When we think of really exciting, ambitious digital marketing campaigns, we tend to think on the consumer side. We tend to imagine that it’s somehow not possible for B2B brands, but of course that’s nonsense.
So I just want to run through some of the most common mistakes made by B2B organisations and some potential remedies.
The first is around brand – quite simply, they don’t have one. Even if they have a brand identity document, they idon’thave a true brand. They’re terrified of alienating anyone or saying the wrong thing or communicating to too narrow an audience. Consequently their messaging is very safe, very generic and doesn’t actually cut through the noise.
The second issue is around content strategy. Once again, they don’t have one, consequently they talk about their world rather than the things that interests their audience. So, for example, if their audience is owner managed businesses then they need to talk about the things that interest business owners – leadership, sales, logistics, culture, marketing, etc. Of course at some point we have to find the intersection of their world and ours so that we can actually sell to them, but we have to start on their terms.
The next problem is with influencer marketing. We tend to think of influencer marketing as something that is just within the consumer space, but of course every industry has influencers. So, for example, going back to our example of owner managed businesses, if that’s our audience then we should be seeking to engage with business owners within our target sector or region. Not only will it lead to infinitely more interesting content, but they will then share it with their audience which 9 times out of 10 is going to be the audience we want to get in front of. They may even link back to it which is fantastic for SEO.
Finally, there’s the issue of paid distribution of content. Very often businesses will be happy to create content that takes half a dozen hours as that’s using a resource they’re already paying for, but then they’re terrified of spending £5 or £10 to promote the content on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, which renders it completely useless.
Every now and again you’ll stumble across a B2B brand that is a true exception to the rule and because these exceptions are so rare, they tend to be able to achieve remarkable success, on relatively conservative budgets. So just make sure you are one of the exceptions.
See you next time.