Hey, I’m Chrissy Mais. I’m a content creator and Content Marketing Manager at Animalz, living in New Jersey (state of the best pizza & bagels). I also write articles for davegerhardt.com. Let’s connect on LinkedIn & Twitter!
“It blows my mind how B2B companies approach creative for advertising. It all blends into the feed. There’s a huge opportunity to do something different. If your ads just blend into the LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter feeds and look like ads, guess what will happen. Nothing.”
That’s what Dave posted on LinkedIn a while back, and it’s well-worth repeating. People are always fired up about creative, but if you slow down for a second, you’ll see there’s tactical advice and actions you can take to improve your ads. So without further ado, here’s an elaboration on how to do B2B creative that doesn’t suck.
First off, in order to make ads stand out, you have to be creative. What can you do to cut through the noise? Because unfortunately, business to business can also mean “boring to boring.”
Oftentimes it’s enterprise marketing and it doesn’t always feel cool, fun, relatable, or like a consumer company.
And that’s the problem. You have to keep in mind that you’re still selling to people, and not just businesses as a whole.
So forget everything that you think you know about B2B marketing. Instead, pretend that you’re creating a great ad for a product. Period. Not a B2B product, a product.
For example, if you’re making an ad for selling a hat, how would you do it? Make it different from anything else you’d typically see when scrolling your feed.
Put your brand guidelines aside because if you stick to creating ads that look like your brand, they’ll unfortunately blend in. Don’t let your creative look like your company page or simply post, “Hey, we got a new webinar tomorrow.” They’re not going to stand out.
Like right now, if you go to your LinkedIn feed, you’ll notice that the majority of the ads look alike – which results in banner blindness. Banner blindness is when you, knowing or unknowingly, ignore ads on places like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. So if something looks like an ad, it’s going to blend in.
You want the opposite of that. This is why you see so many iPhone ads on Instagram. Why don’t B2B companies adopt the same thing? You should. And you can if you follow the five actions below.
1. Ensure your creativity is real
You can’t use that corny handshake business suit photo (we’re all picturing the same one in our brains). Either use real photos and videos of yourself as the marketer, your founder, or your customers. Whatever you choose, it has to be real content in the ad.
For example, think about how you can effectively sell a t-shirt online. Post a selfie or video of yourself working out in the shirt, running in the shirt, and then going to dinner in the shirt.
Your overall message would be, “Hey, this is me. I wear this shirt all day. It’s waterproof, it’s sweatproof.”
That’s how you’d do a consumer ad, so do the same thing for your B2B product and watch what happens.
2. Record raw video ads
Make ads with your iPhone.
This video that Dave made, guess what it’s made on? An iPhone.
You don’t need to hire a six-figure creative agency or have your design team spend weeks making creative happen. You also don’t need to have fancy equipment or spend weeks on editing. Test with your iPhone first.
If it’s a little blurry, like if Dave was walking down the street while talking, that might even be better. That’s the simple, yet real creativity that will help your ad stand out. A real person, from a B2B business, doing things that normal people do.
3. Make the first three seconds of your content hit
How can you stop someone from scrolling their feed to pause on your ad? You need to have something in the first three seconds of your creative piece. Whether a video or an image, you need to have something to make people stop, think, and if you’re lucky, engage.
Write an amazing two liner that punches, create an ad that has a big lightning bolt through it, or light a book on fire. A bit much? Maybe. But the goal is to get somebody’s attention.
Social media advertising is a game of attention. If you’re going to play in that channel, you might as well use what everyone else is going to use against you on them.
4: Bring in the social proof
You need results, testimonials, real examples, and you need them in your ads. Oftentimes with an ad, you’re selling to a cold audience. They don’t know who you are, so you have to use proof to get them to build trust with you.
Plus, social proof is what is going to build credibility because potential customers rely on the feedback you receive from existing customers. And according to Review Tracker, 62% of consumers between 18 to 34 trust a brand because of good reviews and ratings. So show yours.
5: Always sweat the copy of your ads…always
So many people make a good ad, but then spend like two seconds writing the words in the Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter ad. Copy is the most important part. What can you say to your customers for them to take that next step? How can you generate leads and then turn them into paying customers? Write better copy.
To learn more and ensure your ads are a hit, check out some copywriting rules to live by. And if you want to dig yourself into a copy hole, dive into Dave’s 10 Laws of Copywriting and swipe file to make your creative stand out.
Overall, when you start brainstorming for your next creative, keep the five actions above in mind. You’ll turn heads and offer ads that are one of a kind. Doing so may take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s always best to experiment with different ideas, then see what (or who) clicks.
Try it out and then let us know in the comments here in DGMG U, on how it goes! Oh and please share this blog with someone who could use help with their B2B ads. They’ll thank you later 🙂