When you think about content marketing, it’s natural to jump straight to the standout examples such as Red Bull and their adrenaline-filled creations, or Secret Escapes and their luxurious retreats in exotic locations. Sadly, not all businesses are modelled on Instagram worthy locations and daredevil sporting heroes. But that doesn’t mean that the seemingly ‘boring’ industries have to shelve the idea of content marketing.
Whilst certain industries are less likely to set pulses racing with their marketing, we’re firm believers that content marketing is a worthwhile investment for the majority of businesses. Granted, not all content marketing is cool and an instant viral success, but it doesn’t always need to be. Let’s face it, some businesses have a less glamorous message than others. That doesn’t mean that those businesses can’t give content marketing a go.
The industry you’re in doesn’t hold you back, your approach to storytelling does. Behind every business, there’s a story to be told. If you’re in a “boring industry”, you can be the one to push the boundaries. And that’s an exciting thought in itself. If all you’re seeing is boring content from within your industry, you can be the one to change it, and that opens up a new world of possibilities.
Not all content is created equally
Admittedly, not every piece of content you create is going to be a rip-roaringly funny piece that brings you thousands of new customers overnight. And that’s okay. There is always going to be a place for ‘boring’ content. For example, if someone needs an answer to a mundane question like how to refinance their home, any content that answers that question instantly becomes highly relevant to that person, so whilst it isn’t necessarily exciting, it’s also not boring to the person who needs it. Whilst this type of content isn’t likely to break the internet in a Kardashian-style manner, it’s still highly shareable as long as it’s educational.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
The key to success lies in your ability to leave traditional thinking behind. Take Tipp-Ex for example. Office stationery was never going to be one of the most exciting of industries, and in recent years, Tipp-Ex has found itself in an increasingly difficult place. With the use of digital devices continuing to rise at an alarming rate, fewer people are writing formal documents by hand, so we imagine the correction fluid has been difficult to sell. Yet, they rose to the challenge and found a way to engage with digital users to show them what the brand is all about.
Back in 2010, Tipp-Ex released an interactive campaign called “A Hunter Shoots a Bear” on YouTube which was both highly original and highly surprising. The hunter seemingly has a moment of morality and decides he doesn’t want to shoot the bear, so instead, he reaches out of the frame and uses a Tipp-Ex whiteout Pocket Mouse to erase the word “shoots” from the title. Viewers are then able to write whatever they want into the whited-out area and can then press play to watch as the hunter does what they say.
Tipp-Ex then created over 40 different endings which saw the hunter do everything from singing to playing football with the bear. There’s even an option which requires a “parental advisory” logo to appear on the screen, but we’ll leave that to your imagination.
In just 10 days, the video got over 6.5 million views in over 200 countries.
Humour goes a long way
By injecting a sense of humour into your brand, your business instantly seems more human. Last year, an online funeral price-comparison service, Beyond, devised a campaign for April Fool’s Day. Let’s face it, writing about death and funeral arrangements can’t be the easiest of jobs, and it’s rare to be seen as the funny guys. But Beyond managed it in a creative way that wasn’t in bad taste. It’s a great example of content marketing in a difficult industry and proves that a lack of creativity is the only thing that holds businesses back, not the industry they’re in.
— Beyond (@BeyondLifeUK) April 1, 2017
Beyond created a microsite about home cremation as a more cost-effective way to say goodbye to loved ones, and with a use of clever copywriting, it seems almost believable. The company also sent a spoof press release to several news outlets along with mocked up photographs, and the rest, as they say, is history. In an interview with Forbes, Beyond admitted that’s they were a little nervous about the April Fools campaign, but the feedback and response was largely positive. Furthermore, the campaign led to 30,000 unique website visits and even led to a UK search award nomination.
In the same interview, Ian Strang, CEO of Beyond, commented, “I think people enjoyed the fact that you could make a joke about the funeral industry. It’s one of those topics that’s still got a bit of a Victorian feel about it, that you shouldn’t be talking about it.” Whilst taking huge risks and putting your brand’s reputation on the line isn’t advisable, something tongue-in-cheek like this campaign works. It creates a buzz about a seemingly humourless industry. Beyond were right to avoid anything offensive or overtly crude, and the end result is a playful and funny campaign which proves that all industries can operate with just a little bit of humour.
If you’re struggling to crack a boring industry, we might be able to help. Why not get in touch to find out more about our services?