How To Succeed With Social Media and Content Marketing In Boring Industries

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Are you stuck in a boring industry wondering how you are ever going to create content that is interesting? This is a question I get often from friends and clients.

“I sell prefab concrete, how in the world can you develop a social media strategy around selling massive blocks of prefabricated concrete?”

Well, here’s one easy way…

(This is actually my favorite story from Stan Phelps Purple Goldfish Book.) It is the story of how Stew Leonards drove tremendous word of mouth in his boring industry, going up against the most interesting topics in the world, with one of the toughest crowds to attract.

Stew was asked  to speak at a local elementary school on career day. The principal asked him to talk about the milk business. As Stew pulled up in front of the school he saw a Firetruck parked with kids all around it. When he got inside he saw a room setup by the Air Force playing a video with Jet Airplanes. It was filled with kids. Across the hall was a police officer showing off his various equipment and weapons. He continued walking down the hall and found his classroom with a sign that said, “The Milk Business.” Stew walked into the room, and there were only three kids sitting there. Two of them were the sons of one of his managers. For the next 30 minutes he talked about the dairy business and running a store. At the end of the speech, he thanked the kids, and reached into his pocket and gave each of them a coupon for a free ice cream. The kids left the room, and Stew waited in his room for the second of the two career day sessions. He waited and waited….no kids. After a while the principal came rushing in,

“Stew… I don’t know what you told those kids, but we have to move your next session to the school auditorium.”

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Giving little unexpected extras, can drive word of mouth referrals like crazy. Stan Phelps, who specializes on lagniappe marketing advised a friend of mine to give out Mike & Ikes with his glass tiles, a boring industry if there ever was one… His customers are gushing about him and his Mike&Ikes all day long across social media and even writing review online.

However, you probably want to develop content… So here’s a strategy for that as well.

I think we can all agree that content is the thread that ties all of our demand generation together.

In order to get editorial backlinks, you need linkable content. In order to get your content shared on social media sites, you need sharable content, which means content that is emotionally charged enough to motivate action. The best b2b lead generation going on drive people to downloadable content in exchange for opting in. The best advertising and ppc drive people to landing pages to download content. Content helps you establish yourself as an authority, a thought leader in your industry. It helps get a prospect to trust you more.

Bottom line, whatever your goals are online, Content is the thread that ties it all together.

This is nothing new, we all know this already. The challenge we have is coming up with content ideas gets harder and harder as more and more companies create content, and as there is more and more noise you need to break through.

So, how do you get past the problem of being in a boring industry, and finding the interesting angle or content ideas?

Well, there’s lots of ways, and even a bunch of great content online with strategies for marketing in boring industries. Just google, “content marketing in boring industries” and you’ll see an ebook from Hubspot, a Moz.com whiteboard friday a quicksprout blog post.   My favorite though is using lagniappe to wow your prospects and give them something they can’t stop talking about.

The most common strategy however for content marketing in a boring industry is… Think Audience First, Industry Second.

What this means is that you don’t need your content to be about your boring industry, you just need content that can start a conversation and engage your target audience. Sure, the more relevant the discussion is, the more likely they will engage quality prospects and convert them, but there are lots of ways to pique peoples interest and trigger their emotions, as long as you know who you are targeting.

This means you need to develop deep personas about your audience. You need to understand the sites they visit, the funnel they follow as they search to solve the problem you solve, and of course, what their deepest desires are. Frank Kern has a great exercise called the Instant Empathy exercise, and it basically involves trying to spend an entire day in your perfect prospects shoes, in your mind. Mapping out every little detail, and using it to connect emotionally with him. Sure, this persona wont likely match every prospect, but you will find the deepest desires will be somewhat uniform, as human nature is still the same. You are more similar to your prospect than you realize, you just need to understand them better.

If you are really stuck on content ideation that can engage your audience. Start thinking about what people are passionate about. Regardless of the relation to your industry, and tie them together. The deeper the passion, the deeper they will engage and the more likely they will share.

If you really get stuck, there is always holywood to fall back on. Always a way to tie in the latest flick to your boring industry. If you really get stuck, tap into nursery rhymes. Everyone is familiar with them, and it disarms them. Some of my best speeches I made over the years, involved me somehow tying the three bears, or goldilocks to the topic, and everyone is spellbound. It works like a charm.

If you are still stuck drop me a comment below with your industry, and I’ll try to respond with some content ideas for your industry.

If you are still stuck, fall  back on this nifty tool.

 

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $15,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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