5 Great B2B Marketing Campaigns from 2018 to Inspire Your 2019 Strategy
January 2, 2019
The past few years have seen a renaissance in creative, humorous, personality-filled B2B marketing. It’s no longer a radical idea to say that B2B advertising campaigns don’t have to be boring. Now, it’s more that they can’t be boring if they are to be effective.
Today, talented marketers are pushing the envelope for what B2B marketing can be. They’re combining creativity and strategy to reach audiences, earn attention, and inspire action.
Here are just a few of our favorite B2B campaigns from the past year. Enjoy their stories, and check out the LinkedIn Marketing Awards for even more 2019 inspiration.
5 Exceptional B2B Advertising Campaigns from 2018
1. Bosch Power Tools Connects with Micro-influencers
Influencer marketing might bring to mind images of celebrities hawking vitamin water or makeup kits to their millions of followers. But B2B influencer marketing is different. It’s not about getting the influencer with the biggest audience; it’s about finding those who are most relevant to and trusted by your target audience.
Bosch Power Tools used micro-influencer marketing to reach their target audience without breaking the bank. They needed to convince tradespeople to upgrade their tools — a group that is historically skeptical of new technology. To make their case, Bosch provided tools to volunteer testers, encouraging them to create video reviews:
These videos became the base for a campaign that included social media mentions and placement of reviews in trade publications. All told, the authenticity and humanity of their micro-influencer videos helped Bosch exceed their benchmarks for reach, engagement, and conversions.
2. Deloitte Leads with Purpose
People prefer to buy from brands that they perceive as sharing their core values. Consumer brands like Lush, Tom’s, and Bombas have built their values into their business models and have seen impressive success.
B2B brands can be hesitant to take a bold stance with their purpose. This can be from fear of alienating potential customers, perception that their buyers only care about their product (not their values), or both.
Deloitte is a stellar example of how taking a stand can earn the right kind of attention from potential buyers. This video for their Global Impact Report makes their stance crystal clear:
This type of thought leadership has helped Deloitte accrue more than 3 million followers on LinkedIn, with thousands of views and hundreds of comments on their LinkedIn Page posts.
3. Barclays Corporate Banking Excels at Storytelling
Everyone loves a story about the small-town guy or gal who makes good — and B2B buyers are no exception.
Barclays could have written a dry case study about Low Cost Vans, a small business that sponsors their local football club. Instead, they focus the story on Low Cost Vans’ Managing Director, Rod Lloyd. The video doesn’t start with a history of the company, or of Barclay’s involvement with the company. Instead, it starts with, “I think every young lad has a dream of playing for your local club. My dream as a child was to play with Swansea City.”
Barclays does convey what they do for small businesses, what their values are, and how they helped Low Cost Vans succeed. But the story is far more effective, even emotionally moving, because it’s told at a human level.
4. Upwork Gets Cheeky
Humor has long been an integral part of B2C marketing. In particular, there’s a type of snarky irreverence that brands like Wendy’s and Moon Pie have used on social media to great effect. B2B brands, while experimenting with humor, tend to play it a bit safer. A cautious approach does make sense for most brands, but there’s still value in pushing the envelope.
Freelance coordinator Upwork went all in on irreverent humor for their “Hey World” campaign, which combined bold color and design with cheeky call-outs to NASA, the President, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and many more.
Upwork ran an impressive integrated campaign, repurposing the assets for 15-second commercials, billboards, ads on public transportation, and more. Their willingness to court a little controversy with irreverent humor translated to increased visibility with their target audience.
5. WeWork Creates Multipurpose Video
Video production has gotten cheaper in the past few years, but it’s still one of the most resource-intensive types of content. Despite the level of investment, video is a must for brands in B2B and B2C. Consumers are watching more video content than ever before, and that includes C-suite level members of buying committees.
The latest campaign from WeWork is a good example of how to squeeze every bit of utility from your video investment. The company created a series of 30-second videos illustrating how small businesses can level up their office space:
The videos were designed so they can be cut to 15 or even 6 seconds and still get the message across. WeWork used the videos in their native form, as YouTube pre-roll ads, and embedded natively on social networks. They were even able to create gifs from the video and use them as social media images.
Inspire with Your B2B Marketing in 2019
Are you planning on making more of an impact with your B2B marketing next year? Let these five campaigns inspire you to bring humanity, authenticity, humor, and purpose to your marketing, and to explore new ways to bring your content to your target audience.
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