I love working for B2B clients who are improving the health of patients, making drinking water available, and creating composite materials that are stronger and lighter. When I share what I’m doing with friends, however, sometimes their eyes glaze over in spite of my passion. B2B just doesn’t excite people the way B2C does. Personal electronics, developing mobile apps or organizing cultural events seem to get more attention, and occur as sexier compared to industrial equipment. Go figure.
There are lots of opportunities for B2B companies, however, to gain media coverage and develop content marketing that attracts attention. It takes a bit of different approach than B2C but it’s definitely possible.
Here are four strategies and tactics to develop content marketing and generate media coverage for so-called “boring” industries.
Find the enthusiasts
Even if you think that your industry doesn’t have wide appeal, there is a definite audience for what you’re doing. In fact, it might be easier to target this audience because it the market appeal is very clear. While everyone needs to buy clothes, not everyone is going to buy monitoring equipment used in hospitals. Those who work in hospitals, however, will take an interest.
Find the enthusiasts. They are out there.
The commercial real estate industry, for example, is huge and there are many trade magazines covering this sector. If you were to develop an article about some expertise you have within commercial real estate, then it’s quite possible to pitch the article of one of these trade magazine and have it published.
Get involved with LinkedIn groups.
For content marketing, there are LinkedIn groups for just about any industry. In many cases, there are several of them in any particular sector. If you post your own content or just curate interesting content within your industry, you can start to generate discussion and attention for your company. Don’t hesitate to Like or join other discussions within groups as well.
Do it a bit differently
You could take on discussing or posting content that gives straight up advice or insight into your industry but if take just a slightly different tact, it can lead to great results. Instead of just talking about your product or service and how it works, for example, just take a slightly different angle.
I had once had a client that made boxes. Yawn, said my friends. Who cares? Here’s the thing – they had been in business for 10 years and they were doing an open house. The mayor was invited (and attended) and the company was valued in the community for creating jobs. It was a great “feel good story” opportunity to invite packaging trade magazines and local media. Instead of talking about how boxes are made, for example, we took a slightly different angle and were able to achieve media coverage.
Connect to what’s happening in the news
Taking what your company is doing and connect it to what’s happening in the news can go far in capturing people’s attention. I have a client that makes products that repair drinking water pipes. An ongoing story in the US is how America’s water infrastructure is falling apart. Many pipes are very old and need to be replaced or fixed. By connecting to this broader issue, we’ve been able to generate media coverage because their product is part of the solution to the problem. My clients’ offering becomes part of a story within bigger context and wider implications nationally.