You want to do the fun things in your marketing, like use humour, but somehow stay professional and on-brand. You’re not sure how far to push it. You’re a business brand, marketing to other businesses, (we call that B2B), so surely fun marketing stuff’s not for you, right?
If you get it wrong, you risk damaging your reputation, brand and looking like a fool.
Here’s 7 ideas used by brands who market to consumers (we call that B2C) that you can easily grab and run with. Ideas that incorporate humour, stories, personality and quirks – all the best bits.
Here we go.
Consumer brands that use colour well, follow a clear set of brand guidelines that dictate how crazy colourful they can be. And they’ll have these defined for use on social media.
Random colour palettes and textures don’t cut it, for any business.
And guess what?
There’s no difference to how to use colour when marketing to consumers or businesses. Follow your brand guidelines. Not sure about guidelines and branding? Read this.
Images are just as important as words, when telling the story of the brand. Consumer brands have been using aspirational and lifestyle images forever.
For business brands stuck in the nineties, listen up – we don’t need to wear suits anymore. Even the most professional of industries, like law, can still appeal to other businesses by simply being human.
Who would you rather do business with? Ms ‘I’m smarter than you and a little scary’, or Ms ‘I’m a human, just like you and am to help’?
You can be professional, while being you.
Fun, bright and conversational – that’s what we expect from consumer brands. They use tone to help tell their brand story and convey who they are.
“Hey there John, your order of life-saving hospital equipment is on its way” is a little off. It boils down to your brand personality. If it’s not what your audience is expecting, then leave that lingo to the hip consumer brands.
Simple, conversational and first person – a better way to communicate to any audience. And, if your brand guidelines say you’re playful, then you have a green light to have a little fun. Business brands can have a personality, while being professional.
While over-use of punctuation is never a good idea for most brands, some consumer brands can get away with this, usually ones talking to younger, hip crowds.
As for semi colons – they’re just flat-out confusing. Don’t use them. Business brands that flaunt punctuation like it’s going out of fashion, risk being underestimated and overlooked.
Use simple full stops, period. Clear, concise messaging, without distraction is what you’re aiming for.
Every. Damn. Time.
Consumer brands get to have all the fun across many social media platforms. We’re talking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.
Facebook has a wide appeal, as does Instagram. But if your primary sales channel is not via any of these platforms, then don’t start a Facebook page only for it to be filled with tumbleweeds.
LinkedIn is used effectively by many business brands for building awareness and lead generation. Company Pages and Individual Profile Pages for each team member are great ways to keep your brand top-of-mind.
6. Word Choice
Who Gives a Crap?
No, really – they’re a perfect example of how to stand out in a commodity market by using words that match beautifully with their audience and brand.
Adopting the same industry lingo as your competition is an easy trap to fall into. Your competition will understand what you’re saying perfectly, but don’t expect your customers too.
Choose plain English that puts the business human front and centre. Business brands that do this well, take the time to break down the industry speak and use non-jargony words that are understood by the real person reading the website.
Consumer brands understand they’re marketing to humans.
Business brands can be fooled into thinking they’re marketing to humanless job titles.
“But we’re selling to CEO’s,” you explain.
Yes, but a CEO is also a Mum, Dad, daughter, son, sister, brother – you get the idea.
Now you know how to use some of the best bits of consumer marketing and apply it to your (boring) business world. And avoid looking like a fool.
Over to you
Hit the comments and share one thing you’ve taken out of this crazy simple post.