I hate a boring blog, and I bet you do too. But too often when I go to a B2B website and check out their blogs, or the “Insights” section to check out their white papers, what do I see?
I see boring content.
Too much jargon. No images. Dry statistics.
It’s been really bothering me, especially since I’m responsible for creating content for some B2B clients, and frankly I’ve found myself stuck in the boring trap.
So I decided to go on a quest to find B2B brands doing interesting, exciting, even viral content. And thank God I did, because I found some really interesting examples I’d love to share with you here today.
Neil Patel’s Many Blogs
What does he do so well? He writes really long posts full of useful statistics, images, and useful step-by-step content. He’s also not afraid to be controversial, contrarian and to make you a little bit uncomfortable.
On his Quicksprout SEO blog he regularly shares infographics, provides videos for Quicksprout University, and publishes free, non-gated, comprehensive guides on topics from content marketing to SEO to social media.
What does Patel do right? In my opinion, it’s because he provides massive value. He doesn’t hold back. He lays out his brain for everybody to come and pick it.
For example, in Chapter 1 of his free Advanced Guide to Content Marketing, Patel provides step-by-step instructions, with screen shots and templates, for how to actually build the spreadsheet that will house your content marketing strategy dashboard.
This is five figure consulting stuff here – provided to you for free on Patel’s Quicksprout blog.
The “Volvo means safety” meme has been flogged to death in marketing literature. Everybody cites this as an example of great branding.
But Volvo Trucks, the B2B division that targets transportation companies, is far more exciting.
Volvo recently had a viral success with the Jean-Claude Van Damme “Epic Split” video, where he does the splits between two fast moving trucks going in reverse. An amazing video.
As of this writing, the video has been viewed more than 78 million times.
But why would a B2B company waste its time creating a viral video (which was actually part of a video series)?
According to Contently in their eBook The State of B2B Marketing:
“A deep dive into the data revealed that almost half of truck buyers who watched ‘The Epic Split’ and the other viral videos on innovation said they were more likely to choose Volvo the next time they bought a truck.”
But if you think Volvo just relied on one viral video campaign, you’re mistaken. Their Volvo TV channel (seen towards the bottom of this page), is chock full of fascinating videos, such as the race between the Volvo FH and one of the world’s fastest sports cars.
What does Volvo do right? Volvo recognizes that their buyers are humans, not faceless entities. By involving emotions they appeal to their buyers’ human side, instead of just appealing to the logic that B2B marketers so commonly rely on.
What emotions are they appealing to? Excitement, humor, likeability.
Volvo is taking a page right out of the consumer product maketer’s handbook – and it worked like a charm.
Sungard Availability Services
The technology space is like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde experience.
On one hand you can go to South by Southwest Interactive in Austin every year and join the “hipster apocalypse.” On display are thousands of new apps, social media platforms and gadgets galore – enough to put your inner geek into a catatonic state of blissful overwhelm.
But on the other hand you have things like managed IT services, ERP, security. *Big yawn*.
But not Sungard. The Sungard blog is full of interesting, colorful blog posts with tantalizing headlines and interesting, useful facts, all presented in an easy-to-read blogging style.
And like Volvo, they understand the power of emotion through video. Just check out the Sungard “Holiday Resiliency” campaign, created by Austin marketing agency Bulldog Soutions.
What does Sungard do right? Like Volvo, they employ emotion in a consumer-like approach to content marketing. With content shock and information density a reality, they’ve found a way to cut through the clutter and get noticed.
Also, notice their headlines:
- 4 Ways To Royally Screw Up Information Technology (IT) Outsourcing
- Leave Your Laptop In Your Car And 9 Other Bad Cyber Security Habits
- Not Ready For Six Sigma? Try These 3 Steps First For Successful Business Transformation
These aren’t Buzzfeed or Upworthy headlines, but they’re definitely attention-grabbing, and they break the mold of the typical buttoned-up B2B headline.
The logistics industry is not known to be the most *ahem* interesting of industries. It’s essentially all about moving cargo around. Believe me, I was involved in the intermodal and global transportation industry straight out of college, and my colleagues and I didn’t ‘geek out’ on the latest logistics development.
But Morai Logistics is changing that.
Just check out this infographic post, 12 Facts Comparing BRICs and Other Emerging Markets in the Logistics and Supply Chain Industry. This well-designed, visually appealing graph makes a boring political-economic topic exciting.
What does Morai Logistics does right? Kelli Saunders, Morai’s President and chief blogger is passionate about logistics, and it comes through in her writing. Morai also mixes it up, combining colorful infographics, listicles, and plenty of useful content with stats and data that makes for an interesting read.
And if you want more in-depth info on the go, they provide nicely designed eBooks and reports within easy reach right on their blog’s sidebar.
B2B content marketing doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it should absolutely not be boring – or else it will die on the fine. The key to content marketing success – to getting eyeballs on your content – is to provide interesting content that people will want to share with their network.
The examples I cited here are shareable and interesting because they appeal to human emotions, they’re easy-to-read, and they engage all the senses. Hopefully you can take some of these examples to spice up your content marketing and provide a non-boring experience for your readers.