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Unsexy Content Marketing That Works

Unsexy Content Marketing That Works

[By Karen Geier]

Not every brand can have the sex appeal of a Ferrari. We often discuss branding in a way that prioritizes certain aspirational brands over everyday brands, when it’s often the everyday brands that have the bigger revenues and more interesting marketing challenges.

Just like not every brand is sexy, not every type of content marketing is sexy. But when it comes to the ROI on a campaign, effective beats sexy every time.

Some Brands Can’t Run Facebook Contests

Not every brand is going to be able to rely on the most commonly used forms of content marketing to bring the right audience to its company or product. Some brands, like banks, insurance companies, and professional services providers shouldn’t take chances by opening their brands to public participation. That’s not even where their ideal customers live.

Customers of insurance, financial and professional services need hard facts and convincing, unique selling points to help them make decisions. These decisions often affect the customer’s bottom line, after all, and it’s important not to make light of that.

Types of Content You May Not Have Considered

If you think about a trip to the bank to open an account or to apply for a mortgage, you are provided with documentation (brochures and assorted literature) to help you make these decisions. This is content marketing in an offline environment. It may seem old fashioned to print off brochures, but banks still do because those brochures convert to sales for them.

There are modern, shareable content alternatives to a simple brochure. Microsites are an obvious choice for many brands interested in launching a specific product or a diffusion line of products from their services. Microsites exist outside of a brand’s normal content hub, and are meant to deliver targeted, single-topic information to end users. Just because this information may appear dry, it does not mean it isn’t persuasive or shareable. Information delivered in a persuasive way, without forcing a decision on a reader in the moment, can be a very powerful thing.

When planning microsites, it’s important not to look for ways to solicit commentary as much as to arm the end users with persuasively written information that will help them choose you over a competitor. Make your content easily shareable and make sure you promote the fact it exists in your other channels.

White Papers

White papers are another piece of unsexy content that could benefit your brand, but you may not have considered them. White papers focus on a single topic and express a point of view – in many cases, with a prescriptive tone.

White papers in the technology sector convert to leads and sales more than many other forms of marketing, because they deliver answers to busy IT purchasers who simply want to be armed with information that can help them solve their problems in an economical way.

When writing white papers, you should look to the audience members you are trying to convert and research what their actual job descriptions entail. If your audience is very short on time and is often solicited by email and phone, you should be proactive with your information, but let your audience come to you. Producing a white paper and connecting to influential bloggers can help you reach the exact audience you’re trying to connect with. This isn’t a “spray and pray” approach. This is inbound marketing.


Webinars might seem old fashioned, but they can still win you clients. Webinars can be held by your company with virtually no financial investment (all you need is a camera and a microphone, but if you can’t afford that, a high-quality phone can do the job). Webinars are a great way to engage directly with potential customers, while having existing customers help you sell.

When planning webinars, it’s important to have a laser-like focus on two things: your audience, and the problem you’re trying to solve. You will need to promote your webinars though your traditional channels, but you can still make the previews and marketing copy enticing. Again, think about solving a problem for the specific type of customer you want to convert.  It’s important to have someone incredibly knowledgeable participating in the webinar and to make sure that person has an affable, open demeanor. Make sure you budget a fair amount of time to questions, so you can help move your audience further down the purchasing funnel. You may also want to consider distributing a companion informational piece after the fact, or directing your audience to a site or blog for more information.

Content marketing for very targeted audiences might seem daunting, but if you research your audience, talk to influencers, and answer the typical questions your audience has, you will find even the “unsexiest” content can convert to sales.

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