Read this if you’re in B2B marketing

If you know anything about me and the values of Pink Digital then you’ll know that I am passionate about breaking down the belief that B2B brands must market in a completely different, impersonal way to B2C brands. I’ve written a post previously (back in October 2017) about the importance of remembering that your customers are humans and, how the global digital disruption (oooh, buzzword), needs to be considered for all organisations when creating your marketing strategy.

Now I’m going to talk more around how people’s personal beliefs, likes, dislikes, preferences and beliefs are impacting decisions in the workplace. I.e. why you should stop thinking something won’t work for you because it’s a traditional B2C tactic and why you need to lean into content that appeals to people.

First some questions: when was the last time you can honestly say you made a decision that was completely against your personal beliefs but was for the good of your company? Have you ever stopped working for a company because of how they operate or interact with you?
Have you ever found a new company to work with because their messaging was so up your street?

The chances are you answered: not for a long time, if ever; yes; yes.

There are 2 reasons for this.

1) You have been hired by your company for your expertise, mindset and experience. This means that it is very unlikely that if something is fundamentally against your beliefs personally, that it will benefit the company. You have been hired for your opinion. You know that and so will likely exercise your right to that opinion when making decisions on behalf of the company. Otherwise, I’m sorry but you shouldn’t be in your job.

2) It is physically impossible to completely separate your personal preferences for consumption, interaction and values, regardless of what you are researching or buying for. It’s not in our nature as human beings.

This means that who your company is and how your company operate are two of the most important aspects of your marketing strategy. And, you need to have a crystal clear view of who your target audience is – deeper than their job title.

You have to understand what they like, what they dislike, what their hobbies are, whether they have children, love sports, hate sports, are into fashion. Where do they over index? What values are important to them? All of these different elements can help to inform your tone, messaging, visuals and placements. It’s also why it is so important to continue to invest in brand awareness, not just sell, sell, sell your products. No one cares if you have the most cost-effective solution if you aren’t an ethical company nor will they want to partner with a company who’s employees are not happy or passionate – for example.

B2C marketing is often seen as the holy grail of marketing and super fun to work on because their campaigns focus on people and lifestyle. But you can appeal to people as well. Make people excited about your brand. Relate to them through their interests in more than just a badging exercise – find an organic connection between an element of their persona & your brand.

Then leverage the shit out of it.

Show the people at the core of the organisations you are targeting that you are there for them, that you understand them and that you can help them. Create an organic, human connection. The sales will soon follow if your website, products & sales team can do their job.


How Pancake Day stacked up on social

Pancake Day crepe-s up on us every year and then bang, brands are tossing out pancake-related content left, right and centre. We’ve stacked up our favourites for you to see who really has the batter social content creator in their frying pan.

Links to actual tweets which we’ve screenshotted for some content:


Social Media content types for your company

When you think about the sun, it is only really in a positive way when it is beaming down on you and you feel its warmth/get a sun tan. The same can be said for social media.

Social media is only effective and good if you’re reaching people enough to impact them and leave a mark. You need to find a way to make it beam (like the sun).

 So how do you do that? Easy.

 Your social media presence should contain 4 different types of content:

 Brand

Obviously your primary goal is to improve brand perception and awareness (or maybe even revenue). So the best way to do that is to make sure you have a good amount of branded/company created content that is shared. This makes it easier for viewers/readers to establish the connection to your brand and ensure that your companies’ point of view is given.

 Employee

Part of your social media strategy should include an employee programme, be it an advocacy programme and so making it easier for employees to post about your brand, or sharing content created by employees. It all helps. If employees are happy and proud to be linked to the company publicly, it tells you something about that company’s values etc thus making it more appealing to both perspective employees and even customers. This is applicable for both B2C and B2B organisations. Utilise your employees to improve your brand reputation.

 Advocates

Also known as influencers. You need to find people/customers who are happy to talk positively about your company. This can be through their own social media channels or through the use of customer testimonials etc. that are then shared out through company owned channels. However you do it, just do it. Nothing is more valuable than peer-to-peer influence (in my opinion) – and part of that comes down to human nature of wanting the best. Why would you settle for something second rate if you’re friend/colleague/competitor has something better?

 Market

It goes without saying that every company wants to be seen as an expert in their industry. Fashion house? Okay, so what are the latest trends? Who are the latest models? Technology company? What’s hot at the moment? What’s the latest technological breakthrough? Whatever world you work in, your company needs to be that expert for your customers so you need to be sharing content that shows that. Get your latest facts and figures, understand what’s happening in your market and talk about it.

 If you do this, you should be on the right track to increasing engagements and everything else – of course paying attention to engagement metrics, following etc. to see how your content is resonating with your audience.

 What other social media tips do you have? 

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn, September 2017