It’s Monday morning, and you’re writing a blog post. It’s for a client in a highly-technical, super-niche B2B industry – and it’s boring. It’s so boring that you’re falling asleep, despite the gallon of black coffee you mainlined at 7am… and again at 8. You’re battling with jargon, acronyms, technical language and a huge knowledge barrier. You can get your point across, sure – but how can you make people care about it? How can you write interesting content on a seriously boring topic? How can you combat boring B2B blogging?
The 4-Step Antidote to Boring B2B Blogging
1. Realise that, actually, B2B blogging IS boring
I’ve read dozens of posts about this subject, and they all make the same point: that no topic is truly boring. These people are wrong. Plain wrong.
I’ve a professional copywriter, and a go-to guy for B2B blogging. I’ve written on hundreds of subjects, across dozens of B2B industries. Some of those subjects bored me to tears. I’ve spent hours staring at whitepapers, attempting to hew out a genuinely engaging story from the driest source material imaginable. In some B2B industries, the story writes itself. In other industries (tech, I’m looking at you), it’s an uphill battle to write anything that doesn’t read like a monotonous, jargonistic lullaby.
From the minutiae of business telecoms solutions, to the latest security updates of cloud-based accounting software, B2B blogging has to cover some truly mind-numbing subjects. Genuinely engaging content can be written – but don’t kid yourself that it’s because of the subject’s engaging nature. It’s because of the pain these topics cause.
2. Recognise that pain points create interest, not enjoyment
When Copyblogger et.al state that there are no boring topics, they should really say that there are no unimportant topics. Given the right context, any subject matter can become important – but important topics can still be boring. To illustrate this point, let’s turn to the thrilling world of carpet cleaner. I’ll set the scene:
Suddenly, carpet cleaner is an extremely important topic. You’ll be willing to spend the next 6 hours scouring Google for Red Wine Stain Remover, and you’ll pay damn near anything for the right product – but you won’t enjoy it. The red wine has transformed carpet cleaner into an important topic, but it’s still boring.
These importance-generating issues are known as pain points. By identifying the right pain points for your audience, you can write engaging, effective content on virtually any subject matter; but you’re still writing about a boring topic. You’re writing about a pain point – and nobody enjoys pain.
3. Don’t shy away from using humour in your B2B blogging
This translates into the biggest problem I see in B2B blogging: a failure to acknowledge boring subject matter. It’s taboo to ever comment on the fact that, actually, this is a pretty dry subject – but by ignoring the issue, you’re leaving a huge white elephant in the room. And he’s preventing you from engaging with your reader.
If you think a topic is boring, chances are the reader agrees. We can use to this to our benefit. By acknowledging a boring topic, we can engage with the reader on an incredibly personal level. We’re sharing an intimate secret – that this topic sucks to write about, it sucks to read about, but we both have to do it. Many copywriters are terrified of adding humour to their B2B blogging – but guess what? Business customers are people too. Humour and sarcasm are a subtle tip of your hat to the reader, and a way of fostering empathy between brand and reader. It also creates another incentive to read your content – you make dull topics funny.
4. Don’t talk about your product like it’s a dad-gum rainbow
In other words, B2B blogging needs to be a frank, honest conversation between peers. We can’t deceive the reader into enjoying a dull topic, and we shouldn’t pretend that we can. Instead, we should acknowledge a dry subject when we see it – and use that to engage with the reader on a more personal level.
This honest approach to boring topics fosters genuine engagement between business and consumer. It allows your business to say Hey, you don’t enjoy shopping for business telecoms solutions. We get that. That’s why we’ve added a bit of humour to our content, and made our services as straightforward as possible.
Holy crap, they actually understand where I’m coming from. They’re not shoveling corporate BS down my throat, and it’s so refreshing. I’m going to check out some more of their content. Hell, maybe I’ll even buy from them. They get me!