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Switching to inbound: It's not about you, It's about finding a solution

Posted by David O'Sullivan

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You are ready to advance your business and marketing using newer inbound techniques? You want to leverage content, blogging, and SEO to drive more leads to your site. There’s only one problem. Your business isn’t exciting and sexy like start up technologies or the latest kickstarter project. You feel that no one will want to read about your type of company on your new blog and social media. You are wondering if marketing for boring industries really works. You just need to remember who you are writing for. You aren’t writing just to market what you sell or service. You are writing to make connections to potential customers by giving them something they want.

You really won’t be marketing for boring industries, because every industry is interesting when you need its product, service or solution. It just means that your visitors don’t want to read about what you sell every time they visit. There is only so much you can write about any product or service, no matter how fascinating it is. You need to think about what makes an ideal client for your business. Then think of all the things that might interest someone who fits that specific profile. The very best way to get people coming to your site, and sending links to their friends, is to find problems they might encounter and provide a solution.

Don’t think you have any ideas ready to offer solutions for? What have people asked you during your sales processes previously? What was the reasoning for using your product or service? What problem did using you solve for them?. Take these and document them as blog posts or how-to guides. If one person had the issue, many other also will.

Ask people in service or support in your industry what questions they get. Visit some sites that specialize in offering advice and solutions like LinkedIn Answers and see what people in similar industries are finding as pain points.
Check out some of your industry forums and see what types of questions people are asking. Maybe it is something you really know a great solution for. If not, check out the answers that others have given and share that information on your sites. Link to the originator of the advice and show that you really want to help your visitors find solutions, no matter if they need to visit another site to get more information. Your visitors will grow to trust you as a source of solutions, not just a site to purchase a product or service. If you already answered a similar question, be sure to link to your own blog for that question.

Marketing for niche industries, perhaps like yours, should include the use of long tail keywords to optimize your SEO. Often those long tail keywords are in the form of a question. If you have a flooring sales site, use something like “How do I remove wine stains from hardwood floors.” People always need solutions whether it is for work, for home, or even interesting places to visit. Find things to offer solutions for that will cover a wide range problems.

Can you offer something that people will be glad to share with friends? Maybe you can create or provide templates, e-books on “how-to”, or even apps. Do some research to see what kinds of things highly successful blogs offer in terms of solutions and offer something similar. Remember, you are marketing to assure that when that ideal client really needs your product or service, yours is the first site they think of.

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