It can be hard to market your business at the best of times, but it begins to seem a bigger challenge when your industry is seen as ‘essential’ rather than exciting.
When you have impressive new products like phones, gadgets or ‘hoverboards’ coming out everyday with huge budgets behind them, it can be hard to compete, and make people want what they actually need to buy. So if your not making a product with a fruit logo on it, how do you go about getting people to buy it?
This sounds simple, but can be harder in practice. If you are selling a B2B product for example, you are marketing a business product to another business, and it can be easy to slip into an almost robotic approach. So you can’t forget that you are still marketing to people.
Using real examples can be a great starting point, so potential customers can see how you actually work. Do people make mistakes when using your product? Is it common for people to overcomplicate your service? Do not many people understand the best practice when it comes to your industry? Then talk to them, and use these examples to inspire, educate or for a bit of a giggle, to connect with them on a human level.
Social Media is a great way to do this, but it may take a bit of time to get yourself established. There are so many social networks now it can be hard to choose which would be best. However, it also means you can reach your customers in a variety of ways.
Does your industry need lots of practical advice? Get blogging. Want people to understand your products further? Go visual with Pinterest. Want to do a ‘how to’ video, or show your engineers at work? Start a Youtube channel with factual information, alongside some out-takes when it may not have quite gone to plan.
All of these little snippets of information give your customers an idea of who you are as people, and if you are the type of people they would like to work with. If they want the ins and outs of what you do, they will go to your website or give you a call, but to convince them you’re the ones they want to work with, get posting.
Develop your own voice
Which leads very nicely on to my next point, developing your own voice.
When your in a competitive industry, with a product everyone needs, it can be easy to fall into the same line as everyone else. Copying product descriptions from manufacturers, having the same benefits and features, and marketing to the same group of people.
Make sure you stand out by developing your own voice, which carries through all of your marketing material, your social presence and your team as a whole. Now, tone of voice for your brand is a whole other blog in it’s self (and a conversation we have a lot with clients in the office) but you need to consider: your values, your vocabulary and your humour. Are you slightly sarcastic, or just add in the occasional one liners? Are you appealing to customers who will only accept the Queen’s English, or perhaps a younger generation who may appreciate more down to earth posts? What are your personal values as well as the companies? Let all this shine through on your posts, but make sure you keep this consistent.
Showing your passion for your profession is always a great way to connect with customers. Even with the most boring product in the world, if it sold with someone who clearly has passion in it, you would be more inclined to at least take a second look. As passion is not only contagious, but it shows a belief in what you are doing, it shows your putting all of your energy into it, so it has to worth something.
Make your product real to buyers
Your product is real, you know it’s benefits and features inside out. But how does it actual benefit that person? How is it going to shape their day?
It can be hard to get this across, especially with products people take for granted, or ones people don’t entirely understand how it helps then, just that they should have it.
A method used by a lot of companies now is using a narrative within their marketing or advert. Let’s use Direct Line as an example. Direct Line, in case you don’t know, are an insurance company, and for this example, I’ll be focusing on their car insurance.
Everyone needs car insurance, as it is a legal requirement. There are plenty of providers of this, plenty of choice, and everyone knows that they need it in case of an accident, but it’s not always clear what that actual means for the person. In their latest run of adverts, Harvey Keitel whisks in to help direct line customers who face a series of woes.
The most recent advert is of a hen party who are involved in a bump, thinking their day is ruined, when Keitel pops in to say, because you’re insured with us, your entitled to a hire car, and continue your day. The other party involved in the crash is stuck there, as their insurance does not provide this.
From the advert the customer can visualise that, of course they would have insurance on their car, but f they have Direct Line insurance, they will be well looked after, and your day doesn’t have to end. It will remind those unfortunate enough to have had a bump and be stuck, that actual buying the same ‘product’ from them would mean a totally different outcome to that day.
Their whole advert series involving Keitel show the real time effects and benefits the service has to it’s users, and showcases effectively that their ‘essential’ product stands out from the rest.
Make it visual
Oh the old saying, a picture speaks a thousand words. But it really does, as does video, like we can see in the point above.
In an age where we are content saturated, sometimes we need to use visuals to grab a bit more attention, or to get our message across a bit quicker.
There are a huge amount of examples of visual marketing done well, but I am going to use Tipp Ex to illustrate this particular point.
Now Tipp Ex face a different horizon to when they started business, a situation which many companies find themselves in now. Their product was a particular need when pen and paper were the norm. This was an age before computers became the staple for the majority of offices. So what now?
Tipp Ex went clever with their marketing, and using modern technology and ideas bought themselves into the modern age, as well as engaging with a whole new host of customers. Below, you can see their advert ‘a hunter and a bear’.
Now there we have an advert that shows their brand voice with quite a humorous advert, their product is made real and relevant to potential customers, and it has a very human aspect to it.
Use visuals and video to get your message out there in a way your potential customers may not have considered it before.
Keep it simple
Sometimes the things you need to buy aren’t always the simplest to understand.
Take for example applying for a mortgage. It is something the majority of us will need to go through within our lifetimes, and though it can be an exciting purchase, it is more likely to cause panic than jubilation.
Like with car insurance, It is a market with plenty of choice, but one people don’t know much about. So they stick to the big names they know and that’s it. By keeping it simple, you instantly reassure that potential customer, making them more likely to pop in and enquire.
Remember, no brand is too boring to market, you just have to find what makes it amazing, and share that with others. Use the tips above, do a bit more research into your industry competitors, and get going!
However, if you are struggling to feel inspired, don’t worry! Give us a call, and pop in for a chat. It’s no obligation and might just give you the ideas you need. Or you can read more about branding in our blogs.