Viral videos, link baits, Google ranking…. These signs of online brand popularity sure can be intimidating. Especially if you’re in a type of business that isn’t exactly mainstream sexy or interesting.
What if you’re in an industry that’s boring? Is there no hope for you to succeed at getting exposure for your business, whether in traditional or social media?
Of course not.
While some products and services are more exciting and have more mass appeal than others, every business can reach out to its target market in a meaningful and compelling way.
Below are some ideas to help you see the noteworthy and newsworthy parts of your business.
8 Ways to Create Remarkable Content for Boring Businesses
I’ve told you about my old sock business, right? Well, how can socks be sexy or interesting? As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, we made it so by using photographs. We took photos of our product — socks — in various situations: raunchy, adventurous, sophisticated. Definitely not qualities you would associate with plain black socks!
Aside from photos, another way to spice up your content marketing is by using moving images: video. Especially if your competitors are still using plain text in their blogs, using video, YouTube in particular, will set you apart and give you a boost with the search engines.
Infographics are another way of telling your story visually, and one that’s shareable. Make your infographics relevant and useful, and they will get shared and even embedded in other websites.
2. Appeal to Deepest Desires
There is this one test you can do to gauge whether your business has any hopes of being interesting: Do people buy your product? If they do, then I dare say, it IS sexy!
Products or services that sell are sexy, because they address the deepest desires of their target market.
What do people want the most? People want more money, acceptance especially by the opposite sex, admiration of others, and self-fulfillment, among other things. If you can demonstrate, through your content marketing and PR efforts, how your product helps your customers achieve one or any of these, then your business is sexy.
Another thing. Most people are lazy. So if your product can help them avoid doing something they’re too lazy to do, it will be exciting. Take for example the Kitty Litter Gripper Mat. Nothing exciting about a sticky mat for catching kitty litter, right? But who wants to clean a mess up? So the owner of this company told me that after employing one of the publicity strategies she learned from my PR course, she got on NBC and the next month was in a national monthly magazine!
Also think of related content or topics that your target audience would be interested in, aside from subjects directly about your product. Go back to your target market personas and list topics that would attract them. The more specific and defined your personas, the more interesting topics you’ll come up with.
In other words, to the right audience, your business is not boring!
3. Strong Personality
Do you or anybody in your company have a strong personality? You know, someone who always commands attention when they walk into a room? Someone who’s the center of attention when they’re in a group? Someone who isn’t afraid of expressing their opinions, even when these run contrary to what’s popular?
If so, you have a potential “brand ambassador” in your midst. This would be the perfect person to blog, vlog (video blog), or podcast for your company. Their personality will shine through and attract traffic, generate interest in your product, and help your business get more exposure, both online and offline.
4. Human Interest
People are curious about other people. That’s why human interest stories are always appealing. Look for stories about individuals involved in your business. It might be your own story of how you came to build your business. It might be the story of the engineer who designed your product. Certainly, it’s the story of customers whose lives changed as a result of using your product. Or even your virtual assistant who’s going to run in a breast cancer charity marathon.
Look at your life experience and those of people you work with. What challenges have they overcome? What makes their story different, inspiring, or noteworthy? Even if it’s not directly related to your product, showing the human side of your business makes you more attractive to prospects.
Don’t forget the stories of people who use your product. Go beyond testimonials and white papers. Transform your customers’ success stories into videos, photo essays, podcasts, features — whatever medium you use, just go and tell their stories.
5. Behind the Scenes
You may think there’s nothing special about your product, because you live and breathe it every day. In other words, it has become ordinary to you. But to others, the fact that your raw material is harvested by hand in family-owned farms, untouched by pesticides, is fascinating. If you’re a writer, your own writing process, including the exact way you need to arrange your desk, could be fodder for content.
Use social media to build a community for your customers, or those who would make a perfect customer for your company. Again, go back to your target market personas. Start by creating a community for the persona that’s your strongest market, or one you’d like to build up. Set up a space where they can ask questions about your product, share tips, or simply show off all the wonderful things they’re doing with your product.
Once your community takes off (or when you get involved in a community that’s already well-established), it becomes an inexhaustible source of content. Observe their biggest pain points, watch out for success stories, take note of common mistakes… you’ll have enough content ideas for years to come.
This is probably the trickiest way to make a boring subject sizzle. But if you come up with a funny idea you think may click with your target audience, why not give it a try?
Also, keep your eye open for staff who may have a light-hearted, funny way of expressing themselves. Their humorous attitude may make for audience-pulling blog posts, Twitter tweets, and Facebook updates.
Another way to inject humor into your content is by relating your topic to pop culture. If you sell recreational vehicles, for example, use the famous sewer scene from Robin Williams’ movie, “RV,” as a take-off point for a blog post or video.
Here’s a video that combines images, humor, and behind-the-scenes look at an oh-so-exciting product, shavers:
8. Shock and Awe
Shocking, awe-inspiring topics are always newsworthy. Sometimes you have to create your own shocking “news.” For example, did you ever think of blenders as shocking or newsworthy? But when Blendtec created their “Will It Blend” video series, where they blended everything from golf balls to iPhones, they elicited gasps of awe. You don’t have to be out-of-this-world extreme to use this technique. Just look for the unexpected, unusual, and unique in your product, or in the way customers use it.
Still think your product is too boring for PR and content marketing? I hope not!
Instead, I hope reading this post inspired you to explore angles, media, and strategies that will help you gain more exposure for your business.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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