Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How to Create Great Social Media Content in a “Boring” Industry

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Do you work in an industry that others might consider a little boring? After all, sometimes what we find riveting might not exactly translate well to video, graphic design, or written content? If you’re stuck wondering how to create content for a “boring industry” then read on to find ideas to create content that captures attention and brings energy to your field.

At my agency Contentworks Agency we’ve had clients say to us, “We love the social media content from Ryanair, Nike, or Taco Bell. Just do something like that.” That’s all well and good, but those are fun industries. Who doesn’t want to eat Taco Bell while wearing the latest Nikes and hopping on a plane to somewhere exotic? Plus, those brands have whopping great big budgets and entirely different legal and compliance rules.

So how can you create great social media content in a boring industry? *SPOILER ALERT* You can, and we’re also going to define boring industries so buckle up!

Define “Boring”

Working predominantly with finance brands, we don’t think finance is boring. But most people disagree. I asked Quora for some boring industries, and it gave me:

  • Accounting
  • Insurance
  • Waste management
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics.
boring industries

“Boring industries” according to Quora

But why are these industries perceived as boring? There are a few factors at play.

Service-based industries

When we think of “fun” social media accounts, they are usually product based. Marketing service-based businesses can be a challenge because there isn’t always a tangible product. Is it exciting to watch someone cranking numbers at a desk? Or putting together a plan? How do you show an email service or a marketing agency? More on that later!

Lack of innovation

Some industries don’t really evolve or innovate, which can contribute to a lack of excitement. For example, if you sell pencils, those pencils are always pretty much going to look like pencils, with some minor changes (mechanical pencils, color of pencils, etc.) but no one’s inventing a brand-new pencil.

Yahoo Finance talks about the least innovative industries and includes Burch Bottle & Packaging, Inc. This is one of the oldest packaging products companies in the United States. It also mentions Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU) which was established in 1883.

Burch Bottle & Packaging does have social media accounts like this one on Pinterest. But are they maximizing their presence there? You decide.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Does this Pinterest board make Burch Bottle & Packaging look boring?

Complex regulations

Industries that are heavily regulated, like finance or healthcare, often require strict adherence to compliance and legal rules. When you worry about potential lawsuits, breaking regulations, and facing penalties, you may always want to play it “safe.” This can stifle creativity, slow down approvals, and result in very boring creatives.

The problem is often that decision makers in the company don’t understand how to be creative within the framework of their regulatory structure. That results in managers pushing back on anything deemed dangerous. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s a social media post we created as part of our index series. Making the financial markets relevant, visually appealing and timely, makes the topic much more interesting.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Example of creating content for a “boring” industry

The Visuals

Some industries lend themselves to amazing visuals don’t they? Would you rather look at an Instagram feed filled with tasty donuts  or an Instagram feed full of computer chips? Let’s play that game again: What’s more fun to look at it: off-road SUVs exploring exotic locations or pictures of stock market charts?

Check out the color pops at @drdoughdonuts. You probably won’t be seeing this many colors in a pic of computer chips.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Too complex

Often, we switch off when something is too complicated. (I know I do.) But that doesn’t mean the industry or product is boring. It just means it hasn’t been presented quite right.

Example: We just marked Pi day on March 14. Pi is the number of times a circle’s diameter will fit around a circle’s circumference. Boring right? Nothing to do with anything? But what about if it looked like a pizza? This World of Engineering tweet went viral and the pizza pi formula example has been used by many brands on Pi day. With Agorapulse, you can schedule your content ahead of time, so you never miss a trending day!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Create Great Social Media Content for Your Boring Industry!

Let’s circle back, and look at some “boring” industries that created killer content for their social media pages. Then let’s “steal” some style points to squirrel away for our own boring industries!

1. Show products in real-world scenarios

Earlier I said that computer chips are boring. That’s because they are for the most part:

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

But wait, Nvidia’s Instagram isn’t boring at all! It’s packed full of colorful photos of the Nvidia team, the products in action, and videos showing how Nvidia can power incredible character animation (wait, he’s not real?) Showing products in real-world scenarios including how they benefit people’s lives will instantly transform a feed from boring to intriguing.

example of fun content for a boring industryexample of fun content for a boring industry

Pro Tip: If you look at products as an item, they’re usually boring. A hairbrush, a pan, a bag of cat litter. But add some story and visuals to the product, and it becomes interesting. Beautiful shiny hair being brushed, tasty Italian food sizzling in the pan and a cat. Even cat litter content can be fun just like @skooncatlitter!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

2.  Be humorous and useful

Earlier we talked about how it can be a challenge for service-based brands to pick up traction on social media. If that’s you then enjoy some inspiration from Mailchimp, a service-based email software provider. Mailchimp uses humor, real world office situations, client stories, funny team pics, and memes to promote its services and liven up an otherwise boring brand.

But, of course, it isn’t all about cracking jokes and being funny. Because that won’t impress decision makers enough to part with their closely guarded budget. Case studies are an excellent way to promote your service-based brand, and that’s something Mailchimp does well.

Showing images of real customers, and a link to read their story is a great way to snare ROI. For more complex products, it’s better to include a shorter caption that links to a long blog or whitepaper for those who want to read more. And those interested in investing in more complex products and services will certainly want to read more!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Mailchimp also fully utilizes trending days like St Patrick’s Day to show their customers how they can strike gold with the luck of the Irish! Keep an eye not only on trending days for your industry, but also on days that could be applied to your business. (You can use Agorapulse’s Social Trends to see what everyone is talking about on the most popular social media platforms.)

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Example of fun content for social

Like #InternationalHappinessDay surely works for anything to do with food, right?

Pro Tip: Monitor your social media content with Agorapulse. In your dashboard you can easily pull engaging reports which will show you what content (and which channels) are performing the best. You can also add your competitors and benchmark your Facebook performance against them.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Keep track of what everyone’s discussing via Agorapulse

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3. Align your boring brand with “fun” brands

A great way to make your boring product interesting is by associating it with something that is interesting, cute, funny, or lovable. We see this a lot in the finance sector where brands will sponsor football clubs or Formula 1 teams. Suddenly, your logo is whizzing round the track at 200 mph, and yes, we’re watching!

For example, Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology company. It’s a bit dull until you see them aligned with Red Bull and F1 racing!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Oracle’s far more exciting with some Red Bull added to the mix

This can make your brand memorable, but it comes at a cost. F1 sponsorship costs between $1 million to $50 million per year.

So, what else can you do? Other brands choose to associate themselves with a cute or funny mascot. An example is Aflac Insurance whose entire social media is based around a duck!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Yes, it’s insurance … but with a cute, fuzzy duck

Of course, there are serious products, real people and actual support behind the duck. But its presence makes insurance softer, more entertaining, and even more approachable. Compliance still applies, but the duck allows the brand to have a lot more fun than it would otherwise.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Another brand that does this is Charmin toilet paper. How does a toilet paper brand get 33K Instagram followers? By using potty humor and some cheeky cartoon bears, of course! Even the caption “photo dump” has a double meaning!

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Using a brand mascot makes it easier to talk about complex, boring … or even gross things.

If people don’t stop scrolling, how will they engage with your products or services?

Here are a few tips to try if your products are on the boring end of the spectrum!

Use motion

Whether it’s TikTok (video thumbnails), Facebook or Instagram, animating your post can stop the scroll. In TikTok, you can easily do this by simply selecting animated thumbnail and then choosing a style.

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Make your company human

We’re all reaching burn out point with AI images and AI content. It sounds like a robot wrote … oh wait. And if you’re in a boring industry, the last thing you want to do is create boring content! 90% of people prefer to get customer service from a human rather than a chatbot according to SurveyMonkey.

Furthermore, 72% of people over 65 had deeply negative feelings about seeing AI content. So, make your posts human. Include photos of your team, customers, the friendly coffeeshop next to your office, and the people who make your products. And keep your captions human, too.

If you’re a social media management agency, check your social media content through an AI detector like GPTZero to make sure. Here’s how that looks:

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Create Great Social Media Content in a Boring IndustryCreate Great Social Media Content in a Boring Industry

Create intrigue

How can you create intrigue in your boring sector? It might sound like a challenge but it’s possible. Here are some examples of a caption that can be accompanied by an intriguing image to stop the scroll and raise engagement:

  • 5 gross things you never knew about….
  • Learn a fun fact about our chief engineer…
  • You’ll never guess what happened when we…
  • Go behind the scenes with us at…
  • Did you know this weird fact about our product…
  • Meet our secret ingredient …

In Conclusion

The above inspiration should get you on your way to create engaging, fun, and educational content, no matter your industry. And remember, with Agorapulse you can schedule, publish, monitor and report on your content so all you need to do is bring your best creativity. Grab a free trial and see all you can do!

How to Create Great Social Media Content in a “Boring” IndustryHow to Create Great Social Media Content in a “Boring” Industry

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