You’ve definitely seen them: the short social media stories that last a few seconds on Instagram or Facebook that detail a unique moment in a person’s day. They are fun, quick, and engaging. Some have sound and some don’t, while others have simple graphics—but they always offer a sneak peek into life behind the scenes.

The other key factor in their popularity? They don’t stay around for long. After a certain amount of time, they disappear from view, creating that good old “fear of missing out” (FOMO) that’s central to the heart of a ripe marketing opportunity.

Entrepreneurs use social media stories for personal branding, but there’s nothing stopping marketers in the B2B digital marketing space from doing the same in their own way—on the right social networks.

In fact, it’s a great opportunity to diversify the style of marketing content as video and podcasts continue to draw eyeballs, ears, and clicks. Video and audio also have a more personal quality to them. They create a way to engage with the human part of the company, instead of a faceless brand simply offering solutions to pain points.

As multi-media channels continue to grow in popularity for all consumers, brands are expected to diversify traditional approaches to marketing and integrate more social, human aspects. Why? Straight content is a static marketing tool and does not consider potential clients with other preferences for content consumption and learning—a key factor in educating people about the value of what you offer. Even if content delivers more of a storytelling kind of feel, it’s still static.

Social and video content, on the other hand, creates engagement and feedback from a unique perspective that companies can use to re-inform and refine all marketing efforts moving forward. It also offers customers a diverse way to connect with the value of what you have to share.

Multimedia Social Content Offers Personalization Value

The important next step for brands when considering social stories as part of marketing outreach is in understanding how to create and leverage the right types of multimedia content to reach target markets where they’re already watching and listening.

Oh, and sticking to core brand messages in the process, of course.

Even though Snapchat started the charge with the idea of “My Story”, there’s no reason your brand can’t create something similar on LinkedIn or YouTube to share with potential customers. The takeaway here is that people wanted to share their stories, and listen to the stories of others.

In other words, things became personal. People were sharing intimate stories, not selling points. It’s what made it so engaging.

Brands can leverage this marketing tactic too, it just takes the right thought-out strategy to pull it off.

We already know B2B marketing relies heavily on demonstration of expertise, and video offers an opportunity to do that directly. In essence, social stories allow you to show that you are capable of what you claim, rather than simply telling or claiming.

For example, showcasing the “day in the life” angle of your team or operations is educational, unique to your brand, and offers context that addresses real-world pain points. It’s also a great way to deliver social stories that provide personalized value.

Personal Touch Strategies

As 2019 approaches, personalization is no longer an option, but rather, a necessity.. The focus for all marketing content will be about:

  • Improving the customer experience with personalization
  • How easily personalization is automated in marketing and real life
  • Ways AI integration will be both seamless and help customers in the buying process get exactly what they need

Consider what—and how—social stories or video will work for your target audience by asking some simple clarifying questions:

  • How much do you know about your target audience’s multimedia consumption habits?
  • Do they use video or podcasts as part of their research process? How often?
  • Are they actively using Youtube and LinkedIn?
  • Are there topics you can feature that make sense, especially when it comes to specials or deals that disappear after a certain amount of time (FOMO)
  • Are employees willing to be featured?
  • Can you show the story behind the making of a product?
  • Are there influencers or former clients willing to provide feedback or a review via video?

It can also help to turn some questions on the brand itself when thinking about the types of multimedia content to feature:

  • Is this type of video helpful to the target audience?
  • How can we determine if it’s working or of value to the target audience? Through views? Sales numbers? Page clicks?
  • Is there a budget in place to create multimedia pieces? If so, how often?

Is Personalized Video King?

The bigger question on the table when it comes to social content and video is about legitimacy. The B2B space is only dipping its toes into how personalized marketing can be best executed on specific channels to connect with potential customers. Does video featuring social stories work or appeal in ways that matter? It’s definitely worth exploring as a marketing opportunity in a limited mini-series as a test run.

Look, the landscape for video as it relates to marketing to the B2B audience is evolving, and that’s a good thing. There are still things to explore and use to build deeper, more personalized customer relationships in a way that’s valuable and feels natural.

Conversational content is also becoming more and more important with the introduction of AI, simply because AI is changing the way the internet analyzes and processes information. With these new types of technology tools in place, it’s easier to play with fresh ways to build a personalized feel into content of all types and create a deeper connection that resonates.

Customers don’t want to miss out on a great deal after all!

As new year planning is underway, consider how social media stories can enhance customer connection and bring marketing content to the next level.

 

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.