B2B marketing is often considered a niche type of marketing – a distinct type of approach for a specific audience. And that is sometimes true. But B2B marketing has been shifting to embrace more of the mainstream methods of communication and marketing. One area in particular: social media. The lack of in-person and live events this past year has forced a change in approach. Social media has become a go-to resource to communicate with audiences. And there’s seemingly less hesitation to be “on social” than before.
The shift from social being “a place” to “the place” for B2B brands to communicate with audiences means more opportunities to share their narrative. And a great way to share narratives is through Stories. Not just storytelling, although that’s the core concept here. But the short-form, ephemeral videos available across all social platforms right now. It’s a trend I expect to continue in 2021 as more B2B brands explore the boundaries of how social can (and should) be part of their marketing and comms strategy. I chatted recently with Jason Bradwell on the B2B Better podcast about the Stories trend.
Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A.
How can B2B brands leverage the Stories format and why does exclusive short live content work for B2B audiences just as much as it does for consumers?
Video Stories are going to be a big deal for B2B. There’s a conception that a B2B audience is vastly different than B2C audiences, but people are still looking for solutions. And they use the same channels as anyone else. People tend to like narratives, and short form Stories are such a good way to share a narrative. It’s why they become so popular. It’s why every platform has them now. This concept of having exclusive ephemeral content has been popular and growing in popularity. Taking advantage of that narrative storytelling and exclusivity works because that’s what people are using social for. Why not use it for B2B purposes? Stories are going to be a great opportunity for B2B marketers to tell their story.
What kind of content is best served as a story?
What do people want to hear? And what do they want to hear from you? People are looking for solutions. Give them content that helps solve a challenge and addresses something that they need. That’s what’s going to work. The way you present it can vary. That solution could be shared through something clever and funny or it can be something very serious. So long as you’re giving them the answer to something that is on the top of their minds, that’s going to help.
How can a team get started, especially smaller teams that may be lacking a budget or resources?
First, be comfortable with testing things and letting things fail or fly. You don’t know what’s going to work or not work until you attempt it. Get buy in from others that there is risk to testing new things but potential reward. Because the more you can test, the more you can fine tune.
Second, is be consistent. You don’t have put out content every 12 minutes or even every day. But figure out a schedule that’s going to work for your team. If all you can do is one great story every month, go for it. Make it great and keep it consistent. It’s better to give your audience something that engages them through surprise and delight. If you can build a schedule plan for it, it’s going to make the quality better. And people respond to that.