The constant stream of content-related headlines, articles, email newsletters and online marketing journals has, in the very least, convinced you that there’s something to this content marketing gig. That said, you’re not convinced that it lends itself to every sector.

Sound familiar?

It’s one thing, surely, for a glossy consumer brand known for its sexy campaigns (and sexier budgets) – but how could you be expected to create quality content for a plain old, everyday brand?

The short answer is this: The very same way you create content for anything.

Stop Viewing Your Audience Within the Confines of Your Product

Successful content marketing begins with the audience, not the brand or product you’re promoting. That means looking beyond traditional marketing confines and outbound messaging. Instead of talking at your target about your product or brand USP and trying to draw them in, you’re meeting them where they already are – where their interests lie.

Hone in on your audience and build out two or three main separate personas. Ask what interests or activities these personas have, how (and where) they feed that interest. Keep layering interests and behaviours on these personas until you find one you feel is genuinely compatible with your brand story.

Take a left-field approach.

Sharpie, the permanent marker brand, does this brilliantly with its #uncapthepossibilities content, divided into subcategories of sport, fashion and – most notably – politics. Their ‘Make a Movement’ content urges an increasingly politicised audience to stand up, organise and speak out.

They’ve cleverly identified how to use content on-site and on social media to tap into the mood of the public and meet them where they are, in a relevant way: a Sharpie, after all, is a reasonably handy tool with which to make your own protest sign.

Champion a Cause

Another tactic is to look to a charitable or social cause that is genuinely relevant to your brand or industry. Champion and dissect the social implications, build a narrative and encourage discussion on social media channels.

You probably don’t need us to tell you this next bit, but… only do this if there’s a cause or event that authentically fits the ethos of your brand that you or your brand genuinely believes in. Otherwise it will come off as the thinly-veiled cynical attempt it is, and we’ve all seen how that can pan out.

This is not a quick-fix strategy – show evidence of your support for the cause over time and plan the content as you would any content calendar: assign goals, monitor performance, conduct interviews, host contributors on your company blog.

So take the temperature of your audience, build two or three personas and find the relevant angle. Your audience is complex.  Avoid the sales speak. What can you offer of genuine interest? There’s a world of rich, interesting content opportunities out there for the taking, no matter how mundane the brand.