How To Create B2B Content That Isn’t Boring
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have seen the Extra Gum ad doing the rounds on social media and the blogosphere in recent weeks. It tells the story of two people falling in love, from the first meet-cute through to a marriage proposal. Sounds like a standard corny TV ad, right? Well, it racked up 78 million Facebook views and 1.1. million shares in its first week alone. Check it out here if you missed it:
As a B2B marketer you may think this isn’t particularly relevant to your business, but this video’s viral success is all due to the way it resonated with people emotionally. Now, here’s the thing – corporate audiences want to be engaged and entertained just as much as anybody else. When you walk into a meeting with a client the conversation probably starts with updates about the kids, weekend plans or the performance of your favourite football team before you get into the facts and figures. The same principal applies to content. Grab customer attention by speaking to them in a way they can relate to as individuals and they’ll be keen to engage with your brand.
Here are some ways you can step away from boring B2B content and tell a better story:
Make People Laugh
The biggest mistake B2B marketers make is creating content with no personality. It can be daunting to use humour in your content because there’s a fear it’ll backfire, but stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to capture attention. There are few better ways of doing this than making people laugh.
Think about the last time you shared something on social media. Was it a report full of statistics, or was it something that made you smile? Entertaining content may not lead directly to a sale, but creating a positive perception of your brand means prospects are much more likely to stay on the phone next time they hear from your sales team. This isn’t to say you should stop producing whitepapers and other meatier formats. Just try mixing it up a bit with some more light-hearted content. This example from Cisco shows that you can apply humour to even the most technical subject matter.
If you’re developing content to gain the attention of potential employees, this can also be a great time to show some personality. Take a cue from the Twitter example below and have some fun with it. Give people a glimpse into your company culture – not just the perks and career growth, but the type of people they’ll be working with.
No matter what your business does, content is about connecting with real people. Whether you’re speaking to marketers, tradies or CEOs, tell them a story that inspires or motivates them. GE often receives accolades for its killer content marketing strategy because it’s great at using real people’s stories. As well as producing captivating in-depth reports, GE also creates short videos that aim to inspire and motivate viewers. The example below puts the brand at the forefront of emerging technology by applying a different lens to its work and evoking a sense of childlike wonder. The video delivers a clear, powerful message without actually selling anything: GE creates ground-breaking, exciting and important products. Content that resonates with people on an emotional level will get your brand name out there, because people are more likely to come back to it and share it around. How can you inspire your audience or motivate somebody to achieve their goals?
Get People Thinking
If you’re speaking to a B2B audience, you already know they’re interested in a particular field, so don’t just talk about your products and services. Think about how you can develop content about their industry in a new way. Some of the best B2B marketers are producing fascinating long-form content about complex areas of business. HP Matter, the online content hub of HP, is full of detailed articles about emerging developments and issues within the world of technology, from sustainable cloud computing to Bitcoin. No matter what field you’re in, use your own expertise to develop content that really makes people think, whether you commission a study or write an in-depth feature article. Tell your audience something that they haven’t heard from anyone else, in a way that makes them want to share it.
While there’s always a place for whitepapers and blogs, try to think outside the box with content that also engages your customers emotionally. The best content inspires, motivates or resonates with people. Tell your customers a story that they’ll want to share, even if it’s simply a personal anecdote to open your next newsletter or a case study about someone overcoming a real challenge. If you can relate to your audience on a human level, you’ll find people connect with your message and share it.