Coming up with ideas for engaging content and link building is easy when your clients deal in interesting goods and services. However, when it comes to a brand that is considered “boring,” at least as far as creative positioning is concerned, it’s much more difficult to break into the world of content marketing. For instance, it’s more than just a little bothersome creating eye-catching and engaging social content for an industrial parts manufacturer.
There are a few ways to deal with this problem, and if they are implemented properly they will really help your clients stand out. Wondering what some those methods are? Read on to discover ten ways that you can build links for boring clients.
1. Make Associations
Sadly, just like high school, if you want to be popular, you have to hang out with the popular crowd. When it comes to generating buzz and interest with your client’s content, the best thing to do is to participate in current trends. When you deliver something that already has value to consumers, you’re more likely to see an increase in exposure. Essentially, you’re riding the coattails of the trend, reaching out to a wider audience in the process.
Find a way to pair your boring client – or their products and services – with a popular trend or meme that has mass appeal. A great example of this is how Empire CAT, a construction equipment company, took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. You’ll notice that they used one of their own products – a CAT 770 Off-Highway Truck to be exact – to dump the water, while participating in an extremely popular event. By posting this content across several channels, including their social accounts, it generated interest in their brand. The best part is that it’s not boring content at all!
2. Participate in Contests and Events
Let’s say your “boring” client benefits from an elegant and sleek website design. You can take that aspect – the fact that they have an awesome website – and use it to your advantage. Submit the company’s URL to a website design award site, such as Awwwards. It will drive fresh traffic to their site, therefore opening up their brand to a much wider audience.
3. Find Relevant Brands to Link to Your Content
Unless your client’s company is brand new, there’s a pretty big chance someone somewhere has mentioned them on the internet. It may have been on a social network, a blog or even in a forum comment. You can reach out to these sources and see if they are willing to provide a more link to your client. There’s no harm done, since the contact in question has already mentioned your client’s brand. You can even use tools like Google Alerts or linkbird to discover and track new mentions as they happen.
Alternatively, this could apply to local community contacts that might be interested in linking to your client’s brand. Those contacts could include the local chamber of commerce, a paper or news provider, other businesses and more.
4. Write Testimonials
One of the best ways to create cross-chatter and produce natural links is to share the spotlight. By writing testimonials, reviews or even just promoting other brands in your own content, they will happily link back to it, in turn driving up interest in your client’s brand. This type of networking is an excellent way to not only grow your audience but also build valuable partnerships with other brands.
5. Relate Your Client’s Brand to a More Widely Accepted Subject
This will make it more interesting to the average consumer. Keep in mind, this is not the same as jumping on board with an already popular trend or topic. In this case, we’re just taking the content and making it more colorful to increase a client’s accessibility. To offer a great example, if you take a look at Katherman, Briggs & Greenberg personal injury law firm, you’ll see that they created an infographic about sports injuries. Personal injuries or injury lawyers are boring topics all by their lonesome, but by adding the information about sports injuries, the firm has made their content much more interesting, and it will appeal to a wider audience.
6. Find a Trades Media Community that Fits Your Client’s Brand
Even if your client offers super niche goods and services, there is a community somewhere that is willing to talk about it. It seems silly, but there are blogs and curated news sites for absolutely every topic under the sun. Trust me, if you can find communities dedicated to compound semiconductors or cabinet making, then you can find a trades media channel for your clients products and services as well. It’s just going to take some digging.
When you find a relevant media channel, do what you can to collaborate with them. Find out what it will take to get them writing reviews of your client’s products – or at the very least talking about new ones.
7. Discover a Story about Your Client’s Product
This strategy is especially useful for parts manufacturers. The goal here is to find the end result, as in where those parts or where that product ends up. For example, brands like Intel and Duracell use marketing techniques to show consumers where their products are used. By default, batteries and computer processors are pretty boring. However, when you learn that they are both used to power advanced medical equipment – which happens to be used daily in hospitals all across the world to save lives – well, let’s just say that’s infinitely more interesting.
The goal here is to create a story about your client’s goods that will resonate with an audience.
8. Piggyback on Current Events
This strategy works best in combination with social channels because of how streamlined social networks are. If you can cover a relevant news story by adding a fresh and clever twist, tying it back into your client or their products, other channels will gladly use it as a source.
For example, in David Merrman Scott’s book, Newsjacking, he reveals how the Wynn Resorts “newsjacked” a story about Paris Hilton being arrested. They covered the story for their customers with a small aside that Hilton would be barred from their properties. As a result, subsequent stories about the event that were covered by other channels discussed – and linked back to – Wynn Resorts. In the long run, it led to the brand gaining plenty of traffic and exposure.
9. Get Your Client Involved
This strategy is remarkably simple, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. To build links, you need to get your client more involved with the community. This can be anything from volunteering community service hours, helping or donating at charity benefits or just offering advice to local residents. If you really want to make an impact, you can document and film the activities and then share them on a company blog or social profile.
It’s also a great idea to create a campaign behind your client’s involvement. An example of this is Cisco’s “How Do You Give Back,” campaign. Audiences are encouraged to share how they give back to their local community, and for each comment, Cisco donates four meals to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
10. Create Great Content
It seems a little ridiculous at first stating this as a strategy in a piece about creating engaging content. That said, one of the best ways to build links to your client is to deliver great content that people want to link to. A steady flow of interesting, informative and useful information will keep audiences visiting your client’s channels. It can be something as simple as providing imagery of your client’s products in the wild via a network like Instagram. Or, you can do something more advanced, like creating how-tos, tutorials and DIY guides for consumers.
If you’re stuck, or you’re having a hard time coming up with some ideas, take a look at your client’s competition. Better yet, poke around at other brands and look at their content for inspiration.
Let’s get this straight, even though we’re talking about link building – it relates directly to the content you are producing. If you do it right, there is no such thing as a “boring” client or product in the world of content marketing. It might take a little longer to come up with some great ideas, but it can be done and that’s the point.
Don’t confine yourself to just the strategies discussed here either. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of different ways to deliver engaging content and build up those links for your clients. All it takes is a little ingenuity and guile.
So, it’s time for you to spill – what creative campaigns have you put together for your “boring” clients? Share your successes in the comments below!