THE BLOG
08/08/2016 02:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

6 Amazing Tips to Build a Brand in A Boring Industry

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Image source: PhotoDune

Imagine you're at a party and someone asks you that question "so, what do you do?" Do people's eyes glaze over when you start talking about your industry? If you can't capture someone's attention when they're asking you questions, what hope do you have when they're surfing the net. If you work in a dry industry, it can be tough to communicate the key benefits that differentiate your company from the next. Especially when you work in an industry with abstract services and outputs that can are hard to evaluate. So how do you capture your target market's attention, convert those leads and start growing some real revenue?

1. Content is king.

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The key to a killer conversion is engaging, immersive content. I"ve talked before about the role of content in the age of new media. The key is to involve your reader in your work; they need to see the value that you offer them. The easiest way to penetrate your market is with killer content marketing. Regular updates, with infographics, videos and pictures can help to create a human connection that communicates the value of your spreadsheets, automation.

Let me go through a few simple steps to achieving a real connection to your customers.

The Value of Visualization from Column Five on Vimeo.

2. Engage

You're in a competitive niche; the field is growing, and you know that there is a real market need for your offerings. How do you convert the search volume and website traffic into conversions? How do you keep people from bouncing off your page into the arms of a competitor? You need to understand that 40% of the words on your page are going in one ear and out the other. So it's essential that you know your customers and understand their media consumption.

An excellent example of this is an agency I've been keeping my eye on called MindArc. The landing page has vibrant color, and attractive design and a playful theme. Any visitor understands who they are, what they offer and how they can benefit.

Using a variety of media is the key to keeping your audience's attention. Even highly professional B2B buyers can be distracted online, all it takes is a notification or an attractive link, and they're off - which is why you need to understand where they're looking and what engages them. Are your buyers visiting your website via a searching engine, are they looking at LinkedIn or are they trawling through Facebook? Understand this and you're halfway there. Target people with attractive pictures, with a strong value proposition and a call to action, or offer a clear and concise video and you'll be able to tell your story.

So how do you keep their attention?

3. Educate

So you're an engineer, a legal professional or a finance guru and can't convert your leads? If your industry is highly technical, then there are going to be barriers for customers. Whether it is communicating the work you do, solutions provided or the value you offer, you need to educate your clients. You need to take them through a crash course in what makes you great. Creating a guide to your work is a great way to establish common ground. Embedding a video that offers a tidy explanation of your job is the perfect start. An excellent example of a technical industry that uses content to educate its customers is JW Surety Bonds. Their 90-second introduction to surety bonds achieves what it sets out to with clear language. Reducing any fears in the mind of the client and driving them one step closer to conversion.

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Educational videos are an opportunity to demonstrate expertise, to alleviate any concerns your buyer may have - providing your audience with answers and solutions.

4. Help

The Harvard business school professor Theodore Levitt made the observation that "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!" Which might seem cliché, but it communicates the value of solution selling. You need to show your customer that you have an answer to their problem. Infographics that offer statistics and graphs in an eye-catching and entertaining format will keep people on your page. Here's an example of some of the best infographics of 2015. Regardless of the content, you always finish with the feeling that you learned something. So boost the retention rates on your website and drive people towards your sales team. As you can see here, picture and text lead to greater retention of your message.

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5. Enthusiasm

Want to show the market why you're the best? Show them how invested you are in your industry. Create content with one of your experts talking about why they love what you do. One of the best ways to convince skeptical buyers is with enthusiasm and passion. High quality, colorful photos of your staff in an informative guide can help people to connect with your brand. Customers are attracted to positivity and enthusiasm, so you need to broadcast that. A guide shows you're passionate about your industry and committing the effort to a high-grade visual content strategy will

6. Stay updated

The biggest mistake you can make in online marketing? I see it time and time again. Disused and discarded 'news' pages on company websites. One of the best ways to show that you understand the industry and are in front of the competition is to show your customers that you have your finger on the pulse. Keep your blog content up to date with industry news, any awards or accolades you've received and predictions for the future. Keep it interesting and the information fresh.

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Ultimately, the most important thing in business is ROI. If you're not getting a return on your investment, then you need to improve or get out. How can you make sure your content is driving traffic to your website from social media with visitor retention? Analytics is the key. Data is king in online marketing, and you need to review and evaluate everything you do.  Content Marketing is the best way for firms 'boring' industries to connect with customers. Whether you're a start-up looking to build a brand or a seasoned competitor looking to improve market share, the best way to do this is to connect with customers.

Bottom line:

So if you're trying to build an engaging brand, forget about the constraints of your 'dry' industry. Think about how you're communicating with your customers and how you can better build a relationship with them. If you perform a sophisticated service, draw a clear line between the basics and what outcomes you create. The best way to do this is using color, personality, and a human touch will take you to the next level.