B2B content is notoriously…. uninspiring. The endless white papers, the dry blog posts.
But on the other side of that very same coin, the B2B industry also has technology and budget to create some astounding pieces of content. The kind of content your audience can’t help but to engage with; content that’s just so darn useful, entertaining, or inspiring.
These examples of successful B2B content are all pretty unique, either in the technology that they use, or the channel that they are succeeding on.
About half of them are interactive pieces of content. They showcase tools that make the lives of the people who use them easier.
TEDC2016’s Graphic Recording
It was interesting to watch the live visual notetaking that occurred at The Email Design Conference hosted by Litmus in Boston.
It was fun watching an artist interpret a presentation that used rap quotes to bestow bits of email design wisdom onto the attendees.
— Tom H. Marcinowski (@TomHMarcinowski) August 16, 2016
I spent quite a bit of time watching this form of content be created. In fact, watching it be created was part of the content itself.
Litmus used a bit of content to engage a live audience in a way other than the speaker and PowerPoint. And it was a nice way to revisit the class material after the conference was over.
Hubspot’s Template Buffet
Hubspot might have a stellar example of every form of content there is (which is why two pieces of their content make this list). Their template selection is no exception.
One of my favorite templates is the Social Media Content Calendar.
It is a downloadable piece of content that allows you to fill in your own social media schedule to create a more efficient content strategy. The only price is your email. Hubspot is very good at this, they know it will take a bit of incentive for you to provide your email, so they create tools that are valuable enough to be worth it.
And it’s worth it. This content is valuable for a business looking to build a social media strategy. It’s a great example of a value-proposition done right.
GE’s Instagram and #avgeeks
Instagram is mainly the home of consumers and the B2C brand’s that serve them. But GE is breaking that mold with its Instagram presence. It has over 185,000 followers and many of them are highly engaged.
Look at all that engagement!
They have even created a hashtag, #avgeeks, which is a fairly active tag for aviation lovers.
But what makes GE’s page so successful is that they are not emphasizing their products as much and are much more focused on their own awe and inspiration drawn from science and technology.
This is a much more interesting than an account that is just about the products being sold and why the sellers think you should buy them. By reaching out to those who have the same interests and creating a place for them to gather, GE has created a place for a community to grow – and GE is the brand associated with it.
That’s effective content marketing.
Crew and “How Much to Make an App?”
Crew is a web design and development firm that focuses on websites, apps, branding, and more. That’s not that unique. So what gives Crew an edge over its competition?
Crew took a question, which they have no doubt been asked hundreds if not thousands of times, and made a tool in reply. Now when someone stumbles across their website, they are given an answer to the question before they ever have to talk to a sales rep about pricing.
This app makes an estimate based on a number of conditional factors that many considering an app might not have thought of. This includes what platforms it will be released on, whether or not users have to log in, etc.
These are all things that affect cost and this tool figures out rough estimates. Having a number on the services will make a user that much more likely to think, “OH, that’s what that costs?” and there is conveniently a page at the end that looks like this:
There’s even a button to start a project with this company. What a way to remove friction from the conversion process.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
This piece of content is one of my favorites. I’ve used a few topic generators before, but they never quite worked for B2B. This is not the case with Hubspot’s generator. You input your own content focuses and a simple algorithm goes to work selecting five topics. They can get redundant, simply filling in the blanks in some cases, but the different angles chosen for you can help inspire an even better post idea.
And unlike the first Hubspot example in this post, this piece of content is not gated in any way. Hubspot understands that this tool is not valuable enough for some people to provide their email addresses.
But I think it’s pretty cool (and would probably give away my email address for it.)
These pieces of content are setting the bar higher for B2B content. There’s no reason that your content has to be dry and lifeless. Not when there are so many different forms for your content to take. And while these forms of content work for their companies, mimicking them doesn’t always mean success for you. Analyze your target audience and figure out what they need, then create innovative pieces of content to fill those needs.
Are you in love with a particularly remarkable piece of B2B content? What is it? What about it caught your eye? Share it with us in the comments section.