Let’s start off with a hard and ugly truth—writing industry-specific content that hasn’t already been written about is pretty impossible. The secret though isn’t making new content, it’s making unique content.
Every industry is going to have its own set of topics, unspoken rules, unique holidays (i.e. May is Better Hearing Month for the hearing technology and audiology industry), and inner-circle jargon. And every industry is going to have an audience that requires micro targeting and likes certain kinds of images, colors, tone and so much more.
So how do you create unique content that actually gets attention?
- Do Your Research…Then Write
The first step you should take before even writing content for your industry is to make a list of influential media outlets and bloggers within your specific industry. See what topics they care about and how they write about them. See which of their articles gets the most attention and least, and which garners the most engagement. Use their mistakes to shorten your own learning curve by identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
Once you have explored the industry’s already influential writers, take a crack at compiling a list of possible content topics based off your research, recent news related to the industry overall and any details specific to your client(s). After your initial list, identify which types of content each could be: written, video, info-graphic or interactive.
Now, you not only have a list of industry-relevant topics but a tentative outline for how you want to approach each and ensure both creativity and content diversity.
- Use JARGON sparingly
Jargon was created to make certain individuals feel superior to others. Content is not meant to do this. Content is meant to provide easy understanding quickly, creatively and efficiently. The goal is to reach as many people in your audience as possible, and sometimes, using industry specific jargon can really hurt your engagement possibilities.
Jargon has absolutely no place in content unless…
- The entire article is explaining or expanding upon a specific phrase or word
- The phrase or word considered “jargon” has become common place in its use and definition
- It is being used in a play on word type of way
Be smart about jargon. Do your research to decide which words and phrases are too complicated, and which words and phrases can be used to develop content off of or within content to help lend validity and strength.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Supplement
One of the biggest mistakes content creators can make is not utilizing every resource at hand—including already published content! When creating your own content, see what outside links are relevant to your own piece. Having external supporting evidence lends authority, weight and trust to your piece. This is especially helpful if your client(s) are relatively new to their industry or have not previously had a content strategy.
Caution: Don’t over use external links. The audience you build should come to see you as an industry expert and not just a supplier of industry-related news. Only use external links when you do not have the facts yourself or the source is of higher authority, such as the government or a public office
- Take Chances & Track Data
Content marketing is about developing a strategy; trying it and ultimately watching it succeed or fail. Not every piece of content will work for your, and not every piece of content will garner the same engagement or traffic. Some pieces, though great ideas in concept, may end up utter catastrophes, while some ideas you were unsure about may be complete successes! Mistakes will happen, but the only way mistakes become worthwhile is if you are tracking your content. Employ tools like Google Analytics throughout your site to pull in generic web data, and try tools such as Crazy Egg (my personal favorite) to track each piece of content to a micro-level. Crazy Egg grabs both desktop and mobile data including where visitors are coming from, what time they visit, what days they visit, how far they are reading on a given page, what links are most popular, what keywords they found your content for and more.
Take the time to track your content with deep-sea-level data tools, so that as time goes on your are easily able to adjust for industry changes, trends and to employ continuing optimization tactics based on content-by-content data.
Finally, consider a guest writer. Sometimes your audience is just plain sick and tired of reading pieces by you, so find someone in your industry that has an influential following and reach out to them for a guest post!