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When you’re marketing for an industry startup that is thought of as “boring,” you should consider it an opportunity to come up with innovative marketing strategies. While “boring” industries may be more difficult to market for, they also lend themselves well to attention-getting creative campaigns that can quickly build a brand’s image.
But how do you design an effective campaign that gets attention, when the product or service puts people to sleep? We’ve found that compelling marketing strategies for these startups use three simple strategies as the foundation for their success.
Marketing for Boring Industry Startups: Identify a Specific Need
One of the most fundamental marketing concepts is identifying what your customers need. If you are able to present a solution for a problem that has not been addressed by any of your competitors, you will be able to make your customers feel listened to and build brand loyalty.
Researching competitors and finding the shortcomings that are creating gaps in the market is one of the ways successful startups are able to continually improve their marketing strategies.
For example, Gerber Labs was essentially founded with the idea of rolling out a platform that allows electrical engineers students, hobbyists, and small businesses to order and buy small quantities of printed circuit boards (PCB). A demographic that was completely overlooked by the PCB industry.
When you are looking for the needs that have not been appropriately met, they can easily be found by searching for comments and complaints that your target audience has regarding your competition.
When you find what the market is lacking, even if it is a “boring” product or service, lean into planning your marketing campaigns around what sets your startup apart from the competition. The “voice,” tone, aesthetics and imagery will vary depending on your niche and target audience, but startups should aim to keep branding consistent across all platforms.
Take Small Steps and Stick to Your Niche
Although every startup begins with big dreams and a lot of ambition, successful companies typically build an empire one brick at a time. When you are designing a marketing strategy, take each goal and break it down into actionable steps. Trying to implement too many ideas and plans at the same time can lead to mistakes, burn out, and campaigns that underperform.
To make this easier, create an outline of your overall strategy and more aspirational goals. With each large goal, determine what small steps are necessary to accomplish your objective. When you focus fully on one or two tasks on this list, you are able to make sure every detail is correct, and test the results before moving on to the next part of your plan.
Each small change is also a great time to do some A and B testing, so that you can ensure you are continually on the right track. Small changes in imagery, copywriting, and audience selection can make a huge difference in how your marketing strategy performs. Constant monitoring, adaptation, and adjustments keep your startup on the cutting edge of your market.
As your startup grows, you may find that your larger goals begin to shift in a new direction. This is normal, and should be recognized by creating a new plan to accommodate brand development. You will notice that as time goes on, this process becomes a natural progression after each new business expansion.
Provide Valuable, Informative Content
While most websites now feature blogs in order to maximize SEO, many startups largely ignore the importance of the content quality. Providing valuable and informative content to your customers builds trust and establishes your company as a leader in your industry.
By posting easy-to-follow guides, thought-provoking blogs, and educational content relating to your industry, you will not only improve your website’s SEO, you will also provide your customers with the information they are looking for. This makes them more confident in your startup’s capabilities, and leads them to buy your products and services.
As an example, many of Gerber Labs customers would often let us know they had questions regarding the process of ordering and buying printed circuits boards. Based on customer feedback, we updated our blog content to include in-depth articles on popular topics like how to estimate PCB cost, how to buy circuit boards, and what is a printed circuit board. In addition, our team works to respond quickly to customer requests and questions, which lets them know that we are actively working to bring additional value to them.
You can also include creative marketing tactics to get informative content about a “boring” subject noticed, such as incorporating influencer marketing, using humor in your campaigns, or focusing on captivating photos and aesthetics. When your product or service isn’t interesting on its own, making your marketing interesting and attention grabbing is essential.
How to Use these Strategies Together
While these concepts seem straightforward, it’s using them together that creates a cohesive marketing strategy that is effective and compelling. It can be hard for some people to picture how a marketing strategy comes together, so as an example, let’s say you are starting a clothing business. The following is the way the above steps would play out for a new fashion startup:
Identifying What Your Customers Need
While you may have large dreams of creating a clothing empire, you notice that your competitors aren’t addressing the complaints of their customers, who have been requesting a specific type of luxury denim jacket for a long time.
After researching your target market and competitors, you design a jacket with the features people have been asking for. You begin production on the type of jackets people are trying to find, and create a pre-sale campaign.
Staying Within Your Niche and Creating a Plan
As you begin fulfilling orders, you take the large goal of building your clothing empire, and break it down into smaller pieces. You decide to focus solely on producing your popular jean jackets and slowly release new colorways and add a wallet option to your product lineup. As you grow, you plan on releasing accessories and watches to complement your increasingly in-demand signature items.
With your list of goals and tasks, you are able to create a timeline for product development and release, marketing campaigns, and are aware of what is needed on a day-to-day basis. When you get behind on your timeline, you are able to recognize what is causing delays and readjust.
Becoming an Authority in Your Market
Your brand’s website features a fashion blog that keeps consumers informed about upcoming trends and industry news. You post as your brand on multiple social media platforms, both with original content, and cross promoting your website, blog, and other platforms. You partner with influencers to release style guides, helping your customers understand how to recreate trending looks and promoting your products. Fashion enthusiasts begin seeking out your brand and using it as a reference for what will be popular in the near future.
Repeating Key Steps
You notice that consumers are now asking for a certain style of durable backpack. You pivot on your new product designs, and create what your target market is asking for. Rather than releasing multiple items at once, you focus on creating a high-quality design that lives up to your brand’s reputation as an authority in the luxury market. You then promote your new line on your blog and on your social media platforms.
Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy
While these steps may seem straightforward, they can be difficult for new startups to implement. Businesses are trying to stay on top of trends, implement ideas, and operate day-to-day operations. Making the effort to put a lot of time and thought into your marketing strategies. This long-term plan pays off in the long run. It’s important to avoid glossing over the details. Particularly for “boring” markets. Startups need to really get to the heart of what their customers need and care about.