The Secret to Creativity in B2B Marketing

Trying true creativity in B2B marketing can sometimes feel like a mission impossible. 

Whether you’re faced with making a product that really isn’t that exciting seem exciting, or you just need to up your game when it comes to stopping scrolling thumbs, we have got a real treat for you. 

Actor, a comedian, and director of the TV, film, and creative varieties, David Schneider, shared how he’s put everything he’s learned from his career into creating outstanding content and campaigns. 

Here’s what we learned from his session at DigiConf21:

1. Forget everything you know about B2B

B2B or B2C – the person on the other end of your marketing is still a person, regardless of their position or industry. 

“Creativity is the same across the board. Creative success is about communicating with humans through your laptop or mobile.” – David Schneider 

Before you even think about brainstorming creative, answer these three questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Who are you talking to?
  • What do you stand for?

For example, you probably shouldn’t mock the football team your brand has just partnered with. We all love a good tongue-in-cheek joke, but you’ve still got to quite literally check yourself before you wreck yourself. Missed it? Here’s what happened.

When it comes to resonating with your audience and remaining relevant, it’s easy enough for brands to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to social issues and what’s trending, but it’s essential to have the backup to prove you say what you mean. You don’t want to be accused of being all mouth and no trousers, or all salt and no tequila – you know what we mean. 

Be outspoken about what you believe in, and make sure it’s heard. There may already be a blog or a piece of content in your repertoire you can use to respond to trending content or to show you actually mean what you say. 

Example: Sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint has been a huge topic for the past few years, here’s Brewdog showing what they’re actually doing about it: 

Ok so don’t quite forget everything you know – the usual analytics, insights, and test and learn mindset still apply to B2B marketing – how else will you know that what you’re doing is working? 

2. Be a human 

“Whether you’re writing a script or a tweet, the human level of interest is essential.” – David Schneider 

You might be marketing a product that has been marketed a hundred times before, but think about what that product is going to do for a person, and then tell that story. 

Another way to tell a great story is by talking about your people – whether’s it’s employees or customers. You work with at least a handful, and if not hundreds or thousands, and they all have stories to tell.

From the CEO to the new starters – humanise them, give them a voice, and let your audience get to know them to build your relationship. 

Make sure the language and content you use relate to your audience. This may sound simple, but can be a challenge particularly when there is a need to use some technical jargon. Simply reading your copy out loud can help you realise what needs to be simplified. 

Remember #berniesandersmittens? What a time to be alive. Memes and trending content are a great way to engage your audience. Just because you’re a B2B brand, it doesn’t mean you can’t show humour and wit. Everyone wants to be in on the joke, so get involved, just like Shopify did:

3. Build a community

Giving your audience a chance to talk about, share and engage with your content opens up a space for conversation. Creating content that inspires your audience to do something, share something, or simply tag a friend has unprecedented value for your brand reputation, reach, and engagement. 

If increasing engagement is one of your key objectives, your community must come first. Generating over 2.1 billion views on TikTok, Mastercard took to the platform to break the world record for the largest digital stadium Mexican wave. Inviting users to take part and be part of a Guinness World Record, the campaign mixed AI with influencer marketing. You only need to search the hashtag #PricelessWave to see how much UGC the campaign gathered.

@dontmakeadsMastercard taking on the Guinness World Records with #PricelessWave and delivering Creative Excellence too ⚽️🏆♬ original sound – TikTok for Business

“Brands are moving from selling and telling, to connecting, listening, and playing” – David Schneider

4. Don’t just be a human, be a jockey

Unlike film and TV, you haven’t got the luxury of a captive audience on social media. Be short and snappy, and get to the point. Whether you’re writing a voiceover script or a tweet, ask yourself “can I start later and end sooner?”

Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and if you don’t grab it within the first couple of seconds, your message won’t be heard.

“Open strongly, with a face if you can. You don’t have the breath in social that you do in film. Start with a bang” – David Schneider

5. Be agile

If we marketers have learned anything in the last year and a bit, it’s how to turn around a marketing plan with quite literally no. idea. what. is. going. on. 

We had to drop all of our plans, create brand new content schedules from scratch, work out how to create authentic but high-quality video from our dining room tables, and so much more, all whilst living through a global pandemic.

Adaptability and agility are key in creativity because you never know what’s around the corner.

Freelance Luke O Reilly shares what creativity in B2B should like

This is a perfect example of rules 4 and 5, and would you believe this isn’t a Guinness original?

Created by freelance copywriter Luke O’Reilly, and then shared by the brand after going viral during the pandemic. Eye-catching, simple, and effective, it demonstrates the power of brand advertising and next-level UGC.

“In your business, there might be something that responds to what’s happening in the world. Look for every opportunity to be topical and relevant.” – David Schneider

Want to learn more about sparking creativity? Watch David's full session now

You can now watch all of the DigiConf21 sessions here. Oh, did we mention it’s completely free?

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