Posted on: December 1, 2022
2022 has been a challenging year for many reasons, and while people face difficulties in the winter ahead there is a definite appetite for a more cheery sentiment. It’s evident in the engagement the Christmas ads from the major retailers have generated this year.
As we write, Cadbury and Asda have topped the popularity stakes. It’s been good to see that this year’s festive offering rightly demonstrated a greater sensitivity to harder times. Themes focussed more on community, listening, and supporting – rather than excessive indulgence and materialism. The Co-op even canceled its annual Christmas ad – partnering instead with a membership-based food scheme to help squeezed households tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
In doing so though, the more popular ads blended in an element of fun and joy. The engagement generated showed that escapism, storytelling, happiness, and joy are what audiences are craving.
While this gives useful pointers to consumer marketing, does it have relevance to B2B campaigns? Well yes, it does, because businesses like consumers are finding times tough. Decision-makers are human (and so emotive) and many are facing difficulties in their work.
Drawing more ‘joy’ and sensitivity into your marketing could therefore help it to resonate in the coming months. Here are some ideas to help you engage with clients, prospects, and other stakeholders.
Make more of positives in this season and the ones to come.
Seasonal messages around holidays, the beauties of the natural world and thinking of others can translate well into marketing messaging. They also lend nicely to a more joyous creative treatment.
How positive are your images?
The use of imagery in your marketing is very powerful as people are overloaded with information and the written word. Rather than relying on widely-used stock imagery, invest in photos, pictures, illustrations, and videos personal to your business. For example, those showing your team, customers, causes you support, and your products in action helping others. Consider doing ‘thank you’ video messages to thank customers for their business this year.
Tell me a story
Using testimonials and great reviews to influence purchasing decisions is a tried and tested method. Rather than presenting these in a standard format, why not repurpose these as stories about the benefits your customers experienced? Consider too the positive stories stemming from your staff or other stakeholders too. What creative treatment can you give these to engage interest and bring a smile or (positive) raised eyebrow?
In a similar vein, think more deeply about how you have helped clients solve problems. With this focus more on the positive outcomes (rather than the initial problem). Create marketing campaigns, articles, videos, social media posts, etc that emphasise the output of whatever the client solved, achieved, or fixed as a result of your interaction. Use the client’s language in your messaging to resonate more with others.
Knowing the challenges your clients and their organisations face in the coming months, can you create and share genuine and helpful tips or advice? Consider drip-feeding a few at a time rather than delivering a large bundle in one go. This is more likely to get noticed during busy workloads and build goodwill as people recognise you as a valuable source of help.
Make more of wider celebrations
What awareness day or national days carry a positive connection to your business, its goals, and ethos? Embrace and use these days in your marketing. When sharing on social media, use the relevant hashtags where appropriate. These days provide positive occasions to be seen to support a community and signpost people to your business in a new and different way.
Add a joy-prompting message to your email signature
Email signatures are often overlooked as an effective way to signpost some latest news or offers. Can you think of more joy-focused ones to sprinkle into your team’s email signatures throughout the year? If you need convincing, just think about how many emails your business sends.
Encourage fun interaction
If appropriate, try fun ways to get people to interact with your business through marketing – can you run competitions, fun polls, etc? For example, some businesses have asked their customers to vote on which charitable cause they should support at this time of year.
Make more of your presence on Google
Do also make more of your Google My Business profile with positive images, news, and offers. This will stand out to people in the search platform and help you differentiate from competitors.
With many people switching off from the news and other sources that focus on the negative, it’s important to appreciate the hunger for joy as 2022 moves into 2023. Sensitivity, a sense of community, and a focus on the positives will be important to help marketing get noticed.
We hope you find the ideas helpful and if your business could benefit from more in 2023 please do get in touch, either contact us or tel. 01483 429111.