There’s No Such Thing as a Dull Subject


It’s one of the most common questions content creators hear from their B2B clients: “We love our work, but how do we make what we do sound exciting?” Selling hand tools or hospital gowns doesn’t have the same surface glamor as next-gen consumer electronics or haute couture, but that doesn’t mean writing and talking about it must be dull. Having an affinity for the subject, showing your visitors more about the people behind your products and taking novel looks at familiar topics can prove satirist. Magazine editor H.L. Mencken agreed and stated: “There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.”

Turning Facts into Narratives

People love a story, and if you can frame information as a narrative, they’ll follow the tale you and your content creator tell. Let’s say a company makes latex and neoprene gloves. These aren’t fashion choices; they’re what doctors, cooks, clean-room techs and a host of other professionals have to wear at work. An article about manufacturing those gloves could be a little dry, but if you reframe that with a narrative flow that follows one particular pair of gloves from raw materials and blending to molding and QC, you communicate the same information in a livelier way. The television show “How It’s Made” is a shining example of how successful even the most mundane processes can be when they become a story with a beginning, middle and end.

Let Them Get to Know You

At their heart, business transactions are still interpersonal relationships, and any relationship is strengthened when the parties involved know one another a little better. Open up about yourself, your company and your personnel in your content. Invite your subscribers in to see how the software is made. Let them see the people who make the products they buy. Adding the occasional monthly profile of one of your employees to your blog or communicating your excitement about your latest equipment upgrade puts a personal face on what can sometimes feel like an impersonal exchange. Enthusiasm is contagious, and no subject feels dull when it’s being discussed by someone who clearly loves it.

Make It Clear

Some subjects aren’t so much dull as they are abstruse to those outside the industry. When we read something filled with jargon or using unnecessarily complex language, we tune out. A personal injury attorney has far more knowledge about that specialized legal field than the clients seeking information, but those clients shouldn’t need a background in law to find out the five most important things they should do after a car accident. When your content creation team looks for ways to streamline and clarify challenging subjects, you’re rewarded with well-informed, educated prospects whose trust you’ve earned by giving them valuable information. How your content treats subjects also depends greatly on the audience; that law office wouldn’t communicate with clients the same way it would correspond with other firms.

Write Well

Mencken, who never wrote a dull line in his life, would undoubtedly been appalled at some of the tissue-thin SEO content many sites publish. Even interesting subjects suffer at the hands of writers who churn out content for a penny a word. If they can make an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation sound less exciting than a crowded bus ride across town on a cloudy day, what will they do for a B2B company that sells industrial cleaning supplies? Your writing should have a voice and a personality to it, something that compels people to stick with it even if the subject isn’t one they’d normally find riveting.

© Business Content, Inc. 2014 All Rights Reserved.

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