Content and creative go hand in hand in delivering an effective B2B multichannel marketing strategy that will engage target audiences and get your message in front of them at the right time, and in the right format for the stage they are at in the B2B buyer journey.
Utilizing a range of relevant creatives enables you to maximize digital ROI and ensure your brand is looking its best. But how can you make your creative stand out and differentiate yourself from other brands?
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Content and creative: Working together in a multichannel strategy
Creating the right content and placing it in front of your potential customers at the right time and on the right digital channels is crucial, but supplementing this with engaging, relevant and appealing creative will do wonders in helping to achieve your goals.
It’s important to keep in mind that your creative is always seen first. It needs to instantly engage with prospective customers and get them interested enough to want to read, watch or listen to your message. The format equally needs to be just right, satisfying the stage they are at as they move further down the demand generation funnel.
How can you make your Creative STAND OUT?
Here’s 5 ways to instantly differentiate your creative from other brands:
- Stick to your brand guidelines to show who you are immediately and provide consistency across all of your content and creative elements.
- Keep a clear and easy to follow layout so that your audience’s eyes are guided through your message how you intend.
- Avoid overcrowding the design as too much on an image or video can be overwhelming and detract from the actual message. Simple but effective is what works well when it comes to creative success.
- Test multiple creatives to understand what works best for your content and audience.
- Split creatives by platform to maximize their potential. User behavior on desktop vs mobile for example, is very different.
Creative best practice: Put your best foot forward…
The below diagram reveals best practice creative guidelines,
Each creative format will have its own best practices to help you achieve the ultimate goal of maximizing digital ROI.
For example, infographics work best when there’s a good flow throughout and the key stats/points are highlighted. Color schemes should be simple and the focus needs to be on showing instead of telling. Whitepapers need to include graphs alongside relevant and engaging imagery. Using questions in the copy and headings – as well as splitting it into sections and sub-sections – helps to make it easily digestible.
Most importantly, you need to think about how the creative will be received by your buyer personas, and if you have more than one persona (which is highly likely) then it’s a case of modifying the creative to better resonate with each one.
It’s crucial that your messaging aligns to the content format and marketing channel. For instance, when it comes to infographics, messaging needs to be quick, punchy and easily digestible. For videos and animation, it needs to be clear and informative to engage and keep viewers watching until the very end.
High quality content pays off, with 42% of UK buyers recommending a brand because of their content quality. Images are important to almost half (45%) of buyers, while over a fifth (21%) rely on video to make purchase decisions.
What benefit does personalization bring to your creative?
B2B marketers can personalize based on industry, vertical, or even by account name. This increases the relevancy and therefore drives engagement as a direct result.
It is possible to also tailor the creative to each account to truly resonate with B2B buyer pain points and address them through personalized messaging, creative formats known to work best for them, and CTAs which direct them to relevant solutions. This works really well for Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns and should be incorporated into your multichannel marketing strategy.
How to bring content and creative to life
Creating useful and digestible content that your potential buyers genuinely want to read is crucial to engaging B2B businesses. For this to work, marketers need to align the right content to their engagement goals, but doing so will achieve a wealth of profitable opportunities, enabling you to:
- Build awareness of your brand knowledge and expertise
- Shape demand by educating your market
- Build trusted relationships with your ideal customer
- Cultivate brand advocates and new business opportunities
From high quality whitepapers to digestible videos and infographics, InboxCREATE works to produce the best types of content and creative to help you achieve your goals. Here’s what this looks like in practice:
In need of an expert report or guide that’s packed with up-to-date information about a complex topic? In-depth whitepapers are a great way to present a problem and provide a solution all in one go. Often based on first-party research to increase their validity and reliability, they can help B2B marketers understand the current state of play and how to overcome key challenges to achieve their overarching goals and objectives.
Take a look at our full suite whitepapers to understand exactly how they work.
Videos and animation
Conversions increase by a staggering 80% when video is embedded in a landing page, and over half (52%) of marketers recommend video marketing for generating the best ROI. Video is clearly a highly effective method of achieving conversion goals, no doubt because of their ability to summarize a topic quickly, concisely and clearly without any need to sit and read lengthy pieces of content. Here’s our own video and animation catalogue for inspiration.
Are your carefully crafted blogs directing readers to your intended destination? Do they include captivating banners to move them along their B2B buying journey? Do those banners possess a clear CTA that easily stands out?
Incorporating banners into your blogs is essential for engaging your ideal audience and guiding them to your downloadable and overarching pillar piece(s) – particularly as they show a clear interest in the topic just from being on the page. Using a CTA such as ‘Learn More’ to lead them one step closer to providing relevant information is just as important.
Placing banners both near the start of each blog after the introduction and at the very end once the full article has been read is vital in gaining maximum interest and click-throughs. Take a look at our extensive range of expert blogs to see our banners in practice, paying particular attention to the use of engaging colors and imagery. Note how we’re careful not to overcrowd them and subsequently distract from the message.
GIFs have become increasingly popular, with 2 billion sent daily via Giphy. Like videos, they are perfect for the visual learner and time-poor marketers. They are quick and simple, but can be highly effective at getting your key message across.
Another way to provide a snapshot of your larger pillar piece content is to create infographics that include key stats, research or messaging from your whitepaper. For example, if you want to highlight the most prominent points from your latest research that you know will be important to your B2B audience. They tend not to include extensive amounts of copy, but focus more on being creative.
Our own infographics show how this can be achieved for maximum effectiveness.
From checklists to planners to workbooks, utility guides act as an excellent means to showcase your knowledge and expertise even further. They offer usable toolkits and templates that are readily available, greatly helping marketers in planning and executing their B2B marketing strategies. Utility guides should be simple, and easy to follow. Bonus points if they are able to stand out with a touch of vibrant color – helping to differentiate them from others in search results.
Take a look at our full collection of utility guides to see why color and creativity is so important.
Focusing on your target audience and talking about a potentially complex topic in an easy-to-digest way is a great approach to getting creative with your content. Podcasts are an excellent way to deep dive into topics and go into further detail than other content formats can allow.
The fact they can be listened to on the go, 24/7, and anywhere in the world, it’s no wonder 44% of senior-level decision makers (including VPs, C-Suite, Heads Of and Owners) specifically set aside time to listen to podcasts. They’re clearly being utilized and should be included in your content marketing plan to satisfy today’s audience expectations.
Take a look at The Strategic Marketing Show podcast from our publishing brand Insights for Professionals.
Last but by no means least, email marketing is a key communication channel and effective way of reaching everyone in your CRM with a specific message. Email banners ensure new campaigns are seen and heard by your clients and prospects, and so need to be created specifically with the right audience in mind.
When it comes to a hero banner – the first image you see when you open an email – it should instantly capture the eye of the reader. Using bold color, the right keywords, and captivating imagery that is relevant to the topic, the hero banner can indicate what to expect in the email and make it more memorable as a result.
It is important to remember that your email provider will have a file size limit (often 20MB). Be careful not to overdo your creative and be sure to optimize images to keep them compressed and within the limit.
Content and creative working together seamlessly is essential for delivering an effective B2B multichannel strategy that can drive B2B customer conversions and maximize your digital ROI. Engaging your target audiences through creative is what will enable you to differentiate your brand from others, to truly stand out.
It’s time to get creative with your content!