A real-time first for B2B Marketing with Ignite LIVE 2017

As a lead sponsor of the upcoming 2017 B2B Marketing Ignite event – the world’s biggest B2B learning and networking experience – we made the call to place ourselves at the heart of the event and not just be another logo on the wall.

Working closely with the B2B Marketing team, we were able to find strategic and executional ways of deepening our involvement in the event to create a better and more meaningful presence, while also adding to the very fabric of the Ignite experience.

Playing to our ‘Real-time + Personal’ strengths, this has translated into a contemporary suite of additional social activity based around Facebook Live Streaming – a first for B2B Marketing. We’ll share more details in the run-up to the event.

Fancy your five minutes of fame? We’ll be engaging with B2B opinion-formers on the day, so let us know if you want to get involved.

Ignite 2017 takes place on Thursday 22 June 2017 at The Business Design Centre, London. Register at b2bignite.com

Zombie marketing must die

The biggest barrier to personalisation in marketing is not really having a clue who you are talking to. In B2B marketing we see so much activity devoid of human insight, incapable of building deeper relationships.

Without this knowledge, it becomes almost impossible to be alert to the needs of the real person you are trying to communicate with, whether relating to life goals or business goals.

Instead, individuals blend into a kind of zombie persona – and your marketing invariably follows suit: characterless, slow moving, and potentially dangerous!

Why is that, and what can we do about it?

We all know businesses sell to people, and yet it’s still staggering how often the people bit gets overlooked in B2B.

Perhaps this is because we’re so fixated by addressing the complications of the B2B world:

  • Longer, more difficult sales cycles
  • The rigidity of contractual service levels
  • Huge time investment needed to deal with complexity
  • The magnifying effect of having multiple decision makers

Dealing with that lot, it’s easy to forget the simple human truth of marketing: the path to success lies in maintaining personal contact and dialogue between people.

So how can we apply this logic to B2B marketing today (and by today I really do mean ‘now’):

  • Start acting on the mind-set that every customer and prospect is a person with unique needs, not a characterless dead-head.
  • Take an editorial approach to embracing today’s in-market topics, and build the capability to blend them into your marketing, in real time.
  • Tailor content with insights and ideas that map to (and resonate with) the real people you are trying to reach. Product knowledge alone isn’t enough.
  • Red Letter Day – do something to make people feel special and recognised. Think about birthdays, significant professional dates, or complimentary product upgrades.
  • Make it your business to understand the stakeholder structures within target organisations and invest in making multiple relationships to widen impact.
  • Repeat the above.

So, kill the zombie marketing, and next time you’ll know exactly how to answer the question:

Do you have any idea who you’re talking to and what motivates them?

World first on Facebook Live

Real-time and personal has been a strong focus for us as an agency for a while now. This is expressed in different ways, but a recent global product launch by a world famous Swiss watch brand gave us the opportunity to bring all the pieces together and deliver something really spectacular.

Sweet sixteen

With 300 international press and influencers in attendance, our job was to bring the event to life for online fans of the brand. In doing so we achieved a world first with a Facebook Live broadcast across 16 regional Facebook pages.

Over 120k fans tuned in to experience the unveiling of the new product range during the 50min live broadcast. This was the first time Facebook Live has been used to broadcast simultaneously across this many pages. Achieving the live synchronised broadcast required a tech setup that included multiple encoders, industrial strength broadband, and a team to activate each channel, alongside multi-camera editing and a live presenter roaming wirelessly around the venue.

Snap decisions

To extend social reach, Instagram Live was used for previews and sneak peeks behind the scenes. Snapchat and Instagram Stories were used throughout the evening to capture the excitement of the event and drive viewers to the website, where the new product line was available to buy.

As well as live streaming and capturing content for Snapchat and Instagram, our production team was able to supply the brand’s regional social media teams with optimised content including 360 degree videos of the event, Boomerangs and short video clips for posting locally so fans around the world could see what was happening and be part of the event – in (almost) real-time.

Now trending

Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all represent exciting new opportunities to deliver more real-time and personal experiences with customers, and encourage long-term loyalty. The challenge – particularly in B2B – is for brands to identify the right applications and make the case for embracing trends like expiring content, AR, chatbots and increased personalisation.

Keeping up is not easy – just as we wrap our heads around a new set of features the rules change. At The Crocodile, we see these changes as stages of an ongoing journey towards making marketing more human. And thanks to the quality of our clients, and a shared appetite to be the best at what we do, we’re always innovating. So if you’re looking for a world first on social, get in touch!

The Crocodile goes 360° with Blend Media

The Crocodile has been appointed by Blend Media to optimise its digital marketing strategy.

Blend Media provides an end-to-end content solution to make the creation of 360˚ video content and immersive campaigns quick and easy for brands, agencies and publishers. With the goal of lowering the barriers to entry the solution includes a drag and drop editor, a large catalogue of premium 360˚ videos and distribution solutions that help to quickly and more easily create engaging formats.

Blend Media also runs the largest 360˚ videos page on Facebook globally: Facebook.com/360vidz

The Crocodile’s team will be working closely with Blend to shape the go-to-market strategy and execution plans across search and social media.

This is a really exciting space and we’re looking forward to helping Blend drive their next stage of growth!

Check out some of Blend’s content at www.blend.media

 

Image courtesy of Blend Media Creator – William Briscoe Photography

International Women’s Day: Brands, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

The marketing around International Woman’s Day gets more sophisticated every year. All around the world on March 8th brands create and share increasingly creative content to join in with global calls for female empowerment and gender equality.

But yesterday’s article – “International Women’s Day: F*ck off brands” – in The Drum got me thinking about how I feel about today’s big brands using International Women’s Day as a chance to hijack hashtags and increase share of voice. Are these brands belittling a serious cause? Or helping us to shout louder?

It has to be said there is exploitation at play here: capitalizing on global events to drive brand awareness is real-time marketing at its finest. Get it right and it pays dividends. These days ‘getting it right’ means creating sticky, shareable content that has the ability to quickly go viral. Producing the kind of content that gets your brand recognised – even better, remembered – for International Women’s Day, might be a marketer’s dream; but it also helps to broadcast a vital message to the masses.

I am lucky enough to have been supported by many inspiring female leaders throughout my career – I’ve worked with brilliant female CEOs, MDs, thought leaders, business owners, and they’ve all helped to build up my abilities and my ambitions. But it’s important to remember that we have a long way to go. Still today the numbers of women in UK boardrooms are appallingly low – there are more people called ‘John’ chairing the FTSE 100, then there are women. I mean, really?

So, whatever the motive, there is something to be said for having big brands get behind an important cause and help give a critical message the airtime it deserves. We must work together to make a difference.

But we must also demand that brands match their marketing messages with concerted action. Only by holding brands accountable, and demanding that they follow through on their commitment to equality, will we start to see meaningful change.

This International Women’s Day, do I want brands to F*** off? I’m not sure that I do – but I do want them to put their money where their mouth is.

Don’t just say equal; be equal.

 

By Eden Sanders

Global open source leaders hire The Croc

We’re delighted to be working with LPI (Linux Professional Institute), the global certification standard and career support organisation for open source professionals. With more than 500,000 exams delivered, it’s the world’s first and largest vendor-neutral Linux and open source certification body. LPI has certified professionals in 181 countries, delivers exams in 9 languages, and has over 400 training partners.

A Canada-based non-profit organisation, LPI’s purpose is to enable economic and creative opportunities for everybody by making open source knowledge and skills certification universally accessible.

Here at The Crocodile we’re looking forward to getting our teeth into developing global and partner marketing strategies for LPI, and defining, managing and delivering long-term content, PPC and social media campaigns.

Exchanging success with LSEG win

The Crocodile has been appointed by one of the most iconic brands in finance.

The financial services regulatory landscape is constantly evolving. The upcoming MiFIR deadline will require those firms affected to work with trusted partners and implement effective technology solutions, in order to stay compliant and get ahead of the regulatory curve.

UnaVista is the leading transaction reporting platform from the London Stock Exchange Group that enables financial institutions to meet the requirements of MiFIR and other associated regulations, and also benefit from a suite of LSEG’s solutions and its impressive ecosystem.

The Crocodile has won a five-way pitch against some B2B agency heavyweights, to be appointed a roster agency for the London Stock Exchange Group, and to develop a new campaign to promote UnaVista to those organisations affected by MiFIR. It’s another great win for the agency at the start of the year and we are delighted to be working with one of the world’s most recognised and admired financial services brands.

B2B Awards 2016: Winners with real-time marketing

We like to sing when we’re winning and at The B2B Marketing Awards 2016 we were in full song with Standard Life as we scooped Category 7: Best Use of Social Media for Adviser Voice – The Budget 2016.

This is especially satisfying as the campaign required Standard Life to try a new technique, in a short time frame, and trust in the combined team to deliver.

Susie Logan, Head of Marketing Standard Life sums this up brilliantly:

“The Budget 2016 campaign had a fantastic outcome for Standard Life – both in terms of creating differentiation in the market by delivering great experiences, engagement and sustainable relationships, and using a completely new approach of real-time marketing and user-generated content.

By listening to our customers, being innovative, organised and capable of applying a focused and purposeful real-time model, we dominated during a key event over the competition with a share of voice of 85%.

We assembled the key ingredients of customer understanding, data, technology and people, and then used our creativity to join these together in a way that delivered better experiences for our customers. Thanks to The Crocodile we won a ‘Superbowl’ moment with a relatively discreet budget.”

Read the full case study for a best example of b2b social media marketing.

Smart content marketing with Dell EMC

The merger of two of the world’s largest IT brands – Dell and EMC – into one premier end-to-end technology company has obviously created lots of news coverage over recent months.

During this transition, The Crocodile has worked closely with the Dell EMC product teams and subject matter experts to develop an exciting new content marketing campaign. The activity promotes Dell EMC’s advanced data storage systems under its new brand identity, around topics such as “the future of storage” and “building your data lake”.

Enterprise tech can be complicated subject matter – but our combined team has successfully created a clear and accessible content narrative using multiple formats. These include engaging articles and blog posts on the business benefits, eye-catching infographics and fun animated videos.

An advanced POEM (paid, owned, and earned media) strategy was also formulised to optimise SEO and drive reach, engagement and traffic via social media.

We’re delighted that the campaign is playing a key part in helping the new Dell EMC make a big splash in the IT industry.

Take a look at some of the campaign assets here:

How To: Make more engaging & shareable video content for B2B

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, how many words must a video be worth? A quick bit of maths suggests 4.32 million seems to be about right, and that’s enough to bore the pants off the audience – so video content definitely seems to be the way forward.

Research by Demand Metric backs this up, with 69 per cent of B2B marketing professionals already using video as part of their strategy, and the remaining 31 per cent planning on doing so in the future. Why is there such an uptake? The answer is in the same survey – 82 per cent have experienced success through utilising the medium, so it makes sense for them to continue to do so and for others to jump on the bandwagon.

Whether you’re a seasoned video uploader or a newcomer, there are always things that you can do to improve your engagement levels and the following pointers will help you do exactly that.

1. Make it good

It may seem obvious, but if you don’t produce quality content, it could do your business more harm than good. Do you really want to be the brand that fires out video after video that’s of little interest to your audience?

There are 300 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every single minute, so unless you produce something that people want to subscribe to or look for, it’s going to get drowned out by the sheer volume of competing content.

2. Make it short

Size matters when it comes to video – the shorter it is, the more people are likely to engage with it. Generally speaking, you can get most types of video done within 90 seconds, which works out at around 270 words if you’re scripting it beforehand.

Of course, 90 seconds feels like an age for some people, which is why Vine and Instagram videos have a foothold. They may test your creativity more, but from a simple six-to-15-second preview to something more adventurous like stop-motion or creative looping, micro videos can be a powerful medium and a neat addition to your social media content strategy.

3. Make it accessible

So you’ve made an interesting and succinct video, now you just need people to look at it. That’s increasingly happening on tablets and mobiles, so how it appears on those devices is a key consideration before you go to market.

While mobile video stats are often skewed by people watching Netflix in bed or on their commute to work, separate figures from Emarketer show that around half of B2B marketers are receptive to mobile video, something that’s only likely to grow in the future.

4. Put it on Facebook

Accessibility isn’t just about YouTube these days either – Facebook has gone big on video, garnering over three billion views per day in the final quarter of last year. It’s looking to make hay while the sun shines too, with a raft of new video features, including scheduling, better targeting and improved analytics.

Some would have you believe that Facebook is outpacing YouTube for desktop video views, but rumours of the demise of Google’s platform are greatly exaggerated. That said, it’s definitely worth acknowledging that online video is becoming a two-horse race, particularly now that videos on Facebook garner a higher average organic reach than other posts on the platform.

5. Consider a series

The cost of producing videos is getting more accessible all the time, with technology bringing it into the reach of many more businesses. As a result, videos don’t just have to be a once-in-a-blue-moon luxury expense – they could become a part of your marketing staple.

As covered above, that doesn’t mean you should churn out anything, but making a high quality series as part of your strategy will make people want to subscribe to your YouTube channel so they don’t miss the next instalment. Provided it’s not time sensitive, it’ll also provide a lasting resource that people can revisit time and again.

6. Make people feel, dammit

‘Going viral’ may be an overused phrase at times and it largely exists in the B2C domain, but the ‘Epic Splits‘ video from Volvo Trucks shows that B2B can garner viral success too. That’s not just in terms of views, either: the coverage was the equivalent of spending $120 million on advertising, while sales increased by 24 per cent immediately after.

While your company may not be able to afford Jean Claude Van Damme, you can create videos that evoke passion. In Volvo’s case, it was amazement, but humour, cuteness and – if carefully managed – anger can all get people sharing and get your brand in front of many more eyes.

So that’s your lot – six tips to help your marketing flourish with engaging, shareable video. Whether you’re doing it yet or not, one thing is for sure: it’s here to stay, so it’s better to embrace it.