Innovative B2B Marketing Campaigns ? What to Consider

 Dante Munnis
  Feb 10, 2017

For years, B2C marketers have dominated the content marketing “scene.” They took the wheel, put themselves in the driver’s seat, and quickly moved into creating content that would attract their audiences, establish trusting relationships, and impact revenue.

B2B marketers have lagged behind, because many did not see a “place” for themselves in the content marketing phenomenon, especially on social media platforms, other than LinkedIn. There, they established presences and networked and marketed, learning how to navigate that one platform; they have joined groups; they have nurtured clients; and in many cases, they have had an impact on their companies’ revenue.

Making the Transition

Gradually, B2B marketers have come to realize that there is a place for them in the B2C marketing world – through great blogs, through social media posts, through all of the cool methods that these marketers are doing to engage their target audiences. As a result, B2B marketers can now look forward to these trends and plan strategies to meet the new digital marketing landscape.

#1 Personal Branding for Executives

Top executives of companies, small through giant, need to develop a personal brand. Potential customers want to know who is at the helm and why they should trust them. Branding themselves through their personal stories (not just their credentials) turns stiff executives into real people who have pets, who have favorite charities, who have their own tales to tell. When executives become “human,” potential customers can connect personally with those tales.

#2 Use of Visuals

B2B marketers are catching on. Take a look at the Facebook and Instagram pages of GE, for example. They are filled with photos and videos of products they are creating, their employees, and their efforts in bringing technology changes to other businesses. These visuals make their products and services more compelling, attractive, and engaging. What’s more, people who view them and are impressed will share that content with colleagues, both within and outside of their organizations.

#3 Native Advertising

This term has different meanings to B2C and B2B marketers. In the B2B world, there are trade/professional journals. B2B marketers have a great venue for advertising by producing articles for these journals that set them up as experts on topics of interest to their potential customers. In many ways, this may be more impactful than a business blog. Target audiences tend to know about these publications and access their articles. They may not yet know about a business’s blog.

And reaching targets through publications is far less intrusive than direct marketing/advertising. Articles can provide valuable education to their readers, and, if they are done well, readers will share them with others.

Many B2B marketers may feel inadequate to craft engaging and compelling articles. They can look to others within the organization to create these, or contract with a professional writing service review, where creative writers can take their information and convert it into compelling content.

#4 Providing Experiences

Providing audiences with experiences has become a major trend in B2C marketing, and B2B marketing will be moving into this arena. The use of augmented reality, for example, allows customers to fully experience products and services in a virtual setting. Using these types of experiences allows potential customers to understand the value that is being offered. These experiences are especially valuable at trade shows and other presentation environments.

#5 Social Media

During 2016, 39% of B2B marketers who had begun social media strategies stated that there was a solid ROI from their activities. This was a large increase from 2015, when B2B presence on social media was far less. What marketers are discovering is that their potential customers surf social media sites too and can find them if they promote themselves well. This will be a challenge, but B2B marketers can take lessons by studying how their B2C counterparts are promoting themselves on social media. They are promoting their brands but they are also educating, entertaining, providing humor, telling personal stories, and showing their companies as trusted enterprises worthy of their business.

#6 Mobile

By the end of 2016, 50% of B2B businesses had responsive website designs for mobile. Now that mobile has taken the lead in the way all internet users access information and sites, it is obvious that this trend will continue through 2017. And almost all businesses that are B2C and B2B (e.g., computer manufacturers) have apps rather than straight websites. If B2B marketers have not gone mobile, they must.

#7 Marketing Automation

There are so many digital channels now that B2B consumers are often managing their own research and purchasing decisions by themselves. The perform searches for what they want, access websites on their own, develop a list of prospective suppliers and look for reviews and recommendations from others – all of this without ever calling or speaking to a sales representative.

Add to that the fact that there is now so much demographic and behavioral marketing data out there, it makes sense to make use of all that data to target potential customers where they are. This means differentiating content for segments of audiences, as well as the platforms where that content will be published.

Especially for businesses that are mid-sized and above and for businesses that are scaling, it may make good sense to contract with a marketing automation company that can perform the research, segment the audiences, target those audiences with the right type of content, re-target those individuals who have visited their websites, and more.

Among leads that have already been generated, marketing automation can segment email lists based upon where a potential customer is in the buying journey and provide differentiated content based upon points in that journey.

Finding vendors for marketing automation is easy through a simple search. And these vendors offer a wide variety of options and flexibility. There is plenty of information out there to research these vendors and their effectiveness.

#8 Measurement

B2B marketing is a budget item. And its value must be justified, especially when budget requests mean increased costs for a company. While it is not an exact science, putting the right analytics in place that can show value – more visitors, more interaction, a growing email list, connections that turn into leads for the sales department, and leads that turn into sales – all of these things will provide the justification for increased content marketing efforts.

Analytics take time to review and measure. Part of many marketing budgets do include funds to employ the services of measurement and analysis consultants. This should be considered and can be sold to management as far less expensive than full-time employees.

Embrace the Trends

B2B marketers who embrace these trends in content marketing will begin to realize gains in ROI. They don’t come overnight, but they will come over time. Take a look at these strategies and begin with just a few. B2B enterprises can make solid connections with their target audiences and develop trusting relationships that will lead to sales.

Innovative B2B Marketing Campaigns ? What to Consider

Dante Munnis

Dante Munnis is a media and marketing expert. He shares ideas and experience on how to build your brand and attract more customers to your business.

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