Valuing creativity makes a marked difference in B2B content marketing success.
CMI’s 2020 research shows that 92% of the most successful B2B content marketers say their organization values creativity and craft in content creation and production.
92% of the most successful #B2B marketers say their orgs value creativity via @CMIContent 2020 #research. Click To Tweet
Yet, only 78% of all respondents work for organizations that value creativity (and, not surprisingly, 65% of the least successful content marketers do).
Here are six examples from the past year to inspire your B2B creativity in 2020 – and get your brand to believe in the value of creativity.
Shoutout to Natalya Minkovsky who regularly shares examples in CCO’s Idea Garage. The first two come from her writings in 2019.
Deloitte creates Business Chemistry (Idea Garage, CCO October 2019)
To help its B2B audiences improve their workplace dynamics, professional services provider Deloitte has created a system called Business Chemistry. According to Deloitte, the company “teamed with scientists from the fields of neuro-anthropology and genetics to develop a system that leverages modern computational techniques to bring a data-driven approach to observing and understanding differences in people’s business styles.”
While the description is a mouthful, Business Chemistry is similar to other systems in that people take an assessment that places them in one of four buckets: pioneer, driver, integrator, or guardian.
Click to enlarge
Business Chemistry was designed to help those who use it to recognize the preferences and styles of others by measuring observable, business-relevant traits.
A book explaining the system, Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships, is available through Amazon and other retailers. The Business Chemistry website offers an array of accompanying free content, from the online assessment itself to a podcast that explores business relationships, a study about stress in the workplace, and numerous interactive tools and videos.
Squarespace searches for next great podcast (Idea Garage, CCO April 2019)
Do you listen to podcasts? If you do, you’ve probably heard a Squarespace ad or two or three. No longer satisfied with advertising alone, website builder Squarespace partnered with the audio producers at Gimlet Creative to launch Casting Call, a six-episode reality audio series that documented the search for the next great podcast.
After putting out an open casting call for aspiring podcast hosts, Squarespace judges narrowed the field to three finalists, each of whom produced a pilot episode that aired on Casting Call. Casting Call listeners voted for their favorite, choosing between a podcast about learning to face life from people who are facing death; an exploration of multilevel marketing companies; and the stories of people of color in relation to money, wealth, and economics. The prize? A miniseries produced by Gimlet.
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Tech technique touts blog post
Midwich, a U.K.-based B2B distributor of technology solutions, took an unusual route to blog promotion – a QR code. The promotion married well with the topic of the blog, collaborative technology solutions.Fresh take: @MidwichLtd, a #B2B distributor of tech solutions, used a QR code to promote a blog post (and it worked), says @anngynn via @cmicontent. #contentmarketing #examples Click To Tweet
As Hannah Moody, digital content creator at Midwich, explains: “Not only was this very popular with our in-house team, but the managing director loved it and took a handful of QR codes to show vendors and our external sales team took some to show their customers too.”
In the first week, the blog received over 156 page views from people who scanned the QR code.
Midwich also shared the marketing strategy in a LinkedIn post that trended for #marketing and received over 3,300 impressions.
Training firm talks to the customers of its clients and prospects
Original research isn’t a new technique in content marketing. But conducting original research to learn what your clients’ customers think is less common. That’s what High Speed Training, an online training provider for compliance and safety in the hospitality industry, did.
Jordana Hargreaves, content marketing executive at High Speed Training, says the commissioned research surveyed 2,000 members of the public and more than 250 managers in the industry. The aim was to uncover the main challenges in the industry to gain insight into how the public thinks those problems can be solved.
Then, it explored how public opinion contrasted from the opinion on the industry frontlines. High Speed Training collected the findings as a digital report, Preserving the “Art of Hospitality.” It used an easily accessible format for time-starved prospects and clients with varied learning styles, including infographics and a two-minute summary.
“Because we highlighted such important issues the industry is facing, we reached our target industry in new ways by empathizing with them and reiterating their concerns,” Jordana explains.
The research garnered 38 pieces of media coverage and created stronger relationships with the industry because High Speed Training was now seen as enabling public discussion of the challenges and solutions.
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3D innovator features influencers as video stars
An innovator in the world of 3D motion tracking, Xsens wanted a campaign featuring its flagship motion-capture suit. The tech clothing enables seamless interaction between the physical and digital worlds.
To reach its target audience of computer-generated-image enthusiasts, it worked with Corridor Digital to create a series of hilarious, technically accurate videos. It also asked industry influencers to participate, including Clinton Jones, a popular motion graphic actor who operates the YouTube channel pwnisher, which has more than 350,000 subscribers.
In this video, Clinton develops an “audition tape” for the next Lion King “whenever that may be.”
Grammatik serves as Xsens’ marketing agency and coordinated with Corridor Digital. Its account director, Sofia Pensado, says the videos went stratospheric. The Lion King audition tape video has earned more than 1.2 million views since August.
But The New Robot Fights Back video went huge, attracting over 14 million views since June:
And the how-it-was-made New Robot video has garnered 2.4 million views.
Overall, the effort also garnered over 22 million views on social media and led to 15 high-profile articles in the media.
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Property management company connects with DIYers
Smart content marketers play the long game. Real Property Management, in partnership with agency Paige Black, is playing an even longer game. It’s targeting people who don’t want its services..@RPM_NorthernVA, property management firm, serves people who don’t want its services, says @anngynn via @cmicontent. #contentmarketing #examples Click To Tweet
Paige Black CEO, Mike Black, explains the challenge. The property management firm saw the potential in remarketing its services to homeowners who once declined professional management services in favor of do-it-yourself property management. Real Property Management also wanted to challenge the perception of the property management industry as unsavory and untrustworthy.
“By offering free, well-organized property management information from their decades of experience managing thousands of properties, Real Property Management could position themselves as truthful and ethical,” Mike says.
In 2019, The Landlord Resource Center attracted over 12,000 new visits with an average on-page time of 3.11 minutes. “Our client established themselves in the region as the reliable experts landlords can trust … if and when they get tired of DIYing it,” Mike says.
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Value (and use) your creativity
Creative B2B marketing is not an oxymoron. And as research shows, valuing creativity is almost always a key ingredient in content marketing success.
Let these six examples inspire you and your team to get creative – whether you have the budget to create an interactive experience or just need to adjust your brainstorming to figure out a fresh way to share what you’re already creating.
Did you see a great B2B content marketing example in 2019? Please share in the comments (even if it’s your own).
You don’t need to wait until the end of the year for this creative inspiration. Access the CCO’s Idea Garage three times a year. Subscribe to the now-digital-only Chief Content Officer.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute