"My niche is so boring," complained a mortgage and family-finance consultant at a conference. I looked at him at disbelief, and not just because he was the business owner. After all, not everyone gets to be in a business where emotions run high and decisions affect the rest of your life. Some people sell bus tickets. Or toilet paper.
Yet, even those of us who get to talk about A/B tests for button colors, case study marketing, and blog post headlines all day, every day... even we sometimes worry we'd come off as boring: How can a "boring" business possibly develop a YouTube channel that stands out from the crowd?
That's what I set to find out. I analyzed YouTube channels that promote stuff like bus tickets, toilet paper, and lawn mowers...
Turns out, successful YouTube business channels have qualities in common. Copy their ingredients, and you'll be all ready to rock the No. 2 most popular search engine in the world.
Show your viewers you get what matters to them
It might only be a chore to you, but doing laundry is how parents wrap their kids with another piece of love. Whirlpool, a home appliances manufacturer, knows this act of caris is as invisible and unappreciated as home appliances.
But Whirlpool also knows brain studies indicate we buy based on emotions, so the brand focuses its entire YouTube channel on showing parents that it sees their effort and appreciates them for it.
Turn negative feelings around
"We all enjoy the go. It's one of humanity's greatest and most liberating pleasures. As long as there's no one around, of course," says the intro to this Charmin commercial/prank.
Yep, Charmin sells toilet paper. Even as a "boring niche" brand, Charmin's in a unique position to make people's lives a little happier in an unexpected way.
HelloFlo takes it a step further. Selling feminine-care subscription packages, it takes on an everyday yet sensitive subject—one associated with blood, pain and shame—and encourages girls to talk about their periods. Unlike other "feel awesome in your period like nothing's going on" commercials, HelloFlo talks to girls like the intelligent beings they are, and encourages them to be their own sheroes (she-heroes).
Emphasize a greater customer experience
Customers remember how you make them feel. We all want functional products, but that's not enough to keep us around. Take it from Metro Los Angeles, a bus and rail concern serving a population that's famous for choosing cars over public transportation.
Its YouTube channel is filled with playlists covering topics such as safety tips, route highlights, discounts customers get at local businesses—and 20+ curated songs you can listen to on the ride, almost all with "bus" or "train" in their titles.
The "Art & Public Events" playlist shows the in-station art that'll brighten up your commute. As the presenter in this (also curated) video says, Metro LA seeks "to intrigue the senses and evoke the minds":
Showcase products and provide tutorials
If your niche is considered boring, it's probably not that crowded. You can be the one that helps customers make the most out of their purchase.
Toro, a lawn mower manufacturer, created playlists on its YouTube channel, segmenting videos by audience sectors. Inside, it announces new products and features, and provides product usage tips.
Sometimes people just need to know how to save storage space and cleaning water when they use a large machine. At least the 39,000+ people who watched this video do:
Share your customers' successes
Case studies of customer success let your customers do the selling for you.
Here's a video case study featuring ecommerce company WayFair's executives, talking about and showing how FedEx helped them reduce 25% of furniture shipping damages. This approach is much more believable than your tooting your own horn, and it creates an emotional connection between you and your audience.
It's also one of the best ways to touch on your audience's pain points and prove you can help them overcome it all.
Give a behind-the-scenes peek at your company
We already said people buy based on feelings—that's probably why "about" pages are often the most visited site pages after home pages. We want to connect.
Ben & Jerry's YouTube channel masters the video format of "about" pages. The ice cream brand has three playlists that fit under this category: "About Us," "Our Values," and "Flavor Gurus." The videos showcase founders, suppliers, manufacturers, and company history—and how it's creating a more sustainable world while keeping things fun.
But Ben & Jerry's remembers it's not really about the company. This video humanizes the brand by showcasing product creators—flavor gurus—emphasizing aspects of the team's personal life that makes you want to eat the ice cream even more:
Commit to a greater cause than your bottom line
Your audience longs to make a difference, even a small difference, with the click of a button. When all else is equal, people buy from companies that change the world for the better.
Dove, you might have heard, packed its YouTube channel with videos that supposedly have nothing to do with body care and beauty products—but the topic choice wasn't coincidental.
Women use Dove products on their bodies. By empowering women to love themselves in their own skin, Dove creates positive emotions that will stick with viewers as they look in a mirror and walk by a store shelf. Dove's efforts also improve the product experience. Women can enjoy stuff like showering—using Dove soap—way more, when they feel better about their bodies.
Remember, it's about how customers grow or make a difference in the world using your product. That doesn't mean you can't create a metaphor that will get them salivating over your product:
Make it fun
Ultimately, we want our audience to be happy. So use some humor, write some songs, or create entire dance routines around your brand. It might not be easy, but take a sheet from Charmin's roll. Its dancing bears could get anyone to enjoy "the go."