The average dog sleeps 12 to 14 hours each day. I’m not embarrassed by that fact, because it’s normal for us canines. Frankly, we think humans don’t sleep enough, which explains your addiction to coffee and Red Bull. However, even though dogs need a lot of snooze time, sometimes we sleep simply because we’re bored. When we stand next to you incessantly squeaking our plush toy or dropping a ball at your feet, we’re not being annoying: We’re trying to get you to play with us. When we stare longingly into your eyes, we’re attempting to say “let’s go for a walk or play fetch!”
I don’t mean to be rude, but humans can be a little dull. Take content, for instance. There’s a lot of content being produced these days, but how much of it is truly interesting? One study showed that most readers are only getting about 60% of the way through a piece of content! If your content is making readers’ eyes glaze over, you’re wasting valuable time – which could be used to play with your dog, for instance.
As a B2B company, you might be thinking that your products and services are not as exciting as, say, smartphones, soft drinks or dog treats (my personal favorite). Sure, it’s easier for some products to create more interesting content than others, but there’s a way to add some spark to any topic. Trust me: Dogs are the master of finding appeal in mundane things. For example, where humans see an ordinary box or an ugly stick, we see awesome chew toys!
Let me give you a few tips for making your content “unboring:”
- Focus on being helpful. Carburetors and plumbing parts don’t shout “excitement,” but if someone needs help repairing a car or fixing a leak, these topics are very interesting. By answering a question for your target audience or helping them solve a problem, you automatically generate attention. It’s important to know your topic well, so you can provide the clearest, most useful solution.
- Connect with your readers. No one likes to read a bunch of jargon and business babble. The most interesting pieces of content are written in the same way humans speak (which I sometimes find confusing, but other people seem to understand). Choose an angle that your readers can relate to or provide a personal analogy. For instance, a blog on data security becomes much more appealing when it includes a real-world example: How will this issue affect my business? Everyone likes to feel understood.
- Cut to the chase. Instead of choosing a broad subject that appeals to a wide audience, narrow your focus to a specific topic that appeals to your buyer personas. You may lose some readers, but you’ll attract the prospects that are most important to your business. Even after you’ve honed in on a subject, be sure to edit your writing for brevity.
- Add some humor. Who says business must be all work and no play? If you can entertain your audience while educating them, you’ll be more likely to keep them engaged. Your content will stand out from all the dry, serious material populating the web.
- Make it easy on the eye. Breaking text up with bullet points, numbers, call outs and images adds interest and makes your content less overwhelming, especially in longer pieces. If an article looks like a block of never-ending text, you may lose readers from the start.
- Think off the page. Some subject matter lends itself better to videos, podcasts, or webinars, such as how-to instructions, tutorials, interviews, and information requiring charts or graphs. Creating an infographic is another way to make statistics or trends more intriguing.
I would like to add another tip, which may not be official, but nonetheless effective: Add a photo of a cute dog (if you’re desperate, I suppose a cat will do). Seriously, don’t underestimate the power of a great image to catch your audiences’ eye. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make tools or tin cans, pipes or paper, any product can be given the “wow” factor if it’s presented in the right way.
Yawn. Okay, time for my afternoon nap.