As business people we sometimes envy those marketers who have "sexy" brands to market, brands that appeal to customers on an emotional level. Brands like Harley Davidson and the Parisian Tourism Bureau seem to have it made because their product screams sexy. What about those of us who have decidedly less heart-thumping, albeit needed, products?
How do you get people excited about plumbing, for instance?
Tell Your Story The story behind your product or service is interesting. It's about people and people are always interesting, if you look for it.
What brought you to your business? Who are you? What's the best thing about your team? How do you help others?
Don't talk in marketing superlatives - we are the best - that's simply not interesting. The story is in the why, and the how, and the people who make it so.
Answer Their Questions Even the most mundane of businesses has unknown aspects and curiosities about it. What do potential customers ask you over and over again? Answer them in a blog post, video, or podcast. Become the resource for the product you sell or the service you offer.
You can also create memes or image quotes about little known facts and oddities on your industry. People love interesting statistics and facts.
Be Personable Here's where social media can be your very best tool. Social media allows you to connect with people even when they're not in your store. You can place a friendly face on your industry. Search social media platforms for conversations going on about your product or service. Don't swoop in with a hard sell. Answer their questions in a personable way even if you can't sell directly to them because of geographic location or other hindrance. Become a personable resource and join the conversation.
Help Them Solve Their Own Problems This suggestion may make a few small business owners roll their eyes but it's important to understand that when you help someone, even if it initially takes business away from you, it will benefit you in the long run. The person you help for free today (through content) will view you in a very complimentary light. When they do need help, something more advanced than what your content can solve, you can be assured that they will remember your earlier kindness.
If you're a plumber for instance, you could create an entire line of content based on easy do-it-yourself plumbing fixes. Sure that may mean you won't receive an initial call from them, but if they visit your site and spend time there absorbing your content (and hopefully sharing it), this will notify Google and other search engines that your content is valuable. Plus you've educated your potential customer. Education helps them make an informed decision later on.
If you're a dry cleaner, creating a chart of ways to get out tough stains is sure to be shared and appreciated. Think about problems your customers have and how you can help them solve them. That's one of the ways you create a loyal customer base.
While some products and services are challenged when it comes to turning heads immediately, making your business sexier isn't hard when you think about why your customers need you. Appeal to what's in it for them and you'll win them over every time.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.
She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.