How to create engaging, online content with boring products

Written by Beth Cunniffe: Content manager.
· 4 minute read

Digital marketers dream of working with exciting brands that have extremely marketable products. Why? Because it makes their job so much easier.

When you have an incredibly interesting brand that wants to show off the cool new product they’ve just released, it’s easy to come up with ways to present it to the world. If the product is interesting enough, it will probably just sell itself.

Not only can a great product make a digital marketer’s job easier, it makes it fun too. What marketer doesn’t love creating engaging and original content that people want to share online?

There’s a well of creativity that can be pumped with certain topics such as travel, food or fashion, as there are so many different areas to focus on and angles to take. People want to share new recipes to try, cocktails to make, places to visit, and outfits to wear, with their friends.

So what do you do when you’re faced with a pretty run-of-the-mill product from a boring industry? How do you make sure it does well online?

Hubspot revealed that all viral content falls into at least one of the following categories: awe-inspiring, emotional, positive, or surprising. Provoking one of these reactions with your content means that people are more likely to share it.

Looking at a few examples of brands that are creating content which falls into these categories, it’s easy to see the value in Hubspot’s research. It’s also worth noting that sometimes they don’t mention their products at all.

Awe-inspiring

Rather than trying to constantly promote their energy drinks on Twitter (which would get very old very quickly) Red Bull instead focus on extreme sports.

redbullredbull-2

Extreme sports, from base jumping to motocross, are exhilarating and by combining strong imagery with inspiring calls-to-action, they create content that is more likely to be shared. Of course, it also helps that they are sponsors of an F1 team!

Positive

Dove primarily sell soap, but that’s boring, so they don’t talk about it. What they do talk about online is inner beauty, body positivity and most recently, with their #MyBeautyMySay hashtag, sexist media comments.

dove-2 dove

By focusing on positive, feel-good messages, they’re helping to spread body positivity online, as well as their brand.

 

Surprising

The power of video content should never be underestimated and American hardware brand Lowe’s is a prime example of a brand that utilises video content online. Capitalising on the popularity and immediacy of Vine, Lowe’s have created six-second videos that provide useful information for homeowners in a straightforward yet whimsical way.

Here they are showing you the best way to clean your barbecue grill:

Please accept statistics-cookies to see the above content.

Their “Fix In Six” series is a really creative way to turn pretty dry products, such as hammers, nails and barbecues, into engaging content. In a way, they’ve shifted their brand from strictly home improvement, into an all purpose, lifestyle brand.

It’s also an incredibly clever way to reach a new audience, i.e. millennials, whilst still providing the information needed to retain their existing client base.

 

Emotional

Feminine hygiene brand, Always, opted to evoke an emotional response with their #LikeAGirl campaign. It’s a welcome change from the stereotypical feminine hygiene advert of another woman, confidently mountain climbing despite “mother nature’s” best intentions to keep her from performing feats of physicality.

By challenging gender, (and feminine hygiene product advertising) stereotypes, their content was shared around to highlight the hurt caused by age-old, sexist insults, and the impact it can have on people’s confidence.

As we can see, digital marketers don’t have to be held back by dry industries and dull products. In fact, it’s short-sighted to see any brand or product as boring, because by thinking outside of the box and looking beyond the products on offer, engaging, shareable content can be produced. As Moz explains, “It’s not about focusing on your products. It’s just old-fashioned branding: associate your brand with the right emotion and put it in front of as many relevant people as possible.”

How To Create Engaging Content For Boring Products

How To Create Engaging Content For Boring Products