Focus on Creating Interested, Not Interesting: How to Make B2B Marketing Gimmicks Work For You.

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller
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B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. This means that you need to do something spectacular to stand out and catch their attention. That’s where B2B marketing gimmicks come in.

In most circles, the word ‘gimmick’ has negative connotations, but that shouldn’t be the case with marketing and sales. This is because marketing gimmicks can succeed in interesting your customers, drawing them in, and helping you make the sale.

But the goal of your B2B marketing strategy shouldn’t just be to be interesting; it should be to create an interested customer. Why? Because interest creates investment – and an invested customer keeps coming back for more.

And while a good B2B marketing gimmick can open the door for you, you then need to turn that gimmick into a trick that is part of your long-term marketing strategy and deliver something useful.

What Are Marketing Gimmicks?

via Giphy

Put simply, a marketing gimmick is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers. It is a combination of positioning, differentiation, and creative advertising. Basically, a gimmick is designed to make you stand out in the crowd and to draw attention fast.

However, brands today face unparalleled scrutiny from customers who can see right through tricks and gimmicks – which is why any marketing gimmicks you take on need to be two-pronged:

  1. You need to get the customer interested in you and the products and services that you offer – which is the gimmick.
  2. You need to follow through and actually deliver what you’ve promised – which is the trick to creating an invested customer.

An invested customer is more likely to come back a second and a third and a fourth time and turn into a repeat customer and a brand loyalist.

Marketing gimmicks are campaigns that you remember even years later. But they do not – and should not – be a one-off. Instead, they should become part of your long-term marketing strategy and plan. Think of B2C marketing campaigns like Dove’s “real beauty” campaign and Aerie’s #AerieREAL campaign.

Or, in the B2B marketing world, take a look atNextView Ventures: Better Everyday blog on Medium. This blog allows them to draw in traffic quickly and easily while they’re building traffic to their on-site blog. Additionally, creating off-site content gives them a chance to experiment with different tones, voices, and stories.

All three of these marketing campaigns started off as marketing gimmicks, a way to get quick attention and build word of mouth – and quickly became an integral part each brand’s marketing strategy. They now are the main way that the brands sell their products and build brand awareness.

These are examples of taking marketing gimmicks and turning them into marketing tricks, which are long-term strategy boosters that brands use to keep themselves relevant and keep their customers coming back for more.

Turning Gimmicks That Work Into Tricks That Sell

In today’s society – especially with millennials – most people are turned off by obvious marketing tactics. This means that your marketing gimmicks need to be smarter and more authentic than ever before.

Read on to discover how to catch the interest of customers and clients with gimmicks and then turn them into tricks that keep on working.

Authenticity in Video

75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions.(Source)

Video is a great tool to use when it comes to your social media accounts. You want your social media accounts to honestly and accurately reflect who you are, what your brand stands for, and how you got there – and video is a great way to show all of that. But, more importantly, you need videos that show all of that while being authentic.

It means going behind the scenes.

You want to show the mess and chaos that gets you to the finished product. It helps customers to know that you’re working hard to bring them the best product(s) and service(s) that you can. Showing everything that goes on behind the scenes while gives people the impression of total transparency which leads to a belief in authenticity.

You can leverage this by showing videos of your office, by showing what your employees are doing when they’re getting ready for an event or big meeting, and by doing mini interviews with your C-level executives to get their opinions and advice on important topics.

It means doing outreach via video.

Utilize tools like Vidyard GoVideo to create videos that you can send via email, social or anywhere else. This is a great tool because it allows you to track when someone watches your video (no matter where you’ve shared it), who watched it, and to see how much they watched. It’s a great way to create personalized outreach for your target audience by making it easy to record new videos right from your browser.

Video can also be leveraged by senior executives to help in thank yous, invitations, and aiding sales/marketing teams for demand generation activities. Video is a great way to capture attention and stand out from the crowd.

We did this when we wanted to book a meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk, a top industry leader, we sent a wooden, video-enabled wine box that spoke directly to him to capture his attention and make us even more appealing. Want to send your own video-enabled deliverable? We can help with that!

And it means giving your brand personality.

Your social media feed should be all about your brand. What you can provide, what you have to offer, what you stand for, etc. But your overall social media accounts themselves should be about giving your brand a personality that consumers can understand and identify with.

How do you do this? By interacting with other brands.

No consumer only follows or likes one brand – so why should you? Share information about brands you love, give other companies kudos when they deserve it, give shout-outs to influencers that you trust and respect. This will make you seem a lot more real and authentic to consumers because it’s not all about you. (Instagram and Facebook stories are great ways to do this.)

Find Your Niche and Dominate

No customer is going to trust a brand that tries to do too much. Put another way: No consumer is going to trust a brand that tries to claim they know everything about, well, everything.

Instead, you need to find one or two topics or areas where you’re the expert and focus on those. You want to become the go-to resource – the go-to expert – for those topics.

Reddit, and subreddits in particular, are a great way to do this. Basically, to become a winner at Reddit you need to do the following:

  • Create and share truly awesome content that will catch the eye of the internet and make you stand out.
  • Post only to extreme niches. There are, for example, subreddits for things like lockpicking, admiring beautiful handwriting, and unicycles. There’s even one for SEO. Basically, if you can think of it there’s a subreddit for it – no matter how strange or out of the realm of normalcy.

If you want to be an expert in it then you need to do things to make you stand out and make you a trustworthy source on the topic. So start posting and sharing content that will convince consumers to trust and value your opinions.

Blog, Blog, Blog!

Creating content will help you secure your place as an expert in your field. If you’re regularly sharing your opinions and thoughts on topics that are relevant to your brand, then you’re going to start to stand out to people. Especially if you do the following:

  • Covering a niche or topic that’s been ignored by your competitors.
  • Answering questions that people are still asking because they haven’t yet received a (satisfactory) answer.
  • Sharing an opinion that differs from other experts in the field.

You also want to make sure you’re using a lot of different types of blog posts:

  • Listicles are very popular because they’re easy to digest and can share a lot of good information. (Top 10 lists, ‘9 tips for X’, etc.)
  • Best practices for the industry is always a winner because it showcases your knowledge and helps you come across as an expert, which (as already discussed) is an important part of winning and retaining clients or customers. They want to know that they’re getting the best there is.
  • Q+A posts are also great because they give you a chance to address questions that haven’t yet been answered. Or to share an opinion that differs from the masses. Both of these make you a.) come across as an expert and b.) get you noticed because you’re able to fulfill a consumer need that no one else has filled yet.

Finally, you want to make sure that you’re picking appropriate keywords and ranking on them. SEO is a very important part of making your blog stand out and helping to solidify you as an expert. Customers don’t want to have to search very hard for their answers – and if you’re not on the first page of Google search results then your traffic is going to suffer.

Don’t Ignore LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be Instagram of Facebook, but it’s still a major social media site – and it’s often under-utilized. You need to do more with it than just link up with connections and sign out. You want to join groups, post articles, enter into conversations with your connections, and share your blog posts.

LinkedIn is especially great for B2B marketing because you can link with your clients or potential clients and share with them what you do and what you stand for – and the services and expertise you can offer them.

This site is a great way to build your brand and position yourself as an expert.

Online Contests

Online contests are great because you can give away a service or product which will help increase word of mouth and possibly (hopefully!) win you new customers (or solidify the relationship you have with ones who already exist).

These are especially effective if you do giveaways on Instagram because Instagram followers love a good contest or giveaway. Most Instagram contests work by having your followers like and share your post – and make sure that they’re following you. Because of this gain in follows, shares, and likes you’ll climb higher up the social media ladder and become even more relevant.

Plus, the number of participants and new leads you will get makes the online contest well worth the money of the prize.

Partner With Influencers

Influencers, well, influence people. They have a greater reach than a celebrity because their followers follow them specifically for their opinions on products and services and brands. A good review from an influencer can go a long way to building your brand, increasing your customers, and upping word of mouth reviews.

If you partner with an influencer, however, be prepared for an honest review. They win the hearts and minds of their following by being honest in their reviews of products and services – so make sure that you’re sharing the best you possibly can. Also, make sure you’re picking an influencer who leans toward the type of product or service you offer.

The best way to partner with an influencer is to create a brand experience that they love and want to share with their followers. UviaUs did this when they partnered with Southwest Airlines to create a campaign that made the middle seat on an airplane a little more enjoyable. If you create a brand experience that influencers can interact with and love then they’ll be more likely to share it with their followers, giving you a glowing review and good word of mouth.

Final Thoughts

All in all, you want to take interesting marketing gimmicks and use them to create interested customers. An interested customer stays interested and invested in your brand for a long time. So while a marketing gimmick may be enough to catch their attention and draw them in, you need to then make that gimmick part of your long term strategy – and deliver on it! – to keep customers interested.

If you go with a gimmick, you’re going to just interest people for a short time. If you turn that gimmick into a marketing trick that you make a part of your marketing strategy then you are going to position yourself as an authority and win customers who will be interested in what you have to say, what you’re producing, and the products/services that you offer.

Need help with creating a marketing gimmick that you can turn into part of your long-term strategy? Look no further! Contact us today for help building the right strategy, messaging, and an effective way to engage your targeted audience.

We’ll help you create more valuable experiences, not more noise.

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