‘Creative’ is not the word to go with ‘marketing’ when it comes to B2B marketing. In fact, B2B companies should only generate a straightforward message to their potential buyers. And, sales representatives in suits are the ones to be in charge when it comes to lead generation and everything required to make a sale happen.
Time to rethink this oldschool approach!
B2B companies need to step out and be creative in their marketing efforts. In fact, some of them are not only creative, but also managed to master their presence on social media. It’s all about interacting with fans and potential prospects before even trying to make a sale. Here are some of the most creative B2B marketing examples out there.
1. General Electric
General Electric seem to have mastered their presence on social media. And they have it all. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, you name it. But the channel that they truly dominate seems to be Instagram with over 216,000 followers. Using appealing visuals they manage to engage their followers and get closer to them, even though they're a big B2B brand. The range of topics they cover is strongly related to what they do, but they speak less about the brand itself and more about the technology and innovation in the respective fields.
When it comes to SEO tools Moz is one of the unquestioned leaders. When it comes to their marketing efforts we can easily say they are the most active one. They have a very informative and industry leading blog about search engine optimization and they also let users create their own content. Although everything they do is outstanding, their one brilliant piece of content marketing is Whiteboard Fridays. Each Friday, Rand Fishkin creates a video where he gives latest advice about various topics related to SEO. (Source)
The best case scenario for any blog that aims to attract a certain audience is to create their own, unique styled, consumer specific content. Not only does it save money and time creating the content yourself, but it is also exactly what is necessary to attract your audience.
Caterpillar, construction machinery and equipment company, managed to turn this idea into a very creative advantage. They created a blog for each of the industries they serve, went into the niche market and started encouraging their members to contribute to the blog. The result: not only do they have invaluable content created absolutely for free, but also a dedicated community ready to back them up whenever necessary. (source)
Danish magnate and the biggest container shipping company never seemed to shine with their social media presence. But what they represent is a good example of other values that be be derived from utilizing the power of social. Since the company employs more than 25,000 people, they encouraged every employee to follow their social pages and then invite their friends as well. As a result, within a year they acquired more than 700,000 followers on Facebook alone. The initial idea Maersk had is to create a concise image of who they are and what they do, which payed off unexpectedly well with the help of their creative idea. Talk about increasing social reach.
Cisco managed to push the boundaries when it comes to demonstrating creativity in B2B marketing. They created a series of videos where the tech leader is being interviewed by a waiter, just an average guy. In the video, not only they include lots of humour, but also manage to sneak in some technical information. It is a perfect example of how a brand can be humanized. (source)
6. American Express OpenForum
There are plenty of B2C examples when a company creates a product that is completely separate from their brand in order to eventually encourage consumers to refer to their main product. Some B2B companies managed to utilize this method as well. American Express created Open Forum in order to help business owners with advice on different aspects of running their business. In addition to having content in form of blog posts, they also encourage members to contribute by sharing ideas with rest of the community to the ‘Idea Hub’. (source)
Honorable mention: Daimler AG, Mercedes
Although these should be strictly B2B examples (this one to some extent is), a latest LinkedIn post by Daimler AG that went viral is worth of mentioning. Mercedes recently congratulated their main competitor BMW on its 100th birthday in a very creative way and created huge buzz on social media. Two car producers have a long history not only in competing, but also communicating with each other much like Pepsi and Coke. These, in return engage their audiences, communities of people who are in love with one of these two brands, resulting in increasing loyalty and retention for both brands.
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Doing your targeting right is the crucial element of success when it comes to creating out-of-the-box strategies like these. When you know who exactly you want to attract with your campaign, you know how will they act and ultimately, know how you should act. Doing what everyone else does can only get you half the way, but if you really want to achieve greatness, you need to excel at words (yeah, this IS a Microsoft Office pun).
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