There are currently over 3.5-billion social media users around the world (source). Tens of millions of shares, likes, tweets, etc., are shared every month. With so many people to reach, and so much noise out there in the social-sphere, it can be hard for a brand that specializes in bland, boring products to reach Internet users.
Whether you’re looking for more engagement on your website or more shares on your social accounts – or (hopefully) both – here are some essential tips to get more people learning and talking more about your otherwise dull brand.
1. Maximize the number of opportunities
Have you ever thought to consider the distinct marketing advantage you have working in such a boring industry as you do? Think about it. Your competition likely feels the same way you do about your products – ie., that there’s little to do beyond prospecting and maybe sharing a photo or two on social now and again.
This becomes an advantage when it comes to looking for topics via smart keyword research. If you’re going to use paid search (and you should), you’ll pay less for terms that in other industries would be so competitive, they’d be outside the budget of all but the biggest brands. So, cheer up and start looking for those juicy topics that’ll make your boring brand sexy!
2. Laser focus your post topics
A big issue for those in unattractive industries is coming up with topics to post about on the web. Yes, it’s challenging creating engaging material when you’re selling insurance, medical equipment or office stationary. For this reason, most boring brands will resort to posting content that has nothing to do with their brand.
This is a bad idea from a brand-recognition perspective. That is, unless you have millions to advertise with like the folks at GEICO insurance who made their brand famous by creating the adorable GEICO Gecko (ie., a Gecko has nothing to do with car insurance).
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#HappyNewYear, everyone! That's right, I'm on Instagram now! I got a new camera last week and decided to make a New Year's resolution: LEARN #PHOTOGRAPHY! I know absolutely nothing, so this should be interesting, but Instagram seemed like the best place to experiment. I hope you'll stick with me on this journey (and give me plenty of grace for mistakes). What's your #NewYearsResolution?
When it comes to online branding, you want consumers to associate your blog and social posts with your brand. Look at the Post-it brand’s Instagram account – they’ve found a way to integrate unrelated share-worthy content into their brand very effectively.
3. Try to be first
Try to release new insights, news and information before everyone else. This can be tough, and it does have to relate to your industry in one way or another, but it’s not impossible. Even for small brands.
You just have to be diligent in finding and/or creating data, images, etc., that haven’t been released and shared a billion times already. The fresher the content, the more likely it is to captivate and entice shares and conversation.
4. Be a person in your writing, vlogs and podcasts
Go ahead and try to be as boring as your products when writing blogposts, etc. Nobody’s going to give your content even a cursory glance if you do. This means straying away from writing material that seeks to be too professional for its own good. Make people feel like you’re right there in front of them carrying on a real conversation instead of reading an encyclopedia verbatim.
Don’t get overly sciency or start dolling out information like a data mill. That kind of style wouldn’t work in a real-life conversation with your friends and family, and it won’t work when trying to reach the countless millions of people online either. Write like you speak, leaving out any socially-unacceptable bad habits like profanity or dirty jokes (unless you’re in a boring industry that welcomes such talk).
5. Opt for fine dining instead of buffets
I’m not referring to what you’re going to eat for dinner tonight, just in case you were wondering! Fine dining restaurants focus on small, elegant portions. They don’t overwhelm their customers with an endless stream of food. Food that soon loses its taste after the first plateful or two.
The same is true for your content consumers. Don’t post a 1,500 word treatise every day, and don’t make every post a huge block of text that only an astrophysicist would find engaging. Break up your content into small paragraphs, using sub-heads, images, videos, etc., to make it more digestible. This is even more important when posting on social and/or when trying to reach a new audience through paid advertising campaigns.
6. Never discount the importance of visual media
Images conjure the imagination. They inspire, they captivate, they devastate. Most important of all, images get more clicks. They sell more products. Tweets with images get upwards of 20% more clicks than those that don’t have them, and 1 ½ times more retweets – and that’s just on Twitter!
Try to source original photos and encourage user-generated images and videos to save on budget. Make sure your company has a presence on Instagram, Vine, Periscope and other visual social media platforms, so you can promote and cross-promote this kind of content across multiple platforms.
You’re not as boring as you think…
Creating engagement-worthy content will only continue to get more difficult as the years pass by. You need to up your content game ASAP.
Otherwise, your boring company will never fully reach its online potential like other boring brands such as GEICO, Allstate, AmeriFirst, Post-it, Zendesk and many others have managed to do successfully through their clever content strategies.