Lee Odden

Marketing Boring Products – It’s Not A “Boring” Problem, It’s a “Knowing Your Customers” Solution

boring product marketingIn the search engine marketing world, effective online marketing comes down to surfacing keyword opportunities that reflect a demand for solutions (products/services). Content about those products is created and optimized to attract search traffic for popular and relevant keywords.

Niche products often suffer from a universe of keywords that have low popularity counts and that creates a challenge. Because in the world of SEO, accountability starts with driving more organic, non-branded search traffic to a company website. If there’s very little demand for the keyword phrases identified, it can be frustrating for all.

A common reaction to that frustration is to accuse the products, company or industry as being “boring”.  But here’s the thing:

Challenges with marketing low popularity products isn’t an issue with the products being boring. It’s a problem with the marketers’ understanding of customers and the problems those product solve.  

If there’s a market for a product that solves a problem, then selling that product, as niche and “boring” as it may be, through SEO, content marketing or social media marketing has to do with better understanding the people and problems relevant to the product.

“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” as the saying goes. What’s important is to understand the product and market well enough to know why a specific audience has value for it, what the end benefits are and the context for how prospects come to need and purchase it.

Here are 5 tips to help find ways to make marketing niche and low demand products more effective:

1. Who has bought the product in the past and why?  Current customers can tell you a lot that’s not revealed in analytics. Survey customers, sales people and customer service reps for the company to identify the company’s perception of their unique selling proposition and the actual reasons customers buy.

2. Segment buyers by common characteristics, pain points, goals and behaviors. Get in the mind of the customer and understand why, how and where they buy.

3. Map the buyer sales cycle from Awareness to Interest to Consideration and Purchase. What kind of content, search keywords and social topics are relevant to guide the buyer through the sales cycle (or better yet, attract them from other companies selling the same thing).

4. Optimize for a quantity of niche. Go horizontal and get creative with a wide variety of variations on keywords.  A keyword with a really low popularity count that is very high on relevancy only needs one sale to be profitable in many cases. Think about that and go wide for every situation there might be for buying the product.

5. Create a cycle of continuous monitoring, measurement and refinement that allows you to adapt and scale successes.

If you can think past keywords and get into the mind of the customer, their problem to be solved and the sales cycle they go through, you can develop an effective content marketing program that leverages search and social media to attract traffic, engage prospects and inspire both sales and social shares.  That’s the Optimized way of online marketing.

What are some of the tactics or situations you’ve solved with “boring” products or services?

 

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. postcodesoftware says:

    Man, my products are the most boring in the world and it is a major problem for me. Thanks for this piece, as it will help me a bit. I have been using

    postcode software
     

    to reach out to new customers in the right way and now I will try to use your tips to hook in more.

  2. I only tried one marketing product yet and i didn’t like it too because all of the are almost the same and honestly they are useful only for primitive users because it seems that no one shares his really excellent ways and we always see repetitive solutions.

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  4. Good point Angie – those who are willing to do things differently or what’s necessary will reap the benefits. 

  5. Ashley, you are describing search engine optimization and here’s a good basics post: http://toprankblog.wpengine.com/2007/10/search-engine-optimization-basics/

  6. This post makes a  great point about focusing your efforts on your niche no matter how small. Even if a key word is unpopular, those that are looking for it and find your product first will be more likely to buy it than those that are sent to your prodduct solely based on a key word tease.

    I worked on a “boring” product once and we made it more exciting by finding new markets and delving into their thought process. The new customers searched for the product in significantly different ways than our more traditional targets. @clarksonkate

  7. I agree 100% with Angie’s comments. Products may be “boring” to one consumer but if they’ve been created in the first place, they’re obviously not “boring” or unnecessary to all consumers. You just have to think outside of the box when it comes to SEO and content strategy – why not try creating some really specialist articles on your site which might attract attention from a niche target audience or try answering some common FAQs? You’d be surprised at how many sites miss this really useful trick! If you can provide useful information to your consumers, not only will you attract traffic but you should also get more brownie points from Google because you’ll be seen as more of an authority in your industry.

    • Agreed Amy. I think one of the most brilliant examples of marketing ‘boring’ products is http://comparethemeerkat.com/ I actually WAIT for new ads, articles, videos, and content. In fact, it’s the only brand I follow everywhere and watch offline as well. They have even done ‘interviews’ with newspapers and magazines.

  8. Wow just heard that Hype International Marketing Agency wins $18 million contract with new gaming coming. Visit http://www.hypeintl.com to learn more about 715 Entertainment. New gaming store to take over Game Stop. 

  9. Becca Seo says:

    thanks for the tips provided here. I believe that we have an action plan in place before making the offer and we should be sure about it.

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  10. I know what I’ve marketed to businesses, I’ll look back at my customer list and categorize my customers by profession (much like your tip #1) and that always has revealed our best target markets. Great article.

  11. Segmenting buyers by common characteristics is a really great strategy. It allows you the ability to better taylor your message. Many people in online marketing never take it to this level!

  12. thanks lee. everytime when i read your posts, i got new ideas.

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  15. I don’t think so that why its sounds like a “boring products”. I am agree with Angie, that how many creative ideas you follow for your products. There is a huge competition in the market, there is a bit tough to standing your position at the top level.