Does Content Marketing Work in Boring Industries?

This is a guest post by Russel Cooke

One of the biggest challenges for many businesses is coming up with a content marketing strategy that stands out. Content marketing is a vitally important aspect of any modern marketing plan. One only needs to witness the success cultivated by GoPro cameras with their YouTube channel to show how content marketing can be the key to unlocking hidden sales opportunities and boosting user engagement.

But GoPro sells video cameras. Specifically, they sell portable, lightweight, water- and shock-proof video cameras aimed at extreme athletes, explorers, and daredevils. Their videos show people jumping off cliffs, testing homemade flying machines, and climbing mountains. People have used GoPros in space and at the bottom of the ocean. Even 99% of the people who own a GoPro don’t end up using it for such exciting things, it’s remains an instantly engaging, interesting product.

So what if you aren’t selling extreme video cameras? How can you engage users, when your product itself is somewhat less than engaging? It turns out that it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s not even difficult! In this article, we’ll take you step by step through the process of creating an engaging and interesting social media presence, despite your industry.

Solve Problems - Shutterstock

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock


Solve problems

Everything that we buy is a solution to a problem. This problem might be a real, concrete problem (“I need to protect my body from the cold”), or it might be a more abstract one (“I need to be more fashionable”). But regardless of the type of need it’s responding to, every product is the solution to some problem, big or small, concrete or abstract, real or imagined.

Old Spice deodorant solves a clear problem: it helps you smell less bad. So how did they transform this into a winning social media campaign? With a great spokesperson, taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to solving the problem, they created The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, a hypermasculine Hemingway-esque man’s man.

So dig down: why are people buying your product? What purpose do you serve? Who is buying your product? Once you have answers to these problems, you’re on your way to creating content marketing for your product.


Create relevant content

Once you know what problem you’re solving, you can create content around that problem. Let’s say you are trying to create a content marketing strategy for an insect repellant product. Create a chart of the different pests that your product repels. Create a slideshow of gross bugs complete with grosser facts about them.

The idea is to appear an expert and associate your product with the problem in some way through consistent production of interesting and sharable content. Here are some types of sharable content you can create:

  • Videos: Videos are easily sharable and can be used to communicate important and interesting facts. Beldent, a brand of South American gum, made this video to show the hidden benefits of chewing gum. TippEx, a brand of whiteout, made these videos that cheekily showed the benefits of correction fluid. In each case, the video was interesting and surprising, and succeeded in garnering attention.
  • Listicles: lists of interesting facts or statements enhanced with visual media, often animated gifs. These can be silly and casual (Top 15 Most Disgusting Bugs in the World) or serious and informative (The Most Expensive Infestations in History).
  • Infographics: a rich combination of data and design, showing off facts, figures and charts in a visually-compelling format. These are super-sharable and engaging, and relevant to everyone.
  • Blog posts: keyword-dense and engaging, blog posts are the bread and butter of content marketing. How-to and slideshows are great. If you can find blogs about your product, you can also solicit contributions and guest posts from other authors.

Short on ideas? Search for your problem on Google (or better yet, Twitter) and see what people are already talking about. It’s in real-time and constantly updated, so you’ll be sure to be up-to-date on new developments. Set up a Google Alert for news related to the problem you’re solving. Look on Quora to find out what people are asking about the problem. You can also search for blogs about the problem in case there are some content ideas there.

Not so boring now, huh?

Once you’ve found the problem your product solves, content marketing strategy becomes much more straightforward. It turns out that there really are no boring industries—just boring marketers. Don’t be boring! Solve someone’s problem, learn about your industry from a new perspective, and cultivate that social community!


This is aguest post from Russel Cooke, a business consultant and journalist. His work often discuss content marketing, social media, and search engine optimization. Follow him on Twitter @RusselCooke2.