Are you trying to implement an inbound marketing strategy at your business? Do you feel limited by the nature of your industry? Are you in a business that's highly technical or just plain-old vanilla?
A successful inbound marketing strategy has to be built on compelling content. But how are you supposed to create killer content about a subject that's just downright boring?
Never fear. There are plenty of businesses in "boring" industries that make inbound work for them. You can too, but you may need to adjust your thinking and invest a little more time into your content planning.
Here are a few tips to help you master inbound marketing in even the most boring of industries:
Forget sexy or viral. Just be helpful.
Often, inbound marketers feel like they have to come up with the next great viral video, infographic, or blog post. However, that's not necessarily the case. Even in "non-boring" industries, the odds that your content is going to go viral is pretty slim.
Instead, focus on just trying to be helpful. No matter how boring your industry may be, your customers almost certainly have problems that they're dealing with. If you can be a resource and provide innovative solutions to those problems, they will likely gravitate towards your content.
Go in-depth with your personas.
You probably know that you should have buyer personas to guide your content. However, far too often, personas are hastily done. There's some basic information about who the buyer is, their role at their company, and maybe some of the issues that they deal with on a daily basis.
You can make your content more helpful by really diving into your personas to find out what your buyers are really concerned with. Survey potential customers about the issues they face. Find out what keeps them up at night. Try to find three to five specific problems that seem pervasive in your industry. Then set out to deliver content that helps buyers resolve those problems.
Get your customer service and sales teams involved in content creation.
The sales and service teams at most companies are too often left out of the content creation process. That's usually a mistake.
Think about it - your salespeople and service team are on the front line with your customers. Your sales team hears customer objections every day. They know what's preventing prospects from pulling the trigger and becoming customers.
Similarly, your customer service team gets questions from customers about how to best use your products or services. They can tell you what customers love about your solution and where they struggle. You can then use that information to create content to help your customers and prospects maximize your product's usage and value.
Go where your customers are.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the major players in the social media space. However, if you're in a niche industry, it’s possible that your audience isn't on those social networks. You may need to be creative in how you distribute content to your market.
Look for industry forums or discussion boards where you can participate in conversations in a helpful and non-sales manner. Look for industry blogs where you can guest post. Also, don't forget that traditional forms of media can also be "inbound." Perhaps you could write an article in a trade magazine that directs readers back to your website.
Bring in experts.
No matter how boring your field may be, there are undoubtedly people who are experts in that field. They have their pulse on your industry and have unique insights to share. Ask them to consider writing a guest article for your blog. They might bring a new and helpful perspective.
As an added bonus, they could also promote their guest post to their audience, which may pull in new readers and prospects to your blog. You may need to compensate the bloggers for their contribution, but if they have a large audience, that compensation is likely to be a worthwhile investment.
Inbound has shown time and again that it works for businesses in a variety of industries. Think about what your audience really wants to read and what they'll find helpful, then target your content to match their goals. Stick to a consistent content schedule and promote your content to your audiences to be most successful.