blinders
Quick! What are the four most frequently used words by B2B marketers? 

Give up? Here's the answer: "But I'm a B2B Marketer."

How many times have you heard that refrain? Inspired by a great marketing campaign, you come up with a way to adapt it to your B2B marketing mix -- except when you pitch the idea to your boss, a horse with blinders on, she objects: "But we're a B2B company -- that won't work for us!"

How lame.

Marketing today requires creativity, and creativity requires creative stimuli. If you're trying to come up with new ways to do B2B marketing, but only follow B2B marketing examples, you'll find yourself stuck in the same old B2B rut.

In order to do remarkable work, you need to draw on a range of different media and marketing campaigns. This is particularly true of social media applications like Facebook. For example, here are five Facebook pages that aren't run by B2B companies, but that are still highly instructive to B2B marketers.

Nick Kristoff (>140,400 fans) -- Nick is a New York Times columnist. He posts his articles on his Facebook page, but instead of just posting the headline, he posts each with with a sentence or two providing some context. The effect is a more conversational, intimate page, with more engagement.
B2B Lessons? Share content, have opinions and give people a reason to be passionate about your page.


ZipCar (>27,500 fans) -- ZipCar is an urban car-sharing service. They have a lot of fun with their page and experiment with different ways of engaging people. They put a particular emphasis on contests. They hold new-car naming contests , they had a contests to pick their holiday card and they've given away gift certificates. 
B2B Lessons? Have fun. Experiment.

Boston Logan International Airport
(>1,200 fans) -- Logan is Boston's main airport. Among other things, the airport posts weather updates, delay information, security announcements and airline promotions. A handful of threads on the page have produced comments criticizing the airport management, but that's actually a good thing for the airport. They responded, and showed that instead of operating behind closed doors, they're trying to be transparent and engage with their customers.
B2B Lessons?
Don't just run contests and share content. Use Facebook pages increase transparency and provide practical information, too.

All Things Jeep (>2,300 fans) -- All Things Jeep is an online store for Jeep clothing, jewelry and all other things. It's a small business with a very active community of fans. Their page puts particular emphasis on photos. They have a fantastic fan photos section. They're also very active in the comments of the page. In fact, their engagement might be part of the reason the community is so willing to share photos.
B2B Lessons? Engage with your community, enable them to create content.

Threadless
(>100,000 fans) -- Threadless is a community-powered online t-shirt store. Like many of the examples here, they have an active community on their page, where they share a lot of content. However, Threadless does more than the typical page -- it makes it possible for people to actually purchase shirts on their Facebook page, and share their purchase history.
B2B Lessons? Facebook is a robust, flexible platform. If you're having success, take it a step further.

What are the sources of your new B2B marketing ideas? What inspires you? Do you use exclusively B2B marketing examples, or do you look to a wider range of sources?

Photo: beketchai on Flickr


Live Webinar: How Businesses Are Using Facebook - With New Data & Case Studies (30 minutes )

Date & Time: December 22, 2009 at 2:00pm

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Originally published Dec 28, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

B2B Content Marketing