Three Keys to “Super Bowl” B2B Marketing

B2B Marketing

“B2B marketing and social media are so dumb. It is literally the most boring waste of time ever. I remember when I interned for Lids marketing, and their B2C marketing was so much more fun because you are actually allowed to have a personality and some fun.” When discussing our careers, this line came flowing out of a close friend. How much truth does his statement carry?

This Sunday, an expected 117 million Americans will tune in to Super Bowl 50 according to Bovada. Many consider this to be the pinnacle of B2C marketing as heavyweights like Doritos, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Geico, and Budweiser will vie for the designation of “best commercial.” The average cost per second of a commercial during last year’s Super Bowl was $150,000, which works itself out to a cool 4.5-million-dollar price tag for a 30 second commercial.

One fact that cannot be argued is that Super Bowl ads are typically fun, creative, and much anticipated even if they provide little direct impact to the bottom line. So how can B2B marketers flex their creative muscles while still getting the job done? Let’s take a closer look at the three keys to“Super Bowl” B2B marketing.

  1. B2B does not equal “Boring to Business” – The main knock on B2B marketing is that it is too formal and uninspiring due to the audience being businesses. But I ask you this? What makes up businesses? People! And what is more, I am willing to bet that they are people who have emotions, passions, and feelings too! It is very easy to fall into the rut of, “Well, this whitepaper should appeal to XYZ industry for reasons 1, 2, and 3,” with your content marketing. Targeting an industry with content is great, but if you are a marketing software company, you better take this mentality a step further and market to CMOs, marketing directors, and marketing managers. At the end of the day, a very real human being is the one writing the check for your software or services, not a business.
  2. Your blogs better appeal to a widespread demographic – Blogs need to be fun. Blogs need to be informative. Blogs need to be helpful. Blogs need to be technical. Blogs need to build trust. Blogs need to be a lot of things these days, and the list does not end with the characteristics listed above. A company blog without a diverse set of writers and topics can get stale quickly. At Right On Interactive, we publish 3-4 blogs per week, typically from 3-4 different writers to ensure that we keep our content fresh and our readers on their toes (we like to think at least). We have technical writers, we have people who think that they are funny, and we have everything in between to appeal to our diverse audience.
  3. Have some confidence and attitude with your social media – If you search the phrase, “How to be aggressive with social media,” the first 8 articles listed on Google are about, “how to be passive-aggressive.” Passive aggressive does not cut it with the level of competition that B2B marketers face daily, much less the competition faced on social media. According to Marketing Land, depending on number of followers, tweets have an impression rate of 4-8%. Meaning that if you have 100,000 followers, only about 6,000 of them will actually even see your tweet, much less engage with it. Think of Twitter like speed dating. You have one, very brief chance to make a first impression. “I work 9-5 and live in the suburbs. Here’s a link to my Facebook page,” versus, “I am passionate about my job and just bought my first house. Let’s get coffee sometime.” Which one would you be more likely to engage with on a human, emotional level?

If you work in B2B marketing and sales, take a look at those Super Bowl commercials this weekend, and determine if there are qualities or principles that can apply to your B2B marketing. Some will be easy to identify; others will push you out of your comfort zone (kind of how I imagine speed dating would).