Copywriting for “tricky” or “boring” industries: A How-To

A guide to copywriting for tricky or boring industries - Cameo Digital

In my short time as a digital marketing apprentice at Cameo Digital (and even before then when I picked up the odd bit of copywriting work here and there) one thing that has become ever more apparent is that there is a whole plethora of industries and businesses that require a bit of help with their content production. 

That is to say, I’m not sure what I imagined my work would include as a copywriter and digital marketer when I first began, but it didn’t include editing pages full of in-depth descriptions of different types of insulation or writing blogs all about sewage. 

However, thanks to the varied workload that agency-based work bestows, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my copywriting career writing about things I never imagined anyone would ever be interested in reading. 

Of course, that exposes my narrow-minded view of the world… There are plenty of people whose jobs roles require knowing a lot and caring about insulation, and sewers, and safety goggles, and aeroplane de-icing systems, and specialist outdoor paint, and Legionella… the list goes on. 

The issue is that while there was value in writing content for these industries from an SEO perspective, finding anything that interested me or motivated me to write content that would be valuable to actual people was a challenge. I like to think of myself as someone who is naturally curious about the world, but I have to admit that mustering up enough enthusiasm to write a useful piece on floor screed did present an obstacle.

What do I write? How do I make it interesting? How do I get this work done in a reasonable amount of time without copious procrastination? 

However, it’s an obstacle I have learned to overcome, and I’ve managed to hone my skill in getting myself interested in subjects I would never usually care to think about in too much depth.

So, here’s my guide to copywriting for what may be considered unusual, niche, or “boring” industries.

Learn about the “why”

When I know why the business exists, what its purpose is in the wider scheme of things, it suddenly makes it easier to get interested. Look at the business’s USPs, their ethos, their backstory, and try to find something that chimes with your own outlook on the world, or that you recognise within your own life.

Even if it’s an industry you know absolutely nothing about, it’s always human beings who are behind it, and I’m yet to find a company I couldn’t relate to on some level.

Once you understand even just a little bit about why the people running the business are spending their time and energy on it, why they’re passionate, why they find it important, it suddenly becomes easier to write about. At Cameo we are guided by the principle of “Do good work with good people”, and for us, good people tend to be those who really care about their line of work.

In some ways, thinking about the why actually makes it slightly more enjoyable for me to write about these industries than it is to write for more “glamourous” businesses. Give me a blog about Legionella prevention over a description of a jewellery collection any day.

Step in the consumer’s shoes

There’s nothing more demoralising than writing content that you’re convinced no one will ever want to read, so learning about the people who will actually benefit from the content is important. Whether that’s B2C or B2B industries, knowing how it will make the end users’ lives better is always helpful. 

For instance, I was faced with copywriting a large amount of content for a company selling PPE to large manufacturing companies, which in pre-Covid times referred to steel toe-capped boots, safety helmets, Hi-Vis jackets… I really struggled to muster up enough enthusiasm about heavy duty safety gloves to write anything of any quality, until I attempted to put myself in the position of a procurement manager who needed to make a justifiable choice for their business’s PPE supplier. 

It’s marketing 101 really, but identifying what it is that the consumer needs from your content can unlock a host of avenues that your content can go down, and ensuring the reader you’re imagining while you’re writing is a real person can help you to structure your work in a way that is not only genuinely useful but is more likely to lead to conversions.  

Make sure it’s useful

This is really just a general rule for content writing in general – write for people, not for Google’s crawlers. For niche or so-called “uninspiring” industries, this means doing your research on the subject. 

In my short time working as a copywriter, I’ve amassed a wealth of specialist knowledge that I rarely use in my day-to-day life: the different grades of reflectiveness in Hi-Vis clothing, the legal implications of flying your private aircraft into icy conditions, rejuvenating buildings with natural internal insulation boards, the dangers of aerosol water particles from a shower that hasn’t been run for three months, the difference in indoor heat retention depending on different kinds of external paint… 

And weirdly, learning about these things has actually been quite fun. It’s helped me to create content that is genuinely useful for those who work in or buy from the relevant industry, and it’s helped me to enjoy writing for companies that others might not have any excitement for, which in itself has improved the quality of my work – the “Do good work” part of the Cameo ethos.

It can be a struggle to write content that you know simply won’t get as much traffic or search volume as more standard subjects, but by making sure you’ve done your research on the company, the target audience, and the industry, as well as using a little bit of empathy and being open to learning new things, you can get just as excited about a piece on specialist roofing materials as you might about any other copywriting jobs.

And hey – if you can’t – that’s where we come in! Get in touch if you’re looking to produce content that’s relevant to your target customer and really captures the “why” of what you do.

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