We hate to break it to you, but not all technology gets consumers equally excited.
Think of the immediate onslaught of news articles and social media posts that accompany the announcement of a new Apple product. Now, contrast that with the response to the latest innovation announced by an integrated business-to-business (B2B) software solution people use every day. You see what we mean?
Customers might not know it just yet, but they do come in contact with the products of B2B business more often than they think – ever used Ninja Van’s automated chatbot? That software is provided by Zendesk, a customer service software company. Relatability is exactly what it takes for people to start caring about what tech brands, especially B2B ones, have to say.
But why should consumer perception matter to your B2B tech businesses?
Much like how B2B brands turn to their customers for validation, consumer tech companies also look to customers – the end-users of B2B brand products – for theirs. By playing a significant role in shaping the way people (positively) perceive your customers, you boost the credibility of your own brand.
If you ever find yourself trying hard to connect with an audience who has no idea 5G is upon us (let alone 6G), here’s how you can talk about technology without sounding like you’re quoting The Matrix.
To the average person, the tech industry seems to be full of long-winded acronyms, nonsense words, and seemingly meaningless catchphrases (“SEO optimisation,” anyone?). Though it can be hard to resist using techspeak in promotional material, that won’t impress your audience – instead, it could just confuse them, or worse, drive them away.
For instance, a company may install a complicated new software which improves employee efficiency and productivity. However, if the audience is unable to understand what exactly the software does for them, and are not educated on how to go about using it, they’ll probably stick to doing things the way that works best, even if it is comparatively slow or clunky. Similarly, B2B software companies dealing with complicated products should drop the technicalities and instead articulate the value they bring to their customers.
Rely on data-driven narratives
If you have data, insights, or even simply announcements that impact the local and regional tech or businesses community, you should work to create interesting story angles centred around your and your customers’ data.
If data is not readily available, though, commissioned reports produced by third-party research agencies can also help you deep-dive into industry trends to produce an opinion piece that also showcases your brand’s technical product capabilities in a non-promotional light.
What’s more, your data or opinion pieces can be distilled into more digestible satellite content – short-form pieces like social posts and blog posts – that can grab readers’ attention and then funnel those who want to know more towards your website, which can in turn help boost both awareness and generate leads.
Create a wealth of consumer case studies
Software companies who also act as vendors for their consumer tech clients can sometimes blur the lines between genuine thought-leadership and an opportunistic, promotional plug – especially when pitching to the media. For instance, if you’re a cloud service provider, it would be natural for you to speak with the media about how “organisations need to be cloud-ready” before 5G networks arrive.
But instead of telling others how something should be done, why not show them? The success stories of your customers make for great case studies, which prove the success of your products and services when applied in the real world.
But here’s the catch: when sharing case studies with trade publications or other news outlets, B2B brands must understand and be comfortable sharing the spotlight with other parties – otherwise the neutrality of the story might be undermined.
Don’t be afraid to newsjack
‘Reactive pitching’ – often called ‘newsjacking’ – is the art (if you will) of getting your organisation’s key messages into media coverage by riding on the back of breaking news. To leverage reactive pitching effectively, you should think about the type of data or thought-leadership your company spokesperson can bring to the table in the event of major tech-related news – brainstorming possibilities and having a ready-to-go bank of ideas is definitely not a bad idea.
As a B2B brand, you likely work with partners that provide service to consumer tech companies. Work with them to tap into their available data in order to create compelling news hooks for journalists – especially those in the tech and business world. By inserting yourself into the conversation subtly and tastefully, you’ll be the expert on the situation and topic at hand.
These tactics are for tech companies, as newsworthy corporate announcements may not always be available, and even when they are, they might be too technical for audiences of mainstream or business titles. By creating user-friendly content and positioning your business leaders as industry experts, you’ll be able to more easily get the word out about your company.
If you’re a B2B tech company in need of a simple way to explain what you can do, write to us at [email protected]