B2B has earned the titles ‘boring to boring’ and ‘bland to boring’ over the years, and when compared to its fun alter-ego B2C, it’s easy to see why it has gained that reputation.
Regardless of whether you are marketing your product B2C or B2B – you are marketing to people. And those people are just that, people – and just like they engage with B2C content, they will do the same with B2B content if only marketers give them the chance.
Passion is infectious, and when that is delivered through a piece of content, it means that an audience can become passionate about the brand, product or service you are marketing.
Creativity isn’t just reserved for those fun-loving B2C marketing bods – as these B2B companies prove.
Boeing – Content Hub
Think like a newsroom – it’s a mind-set that is becoming increasingly commonplace across marketing teams and it’s working.
In 2010, Boeing’s Communications Director, a former reporter at Bloomsberg News, was tasked with transforming their current website into an engaging platform which focused on storytelling content. Previously focusing on stating facts and figures, the hub has removed ‘business speak and marketing puffery’ as he puts it, and now tells stories “through the eyes and the words of the people involved”.
A brand steeped in history, it shares content which looks forward, not just back. For example, rather than an article about its centennial year, the Vacations to Planet Earth piece shares visions for the next 100 years of travel from Boeing employees. Stories of Boeing’s employees are told throughout its content and showcase the investment they too have in the Boeing brand.
Boeing has a history of creating interesting flight path designs when it takes a test flight, and their 18-hour 787 test flight earlier this year created the design of a 787-8 which took over a third of the US. A story about a test flight which has drawn a plane with its flight path? Well, that sure makes a good story, doesn’t it?
iLevel Solutions – What Private Capital Firms Need to Know About Using Spreadsheets
I think we can all agree that spreadsheets are beyond boring – but an integral part of business, they are, which is what iLevel Solutions wanted to highlight with their infographic and the impact that simple errors can have on a business.
Rather than simply discussing how many errors are made in spreadsheets, the infographic puts it into perspective by showing how much these errors have cost a business in the past – allowing iLevel Solutions to highlight the importance of using an alternative solution.
By placing a dull topic into a creative format which is relatable, iLevel Solutions were able to communicate an issue in the industry and get people thinking about the alternative software available to replace their spreadsheets.
Gaining the business an additional five opportunities worth $80,000 – by showing customers the errors of their ways and the cost implications, iLevel Solutions were able to show the importance of a robust financial management solution.
IBM – Simplifying a Complicated Product
For a brand who provide extremely technical products, their content marketing works to simplify the message – and by taking a complex product and placing it into a context which the everyday person will understand it has a broader appeal.
As part of their Insights on Business campaign, IBM published a report on how fashion brands can utilise digital technologies under their retail division. Using their content analytics tool and their Watson Personality Insights, IBM created a hub guiding fashion brands which included video and blog content.
Another favourite is the Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson – removing the human bias from recipe discovery, IBM created a cognitive cooking platform to combine ingredients with how humans perceive food to create unique recipes. Spanning an app, social media content and a touring food van it got people thinking differently about what they eat – using IBM’s expertise alongside the Institute of Culinary Education.
Norton – The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet
Cyber security – a topic which is continually in the spotlight in some way or another, whether it’s another big-firm being hacked or businesses not doing enough to secure data.
To highlight the dangers of cybercriminals, Norton created a short 20-minute documentary titled The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet – about Râmnicu Vâlcea a town known for being the hacker capital.
With 1,504,956 views to date of the video which includes interviews cybercriminals and scammers who have hacked big-names such as NASA and Google. A follow-up Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide has also been made, and the content hub features supporting articles on protecting yourself against cybercrime.
As these campaigns prove, content needn’t be boring for a B2B audience.