A B2B Christmas Carol
So Christmas is upon us once again and we are surrounded by carol singers, mince pies, and presents. And, of course, Christmas ads.
In B2C, brands go mad for Christmas content. We are faced with a sparkling flurry of cute old men on the moon, mischievous cats and Santa eating Corn Flakes, all warming our hearts and conjuring cosy feelings of love, family and happiness. Christmas content is the original story teller of marketing and every year brands are raising their game with engaging, shareable, viral content.
Now let’s jump ship to B2B tech. Bah Humbug!
Commonplace in the B2B tech industry is a notion along the lines of ‘we’re a serious brand offering serious products to our business clients’ or ‘we are the thought leaders of our industry; our content is cutting edge, sophisticated and credible’. And there ain’t much room for a Christmas jumper in that synopsis is there Scrooge? Or is there...
Christmas ads are not unheard of in our industry. Circa 1996, IBM made an adorable Christmas ad for their B2B offering. It had all the ingredients of a spot on B2C Christmas ad; the word ‘magic’ in the title, a little girl who can’t sleep the night before Christmas, a roaring fire, the Sugar Plum Fairy theme music; this could be a lovely advert for any FMCG brand.
Just when you’re feeling all warm and cosy and want to reach out and hug your dad, we’re hit with the phrase:
‘Be there when your customers need you—Business Solutions’
Are we surprised? For most the answer is probably yes. We’re not used to this kind of content in B2B—especially not in the nineties. Where’s the product info? Where can I get a demo? Where’s the thought leadership?
Fast forwarding to 2015. It’s time for a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Content.
These days, we’re not talking about Christmas ads, we’re talking about Christmas content. Christmas is great for B2B and brands needn’t be afraid of losing their credibility or corporate identity amidst the joy. Christmas is a chance to be human. Take it.
What we mustn't forget is that those at the receiving end of your B2B campaigns are just as likely to be celebrating Christmas as those buying gifts in John Lewis. Your audience will be doing their Christmas shopping after work, making arrangements to see the family, and opening advent calendars. Yes, even the B2B tech audience.
You can appeal to this notion via your content by showing that you are human too. Look at this example from Spiceworks, Tech the halls: 17 IT-themed holiday decorations to make you jolly. The guys at Spiceworks have really topped the geek charts here, providing a chuckle for like-minded people working in the lead up to Christmas. It’s funny, it’s relatable, it’s shareable—and that’s your clincher.
We wish you a Merry Christmas
Most companies will say Merry Christmas on social media. They might send a festive email to their subscribers. But on research for this post, few B2B tech companies really embrace Christmas in their content the way Spiceworks did above. Why? Because Christmas isn’t serious enough?
We want to engage with our customers. What better way to do that than to show that we get they’re looking forward to Christmas? That we are too! And that hey, we’ve still got some great content for you; it’s under the Christmas tree. Don’t be a Scrooge, let the Ghost of Christmas Content into your marketing and really connect with your audience.
And a Happy New Year!
So Christmas is the perfect opportunity for B2B brands to connect with their audience. My question is, why don’t we do this all year round?
Throughout the year, the social landscape of B2B tech is heavily populated with product information, company and industry news, blogs, and thought leadership content. If you can make room for Christmas, you can make room for other things that involve, excite and engage your audience. Christmas isn’t the only thing they like; they enjoy golf, wine, cars, holidays, Game of Thrones, seeing friends, and all kinds of human activities.
Take faith in Christmas content—appealing to your audience’s personal agenda is a one-way ticket to increased engagement.
B2B no longer has to shy away from content previously exclusive to consumer marketing, because we know our audience is human. We can create seasonal content and we can still have fun with our evergreen content. Without the fear of losing our credibility.