Write sexy SEO content (for any industry!)
Are you faced with writing content for a “boring” industry?
You don’t need to replicate your competitor’s campaigns. Nor do you have to write page after dull page (resisting the urge to poke your eyes out with every word.)
You just have to think of an unique angle to “sexify” your content!
When I say “sexy,” I don’t mean pictures of well endowed women wearing low-cut shirts and push up bras. You may get some temporary play with that technique, but it will also turn off a certain segment of your audience.
What I mean by sexy is something that grabs your readers’ attention and doesn’t let go. Something that’s unique, viral – and miles away from what your competitors are doing.
Here’s an example:
Blend your way into your users’ hearts
Do a search for “blenders,” and you’ll find all sorts of resources. Buying guides, spec sheets, recipes – everything that you would expect. If you’re a hard-core juicer and foodie like me, you realize early on that conventional blenders won’t cut it anymore. You need a beast of a machine to grind nuts and smooth out the most kale-stuffed smoothie.
Vitamix is a premium brand well-known for their powerful blenders. Their home page is pretty standard:
Is Vitamix’s approach “wrong” or “bad” – no. But is the content inspiring? Meh. It’s cool, but not so cool that you want to run out and see one in action right now.
In short, it doesn’t inspire you to change.
Compare this to Blendtec’s “will it blend” campaign:
Got an iPad? You can blend it. Got superglue? You can blend it. It kind of makes you want to grab a new Blendtec blender and start grinding things up, doesn’t it?
Now that’s sexy.
Look at your man…now back to me
Another example is the fantastic Old Spice ads. Aftershave commercials are typically pretty formulaic – man uses aftershave, hot women flock. And of course, these ads were typically targeted to men.
Old Spice did things dramatically differently. Yes, it’s a product for men – but certainly, the ad campaign was made for a woman (but done in a way that even men can appreciate it!).
(I still laugh every time I hear, “I’m on a horse.” The ad campaign may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie.)
Did this campaign work? Heck, yeah. Sales increased over 107 percent from June to July, 2010. Obviously, people changed their behavior and started buying Old Spice – even if a lot of men previously thought that Old Spice was what “their dad used to wear.”
Could you use a shirtless male model to sell pipe fitters? Probably not. But what the Old Spice and Blendtec example shows us is – you can do things differently. You can shake it up. And yes, your target audience will reward you for it.
It just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking.
What about you? What are your favorite “sexy” sites for boring industries?
Do you want inspiring content for your site? Yes! My team can write pages for you – or I can personally train your team. Contact me for details.
You have some great ideas. I’ve had experience myself trying to write for a ‘boring’ industry and attempting to make it attention grabbing. Thanks for the post.
Thanks, @Ashley! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! :)
A company that repairs doors only for commercial businesses.
A company that provides portable A/C and heating units for commercial use only.
(these are actual clients, btw)
@Brian – try interviewing the client (if you haven’t already) and listen to the stories they tell. Chances are, you’ll be able to pull their unique benefits (and some pretty cool ideas) from the interview.
Thank you SO much for this.
It’s come at a really good time as I’ve got a number of articles to write about a particularly dry subject at the moment. I need to do some creative thinking about how to tackle them…
I hear you, Brian! I’ve been writing about roofing products and building materials for over a decade.
I once compared underlayment for buildings to underwear for people and said something like, “Unless you’re Madonna, no one will ever see your underwear. But buildings need underwear for the same reasons you do…” The words got attention but, more importantly, the analogy worked well for the product. Good luck!
Couldn’t agree more, Heather. They say the essence of comedy [apart from timing!] is the juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated ideas that gets us laughing.
On that note, and in that spirit…
“A company that repairs doors only for commercial businesses.” Hmmm, two ideas spring to mind [just in the first 5 seconds, so I’m sure there are better ones out there]:
1. A bouncer, only admitting commercial clients
2. Monsters Inc style theme [you know, the doors they went through?]
Anyhoo, like I said, that’s just in the first few seconds…
As for the commercial A/C and heating units, I immediately thought of this scene from Good Morning, Vietnam:
Funnily enough, I was ‘chatting’ on Facebook a year or two ago with an Australia who is in the A/C business. He [like the boring Lt in Good Morning, Vietnam] thought he was funny. Trust me, he wasn’t.
I told him if he wanted to really get funny, he could go wild on Facebook, with all kinds of jokes about being too hot or too cold. He sort of took the bait, but barely. [And you can’t do this stuff well if you only dip your toe in the water timidly.]
Hope that helps!
And as for those goofy ideas, sometimes, it’s actually very useful, I find, to exaggerate to illustrate.
The point is to get your client’s prospects to make a highly memorable connection between their commercial [i.e. serious] requirements and your client’s industrial strength solutions.
If I was in the need for a serious A/C solution, I’d want to know it would stand up to a beating, in severe conditions.
Remember the gorilla jumping up and down on the Samsonite luggage?
[And decades ago, Timex ran TV ads for years, depicting Timex watches in extreme scenarios, e.g. strapped to the ankle of an elephant wading through mud, only to keep running smoothly. The tagline was: “Timex: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”]
LOVE your ideas, @Matthew! Thank you! :)
Great article Heather. Personally I really struggle with lawyers. Every time I do a briefing meeting I ask them what makes them unique or why clients should choose them over their competitors, and I always get the same old answers – “We really listen to our clients (no, we *really* do!)”, “we tailor solutions to your needs”… ugh! “We’re the best” – OMG seriously…
What’s your approach when you really can’t get your client to pin down any sort of USP?
@Helen – the best approach is to keep digging. I’ve gone as far as cutting people off and saying – “That’s not an USP” and showing them competitor sites that say the same thing (sound familiar?) :) If you can do this in a funny, lighthearted way, the client usually gets it. Not always. But usually. And then a deeper conversation can take place.
You can ask them to talk about the cases that have really stood out for them personally. What were the specifics? How did they help? What makes that particular case stand out? When you can get the client to go off autopilot and start telling stories, you can often tease out some wonderful information. You just have to get them past “soundbite speech.”
I hope this helps! :)