Content & Creative

Master your fear of these marketing tools

Make friends with your B2B marketing boogeymen for better results By Tanya Decarie Oct 30, 2018

You can’t fight the monster under your bed. It’s intangible, hard to understand and sometimes you just can’t justify the cost of a monster removal service to your boss.

Okay, we are obviously not talking about actual monsters, but you have to admit that some marketing tools look pretty scary when you consider the expense, time investment or plain lack of know-how.

Save your garlic and silver: you can’t kill these B2B marketing boogeymen. But once you understand them better, you probably won’t want to.

Here’s how to make friends with them instead.

Paid Social: Don't fear the Reaper

What is it? A faceless angel of death who takes your money to raise a horde of the undead and make them read your content.

Why is it scary? For those who have never crossed the gates to the underworld of paid social, it’s hard to take that first step into the unknown.

How do you make it your friend?

Paid social is often misunderstood as a marketing tool with a steep learning curve and nebulous ROI.

“Your first experiences with paid social will be unexplored territory, so you can’t assume you’ll hit gold right away,” says Giles Lino, Social Media Strategist at Motum B2B.

It takes time to get acclimated to new platforms, but paid search and social media marketing are gaining traction in B2B.

“Social media offers all kinds of tools when it comes to tracking conversions,” Giles explains. “It’s targeted advertising with a platform that has become synonymous with everyday life.”

Paid search lets you make the most of those tools with an expanded audience. Combined with strong industry knowledge and research, you can target your paid search efforts to maximize returns.

Virtual Reality: The friendly ghost in the machine

What is it? An evil robot that uses lasers to project interactive digital images onto a device, like a smartphone or tablet.

Why is it scary? VR is still shrouded in mystery for B2B marketers, projecting the myth of an unwieldy technological colossus.

How do you make it your friend?

The B2B landscape is filled with niche products and services, many of which are difficult to demonstrate to an audience.

Phil Richards, Web Developer at Motum, says virtual reality (VR) comes in handy when pictures, text or live demos don’t quite do the trick.

“Let’s say the product isn’t something the customer can hold in their hand, it’s not something you can send as a sample, and it’s not something you can bring to a tradeshow,” says Phil. “With VR, you can put the customer inside a visually exciting space where they can experience the product.”

VR projects might spook the average marketer because they seem unfeasible and huge in scope, but you can deliver an immersive experience with just a few scenes comprised of 3D models, images and video.

If you want to make friends with VR, Phil recommends building a light, trimmed-down experience.

“Keep it as simple and slimmed down as possible,” he says. “Limit yourself to two or three different scenes at most. One video, one or two models, and a few images should do the trick.”

Paid Search: Big flies won’t break this web

What is it? A giant spider that catches unsuspecting humans in its web. It has a particular taste for B2B buyers.

Why is it scary? Aside from the fact that spiders are terrifying, this one needs actual marketing dollars to spin its web.

How do you make it your friend?

“B2B marketers will spend on print ads, tradeshow booths and other events,” says Steve Lendt, Director of Analytics & Engagement at Motum. He notes that many B2B marketers are more comfortable spending on traditional, tangible strategies as opposed to web-based tools like paid search.

Paid search has the potential to expand a company’s reach and offer it more diverse targeting options, but Steve says some marketers are still hesitant to use it for their own businesses.

“Some prefer to sit on the sidelines and wait for more early adopters before they join the chorus,” he explains. “The problem is by then it’s almost too late, because now the competition is high and if everyone is doing it, you’re going to spend more money trying to compete.”

He recommends striking while the iron is hot: you might feel uncertain about your first foray into paid search, but in many cases the returns are worth the investment.

Video: Please feed the beast

What is it? A three-headed beast that rules the fiery hellscape where high-quality, professional content reigns supreme.

Why is it scary? The beast’s three heads stand for cost, time and energy, which is basically the Terror Trifecta for B2B marketers.

How do you make it your friend?

Cost, time and energy are only scary words if you get nothing back in return. Video offers plenty of high-ROI opportunities for B2B marketers, which makes it a totally tamable beast.

“The reality of video development is that you can’t make it up on the fly,” says Ryan Iusi, Web Developer at Motum. “In an ideal scenario, you’d have a script, storyboard, planning phase for the day of the shoot, rehearsals, an organized shoot, and then post-production.”

Ryan also stresses the need for high-quality cameras, lighting and audio set-ups, as well as professional video editing software for post-production. Before all that, you need a solid plan to make sure you use your time efficiently.

Why go to all that trouble? For one, it gives buyers a visual demonstration of the product or service, which isn’t always possible in B2B.

“In an industrial setting, you might have large equipment or mass amounts of material. Sometimes it’s important to be able to portray the scale of your products,” Ryan says. “In B2B, you need creative ways to reach your end users. That’s where video comes in.”

I ain’t afraid of no marketing tools

Are you feeling a little braver now that you understand these spooky tools? If you need backup on your next marketing adventure, give us a shout.