Unleash your creativity – 5 ideas for creative B2B Marketing Campaigns

Here are 5 ideas to spark creativity when working in B2B Marketing.

I recently conducted an interview with a member of our community, who stressed how important creativity is when running B2B Marketing campaigns. This inspired me to think of and research creative ways of stepping up our game when running B2B campaigns – which can otherwise easily become standard or so safe that they are boring, under the pressure of organizational policies. 

When working with B2B, the idea that being fun, playful or even a bit sarcastic seems to be off the table. But even though our main audience is made of corporate clients who are more interested in the features of the product/service and not in the social campaigns, we must not forget one thing: we are talking and selling to people, not to businesses. And people love a smart approach, people love brands that make them feel something, brands that differentiate themselves and stand up for something. 

Our reactions and impulses are mainly emotional, so we might even tend to favor a brand who triggered an emotion within us to one that is plainly communicating their benefits (which we all know is a no-no approach, as customers need to know how we can solve their problems and not a characterization of a product).

So here are 5 ideas to spark creativity that I hope will help you or even have you test a new approach. 

Get Real

Photo by Dan on Unsplash

The people behind the product are the ones who make a business really special. So give them a voice! Run campaigns promoting your team members, your partners, your clients or investors, let them run the socials for a day, share their insights and perspectives with the world!

As you might have already seen, images featuring people have the best organic reach, so ditch the stock images and use real photos of your colleagues. If you can, have a photoshoot (this will also give you some fun behind-the-scenes content) and use those photos. If not, ask them to send you their best pictures and a quote or a short bio. 

Another idea is to run interviews with them or have them write content for your blog or social platforms and give your communication a fresh vibe. 

This will show your potential clients that you are, first of all, human-centered, they will get to know a bit more about the people they might work with and will help you create an emotional bond with them.

Put technology at work: gamification, AR, VR

Photo by Juan Gomez on Unsplash

According to Gartner, gamification is “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”.

With technology at our finger tips and it is now easier than ever to put it at work for us. We can now create new experiences that engage people and give them a taste of our creativity. You’ve probably heard about Nike Run Club or about Google 3D Images, but can B2B brands also use this approach to catch people’s eye?

The answer is YES! 

You can gamify your website, run simple contests and surveys (always giving people a reward at the end of it), create interactive platforms where people can actually see and test your product, engage them in online events with easy ice breakers and the list goes on. 

And don’t limit yourself just to potential clients – you can also gamify your hiring and onboarding processes (and there are several businesses helping you to do that!). 

Own your story

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

Take your missions and values from the pitch deck or brand book and use them as a starting point for creative content. Share your story, show how you are staying true to your values – businesses are for profit, but they also have a higher goal and this gives you the opportunity to get creative.

Create content that supports your mission. With so many platforms and formats at your disposal, it has never been easier. I.e., if you are active in digital marketing, you could record short tutorials about your favorite tools, write content about your best working tactics, run interviews with other key opinion leaders, create fun visuals that educate on the importance of ethical marketing etc.

Start a community

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

A community can bring you closer to potential clients, but also to key stakeholders and opinion leaders that can help your business grow. It is essential to start a community on a topic you are endorsing while keeping in mind that this isn’t a place where you get to promote your services. 

The role of a community is to spark conversations, debates and eventually position your company as the initiator of such a movement and a supporter of a certain mission. I.e., the Better Digital Marketing LinkedIn community is focused on connecting B2B Marketers and nurturing relevant discussion and not on selling them anything. We are doing this because we believe in the power of a community and in the importance of giving back. 

Keep in mind that a community is not just a group – it requires a dedicated person to help it grow, be active, to keep people engaged, to create content and moderate discussions. You’ll need a communication plan and business goals for it alone – so a lot of work and dedication – but it can also act as a game-changer for your business.

Think outside the box

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

Have you heard about State Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ campaign, where they placed a statue of a young girl in face of the famous bull on Wall Street? They did so to launch a fund that focused investment on companies with boards controlled by women and also tomake a statement: they had proven that companies with strong female leadership performed better than their male-led counterparts.”

Here’s another great example: the FairlTales campaign created by Advanced Business Solutions.”Does your solution turn into a pumpkin at midnight?” they asked, while recreating famous fairy tales using sector issues and havin Advance rescuing the day!

Now, what does your company stand for? What is your higher goal: to educate, to give more people access to clean water, to take better care of the environment, to help people communicate better, to fight bureaucracy, to give back? Focus on that and see what you can do to emphasize your dedication to that goal – it can be as simple as a series of dedicated posts in social media to more complex actions that are part of the CSR department’s activity.

B2B Marketing shouldn’t be boring. It shouldn’t be all about numbers and data. It should be about relevant content, about people, about bald moves and courageous actions that put your mission in the spotlight. It should be for people and not for “businesses” and it should engage them in conversations, make your company more approachable and turn your brand into a top-of-mind choice.

Looking for more inspiration? Join our B2B Marketers’ community on LinkedIn!
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Article written by Nicole Lontzek, marketing expert with over ten years of experience. She worked across different industries and successfully led global digital marketing projects. Her career brought her to New York, Dublin, and Zurich. Currently, she is based in Munich and serves as Head of Marketing for the electronics engineering automation pioneer CELUS.
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