Remember when I put on my complaining pants and ranted about some of the most annoying trends in content marketing a few weeks ago? Well, guess who just got his pants back from the cry cleaners? That’s right – this guy.
For those who read my previous article, you might remember that one of my biggest complaints was, “blogs that don’t offer any specific value.” I mean, come on. Do you really think brands are struggling with the idea that maybe 3 a.m. isn’t the best time to promote their post on social media? And while I’ll admit that these fluff posts have started to die down as marketers tailor their content development strategies to fit long-tail keywords, a new breed of blog posts have spawned in their wake. I’m talking, of course, about the “one size fits (and fixes) all” posts.
As content marketing becomes more widely practiced across all industries, the lines separating the marketing styles between those industries have become blurred. Like some bloggers have put it, we’re no longer living in a B2B vs. B2C world, but rather a B2H (Business to Human) world. And while certain aspects of that might be true, we need to come to grips with reality: B2C CONTENT MARKETING DOESN’T WORK FOR B2Bs!
Okay, okay. Let me pump the brakes and back it up. What I really meant to reinforce was that maybe B2Bs and B2Cs aren’t as similar as we’d like to think – especially when it comes to visual content. For example, just because Forever 21 might be able to gain thousands of followers with an Instagram campaign, doesn’t mean it serves as a good example for other businesses – especially B2Bs. Does it mean we should just tell them to ignore Instagram altogether? Absolutely not. It means that we, as content marketers, need to focus more attention on how our audiences take in visual content.
That being said, in this post, I’ll explore one area where the content marketing lines have blurred too much, and help you form some more realistic strategies and expectations of how B2Bs should be utilizing visual media.
Short-Form Video (Vine and Instagram)
Remember when Instagram announced the release of their video feature this summer? There was a lot of marketing buzz about how B2Bs could use short-form video in their marketing strategies. However, because Instagram is an app that’s more popular with consumers, the problem was that most of these posts borrowed strategies and examples from brands that didn’t fit the B2B audience. Whereas a clothing brand might use Instagram several times a day to show off their new looks and engage their audience, a manufacturer might only have a handful of images and videos to share each month.
As I alluded to before, just because Vine and Instagram are more valuable for other brands, it does not make them worthless to others. Though some B2Cs might find it more value in using it every day to interact with their followers, B2Bs can still use it to boost engagement – just don’t expect 10,000+ likes and comments! Take this video from GE for example:
Though this video may have only gotten 155 likes, it still stirred some very active engagement among their fans, and provided an interesting look at GE’s culture of innovation.
And while there’s no scoffing at GE’s engagement on Vine or Instagram (they use the apps better than any B2B I’ve seen so far), it’s clear that their visual marketing efforts are better focused elsewhere. Look at this YouTube video for example:
With no limitations on length, GE is able to pack a lot more “behind the scenes” looks and special information into a YouTube video, as opposed to one on Instagram or Vine. Couple that with an internet user’s ease of access to (and general knowledge of) YouTube, and you start to see how they were able to get over 321,000 views. And while you shouldn’t expect to get 300,000+ views for your brand right off the bat, I’ll leave you with 4 blogs that give useful examples of how B2Bs can create and promote videos effectively:
- Video Marketing Tips for Specialty Manufacturing Companies – Part 1
- Video Marketing Tips for Specialty Manufacturing Companies – Part 2
- 4 Examples of Manufacturing Companies Creating Awesome Visual Content
- 3 Ways Financial Services Companies Can Use Video to Increase Leads
Once you’ve read the blogs and are ready to start using videos for your brand, download our free eBook, "How to Use Social Media to Attract More Visitors to Your Website" and learn the secrets of optimizing your YouTube channel to attract more high-quality leads and traffic to your website.