Over the past decade, the B2B marketing landscape has undergone seismic shifts. Traditional methods, from cold calls to generic email blasts, are slowly being phased out, and a more personalized, human-centric approach is on the rise. We’ve ditched the old-school playbook and embraced a whole new game – one that’s all about being real, immersive, and forging connections.
And mark my words: the B2B creators, those authentic voices and faces behind brands, are gearing up to lead the charge in how businesses connect with their audience.
Here are my key insights, supported by data and real-world examples:
Building Bridges through Content:
According to a Content Marketing Institute study, 91% of B2B marketers used content marketing to reach their customers. In the next phase of B2B marketing evolution, content creators are set to become integral team members, not just for DTC businesses but across the entire B2B spectrum.
Austin Rief (Morning Brew co-founder) wrote a tweet about the future in businesses that will hire full-time creators that will create exclusively for their companies and build a targeted audience.
For instance, companies like HubSpot have embraced this strategy, but in a different way. They are growing their own creators by growing a network of YouTubers and podcasters.
These creators aren’t just crafting and posting content; they become the content – a living embodiment of your brand narrative.
Also, Sam Parr and Shan Puri discussed this topic in their My First Million Dollar podcast.
The Power of Association:
A Nielsen report indicated that 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over advertising.
B2B creators act as those peers, serving as a bridge between your company and your audience, infusing a human touch that elevates your brand’s authenticity.
I learned the power of association while being at Creatopy and talking about topics I personally intersect with Creatopy’s values. For example, I had the great opportunity to do a presentation about short vertical videos on an online virtual summit for Ad World and use the case study we launched at Creatopy.
I have also done some guest posting on different websites like AdWeek and Entrepreneur and connected their audience with Creatopy’s audience.
Associating the personal name with the brand’s value using content and social media engagement can be overwhelmingly powerful to bring in a more connected audience base and drive transformations. Merging personal stories and experiences with brand values creates a rich narrative that engages readers on a much deeper level than traditional marketing strategies.
Going Beyond the Glitz of Influencers:
While B2C influencers dominate platforms like Instagram and TikTok, B2B influencers, or creators, shine on platforms like LinkedIn or even podcasting.
They aren’t chasing likes or viral moments; they’re establishing thought leadership in their niche.
Dave Gerhardt is a prominent figure in B2B (business-to-business) marketing and branding. With a flair for melding innovative strategies with actionable insights, Gerhardt has carved a niche for himself in this sector.
He is also the author of the book Founder Brand.
His track record includes crafting standout marketing campaigns for leading tech firms, such as his memorable initiatives at Drift and Privy, where he harnessed conversational marketing to foster genuine business connections.
Now, he is building the biggest B2B marketing community with Exit Five.
The Full Cycle of Company →Creator→Content
Within the modern business landscape, a symbiotic relationship has emerged that defines the dynamics between companies and B2B creators.
It can be illustrated through a cyclical process:
- Companies Nurture Creators: Modern companies, recognizing the value of authentic voices, invest in and foster creators who align with their brand ethos.
- Creators Produce Content: These creators, armed with industry knowledge and unique insights, produce meaningful content that resonates with the target audience.
- Content Bolsters Brand Identity: The consistent influx of high-quality content gradually shapes and solidifies the brand’s identity in the market.
- Strong Brands Benefit Companies: A well-defined and authentic brand identity drives trust, credibility, and business growth.
- Thriving Companies Reinforce Creator Relationships: Recognizing the value, these flourishing companies continue to invest in and nurture their relationship with creators, ensuring a continuous growth cycle.
From this cycle, one can discern the transformative potential of a B2B Creator within the business-to-business realm.
However, it’s crucial to approach this model with a discerning mind. It doesn’t act as a one-size-fits-all blueprint. The success of this model is contingent on various factors, including the specific industry, the overarching mission of the company, and the foresight of its leadership.
In the evolving business milieu, a notable trend is emerging. Companies aren’t just stopping at content production. They are delving deeper, nurturing a holistic relationship with creators, and exploring avenues beyond just content, recognizing the multifaceted value these creators bring to the table.
Jay Acunzo’s quote, “Marketing teams won’t just create content. They’ll create creators.” presents a compelling challenge that I find immensely valuable.
These B2B creators look beyond direct sales, focusing on communication, engagement, and long-standing relationships. They demonstrate that it’s not just about the product or service; it’s about the people and the stories behind them.
In conclusion, B2B creators are not just an emerging trend but are set to be the bedrock of the future marketing landscape. They are the storytellers, the innovators, and the catalysts of a new era in marketing.
As we forge ahead, let’s envision and work toward a future where faces become the new logos and authenticity truly reigns supreme.