On every episode of our Best Story Wins podcast, we chat with marketing industry leaders about to get their best b2b marketing tips and find out how they’re connecting with their audience. Launch Darkly CMO Keith Messick is always down for a good chat, and if there’s one thing we know about him, it’s that he hates B2B marketing…when it’s boring.
As he reminded us on the pod, one of the biggest myths in B2B is that it is not emotional. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Any buying decision you make has an emotional driver, and in B2B there are plenty: the drive to perform better, to advance your career, to please your boss, and more. Still, so many B2B marketers treat their audiences like bots, often producing the most generic content that is safe but, well, rarely effective.
Messick thinks there is a larger shift coming in the B2B space, in that people not only crave but may soon expect B2B marketing to mirror B2C—with all the fun, creativity, and emotionally driven messaging that entails. What does that mean? If you want to be ahead of the curve, it’s time to inject a little more fun into your B2B marketing. Luckily, Messick was kind enough to share three of his best tips to do so.
3 B2B Marketing Tips to Make Engaging Content
Whether you’re brainstorming your next batch of content or revamping your content strategy from head to toe, try these tips to capture your audience’s attention—and keep them engaged.
1) Use humor.
Humor can be tricky because it is so subjective, but it is also one of the easiest ways to make B2B marketing more engaging—and stand out from the competition. So many brands are stuffy or drowning their audience in techspeak (especially in SaaS). It’s easy for audiences to tune out. Leading with levity is a great way to cut through the noise and make a genuine connection with your audience.
Tip: Messick notes that inside jokes with an audience can be especially effective. By demonstrating empathy, you can prove that you really understand who they are. These types of shared jokes also make your audience feel like they are part of a special community. To do this effectively, think of common problems or frustrations your audience faces, then look for ways to meme-ify them or create entertaining content.
Want to stand out from your competition? Create content marketing that is fun and creative.
For example, we personally hate marketing jargon and gibberish, but we know it’s pervasive in our industry. As a joke, we made the Marketing Gibberish Generator to help the next social-guru-rockstar-ninja BS their way through their next meeting.
2) Think of the marketing you hate—and try something different.
Another way to make B2B marketing less boring is to zig where everyone zags. Think of the standard practices or approaches in your industry—the ones you find particularly boring or uninspiring—and think of creative ways to do the opposite, whether that’s trying something different with your next e-book or explainer video.
For example, Messick is bored to death by basic customer testimonials, as they all tend to look and sound the same. His team is working to revamp their videos to make them more unscripted and more natural—even if that includes some bloopers.
Tip: When you’re brainstorming a fresh piece of content, picture the generic version that you would find in your industry. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What information does it contain? Now, think about how you could tweak every aspect to make it stand out, whether that’s a sassier title or completely different format.
In the vein of Messick’s complaint about customer videos, we particularly love Crowdstrike’s City of Las Vegas case study, which feels like the opening of a spy thriller film.
If you’re inspired to do something similar, find out how to craft compelling customer stories, and check out these 15 B2B videos that are anything but boring.
3) Make things more entertaining than they need to be.
If you really want to make your content less boring (and showcase your brand personality), go above and beyond to do something unexpected, or add a little flair to your content. Messick says that making things funner than they need to be is one of his favorite things to do.
For example, you might create a game or quiz that tests your audience’s knowledge of your industry. You could create a video that parodies a popular TV show or movie, using it as a way to explain a complex concept in a more digestible way. By being creative and pushing the boundaries, you can easily capture your audience’s attention and make a lasting impression.
Tip: In marketing, the more mundane content is often overlooked (e.g., the CTA, the newsletter confirmation email, etc.). Look for ways to infuse a bit of personality into them, and you’ll make a small but impactful change that improves your customer experience. For inspiration, start with our tips to write copy that emotionally hooks your audience.
This is especially smart to do in industries that traditionally rely on safe or straightforward messaging (think cybersecurity). When you can turn a mundane piece of messaging into a fun and exciting moment, your audience will take note.
For example, when Dialpad announced their new AI voice platform, we helped them create a funny promo video featuring a variety of robots “auditioning” for the new gig. It was a far more engaging and entertaining approach than a traditional tech promo video.
How to Keep Your Content Interesting
B2B marketing is always evolving, which means you always have opportunities to try new things and build stronger relationships with your audience. If you want to make sure that every piece of content connects, here are a few more things to keep in mind.
- Put your personality front and center. One of the easiest ways to stand out is to use a strong and clear brand voice in everything you create—down to your tweets.
- Get inspired by the pros. We know it’s hard to get inspired when you’re selling a less-than-sexy product. Find out how these brands have turned their boring products into killer marketing.
- Experiment more. Mix up your content formats, try a new design style, or Tweet an entertaining tip thread. The more you engage with your audience, the more you’ll learn what resonates.
Most importantly, stay up-to-date on the latest marketing tips and trends. Listen to the Best Story Wins podcast, where you can hear more industry experts show you how to win marketing. Or check out our full resources library for tips, tools, and templates to help you work smarter. Ultimately, the more educated, open, and adaptable you are, the easier it is to win the marketing game.
For more great marketing tips from Keith Messick, listen to his episode.