The world is going digital. With that shift, work lives, social lives and the marketing tactics used to participate in conversations are going with them.
B2B companies have sometimes been reluctant to make the move to digital and means because so many of the avenues seemed geared towards consumers. Also, there's a pesky, age-old belief in the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” that needs to be overcome.
As of late though, more and more B2B brands are expanding beyond their traditional marketing methods and embracing digital mediums that were previously been associated more with B2C marketers. You have probably noticed the trend of B2B brands popping up on Facebook, Twitter, and other digital arenas. A shift of commerce to online is partially responsible for the online marketing. A recent study from Intershop reveals that 57% of B2B vendors believe that B2B commerce is “shifting from offline to online and self-service,” which makes online marketing all the more crucial.
Some brands have really embraced traditionally consumer-oriented marketing channels as their own and are launching some creative and effective campaigns. Included in those are the follow B2B brands.
Have a look at their approaches. You may learn something:
Worldwide IT leader Cisco Systems jumped into online marketing head first. One look at the Cisco YouTube channel and anyone can see that the brand is highly dedicated to video creation—uploading multiple videos a day. With over 55,000 subscribers, it’s safe to say this B2B brand has proven value with their online videos covering topics like career opportunities, product demos, and more.
Cisco is also quite active on another social network where you might not expect to find them—Instagram. The brand has found a way to be quite relevant on the platform despite the lack of visual interest in their products. Cisco is particularly hashtag-savvy, both in developing tags to represent their brand and leveraging popular hashtags from others.
Software company Adobe has not only spent time developing stellar digital profiles, but has executed some impressive campaigns that blend real life situations with digital. Last year, Adobe ran a campaign that encouraged followers to go on a real-life scavenger hunt around San Francisco as part of the “Create Now” campaign to launch the Creative Cloud.
Participants were sent out around San Francisco to find puzzle pieces attached to balloons and return them to Adobe's headquarters.Tips on the balloons’ location were shared on Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook. The scavenger hunt was echoed online with clues scattered across social media channels and their websites. The stunt attract 600 participants to each hunt.
Adobe is no stranger to Instagram or its owners at Facebook. One advantage Adobe has over some other B2B companies is that users of some of their products are creating visually appealing projects. Users’ creativity gets a huge spotlight on the Instagram account.
Like other companies on the list, enterprise software firm SAP has a strong grip on how powerful online video can be. The brand’s YouTube page is chock-full of videos ranging from commercials to consultant stories.
While the account hasn’t taken off quite yet, SAP has dipped a toe into Instagram. The Facebook page, however, is quite popular with over 200,000 followers. On the page, you will see that SAP has figured out how to weave what they do well, (a.k.a. data and analysis) into consumer friendly topics like fantasy football. It’s a great merge of a business-centric service explained in a way that any consumer would understand.