How a Unique Twist on Your Boring Industry Engages Consumers


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The fact that your business is in a “boring” industry doesn’t mean you have to bore your audience. You may specialize in file storage, cleaning products, real estate, software development, or something else that makes you concerned about making your brand appealing. Don’t worry; believe it or not, you already have many of the tools you need to market yourself in a fun, interesting, and unique way and get customers excited about what you have to offer.

Be Helpful

When it comes to getting information, this generation’s online research capabilities not only pass the test; they earn extra credit. Anyone who has a question wants to find an answer, and people need answers about virtually everything.

You can provide educational content and actionable advice in virtually any industry. Simple how-to guides can turn into huge home run hits. Do you offer debt counseling? Publish advice about how to negotiate lower bills and decrease expenses. Are you a plumbing company? Everyone deals with drain clogs, so give searchers unique tips for solving the problem. If you have a strategy no one else uses, even better.

HubSpot recommends using layman’s language when talking about your industry. Avoid jargon and long-windedness to make it accessible to everyone, even if you’re talking about industry-specific technology. If the average Joe can’t understand what you’re talking about, guess what? You’re not helpful; you’re boring.

Stir the Pot

While it may be a little unorthodox, it can be handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve when publishing educational content. Controversy breeds engagement, and even so-called mundane topics can be controversial in their own ways. Playing devil’s advocate – or, on the flip side, blatantly disagreeing with popularly held beliefs – can generate a lot of brand engagement. Write an unpopular opinion post, promote it on social media, and watch the discussion unfold.

Be careful, though. If you’re going to put yourself out there, be prepared to deal with the fallout. Examples like the Blackfish documentary’s detrimental effect on SeaWorld’s revenue and BP’s terrible PR in response to the 2010 oil spill prove that there is such a thing as bad publicity. Controversy doesn’t have to be offensive!

Use Cool Branding and Visuals

If you run a local brick-and-mortar store, go beyond basic (boring) barcodes. You already have signage in place; why not try something like custom labels for your products? Just make sure all of your branding is consistent.

People love to look at visual content, which makes a lot of sense, given the fact that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text according to Jessica Gioglio, co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling. The industry doesn’t matter; your audience will get a huge kick out of a well-made infographic – which, in turn, is imminently sharable.

Get Creative

If your competitors’ content isn’t making much of a splash, there’s a reason. But you don’t have to fall into the crowd. One of the biggest benefits of working in a so-called “boring” industry is that you have endless creative license to invest in great branding and innovative marketing.

Sure, you’re not in the “sexy” world of advertising gourmet chocolate or commenting on celebrity gossip, but with a little creativity and direction you’ll shine through.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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