When you check your social media you likely scroll, scroll, and scroll some more until something catches your eye. It might be a video of piano-playing cats, an article about how to focus (Today’s the day!), or a quiz to determine what kind of poisonous plant you are. B2B buyers and decision makers scroll just like the rest of us—without a setting to sort between B2C content and B2B content. We’re all filtering through all the content that inundates us every day.
Most of us check our inboxes and scroll through our social media feeds looking for value, information, entertainment, and connection. To reach the people you want to connect with, today’s content creators have to be part artist, part marketer, part communicator, and part data scientist. It can get complicated.
But do we as marketers have to be creative geniuses to capture and keep the attention of our audiences? Certainly, creativity plays a role, but your idea doesn’t need to be original to catch the attention you seek. Sometimes we think that as B2B marketers, we need to take dry information and make it interesting. B2B marketers need creativity as much as B2C content creators to avoid producing the same kind of dry, boring, vague content that’s taken over the business world.
Marketing expert Ann Handley explains that creativity doesn’t necessarily mean being “artistic.” It also means being open to new ideas and ways of doing things. You don’t always have to create the freshest meme, funniest video, or artsy image, but you do have to create. We’re content creators, not content imitators or recreators or reactors or sharers. We should share, support and engage, but you need your own personality and soul.
How to Go from Boring to Brilliant
Here are some ways to foster creativity in marketing teams of any size:
- Make creativity part of your company’s culture and identity. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing their ideas.
- Introduce at least one wild idea in your brainstorming or ideation sessions. Consider trying something new or doing something routine in a new way.
- Collaborate. When appropriate, work with colleagues, customers, and other professionals to get input or fresh ideas.
As a marketer, one of the best opportunities to unleash your creativity is through storytelling. This allows you to express emotion, be descriptive, be human, use humor, and try something new.
Tell stories in your blog posts, case studies, and social media posts. Tell the story of how your solution cured an ongoing headache, attracted more customers, improved the customer experience, or thrilled employees. If you’re in a rut, try telling your stories with a change of scenery, at a different pace, or with the help of some new people.
This kind of content allows you to relay quantifiable results while also appealing to a variety of decision makers. Think of some of the shows that people love to binge watch. Whether it’s travel, food, reality, comedy, or drama, many follow the same formula but they tell a story in a formulaic but creative way. Naked in the wilderness. Eating bizarre foods. Using humor to solve crime. Every episode may be nearly like the one before, but we keep watching because we’re invested in the human element. Content creation is no different.
Want to throw around ideas with other creatives? Ask me how at email@example.com.