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10 Marketing Tips for “Boring” Brands

10 Marketing Tips for “Boring” Brands

Here’s the truth: there is no such thing as a boring brand. Really. 

But, we’ll be honest, there are dull and ineffective marketing strategies that can drag down a brand in ways that make it virtually impossible to reignite their potential

The following are 10 practical tips to propel any brand, from under the radar to flashy and fresh, into an engaging, exciting and decidedly potent contender.

  1. Educate

Brands are catching on that it’s better to teach consumers rather than sell to them. 

When you educate customers about your products and services, you put them at the center of your marketing. This helps build trust and fosters brand loyalty. Informative content also indicates a certain level of expertise, and can help position you as a thought leader. 

Mint is an online service that allows users to manage all their finances in one place. Mint’s blog not only offers tips and tricks regarding their platform but also explores personal finance at large. Posts range from financial stats for 2020 to “Navigating the She-Cession: The Intersectionality of Economic Uncertainty.” 

Mint excels at offering a variety of information with focus and fresh insight.  

  1. Make it human

Today’s consumer wants to see the faces behind the brand. Why? Because a human brand is a trustworthy brand. 

In 2016, Paypal made it their mission to combat their reputation of being a faceless entity. Their tactic: highlighting real consumers on their Instagram feed. 

By humanizing their brand, Paypal increased its social media engagement by 327 percent

It’s never too late to transform your brand’s image. 

  1. Use humor

Humor is one of the most effective ways to boost your marketing content. As Deep Patel notes in Entrepreneur, “humor isn’t a one size fits all type of thing… The [brands] that get it right usually know their audience very well, and they know how to come across as funny, quirky, strange or cute rather than weird, inauthentic or gimmicky.” 

The mattress company Casper is known for their hilarious Twitter presence. From alarm clock woes to recommended reading for insomniacs, Casper’s well of creativity seems endless. Buzzfeed has highlighted their tweets multiple times in pieces such as “32 Tweets About Sleep That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud” and “28 Tweets about Dieting That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud.” 

Casper’s humorous presence has also caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Funny is money in the attention economy! 

  1. Make bold choices

Even if you aren’t selling the most innovative product on the market, your social media can still stand out among the crowd. Take, for example, Blendtec

The “Will it Blend?” series is a perfect example of how an ordinary product can lend itself to extraordinary content. Since 2006, this viral marketing campaign features Blentec’s founder, Tom Dickson, blending various items in his company’s blenders. Blended items have included the Amazon Echo, the iPhone X, glow sticks, and even Justin Bieber merchandise. At the end of each video, viewers can suggest things Dickson should blend next.

 

As of 2020, Blendtec still has 868K subscribers on YouTube. Bold choices are timeless. 

  1. Be engaged and show gratitude 

One of the best examples of an appreciative brand is Wikipedia. The site relies on donors to stay online. Instead of merely accepting donations, the brand takes the time to thank their supporters on Twitter. 

This is a simple yet successful way for your brand to be distinctive online. 

  1. Highlight your company culture

Showcasing one’s company culture is another way of helping customers put a face to the brand. 

At Zen, we do #ZENFAMILYFRIDAY. Every week, we dedicate a post to one of our incredible employees, sharing fun facts and interests outside the office. 

A company’s culture is a direct reflection of a company’s values. Show your clients what you truly believe in. 

  1. Host giveaways and contests

Everyone loves a social media giveaway or contest. Competitions don’t have to be complicated, either: the simple “like and/or comment to win” method is always effective. What kind of giveaways and contests could your brand do?

  1. Go Live

There’s something unique and exciting about going live. And the great news is any brand can use social media live streaming; advanced equipment is in no way a requirement. 

Going live is a great way to show consumers your authentic and energetic side. It also provides instant feedback, instant engagement, and instant communication with your fans in real-time.  

Go behind the scenes or host a q&a. The possibilities are truly endless. 

  1. Be visual 

Visuals are crucial to making an impression. Consider the fact that 90% of the information our brain processes is, in fact, visual. In terms of social media marketing, Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without. 

Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company. The company’s social media manager, Davina Rapaport, explains their success on social media:

“I think the first stage of Maersk Line success has centered around the fact that a ‘boring’ B2B shipping company like Maersk Line had taken that step in what is traditionally a very unseen industry. The fact that we’ve got such a highly engaged audience and network has traditionally been the source of our success.”

Rapaport notes visual posts greatly help increase the company’s social media engagement. She cites Maersk’s seafarers as “a strong source of content” as well as “shots submitted by … fans and ‘ship spotters’ around the world.” Rapaport claims, “We love hearing from our fans and often repost their shots. It’s great for Maersk Line in terms of engagement, and our fans love getting featured on our social media channel. So I think it’s actually a win, win, win, win situation for everyone involved.”

Here is a Maersk post from August 21st, 2020:  

  1.  Be helpful 

How do your products and services make customers’ lives easier? Today’s consumer appreciates relevant and useful content. Similar to educational content, constructive content benefits users and puts your brand in a positive light. Create content that reflects the root of your usefulness. 

Bonus Tip: Engage your audience

Everyone likes to be included. Make it easy for customers to engage with you. Solicit ideas and suggestions through your web site, and make a point of replying to every communication, even if it’s just to say thanks.

Social media offers myriad opportunities for constructive engagement. An effective strategy for Instagram posts is to ask a question in the caption and request that followers reply in the comments. People enjoy reading other people’s ideas, and the more comments your posts have, the better you will do in Instagram’s algorithm. Don’t forget to reply to every comment! Your followers will appreciate it more than you imagine.

Every brand can ignite the consumer by engaging in a curated, creative, and consciously focused marketing strategy that leaves no room for boredom. There truly is no such thing as a boring brand—just the missteps of a lackluster marketing plan. Use these techniques to banish the bore, cultivate the curious, and celebrate a surefire success.

ABOUT SHAMA HYDER

She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row. Learn More

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