I recently read an article in Forbes that caught my attention. It provides a handy list of five marketing trends from the B2C world that B2B marketers should be paying attention to.
It brings up a good point: The headlines we recall most are those from big consumer marketing and PR pushes, like the Oreo Superbowl Blackout campaign or IHOP becoming IHOb. So maybe we B2B marketers should intentionally think more about how to creatively stimulate conversations like some of these large consumer brands have.
Here are a few key B2C PR strategies that B2B professionals need to be using too.
Share a value, not just a product or service.
We’ve all seen those sappy commercials on TV that claim that paper towels will bring health and happiness to your family or what have you. While those gimmicks can be hokey, the surprising thing is: they work. So don’t be afraid, as a representative of another business, to dig deeper into the “why.” Why does your client do what it does? Get to the warm and fuzzy center of the business – the part that resonates with people. Share their story, and pull a few heartstrings along the way, and you’ll better catch the attention of their target audience.
Personalize content toward individuals.
Don’t just think about what industries you’re targeting, but also think smaller about the individuals that you’re targeting. Much of B2C marketing is geared toward certain personas, or the ideal customer defined by characteristics such as what they like, where they live, where they work, etc. That’s how they get a sense of what might emotionally affect people the most.
The same strategy can be used in B2B. For instance, you want a tech company to use your cybersecurity software. Don’t just give blanket statements about how the company may be vulnerable to cyber attacks, such as the server isn’t secure or that employees use their personal devices too much on the network. Give the target company specific ways the people personally could be affected in the event of an attack, such as their life’s work could be corrupted or their company could lose millions of dollars, causing them to be unable to afford their children’s college. The more people feel the content speaks to them, the more likely they are to respond.
Use social media to your advantage.
Many think that social media is only good for businesses who are trying to sell a product to consumers, but it can be so much more. Social media networks are so extensive that brands of any sort have (or should have) a presence. As a brand selling to other businesses, focus less on selling your product and more on telling your story (as mentioned above) or demonstrating your expertise. Sharing relevant trade articles is a great way to provide thought leadership, which allows clients and prospects to get a sense of what you do, what you know and are interested in and what you’re good at.
Something I’ve found to be most engaging for an audience is sharing about your company’s culture. Do you have a happy hour every Friday? Do you get a gift for every employee who has an important event in their lives? While the content B2C brands post may differ based on the audience, you still need to find ways to engage your audience on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid, as a representative of another business, to dig deeper into the “why.” Why does your client do what it does?
Don’t be afraid, as a representative of another business, to dig deeper into the “why.” Why does your client do what it does?
Share visuals as much as possible.
The statistics still stand that the best-performing content in any market includes visuals. Consumer brands are great at creating graphics and videos that are eye-catching and that draw the consumer in, like these brands. But with more emphasis on thought leadership, rather than selling, B2B companies need ways to make content visual but informative, such as through infographics or short videos or documentaries.
At the end of the day, it’s humans that will be making the decision to buy your product or service. Whether they’re business owners or average citizens, they are still, in all senses of the word, consumers, and they will be enticed through similar strategies. In both B2C and B2B marketing, think like a consumer, and your content will turn some more heads.