How To Create Exciting Content For A Boring Business
Before everything else, I’d like to start with this: I truly believe there are no boring topics. But again, I’m the kind of human being who finds linguistic questions fascinating, philosophy enthralling and every now and then my interest can be piqued by fun chemistry facts or documentaries about how toothpaste caps are made and such.
I’m not saying that every product, service
Before we dive in, I’d like to apologize if I categorize Your product as ‘boring’. I didn’t mean to offend anybody with my examples, but how exciting something is, is quite subjective and I needed a couple of examples.
So how to create exciting content, both visual and written, for something as boring as pallets, cutlery, windows, or
Easy way out
It is often mentioned that anything can be sold with sunshine, sexuality or a sweet baby or pet. Sadly, many believe in this and go for the easy way out, namely creating content around something that has nothing to do with their product but “sells anything”.
In my opinion, this is the worst “content strategy” somebody can go with. To me, it looks cheap and diving into something like this is a slippery slope to demolishing a brand that could have become great.
Pairing your brand with another topic in order to build an image and insert another layer of the original message can be a good idea, but let’s face it, seeing a beautiful lady with big… eyes on a stack of pallets or putting a cute kitten next to a fork don’t really have a deeper meaning.
So what should you do then? Let’s journey together, look at concrete examples and come up with a content strategy that could work for you too.
Find a matching love-brand
This may be the most effective way, however, might not work for everything. Finding a so-called “love-brand” to pair your product with is really the easiest way to increase brand awareness and engagement around yours. What do I mean by this?
Let’s say that you are a cutlery manufacturer. Well, there’s only so many angles you can take photos of forks and spoons. So why not pair cutlery with food? Food is one of the most popular topics: foodies, food bloggers, Instagram cooks, and food stylists seem to be growing on trees nowadays and they can help with raising awareness around silverware. You can reach out to them and ask them to include your products in the content they share.
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Have you noticed that food pictures on Instagram hardly ever have cutlery next to them? Why is that? It is such an obvious pairing.
As far as written content, I can imagine writing up recipes and pairing them with the matching silverware e.g. a delicious steak with the perfect steak knife.
Moving away from cutlery: if you sell pallets you can highlight the things you can create pallets. DIY is a very trending topic and you wouldn’t believe what a huge market is out there for pallet furniture. I know pallets are not exactly made for the purpose of designing furniture, but they are fashionable now, so use this opportunity.
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Gather pictures of stunning pallet furniture, put together step-by-step guides on how to build them, you can even create a hashtag for #PalletLovers or #MadeOfPallets.
Find your message
If finding a love-brand is not really an option for you, think about all the things your product symbolizes. What attached semantic meanings does your product have? Peel the onion and find out the layers of your brand, to help project your brand story.
For example, let say that you manufacture windows. Windows are kind of like frames. So what picture would you put in it? I’m thinking of a happy family, gathering around the table, eating dinner and having a great time together, and we’re peeking through the window.
Or think about picturesque scenery framed by a grandiose window or an interesting window-set.
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There’s no such thing as a bad view of Lake Como. But Alistair and Vicki’s apartment high above the village of Varenna has some of the most staggering ones. Come home from a boat trip to Bellagio or Menaggio in time for sunset—and then stargazing—from one of your three balconies. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo: @sssoph90
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This bamboo bungalow in Bali is the ideal getaway for those looking to get off the grid. Hidden in mountains of Gunung Agung, you might not see many other humans, but you will have a pack of kittens and friendly dogs to keep you company (or provide an audience for your ukulele performance). At night, you'll fall asleep under starry skies that may be hard to distinguish from the fireflies hovering over the river nearby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo: @thomas_fung
Use content to tell a story, and even turn employees into storytellers too
Find common pain points
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and figure out what difficulties they face and how you might help them. At 10to8 we try to cover topics that help businesses scale up or just make everyday work-life easier, what will help them achieve having more appointments booked. What can you do for your customers?
An accounting service can create plenty of content by using this technique, as there’s hardly a person who doesn’t need advice on taxes, finances, bookkeeping, payroll etc. You can populate your editorial calendar with useful tips and define the publish dates based on when them tips can come in handy the most. Just to mention a few: how to claim a tax refund, good-to-knows for tax declaration etc. Try to make these articles easy to understand, use lots of examples and as little jargon as possible.
As for pallets, a pain point can be that they are not very long-lasting without the proper care and they are a beloved home of spiders. Painting them can be tricky too. How-to’s and guides can be interesting for those who want to work with pallets.
A pain point for cutlery? S
For windows, I can image a guide on different styles with the matching decoration such as flower pots on the offset, or curtains. A written guide on how to choose the perfect window can be very useful too. What material and style goes with different buildings, what frame color should one choose that matches the painting etc
Do something unexpected
My examples are all everyday things, common products, and services and thus supply is often larger than demand. This makes marketing your brand even harder, but on the other hand, it also gives you the opportunity to be creative, find something that you do differently and can create content around.
I know a CPA, who’s selling point is that he has a beard. It is completely random but it works. He often compares taking care of taxes to grooming his beard. It’s hilarious.
I know it somewhat contradicts with what I mentioned in the ‘Easy way out’ section, so to clarify, you can use sunshine, sexuality, and sweet babies or pets, if you can verify it. But don’t use them just because they are easy to sell with.
Choose something random, something unexpected and make it yours!
After an article full of examples, it is challenging to make a general deduction. Let’s try a bullet point summary:
- There’s no such thing as a boring business, only creatively challenged content creators
- If you are not the content creator of the holy grail of marketers, namely a love-brand, find one that you can effortlessly partner up with
- Tell a story with your brand: put on your thinking hat and gather all the meanings and messages of your product or service
- Become one with your customers, pay attention to the difficulties they face and find out how to help them. Exciting content doesn’t always mean entertaining, it can be simply useful
- Think outside of the box! I’m sure you are enthusiastic about your business or the brand you’re creating content for – you wouldn’t do it otherwise. Take your time to find something that sets you apart from the rest and build your content marketing strategy around that thing.
And to wrap up: I challenge you to leave a comment with your brand’s name or product/service type that you struggle to create content for. Let see if we can find a truly boring business!
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Anna, whose middle name is Hashtag, is an enthusiastic Digital Marketing Executive. She drinks her coffee with cream and Instagram, retweets (almost) every fun fact about koalas and never misses an interesting Facebook webinar about exciting new features. She aims to collect and share the utmost interesting content. And she's also the one, who jumps up and down if we have a new follower on social media.
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