Getting publishers and influencers to link to or promote your content can be tricky. And we know we need to create unique, quality content that adds genuine value but that's easier said than done when so much content comes out every single day .
If that isn't a big enough challenge - imagine trying to do all that within an industry that nobody even likes.
So how do we go about marketing ourselves in a hostile digital space? If you're a lawyer, estate agent, insurance salesman, or traffic warden, read on...
Engage Your Audience
You won't be able to counter that negative perception if you stay silent, so get out there and put your case to the people.
The worst thing you can do is give up and not even try.
No matter how they perceive your industry, sooner or later they need its products or services. When that time comes it is vital that they know about you and what you do.
Select the right-match channels. Some are better suited to your industry than others.
E.g., for a business law firm LinkedIn might be the most effective social media platform. Not to say you shouldn't have a presence on other channels but identify early on which channels are most effective.
Conduct your marketing efforts in an ethical way.
If your digital marketing consist of black hat tactics it will have a negative impact on your long term SEO. But it also reflects bad on you as an organisation when you create poorly written, spammy material with little value.
Disassociate yourselves from the likes of cold calling, cold texting or anything your audience would consider a nuisance. You should also be wary of using e-mail marketing unless there has been a clear opt-in by the user.
Remember, if you use unethical marketing practises it makes it all the more difficult to show that you don't deserve a poor reputation.
The vast majority of organisations are full of good people with the best of intentions - but how can you get this message across besides stopping people in the street and shouting it in their face?
My company ran an essay competition giving away a couple of $7500 grants ($9000 CAD) and work experience for students. It has earned us around 20 links from some very high quality domains, got coverage in regional newspapers and the legal press, but more than that, it has helped two young people further their careers. That's a great thing to involve yourself with.
Frankly, campaigns such as this would be worth pursuing for all brands, achieving multiple aims surrounding corporate responsibility, SEO and social media benefits, PR coverage and straightforward job satisfaction.
What Does Your Audience Care About?
If you're operating within an unpopular industry then the truth is people probably aren't that interested in hearing about it. You'll need to find a way of providing all of the information about your services effectively but broaden your scope to wider content marketing efforts.
Because of the nature of the industry I work in, people aren't interested in what we've got to offer until they need it (which is never something they can predict), so in the meantime we need to be reaching them in ways besides advertising messaging.
It's important not to stray too far from areas (loosely) relevant to your industry. The more off-topic you get, the less authority you have to speak on a particular issue. Think about what matters to your target audience and what sort of problems they need to solve. Segmenting that audience into different personality profiles can help a lot with this, as you can then tailor content directly at these personas.
Have a solid idea of what your target market looks like before launching campaigns. Without doing so you can't be sure that your messaging and distribution strategies are effectively optimised to reach the people that matter. Check out this article by Annmarie Hanlon on the Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) model for a comprehensive beginners guide.
How would you go about marketing a brand within an unpopular industry? Tell us about your experienced in the comments below.
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