By now, everybody knows that consumers read very little of what your business puts out on the internet. Some studies show that readers consume only 60 percent of content. That makes marketing even more difficult for those of us earmarked as a “boring company.”
Think about GoPro. Who wouldn’t be able to come up with phenomenal marketing ideas with access to adventurous, thrill-seeking video content? Travel and food are relatively easy industries to jazz up the content.
But checks? They’re boring.
Office supplies. Snooze.
If you’re in one of the industries categorized as boring, you should know that the landscape is changing. Businesses that typically fared poorly with marketing are making a comeback — and doing a bang-up job at marketing in their “boring” industry. Here are a few examples.
Case study #1
Deluxe Corp., who makes checks – and other products and services – for other businesses, is debunking the myth that you can’t do marketing well unless your topic is sexy – showing the rest of us how it’s done.
With a mere 1 percent brand awareness, the company came up with a strategy to improve brand awareness while celebrating 100 years in business. The marketing team created a campaign that generated national recognition and scored more than 1.1 billion media impressions.
How did they do it? Amanda Brinkman spearheaded the campaign. “As we came closer and closer to our 100th anniversary, we decided that we didn’t want to shine the spotlight on ourselves, but instead turn that spotlight onto the small businesses that make our country great,” Brinkman said. “We thought telling 100 business stories from around the country was a great way to celebrate our anniversary.”
In addition, the campaign plans included stories to show consumers how the company had evolved from providing checks only to a diverse set of complementary services. “We decided that we would use authentic content – in the form of 12 mini-documentaries and 88 photo essays, along with a full-length documentary – to tell our story,” Brinkman continued. “In doing so, we shared those stories through earned media, helping to amplify the dollars we put into the program.”
Case study #2
Consider the insurance industry. According to studies, only 29 percent of people think positively about the insurance industry’s reputation, ahead of only the airline, tobacco and financial industries’ reputation. A case study in Content Marketing Industry reveals how to overcome the double whammy of a bad reputation and a boring business.
Simply Business, an insurance broker, revamped their marketing strategy, which consisted of product advertising primarily), and refocused the efforts to achieve big results. After creating content that spoke to prospects’ needs and was easily understood, the business saw an increase in product placements and social traction. Their social following grew by 30 percent in just two months, a 25 percent increase in organic traffic, and 6 percent higher conversion rates for first-visit-to-buy customers.
We recommend these tips for making marketing effective and interesting:
- Keep the content helpful. It shouldn’t be boring.
- Write like a normal person – not like you’re in a business meeting trying to impress.
- Be specific in the marketing content. Define your products and services in terms that your customers understand, such as how it solves a problem or speaks to a need.
- Use humor. It will engage readers.
- Use analogies. Don’t just educate readers; employ stories to make a complex idea understandable.
- Keep it brief. If you can say something in 50 words, then do it. Longer is not necessarily better.
- Make it look easy to read. Long sections of unbroken text overwhelm readers. Keep paragraphs short to give them a break.
- Use images to help tell the story. Readers will thank you!
These suggestions, along with analyzing campaigns of other “boring” industries can help you breathe new life into yours.