Here are seven ways that B2B marketers need to think more like brand marketers:
1. Tell stories with content marketing
Brand marketers understand that stories are how people learn, create an emotional connection and get moved to action. So they are increasingly making their content about customers (hopes, dreams, challenges), not about the products they sell. What’s the bottom line? B2B marketers must think more like storytellers and less like product marketers.
2. Engage with video
Brand marketers are leveraging the power of video to drive engagement. For them, it’s all about YouTube, Facebook, Vine and Instagram for getting their content viewed, shared and talked about. What about B2B marketers? Still too focused on webinars, white papers and case studies even though video works for lead generation.
3. Think mobile first
Brand marketers are integrating mobile into everything they do. Whether it’s investing in apps, making mobile-friendly websites or buying mobile advertising. Buyers are watching more videos, reading more content and doing more product research, on their phones. What should B2B marketers do? Start thinking mobile first. For example, when was the last time you checked how your website looks on your phone?
4. Start mobilizing brand advocates
It’s not only consumer brands such as Apple, Harley Davidson and Starbucks that have customers passionate enough to recommend their products or services. Every company has brand advocates, even those that sell to other businesses. B2B marketers need to make identifying and mobilizing advocates a priority. Why? There’s no one more effective at championing our products and services than our customers.
5. Invest in social customer service
Brand marketers understand that their company’s reputation is increasingly dependent on providing awesome customer service. And where do customers want to engage? On social media, of course. And business buyers are becoming more like consumers in terms of what they expect from the companies that serve them. The time has come to figure out your social care strategy.
6. Tap into the power of earned media
Brand marketers value the credibility, brand awareness and website traffic that’s generated when online publications write about their companies. They view PR and earned media as a critical component to achieving their marketing goals. However, for many B2B marketers the connection between PR and sales results seems tenuous at best, and they don’t even talk about earned media. The result? Traditional paid media is still the (expensive) go to method for getting the word out.
7. Leverage social advertising
Brand marketers are now investing heavily in advertising on Facebook and Twitter to reach consumers where they are most active and engaged. What about B2B marketers? They need to move beyond the traditional B2B ad networks, email marketing programs and paid media sponsorships and instead begin leveraging social advertising to generate leads.
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