There might be a handful of industries more boring than insurance, but not many. Yet two of the most dynamic and memorable television advertising campaigns of the last decade have been from GEICO and Progressive.
Content can be boring. Social campaigns can be boring, but there is no such thing as a boring business, a boring industry or even a boring topic. “I can’t get my content amplified because my business is boring” is an excuse—and excuses are the bane of success.
Here are eight ways to get noticed, shared, mentioned, retweeted and reblogged, no matter how dull the subject matter.
1. Forget the Masses—Market to a Few Influencers
If you’ve decided that your product or service isn’t exciting enough, isn’t marketable enough or you simply don’t have the time or resources to go all in for a high-octane campaign that can entice the masses, reconsider your target audience.
Instead of the purchasing masses, target the influencers who they turn to for guidance, whether they are pundits, celebrities, experts or trusted reviewers. Find the movers and shakers in your industry—they’re the ones with tons of YouTube subscribers and social followers. Scour their social sites, learn what kind of content they are most likely to share and market to them.
If you are promoting your clothes landing pages, for example, target a non-competitor designer. If that designer shares your content even once, not only do you get an immediate bump in traffic, but you get the long-term benefit of being on the radar of all that designer’s fashion-loving fans.
2. Be Positive
Prying a share out of followers when your industry isn’t glamorous requires you to rely on the positive nature of people on social media.
Yes, you read that right. Social media. Positive nature.
Entrepreneur refers to study of 7,000 New York Times articles that revealed people like to be the bearer of good news, not bad news. Content often describes a problem that the business’s product can solve. Avoid the doom and gloom and go for sunshine for a boring business.
3. Go for Links Instead of Shares
As Moz recently reminded us, link signals still come in second only to on-page signals when it comes to overall ranking factors. The publication points out that creators in dull industries should avoid chasing the share and go for links, which are the driving force behind conversions in industries that don’t lend themselves to shareable content.
4. Use Slideshows to Dress up Dull Subject Matter
The more boring your industry, the less text you can throw at people. Use Powerpoint to create image-driven slides on Sildeshare. Slideshows articulate your strongest selling points in small, digestible chunks instead of clubbing them over the head with a page of text.
5. Design Infographics Instead of Writing Articles
Even simpler than slideshows are infographics. Infographics changed the content landscape because they use images to give viewers a clear, concise and brief look at the most important nuggets of information that would have been found in an article. Brevity and fun imagery, which are the hallmarks of great infographics, are critical to keeping people interested in boring subjects.
6. Answer Questions
No matter how dull the subject matter, people who are considering buying will always have questions about what you’re selling. FAQ lists get you out of writing articles, which should be avoided as much as possible with dry subjects. Don’t be afraid to dress up your FAQs—you can create great FAQs as attractive Slideshares.
7. Guest Blog
Write guest posts on the important blogs in your space—not just your own. Follow this guide about how to find relevant sites to guest blog on. Avoid rich anchor text and link to internal pages on your site in order to lure the people who are most likely to amplify your content on social.
8. 52 Problems: A Year’s Worth of Solutions—and Content
One content marketing expert developed a strategy that promises a fresh supply of shareable content for a full year—even for the dullest of industries. Go to question-and-answer sites like Quora and pick your favorite 52 questions that people are asking about your product or industry. Use those questions from real-life people to create a new piece of content every week. Helpful, actionable content that has real-world applications is heavily shared and gets a ton of links.
From CRM to accounting, some topics just don’t scream out with excitement and energy—but that doesn’t mean great content can’t come flooding out of these industries. If your industry lacks glamour and pizzazz, focus on answering questions, which clients and customers are sure to have. Avoid wordy text at all costs and rely on infographics, slideshows and other image-driven formats that break information down into bite-sized chunks.