Your content should bring out the people behind the brand. One of my favorite marketers for showing personality is Buffer’s Kevan Lee. #2: Bring Your Data to Life Most marketers are familiar with Volvo Trucks’ “Split” commercial. What is it about corporate writing that makes people use words they ordinarily wouldn’t go near? On the minus side, if you start talking like people, you won’t sound like every other corporation. #5: Take a Stand So you’re committed to showing personality and talking like a human. The people who might be turned off by your brand expressing values, sharing a vision, or leading a discussion are people who were never potential buyers in the first place. Your audience should be able to see themselves in your content. But the series wasn’t just about creating a compelling drama—every video showcased exactly the kind of customer HSBC was trying to reach. Does marketing person-to-person get better results than marketing business-to-buyer?
B2B content marketers: It’s time to get over our inferiority complex.
Yes, the B2C folks are over there marketing cool stuff like basketball shoes and energy drinks, while we’re stuck with cloud software solutions and medical imaging machinery.
Yes, we’re marketing to business professionals on a buying committee that has to commit to million-dollar deals. Which would buy a lot of basketball shoes and energy drinks.
But that does not mean B2C has more fun. It doesn’t mean B2B is boring. It doesn’t mean we have to play it safe.
Can B2B content be as compelling, as emotional, as vibrant—let’s face it—as cool as B2C?
As we say in Minnesota, yabetcha.
Not only can our content be all these things, it should be. We’re not marketing to robotic cogs in a corporate machine. We’re trying to have a conversation with actual human beings.
Make sure you’re a worthy conversational partner by following these tips:
#1: Don’t Skimp on Personality
It’s hard to create truly dynamic content when you’re stuck behind a brand façade. Corporations may or may not be people, but content that looks like it was written by committee rarely has that human spark.
Your content should bring out the people behind the brand. Don’t leave authenticity and transparency in your mission statement; show it in what you write. One of my favorite marketers for showing personality is Buffer’s Kevan Lee. Kevan isn’t afraid to show the whole gamut of human emotion on the Buffer blog, from taking pride in accomplishments to acknowledging failure. His post, We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months, is brutally honest but optimistic at the same time. Kevan pulls no punches in describing how Buffer’s traffic has fallen off, admitting he’s not sure why, and offering readers a chance to follow along as he learns.
A post like that not only helps build rapport, it’s valuable to every member of Kevan’s audience that is experiencing a similar dropoff. The result of Kevan’s unfiltered sharing? 3.8 thousand shares and over 418 comments on just that one post. It’s powerful stuff.
#2: Bring Your Data to Life
Most marketers are familiar with Volvo Trucks’ “Split” commercial. It’s the one that features aging action star Jean-Claude Van Damme showing off his superpowers:
What’s often overlooked is that this video is B2B marketing. Volvo Trucks sells big rigs to businesses. That’s what this video is all about. While those not in the target audience see a cool stunt, truck drivers see amazing precision in handling, even while the trucks are in reverse.
Not only that, the commercial is an effective piece of B2B content marketing. After the ad aired, Volvo conducted a survey of 2,200 commercial truck owners. Half of those who saw the video said they were more likely to choose Volvo. A third had already visited the website or even…