Link-building seems so much easier for some industries. An exciting product means exciting marketing opportunities, right? Maybe, but working with a client in a so-called “dull” industry doesn’t mean the marketing itself has to be inherently drab.
Regardless of what you’re selling, the core principles of link-building remain unchanged. Ultimately, you’re still trying to appeal to other human beings, so let the needs of the customer guide your campaign ideation efforts. Their interests, goals, problems, and reasons for purchasing your service all give you ripe opportunities for coming up with fresh and engaging content marketing concepts. And anyway, sometimes a challenging sell produces the brightest marketing ideas.
Here are four ideas to help you create powerful content that will engage your target audience and earn links and shares.
1. Turn Case Studies Into Educational Opportunities
People love a good story, especially if there’s something to learn from it. Turn ordinary case studies into content you’d actually want to read. How? Rather than creating the regular problem-solution type post, think more in terms of an educational magazine article or video vignette. For example, marketing company Conversion Rate Experts has some examples of interesting case studies that are highly read and shared since they use their past wins as a way to educate the customer on conversion rate optimization.
2. Share Less-Obvious Ways Your Product Can Help
The more versatile you make your product sound, the more people it will appeal to. Scope out every person who uses – or might potentially use – the product and show them what it can do for them. Dropbox does a great job of this on their blog, putting up such content as how to use Dropbox to make searching for a job more efficient and how to preserve family recipes. It’s an excellent example of a brand understanding its clients’ varied personas.
3. Solve Problems
Is there something your audience is struggling with? Provide a helpful solution to gain not only goodwill, but engagement and shares. The British government is a stellar example; there are few things in life more boring than getting to grips with governmental red tape, yet Gov.uk shows that effective, consumer-centric content on this subject is indeed possible. They have a fantastic content database, walking citizens through all government services and providing clear direction and helpful tools along the way.
On a fluffier note, Charmin found a way to create a successful content marketing campaign with their Sit or Squat app, helps people find clean public bathrooms around them. Again, toilet paper isn’t what you’d usually classify as a cool product, yet the resulting app is helpful, interactive, humorous, and serves as a brand reminder every time it’s used.
4. Try to Create the Warm Fuzzies
Help humanize your brand and build an emotional connection with your audience via campaigns that move and unite people. Hoover is a great example. When they received hand-drawn pictures of their vacuums from Marcus Bartlett, an autistic teenager with a love of household appliances, Hoover was inspired to launch a global social media campaign. They asked for people all over the world to print and hang up the drawings and send back photos. The result? A surprisingly touching campaign for an everyday product.
And you don’t even have to be the one creating content. One small good deed can be all it takes to get the internet buzzing about your business – eyewear company Warby Parker could tell you that. A customer of theirs had her car stolen, something she happened to mention while at the store. A week later she received the following hand-written note with a $20 gift certificate for a local bar she’d commented on liking.
This one simple gesture moved the customer so much, she shared it on social media and it then went viral. The story continued to snowball, getting picked up by sites such as Business Insider and The Huffington Post. Usually you’d struggle to get that kind of publicity for $20,000, but Warby Parker did it for $20! What’s more, many folks hadn’t heard of the company before this. Now it’s a name they won’t forget.
Have other ideas you’ve used successfully before? Please do share in the comments below.
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