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Digital Marketing for "Boring" Products

When you decided to work in digital marketing, you likely dreamed of working for Starbucks, Apple, Lush Cosmetics, or another “fun” and glamorous company. Your head spun with images of pretty Instagram feeds, witty content rich with metaphors and detail, and videos that would make Steven Spielberg wish he’d made them. And then life happened, and your current job is marketing for a company that makes cardboard boxes.

How can you possibly spice up marketing for a product that dull? As it turns out, there are many ways.

Here are two of my favorites.

1. Involve others in your story

Ah yeah, an example from a company and product close to my own heart, Paypal, Inc. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

In 2013, PayPal was being pummeled by negative feedback across the Web, engagement was low on their social channels, and perhaps worst of all, many people didn’t even know what the heck PayPal was. They needed a solution, fast.

Paypal’s solution was a multi-pronged approach involving dedicated customer service teams on social media, content that melded culturally-relevant topics with beautiful graphic design, and highly visible interaction with well-known brands like Wendy’s.

Rather than speaking exclusively about themselves, they involved their audience and curated content that would appeal to their tastes.

As a result, PayPal’s sentiment rating improved by 207%, engagement shot up by 327%, and their audience grew by over 300,000.

2. Don’t be afraid to be silly

Something also very close to my own heart, being silly. Look, your product may seem boring and humorless, but your marketing certainly doesn’t have to be. I mean look at my own domain name for a prime example, brad.expert? Really? come on.. But… the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Brad.Expert August 2020 Analytics

Brad.Expert August 2020 Analytics

Digital marketing, especially social media marketing, is an excellent opportunity to poke a little fun at the world, at other brands, or even (maybe especially) at yourself. If your branding allows for it, a little self-aware humor never hurt! Although you’ll want to tread softly here, at least at first, humor can be a quick way to rocket into the social media marketing stratosphere.

For inspiration, check out Time Magazine’s list of the 13 funniest brands on Twitter.


Any product can be interesting if looked at the right way. With these tools in your arsenal, I believe you can go out and make cardboard boxes the funniest, most interesting product the world has ever seen.

Need some creative juice to help liven up your boring product? Let’s talk!

About Brad Nietfeldt

Brad Nietfeldt

As one of the most sought after digital marketing gurus in America, Brad’s entrepreneurial career involves writing and producing music, successful tech start ups, working for several fortune 500 companies and in his early 20s he was of the first support staff at the then start up currently known as PayPal.com. Learn more.

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