From Boring to Brilliant: Boost Your B2B Content Marketing
A special thanks to Carla Johnson for these wonderful insights! She is truly an expert, so let’s discuss what we learned from here this year.
No matter where you are in your career as a content marketer, this blog will resonate. Let’s all take a journey together down memory lane to analyze why boring B2B content marketing has become the norm.
When we first start our career, we’re full of ideas and suggestions and excitement! We have a high tolerance for risk and rejection because we want to try new things but we’re willing to listen to others with more experience.
But… over time… if we’re always rejected and ignored, we’re less likely to try new things, suggest changes, or implement new ideas.
To illustrate this point, we’ve created the chart below. The green line represents your life when you were 24. The yellow represents your career at 34. And the red line represents your career when you’re 44. Do you see how your ideas flatline over time?
Where are you at on the scale? Are you still generating lots of new ideas for your B2B content marketing strategy? Or have you become discouraged and complacent because of constant rejection?
Regardless of where you fall, we’re here to help boost your inspiration to generate ideas AND convince your company to implement them. B2B content doesn’t need to be boring! We’ve just been beaten into believing it has to be lame because everyone else does it that way and it’s the way things have always been done.
The reason decision-makers don’t listen to our pitches is because we don’t know how to pitch a good idea. Bad pitches kill great ideas.
So let’s discuss how to create an idea journey in 4 basic steps.
The key to delivering a great concept is to build anticipation. You want to show them what’s possible! Fear is the biggest hurdle to overcome, so you need to use hope and vision to conquer any potential hesitation.
You can do this through trending data and statistics, success stories from other companies, and even your own dreams about what your company could become.
Ideas can come from anything and anyone. We shouldn’t limit ourselves because we operate within a certain industry. It’s our job as marketers to translate concepts so that decision-makers understand the process is more important than the product.
For instance, the CMO at Cisco was went to a comedy show with Ray Romano. He was amazed at how Ray used humor to connect with such a diverse crowd. Everyone was unified and happy through humor that we all can relate to.
So he implemented this concept at Cisco.
Even though software and technology seems boring and complicated, the CMO used a concept he learned from Ray to create memorable B2B content marketing materials. The key is to figure out why a concept is good at its core, then find a way to apply it to your own company.
Like I keep saying, don’t focus on the company you’re learning from, focus on ways to engage the public. Identify influencers and create some buzz around your product or service.
An example of a great idea would be from the company GotVMail. Ever heard of it? Neither had anyone else. The company was so focused on trying to sell what they were doing and overcomplicating their services that people were uninterested with it.
So they decided to rebrand. Now, they could’ve done what everyone else does and launch some promotions and send out some press releases, but they wanted to do something different. Instead, they ordered 5,000 packages of chocolate covered grasshoppers and sent them as direct mail to influencers across North America. It also included a link to a YouTube video about the importance of entrepreneurship.
The result was phenomenal! Now does that B2B content marketing strategy sound boring to you?
People forgot about GotVMail and embraced the new brand of Grasshopper. Isn’t that powerful?? Now the question is, what can you learn from them? The goal is to distill why this was such an effective campaign and then find a way to try something creative for your own company.
Come up with several ideas that you could use and implement based on other companies success. If you have distilled down to the core of the process of the B2B content marketing strategy, you don’t need to worry about where you got the idea. Share these ideas and justify why they would be successful if you integrated them into your business strategy.
I’ll show you a couple more examples to help rekindle the fire of idea generation.
Big Ass Fans got inspired from a sandwich shop. The CEO was amazed when he went to this sandwich shop and the workers know EVERYTHING there was to know about meats, cheeses, how the flavors complimented each other, and how the ingredients were prepared.
After thinking about his experiences, the CEO distilled down why the sandwich shop was so impressive. They had a great culture that focused completely on the customer experience and high quality products.
He realized that his company name (HVLS Fans Co.) needed to be changed. When people called his company, they’d always ask: “Are you the guys that sell those big ass fans?”
So he decided to become a more customer-centric company and he’s been successful ever since.
The next example comes from Doritos. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars on a super bowl commercial, they held a contest to the public and offered the winner $1 million for the best Super Bowl commercial.
The competition got a ton of buzz and aspiring millionaires went to work on creating the best commercial. Doritos was all over YouTube and the Internet as people tried to create incredible, funny and branded videos.
Here was the end result.
This competition saved Doritos millions of dollars, generated tons of publicity, and created an environment for a collaborative effort to produce the best commercial.
What is the core of these ideas? How can you apply them to your company? The power to transform your B2B content marketing from boring to brilliant rests in your hands.
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