Engagement and interaction may be the missing piece of your approach to marketing and customer service.
Today’s B2B buyers are overwhelmed with demands for their attention. Brands who can connect with them and add a spark of fun to their day have an advantage over those who simply serve up information – or try too hard to sell.
Many people don’t associate ‘fun’ with either B2B marketing or scientific communication, but brands must work to connect with their audience. No matter what role they have in business, people like to tell stories, connect with others, and have fun. They also enjoy learning insights or tips that can make their lives easier. Whenever you provide helpful insights, a fun moment or an authentic connection, you’re engaging your audience in an unexpected – and more interesting – way.
While social media offers the most obvious opportunities to connect and engage with your audience, you should think more broadly. For instance, you can look for ways to engage during each client service interaction, through your email marketing campaigns, on your website, and at real-world or virtual events – as well as through more traditional marketing tactics.
What Can You do to Boost Engagement?
1. Show your team behind the scenes
Even in the B2B space, buyers prefer to do business with those they feel a connection with or who they like. Too often, B2B brands hide their staff and their company personality. This results in a presence that does not differentiate them from the competition.
Showing the real people behind the scenes builds trust and credibility and conveys personality. Think personable, not personal. In other words, you can show your team’s expertise and their fun side without going too deep into their personal lives, invading their privacy or oversharing.
What are some ideas to try? You can get your team to do a theme-related flash mob. Share an interesting moment or a 30-second to one-minute video quote round-up where your in-house experts share a quick insight.
2. Games and interactive activities
How many people do you know who look forward to the latest Wordle? Consider creating a mini game for your potential clients, vendors and partners to enjoy. If possible, try to keep it on-topic and on-brand. Trivia games, word games, caption contests, or even polls are all potential ideas.
If you are unsure whether an idea will work, try testing it out at staff meetings, events, or during team-building activities before figuring out how to implement the game online.
3. Events: both in-person and online
Zoom and virtual events thrived during the pandemic, yet now – even as people feel safer attending more in-person events – they are still going strong. Consider offering events where your community of clients, partners, and the team can engage and interact.
People are eager for connections with others. An informational event like a mini-webinar that includes an element of fun and socializing goes a long way towards building engagement and goodwill among existing and potential clients.
You can incorporate interactive elements like icebreaker games, conversational prompts, puzzles, trivia or polls. Some brands deliver refreshments or swag to each webinar participant in advance to create a stronger shared experience among participants.
4. Use humor
Both B2B and science-related brands tend to shy away from injecting humor into their marketing. They want to remain inclusive and non-controversial, and it seems too easy to go wrong with humor. While these are valid concerns, consider whether there are ways to incorporate humor based on the shared experiences of everyone in your field.
Laughter is one of the most powerful ways for people to connect. Poll your audience about some of their mild pain points and consider using them to gently inject a little humor. For example, many people have had minor frustrations with Zoom connections dropping at the wrong moment. How can a Zoom call dropping or freezing at the wrong moment cause mildly amusing misunderstandings? What about those moments where family or pets “photobomb” the call?
There are many ways to inject humor through our shared humanity without undermining your brand’s credibility.
5. Social media contests
Social media contests can be a great way to invite engagement and get to know your audience better.
Variations can include caption contests, guessing games, or user photo contests. For example, during the COVID-19 quarantine, many brands and employers engaged their audience by asking people to share photos of their home offices, latest DIY project or favorite Zoom space. What could your brand ask?
With a little imagination, you may be able to create fun and unique engagement strategies. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, technology and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.