While marketers tasked with creating campaigns and promotions for fun, popular products and services in niches like food, sports, or music, seemingly have it easy, others are faced with a far more difficult mission — figuring out how to make a boring subject interesting. If your business deals with relatively mundane topics by nature or revolves around something complex that the average person doesn’t have a solid understanding of, it may feel like extraordinary, engaging content is out of reach.
But here’s the thing: companies marketing interesting items and services aren’t doing anything that businesses built around boring topics can’t copy. If you boil down the best methods for connecting with an audience, the same rules apply regardless of how uninteresting or esoteric your product or service is, as companies can make virtually anything more appealing by tapping into one particular marketing medium. You know what we’re talking about: Video.
The power of using video to market boring topics can’t be understated, as it can quickly cut through the noise and complexity to connect with people in ways that other mediums simply can’t duplicate. But, like most successful marketing videos, they should follow a few specific guidelines to truly make an impact for both businesses and their audiences.
Here are three ways savvy marketers are using video to bring complex and boring topics to life to help companies connect with a larger demographic in more meaningful ways.
1. Keep videos short and on-point
Whether you’re creating a how-to or explainer video, or something highlighting your employees to humanize your company, don’t take people’s attention spans for granted. That’s because the average person tunes out after about eight seconds, and you’re already at a disadvantage when having to market boring topics.
The key to keeping your audience’s attention? Let viewers know what’s in it for them, and do it fast. Then, aim to keep most videos between one and three minutes, erring on the shorter side for explainer videos about heady subjects, like AACSB International does in the video below about blockchain technology.
Knowing that blockchain is a popular buzzword that most people associate with cryptocurrency, but a concept that only a relative few understand in depth, AACSB International created an under-a-minute explainer video to introduce the complex topic to its audience of academics in the field of management education.
Blockchain has plenty of relevant applications to AACSB International’s audience, but their interest first needs to be piqued. Enter this video that quickly offers a teaser about how blockchain technology can potentially disrupt the future of higher education, followed by a simple definition of what it is, and ending with a call-to-action to download a report with more information if they’d like to learn more on their own time. All done in under a minute.
2. Show clips of real people to humanize boring topics and boost engagement
Not every complicated subject can be broken down into a one-minute clip, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t distill it into something more digestible.
Local news network WRAL, servicing Raleigh, Durham, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, recently covered the North Carolina Board of Elections hearing about alleged irregularities in the 9th Congressional District election, including potential ballot fraud and other political crimes.
Plenty went down during the four-day hearing, but writing and reading a lengthy article covering everything that happened would take lots of time for both a content creator and WRAL’s audience, respectively. That’s why the video below was a thoughtful way to present the information about the hearing.
WRAL distilled the four-day hearing down into an eight-minute video, using colorful text to make the most important ideas stand out and turn the events into a short story that could easily be followed.
On top of that, they created something so much more engaging than an article could ever be by incorporating actual footage of key witnesses giving testimony, along with screenshots of evidence, so viewers not only get the gist of what unfolded at the hearing, they also get to feel like they were right there in the courtroom.
Now that’s how to make a boring subject interesting to the masses.
3. Always provide value to your target viewers (without being pushy)
Perhaps the biggest key to creating video content around boring topics is to provide value to your viewers in a way that isn’t shoving your product or service in their face. This could come in a variety of forms, from basic knowledge and insight into the area your industry falls under, to helping them save time, make better choices, or even earn more money.
In the video below by insurance industry software company Zywave, you’ll see that the company shared helpful tips with their audience on how to make better cold calls. More than just providing people with actionable information, Zywave’s 42-second video also saves people from having to read their entire blog post on mastering the cold call to sell insurance over the phone, which would likely take most people at least a few minutes to get through.
What you won’t find in Zywave’s video (or blog post, for that matter) is anything pumping their offerings directly. Instead, Zywave uses content to establish trust and build relationships with its audience, providing them with helpful, valuable insights in a mix of mediums to cater to how different types of people like to consume information.
Want more ideas on how to make a boring subject interesting? Check out how finance and law firms use video to make their content marketing more compelling.
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