We get lots of request for examples of good B2B marketing, so here’s a trio for you and all your family. 

For this post, I’ve been taking a look back at our shortlisted B2B entries from The Digitals awards, which were handed out last month.

Berwin Leighton Paisner: Do Amazing Things

This multichannel digital campaign, essentially content marketing, saw applications for BLP graduate schemes grow by 40% within months.

Graduate talent is the lifeblood of B2B law firm BLP, but the firm faced a double whammy of barriers to attracting new talent:

  • As only the 17th largest firm in the UK, BLP wasn’t on the application short-list of law students – missing out to larger brands.
  • Non-law students weren’t convinced that a career in law was right for them. BLP had to sell life as a lawyer as well as selling BLP. 

BLP wanted to hire 40 graduates. The strategy was to:

  • Theme the entire campaign around the ‘amazing things’ students could achieve as a lawyer at BLP.
  • Make BLP people the heroes, letting them tell the real story of life at BLP on an unfettered basis via video, an interactive microsite and blogs.
  • Run an ‘amazing things’ social media competition to create buzz about BLP.

 Giving a platform to new joiners to discuss their life at BLP was a risky move (for a law firm), so obviously one that stood out against other firms.

In an industry not renowned for brevity or clarity, BLP’s partners conveyed via video the core, emotional essence of a life in the law – each in 40 seconds or less.

BLP proved that even within a sector such as the law, social media will get people talking about your brand more than bigger rivals.

Results

  • Applications for trainee job schemes up 40%.
  • Twitter followers tripled.
  • Facebook likes more than doubled.
  • Google traffic doubled in the first month.

With less than £300 invested, Facebook advertising targeted at university students saw exposure of BLP’s Facebook page and ‘Amazing Things’ Twitter competition grow from 1,014 people to 20,542 in just four weeks, with click-throughs growing from 11 in week one to 640 in week four. 

Financial Times ‘Smart Match’, the B2B semantic ad platform, used by IMD and others

Imagine the entire FT content, matched to your products or articles by a clever semantic tool, and then being able to serve your ads on relevant FT articles.

That’s a powerful tool. Here’s how it works.

FT Smart Match was used to link IMD’s thought leadership library, in real time, to business news stories on FT.com. For example, the FT.com article “Greece races to meet bail-out demands” was semantically profiled and matched to the IMD article “Is your company ready if the Euro collapses?”.

Using dynamic content creation, advertisements are created and placed on the relevant FT.com web pages. This efficiently promoted IMD’s brand to the desired audience of global senior executives.

Throughout the IMD campaign 350 articles and videos were profiled and matched 392,000 times to FT.com pages over a four month period.

This resulted in an effective CTR of 0.6%, six times higher than the standard online advertising on FT.com. The FT saw 50% more yield per CPM.

Smart Match highlights the following benefits:

  • Clients like IMD are able to make the most of their content.
  • The Financial Times is able to monetise its inventory for higher yields.
  • The FT is able to extend overall campaign lengths.
  • Readers are presented with information they may not have actively searched for.

This whole campaign improved insight into how IMD’s content is relevant to global business people. Here’s an example of the tool in use on a different campaign for a Dell advert.

Sage: content and search strategy

The people at Sage wanted to engage with ‘micro businesses’ (fewer than ten employees). So, they decided to focus purely on search to meet objectives, rather than spread the budget too thin across multiple channels.

And although there’s some good search analysis going on here, and some PPC spend, the bottom line is this was classic content marketing from Sage.

100,000 business searches were categorised into seven themes to identify user intent (e.g. Start a Business, Grow Your Business, Manage Cash flow, Control costs, Work life balance, Beat Business Fears and Employing People).

From these themes, unique content was developed in multiple formats and used in an integrated SEO and PPC campaign to connect this content with Sage’s target audience. 

You can explore the Sage site for this content. Here’s some examples:

 

A measurement framework scored every valuable action, from a visit to a video view to a PDF download and set a permanent cookie to track how these engagements turned into sales up to 180 days later. 

With PPC, Sage bid-managed the campaign according to the relative scale of content engagement, building cookie pools around each theme to extend their reach across Google Display Network.

In SEO, Sage focused on the top 30 keywords in terms of volume and engagement using PPC data. This involved categorising the SEO keywords using the PPC campaign structure to report on SEO CTR (using impression data from PPC). Sage ran a 12-week offsite campaign to ethically build links and social media ‘signals’ around the seven themes.

  

The campaign achieved a reach of over 85% in the UK micro-business sector according to Google, generating 130m impressions. 

  • On softer metrics, the campaign generated 578,600 ‘engagements’ (clicks, video views, shares, likes).
  • On harder metrics the campaign generated 13,000 PDF downloads and 600 leads (contact forms completed). 
  • In PPC, CTRs were up to 33% on generic keywords due to the tightly themed nature of the campaign involving over 11,000 ad groups. 
  • In SEO half of the target 30 keywords moved from outside the top 100 to first page on Google within three months.

Econsultancy’s Funnel B2B event is where marketing meets sales. More than 600 marketers will be at Old Billingsgate, London on October 8 to discover the tools and tactics that are delivering results. This event forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.