blog publishes posts on subjects such as refinery wastewater and biomedical imaging with all the zest and appeal of a New York Times feature.
In other words, it’s completely possible to produce gripping manufacturing content—but it’s not always easy. Of course, if writers didn’t love challenge, we wouldn’t be writers. Here are a few ways you can make your manufacturing content more loveable:
One of the things I’ve always loved about journalism is the dogma that everyone has a story to share. From the woman standing ahead of you in the supermarket line to the valet driver at your favorite restaurant, the world is full of human interest pieces waiting to be written. Though not always readily apparent, a great story is always bubbling just below the surface.
Chronicling the experiences of a young entrepreneur who founded a multi-billion dollar tech business in his dorm room is obvious material, but how do you pull an engaging tale from a medical equipment manufacturer? The tactic is really no different than that used by investigative journalists. It’s all about asking the right questions and looking for one nugget of interest—the tiny kernel that, with a little love, can grow into an exciting story. For example:
The everyday Joe may not care much about simplifying the day-to-day processes of a microchip manufacturing plant, but you’re not writing for the everyday Joe. You’re writing for Sam Silicon—the guy who spends 60 hours a week running a microchip plant. The guy who eats, sleeps and breathes integrated circuits and still goes back for more.
In order to make your content sing, you have to dig deep and pull at the heartstrings. According to Psychology Today, consumers primarily use emotions rather than information (brand attributes, features and facts) when evaluating brands. So while a blog post on the technological advancement of micro transistors may not win a Pulitzer Prize, as long as it invokes excitement and feeling from your intended audience, then you’ve succeeded.
As Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Anyone can type out 10 pages of mindless drivel on the latest automotive injection molding procedures, but it takes a real wordsmith to transform dense topics into something entertaining to read.
Instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in abstruse industry jargon, write the way you want to read. And, for Godssakes, break up your blocks of text. Even William Faulkner would’ve shut down a 12-sentence paragraph.
Digestible content is memorable content, and memorable content converts. In fact, according to market research firm Demand Metric, per dollar spent, successful content marketing generates approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
There are few things worse than a boring seminar—especially when it’s a seminar covering information that’s actually pertinent to your job. As the speaker drones on and on, you find yourself struggling to pay attention and, in some cases, stay awake. Instead of absorbing all of the important bits of information you or your company paid for you to learn, you spent much of the class daydreaming about dinner.
Regardless of your industry, everyone wants to be entertained. Just as a boring speaker puts an audience to sleep, boring content drives audiences elsewhere. So, be interesting and don’t shy away from humor and personality. The more entertaining your content, the more likely your potential customers will come back for more, and even engage with you through other means. According to Content+, interesting content is a Top Three reason people follow brands on social media.
While manufacturing industry topics may not appear as splashy and enticing as subject matter from other industries, there is just as much opportunity to create remarkable content. At the end of the day, content marketing is really just people writing stories for other people.
Ready to wow your audience with captivating content? Check out our free eBook Storytelling: How to Acquire Customers in Three Acts.