5 Ways to Help Your B2B Marketing Resonate with Your Audience
Let’s kick this off with something B2B marketers all know but can tend to forget: businesses don’t sell to businesses. They sell to people. Why is this important to note?
Because while B2B marketing is about familiarizing other businesses with your own, you’re not really speaking to a business – you’re speaking to people at that business. So whenever you create content, it’s important to write it and share it to connect with actual people.
Sidenote: This is why Brenna tells me to think of B2B content as B2B2C content – there’s always a person at the other end of your message.
But how do you gear B2B marketing to people and connect with your audience more effectively? Here are five ways.
1. Establish a Distinct Voice for Your Blog
Whenever we begin a content program we work with clients to find the right voice for their blogs. Here are three considerations:
- How clients want to sound. Do you want the colloquial tone and pun-forward nature of Morning Brew? The academic tilt of The Atlantic? Or something short and to the point, like Axios?
- How clients currently speak. Depending on the nature of the content, it might make sense to emulate how your sales team speaks with clients. Are discussions highly technical in nature or more free-wheeling? See what you can borrow.
- How clients’ audiences speak. If your audience is recent college grads, you probably don’t want to publish a 2,000-word blog post filled with industry jargon. Another way to find the right voice: identify publications your audience typically reads and emulate their sophistication level.
Why is voice so important? Because nobody wants to read a blog that sounds like it was written by a robot (or worse, stuffed with keywords).
2. Leverage Personal LinkedIn Profiles
Chances are, a founder’s LinkedIn profile has more reach than their early-stage startup’s. Leverage that.
Let’s say your founder drafts a blog post on how a new piece of legislation impacts your industry. If you run your startup’s LinkedIn page, encourage your founder to share that blog post on their own LinkedIn first. Then, share your founder’s LinkedIn post on your startup’s LinkedIn page.
Here’s Josh practicing what we’re preaching!
Why does sharing blog posts in this way increase their impact? Because people gravitate to humans – not businesses.
If you want to drive additional value from these LinkedIn posts, pay to promote certain posts. This type of promotion helps build your startup’s brand and your founder’s brand. It also establishes your startup’s LinkedIn page as a place where industry professionals can gain insights from people they know and trust.
3. Fit Your Messaging to Different Social Media Platforms
If you wrote 750 words on how a current event impacts your industry, would you share that as A) a blog post or B) a series of tweets? Probably the former.
That’s because that medium fits the content better – and it meets your B2B audience’s expectations. Twitter users typically want short, punchy messages. Sure, there are Twitter threads that string these together, but you’d write those differently than you would a blog (think: shorter sentences and the occasional hashtag).
Considering your content and audience applies to other platforms beyond Twitter, as well. Yes, you should post across different channels. But you shouldn’t post the same text blurb to each channel.
Say you recently published a blog on your website. When sharing it to your startup’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook accounts, you’ll want to do more than just type the title of the blog and link to it. That doesn’t add much value, and it probably doesn’t entice people to read it.
An effective way of sharing that blog to other channels might look like…
- Highlighting three takeaways in a LinkedIn post that links to the blog.
- Pulling key points from the blog and presenting them as a Twitter thread.
- Creating an infographic with compelling figures from the blog that you can post on LinkedIn or Instagram (this is particularly useful if you generated original research).
In short, if you want people to interact with your brand, make it easy for them. After all, their time is valuable – show them you respect it by delivering value right away. If you piqued their interest, they’ll read the full blog attached to your LinkedIn post or your tweet.
4. Send Marketing Emails from People’s Email Addresses
I’m going to go out on a limb and say nobody has dropped what they were doing to read a marketing email from a “do not reply” address.
Those emails feel impersonal and eliminate the ability for recipients to engage with the sender or author.
When sending marketing emails, whether a monthly newsletter, an investor update, or company news, have it come from an individual at your startup, not “Marketing.” This might mean adopting a more conversational tone – so long as it falls within your startup’s voice – and signing off with that person’s name.
A helpful tip if you decide to do this: create a unique personal email that marketing can use. This will keep that person’s primary email address from being inundated with bouncebacks and reduces the risk of being blacklisted by spam filters.
5. Identify Opportunities for People’s Personalities to Shine through Unfiltered
If you have smart, clever, and charismatic folks on your team, find ways to spotlight them.
One option: pitch podcasts. A podcast appearance gives these folks a platform to discuss your industry and solution while showcasing their personality. Podcasts are also a great option if you want to produce content that your audience can easily consume during their commute.
Another option to humanize your B2B marketing? Founder letters. When something notable happens at your startup, such as funding, new products, or other big milestones, a founder letter sent to all stakeholders will increase its impact.
Here are some ideas on what to include in that founder letter.
Businesses Don’t Speak to Each Other – People Do
Generating and positioning B2B marketing content that connects and engages with people isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and a fair bit of strategizing.
But you don’t have to do it alone.
Consider working with others to refine these processes for you, whether it’s hiring a ghostwriter to finish a couple pieces here and there or working with an agency that can help answer these voice and positioning questions for you.
If you want more help with refining your startup’s B2B marketing, reach out!