One of the top three challenges B2B content marketers face this year is “producing the kind of content that engages” (according to a recent study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs). So how do you create content that drives more buyer engagement? What’s the secret? The answer is deeply rooted in human nature itself.
Humans can’t ignore creativity. And neither can your customers.
Think about your favorite songs, movies, and books … all highly creative, right? The same goes for great Super Bowl ads, memorable speeches, and famous works of art. Creativity is compelling. And the more creative your content, the more your buyers will voluntarily consume it and share it with their networks.
What you can learn from a chimpanzee named Freddie.
Look at MailChimp. They’ve taken a stodgy, technical industry full of antiquated, 1990s HTML code and precarious CAN-SPAM compliance issues … and made it fun, interesting, and accessible to anyone. MailChimp (along with Freddie, their effervescent chimp mascot) cheerfully helps its buyers learn how to do better email marketing by publishing engaging blog posts, videos, and in-depth MailChimp Guides. It’s practical knowledge you can take and use right away to improve your emails – but Freddie’s creative presence is never far away. Proof their content engages? 117,000 Twitter followers. 83,508 likes on Facebook. 3,697 followers on LinkedIn. 2,031 followers on Pinterest. (as of today)
And that’s just MailChimp.
Other smart companies like Coke, Apple, Nike, and Starbucks have built strong brands – and continue to engage their buyers – by being more creative. Just like MailChimp, creativity played a crucial role as these brands rose from their small beginnings to become global brands.
Power to the underdog.
You may not be as big as the competition. You may offer less products or services and have a smaller sales force. But this by no means stops you from shaking up your market with more creative, engaging content. Even if your company never gets a lovable chimpanzee mascot named Freddie, creativity is worth the effort. I’ve seen the creative multiplier make a difference for our own company and for our clients over and over again. It just works. And any company can do it.
Now, get your creativity on and go create some content.
So that’s it. Next time you’re creating content, remember your buyer is a human (like you) who can’t help responding to creativity. Remember a chimpanzee can sell B2B email marketing services. But start small. Something as simple as a lively, attention-grabbing title can make all the difference in the world to your next blog post, ebook, infographic, or webinar. Get creative. And find out why it’s the secret weapon for increasing buyer engagement in your B2B content marketing.
Charles Buffington says
Excellent post! I enjoyed working with you and hope that we get to do it again.
Josh Reed says
Thanks, Charles! Glad you enjoyed the post. Creativity is such a powerful tool for B2B marketers. It’s inspiring to see how great companies use it. It would be a blast to work together again sometime. All the best!
Brendan Kavaney says
Josh, I agree about the power of creativity and I believe that most marketing concepts originate in b2c environments, then flow to b2b. But, the most difficult part in my opinion is not b2c vs b2b, but product vs services marketing, like the IT services industry. Even a simple deal for us is multimillions over many years with a 12-18 month sales cycles, although similar no deal is the same and therefore the “service” we sell is unique for each customer. Without clearly defining your service offering, how do you build a creative message? Imagine a hair salon where every customer had a different hair type and every haircut request was different.
Josh Reed says
Brendan, thanks for your comment. You raise a great point. Creative messaging is a challenge when your service offering is complex. When we work with technology or consulting firms that have a broad array of services, the first thing we’ll do is take a step back and uncover their “Cause”. Cause is why you exist as a company. It’s your core purpose / calling / rally cry. It’s how you’re changing your customer’s world. It’s what sets you apart from the competition. Cause is your stake in the ground. And it frames the conversations you’re having with your market.
IBM’s “Let’s build a smarter planet” is a great example. It’s more than a tagline – it’s a Cause. Their Cause gives them a creative, differentiated platform for their message – despite the complexity and variety of their service offerings. If you build your message around a compelling Cause, that’s true to who you are, you’ll have a more creative, meaningful way to speak about everything you do. When a company uncovers its Cause (and finds a creative way to express it), all the specifics can pivot off of that positioning.