What do you think of when you hear “b2b marketing”? Probably nothing too sexy.
B2C marketing has it easy. You can easily find funny, clever, and creative ways to show off a household product or a pair of headphones that will capture your audience’s attention.
But B2B marketing takes a little more effort. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be so clinical and corporate, even when the product or service itself seems a little dry or unexciting. Marketing for chemical, manufacturing, and transportation companies—not the glitziest of brands—can be just as creative as consumer products.
All brands need a creative spark to catch the attention of customers and potential business partners – even B2B. Especially so, in fact. Companies are run by people, and people react to stories, creative imagery, personality, and humor. So how can you bring that level of creativity to your next B2B campaign?
Here’s a few tips:
Invest in Visual Content
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Your company website needs to be full of useful, engaging content. But it also needs engaging images and video. Not everyone reads text when they visit a web page, but 80 percent of visitors will watch a video. And they’re 64 percent more likely to buy a product or service after seeing it in action. Video, naturally, takes a lot of creative power to produce. Will it be funny? Direct and to-the-point? Insightful?
Whatever the tone, find the story you want to tell. Maybe it’s about the success you had with a client, like this video from Salesforce about Barclays. It gets the success of Salesforce’s technology across without hammering the viewer over the head. It’s also slickly produced, which always helps. Channel your inner Sam Raimi and show the world what your brand is capable of.
Make Social Media The Platform for Showcasing Company Culture
Talking to people and getting content and ideas out there is a major creative endeavor. It basically combines every major content marketing discipline—the written word, imagery to grab attention in a split second, and videos. Most B2B marketers stick to social platforms where professionals are, like LinkedIn, where 562 million business-minded users hang out and where you have the best chance securing audience engagement with your blog and video content.
But don’t ignore other platforms because they’re not immediate sales drivers. The #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag from a few years ago lit up Facebook and Twitter with the images and testimonies of diverse engineers. If your chemical or manufacturing business is particularly diverse or full of talented staff, show it off. Take pride in your employees. Or if you’re like GE and you sell heavy machinery, show that off too, perhaps on Instagram (who knew heavy machinery could be so beautifully shot?). Social shares will boost engagement, increase brand visibility, and maybe even result in some lead gen.
Find Personal Story Angles That Resonate With Your Target Markets
Storytelling is all about making sense of a common issue and sharing that understanding in a way that makes an audience care. There are fascinating stories in every industry – you just have to find them. Nearly every B2B company is trying to solve a niche problem to a niche market that doesn’t get a lot of mass attention. Maybe your CEO is a rogue DIYer who created a solution from scratch to address a gap in the market. Or maybe your engineering team leader is absolutely brilliant at fostering innovation. These types of stories resonate with everyone – includng B2B buyers. So find them and tell them.
B2B giant GE is a master at discovering and curating interesting stories from around the world that tie into their technology. Other brands can easily do the same kind of thing. JB2C marketing may have it easy thanks to the obvious appeal of consumer products, but B2B marketing can be even more rewarding if you dig a bit deeper beneath the surface.
Need help digging out of the tradition B2B marketing box? We’re primed and ready to help you figure out your next creative approach to B2B content marketing. Contact S&G and let’s work together.