“Sometimes the best part of my job is that the chair swivels”. Dull jokes aside, stepping out of the traditional marketing bubble and into the digital multiverse can be daunting for legacy industries that have little in common with Instagram-ready, shiny consumer brands. But if you are not among the 77% of businesses that have content marketing strategies in place, then you can rest assured that you are missing a sharp arrow from your quiver. Need proof? Here’s the current score on the Super Bowl of marketing.
Let’s admit it, your industry isn’t going to turn suave overnight like one of those typical “Ugly Betty” makeover stories. That may just be the reason why 45% of companies don’t have a solid plan to make the switch from traditional to digital.
But before you dismiss the digital plan altogether, consider this – your industry may not go from Not to Hot in seconds, but your content marketing strategy can. Remove the foggy glasses and brace yourselves for this fun read!
Why you need to embrace creativity in the digital space
With traditional marketing avenues like print or POS, your canvas is limited to catering to a general audience, hoping that the right buyers come along. You have no say in who reads your message in the mass media. But with digital, your broader audience profile can be broken down to the last T. You can specifically target the person who doesn’t find your industry boring!
For industries that are visually demanding or are demonstrable, like heavy industrial equipment manufacturers, trade shows may be the one exception to this general audience rule. People who come to trade shows are there to seek solutions to their problems. But, think about it – an hour-long seminar and miles of back-breaking walks at a trade show or a five-piece blog that a potential lead can go through in digestible chunks spread over a few weeks? What’s more effective? To be sure, the beverages, snacks, and free stay on offer are far more appealing than a reading assignment. But you can’t hold trade shows throughout the year, and your client won’t need you exactly when a trade show is organized.
As a result, it’s important to think of your digital marketing strategy as an evolving canvas that helps you keep a constant tab on highly motivated leads. Conversions don’t come with just one copy – you need to churn out content regularly so that your leads find you appealing when they’re ready to drop the cheque.
Of course, there’s gravitas in asking how effective text-matter marketing tools like blogs are. To answer that question, take a look at this heat map that shows how people spend time on a web page.
Those who engaged spent quite a lot of time with the body of the content. But you won’t get that attention, or even just the initial scroll unless your copy is creative enough to satiate the curiosity. All you have is 15 seconds to make an impact. Digital is not just fast-paced, but also brutally honest when it comes to content.
Busting some myths about creativity
Myth #1 – Nothing is interesting about my industry.
Assume that you’re buying a brand new phone – an expensive one with all the latest technology. You get your hands on your one true love. You carefully and meticulously open the box, hold it in your hand, and your heart skips a beat! There’s no screen guard! What if something happens to her? So you go check phone insurance plans, and you read all about claims, covers, policies, blah blah. The moral of the story? By no means is insurance interesting, but it is important. Indeed, the beauty of your blog lies in the eyes of the readers-to-be. Creating content that aims to solve problems is the key to the creativity conundrum.
Here’s a content marketing example of a pulse-pounding phone insurance ad at the very place where your phone can get stolen.
Myth #2 – B2B is inherently boring.
Comparing B2B with B2C marketing is like comparing apples with oranges. While B2C is targeted at 3-5 audience profiles, most B2B marketing projects have very niche audiences and cater to a select few. As a result, the entire approach for B2B becomes intertwined with your brand story.
Here we have the pit stops that a buyer takes before a successful sale. The vendor website, analyses, and trusted third-party sites with a high reputation for accuracy are where most purchase decisions get made with B2B. On the other hand, B2C marketing relies heavily on social postings. As a result, the creative aspects of B2C marketing are just simply more visible. There’s plenty of creative B2B content out there, but it simply doesn’t get viral because the numbers are low and the content avenues aren’t optimized for sharing.
Content marketing done right
Here’s what you can learn from these four ‘dull’ industries
- Finance | CRED
When the world is hell-bent on grab-and-go coupon codes, CRED has to go that extra mile of going after credit card users for assuring savings. The company’s bold, to-the-point creatives, along with barely-there content on their site, appeal to the same set of millennials who simply want to “install a plugin” to get huge savings while they shop online. But what makes CRED successful despite the extra steps to register? It understands that financial literacy is poor among its target demographic. Hence, it offers to-the-point solutions with its copies.
The clear, concise text immediately showcases benefits. Not to mention a prominent CTA and a visible blog section for those who want to know more about CRED.
The blog section is all about the credit card club, with several articles sprinkled with fun quizzes and surveys. With CRED, consistent write-ups on financial literacy have won the hearts of millennials who are just about to see the fruits of their labor and are at the early stages of their financial journeys.
- Telecom | Mint Mobile
We are straying from the norm here by making use of Hollywood Glam with Ryan Reynolds-backed Mint Mobile, but it takes more than just a pretty face to make “data” appealing, right?
Mint’s blog section makes full use of catchy titles like “Hacks to do … “ or “How to get data for free”. Note that the author is always the quirky character, “Mint Fox”. Mint Fox also makes frequent appearances on their YouTube channel and other video-friendly social media channels for quick explainers.
- Manufacturing | Canon
It would be a long journey if you want to look for words more boring than “office supplies”. “The printer is jammed” probably comes close though.
Canon’s very professional website makes a clear demarcation between its business and consumer pages, for their home printers (B2C) and office supplies (B2B) channels.
What’s interesting is that they use their LinkedIn page to appeal to both markets. How? They simply address common areas where printers might come in handy. In the above example, you would want posters for that apartment get-together or the office party. The post also captures attention by providing solutions to a common problem, i.e. designing the poster.
- Healthcare | General Electric
Omnipresent behemoth GE has carved itself a name in the B2B marketing sphere, thanks to its compelling, visually appealing content revolving around the most mundane of industrial sectors.
With these incredibly successful content marketing examples, it’s clear that having the right digital strategy isn’t quite daunting. All you need to do is, just pepper your content!