Be Different: Three Unique Ideas For B2B Brands Trying To Stand Out

How do you differentiate yourself from the industry?

How do you create content worth sharing?

It’s not easy. But it can be done.

I’m not here to talk about blog posts. I’ve talked about crafting great blog headlines in the past but you didn’t come here for that.

I’m writing to share tactics that are different from what most people in your industry are doing. I’m not here to tell you to create an infographic, slideshare or host a webinar… Instead, I’m going to do something different.

The tactics below aren’t sure-fire techniques that will drive results.

These tactics are unique, unorthodox and could fall flat on their face.

Don’t leave yet…

No risk = No reward.

These tactics are still relatively new ideas and leverage channels that have yet to make a huge splash in the B2B market. I’m hopeful that you can take these tactics, put your own spin on them and unlock the full potential of these channels for your industry.

Let’s get to it shall we?

Use Blab To Host Info & Insight Sessions

Blab is a platform that allows users to consume live stream video of different people as they discuss various topics. On Blab, you have the ability to join these conversations on your own or sit back and watch as others discuss topics of interest.

The application which is currently available on desktop and iOS, is a live-streaming video platform that lets you host your own live video conference with up to four people engaging at the same time. The moderator has control over who is in the three additional video seats, but anyone can check it out with a link and engage in a chat as seen below:

For B2B brands, one of the best ways to retain customers and acquire new ones is to demonstrate value. One of the best ways to demonstrate value is to deliver quality insights and information that can help their business. A few tips:

  • Identify the key topics that you want to cover before you host the Blab. What key points do you want to share? What is the most important thing you want your audience to take away from the session? Make sure your co-hosts are aware of these key points prior to the show to avoid improv.
  • Identify any key resources or tools you’ll be referencing beforehand. What resources can you reference and share in the chat box for your audience? Write them in a word doc so you can copy & paste with ease during the talk.

Whether you’re selling legal services or software that helps with advertising – delivering high value content will keep you top of mind and establish trust and authority within your industry. Similar to webinars, a session on Blab can be a great way to generate new leads and elevate your brands connection with your audience or potential customers.

The biggest mistake you can make before jumping on Blab and hosting an information session is not planning. Here are a couple things to consider before launching your Blab session:

  1. Identify Your Co-Hosts: As mentioned, Blab is a four-person video streaming service so use it to its full capacity. Find three other influencers or industry leaders and have them join you for this session to offer different perspectives. This approach will also give you a chance to bring in their audience for the show and broaden your reach.
  2. Set Up Some Opportunities Of Interaction: The best conferences are those that connect the attendees with the outside world. Connect your attendees with those who aren’t attending by setting up a custom hashtag for the session and encourage the users to ask questions before and during the chat via Twitter.
  3. Promote Your Blab In Advance: Blab allows you to schedule your shows well in advance so you can drive “subscribers” to your show. Promote your Blab on your existing social media channels, newsletter and blog to as many people as possible. Give yourself at least three days of heavy promotion!

Blab is still relatively new on the market but it’s a tool that can help you build trust and possibly close a deal. It’s going to depend on how well you are at attracting leads and delivering them with the information they need to realize you’re someone they need to work with.

Ready to get started with Blab? Joel Comm, the author of Twitter Power 3.0 wrote a great description on how to get started on Blab that is a must read for anyone looking to leverage this tool. Be sure to check it out.

Leverage Instagram To Build Your Mailing List

Instagram isn’t just for fashion and fitness brands.

It can also be used for B2B brands looking to do something different. I’ve looked high and low for B2B brands using Instagram to drive success and the number of brands doing it are very slim!

And that’s PERFECT.

Why?

Because it means you have an opportunity to stand out and be one of the first. Sure, it’s not a guarantee but I’m sure with the right strategy and a committed effort, you could drive results.

Instagram most recently launched their advertising platform allowing all businesses to start targeting users. I’ve written about the best tactics for creating an engaged Instagram audience and definitely think these tactics can be applied to B2B as well.

On Instagram, you’re going to start off by creating & distributing content that your audience wants. The content needs to be relevant, engaging and memorable. You want to add value to their stream which will establish a layer of trust between you and your followers.

For B2B, you should promote content that adds value to the lives of your followers in a real way. That could be a discount on your software but it could also be a free download of a recent whitepaper or ebook. For example, with Hustle & Grind, we’ve been promoting our guide: “Sixty Side Hustle Ideas” on Instagram and it’s generated more than 800 downloads directly from Instagram.

This is an example of the type of Instagram post we’ve shared in the past:

Users see this content, click the link in our bio and download the product.

For you, it’s an opportunity to do something similar but with a piece of content that is made specifically for your target audience. Are you selling software for Marketers? Create a guide that discusses Five Trends Shaping The World Of Growth Hacking and promote it. Work in accounting? Offer a free tax guide during tax season or everything you should know about expenses.

The same type of downloadable content you would offer on your website is the type of content you should promote on Instagram. It’s a channel that most brands have started to use as a way to capture leads but from what we’ve seen with @HustleGrindCo, it’s a channel that can work very well.

Use Periscope To Deliver Value Through Q&As

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Ask Me Anythings or AMA’s have become an internet phenomenon over the last few years and have helped spread the word about many brands and initiatives. On Reddit alone, AMA’s have been used by brands and people in industries all over the world to connect with people on a one-to-one basis. From Levar Burton from Reading Rainbow to Gordon Ramsey – these initiatives are consistently successful.

It’s a tactic that has been tried and tested with great success across many channels because the concept is so simple. For a certain amount of time, people have the ability to ask questions to someone unique, important or special and receive answers in real time. This tactic has spread from Reddit into sites like Product Hunt, right here on Inbound.org and industry Slack channels.

People have already started using sites like Meerkat and Periscope for AMAs. Danielle Morrill of MatterMark hosted one of the first AMAs on Meerkat that I heard of and Mark Suster hosted the first AMA that I actually attended.

Today, it’s obvious that Periscope is the leader in the live streaming space and is the channel I’d recommend B2B brands consider. It’s a channel where you can tell your story in meaningful way and build connections with your audience through one-to-one dialogue and interaction.

Untitled-1

 

Five Ways Brands Can Use Meerkat or Periscope For Marketing from Ross SimmondsThe goal for B2B brands using Periscope would be to establish a dialogue with potential and existing customers in real time or give them a look behind the scenes. For example, if your staff is attending a conference, why not live stream it for your customers to tune in as well? Or maybe you’re delivering a lunch and learn or keynote at an event – this is another opportunity to live stream your expertise to the masses.

Similar to Blab and Instagram, Periscope is a channel that very few B2B brands are actually using. Will these tactics work for your business? I’m not sure. Like I said, these are tactics that will allow you to stand out in a world where everyone is blending in. These are ideas that give you a chance to be an innovator or at the very least, have a unique story to tell the press or your grandkids.

What other tactics or ideas that are a bit more unorthodox can B2B brands try to generate buzz? I’m not talking about infographics, Slideshare decks or blog posts either. I want to hear some ideas that are unique and not being used by more than 50% of B2B marketers.

From Ross Simmonds

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