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The business case for using Spotify and Instagram for B2B content

By Kareem Mostafa

Today’s world is filled with content like never before.

Whether individuals or businesses, creating content has become a natural part of everyday life. Content is the defacto primary method to communicate new ideas, drive action, build likability, trust, and develop memorable brands overall. People now make up their first impression of businesses by the content that they create (or lack thereof), specifically on a topic that they may be in the market to learn more about or get better familiarized with.

We've gotten to a stage where companies have, surprisingly, over-realised the importance of creating content.

As in, companies are hyper aware of the importance of content, and take every chance they can to create as much content as possible to build thought leadership. This leads marketers to more questions around how they can stand out and not experience burnout creating something that will not gain traciton. Their thought process goes a little something like this:

Content is king.


Therefore, in order for us to “exist”, we need to be there, when they search for topics relating to their dreams or fears, where we can help.


But how can we identify what channels they’ll be on?


Do we need to be creating content for every channel?


[cue relevant Dilbert cartoon]


As any good consultant would tell us, it depends. Though, more often than not the answer is a resounding yes - brands need to create content for all major social channels.


In B2B, people often hear their boss, colleagues, or even friends in the industry say “our customers aren’t on Instagram”. Or a similar one, “our customers are serious, they’re only on LinkedIn and are not on Facebook”. Or a more tricky one, “our customers aren’t on Spotify”.


To navigate this, clever B2B marketers are recognizing that buyers are humans too;

As in - that they are not their jobs. Although obvious, it is often overlooked. They have lives outsides their jobs where they enjoy other pastimes. They may listen to Spotify, spend hours on Instagram, and watch cute videos of Labradoodles tucking babies to sleep in their Facebook feeds like the rest of us.

Picture a CEO of an accountancy firm on her weekend, and she’s accompanying her partner as he picks out a few new shirts. While she waits outside the changing room, she finds herself checking Instagram, and comes across an image post that reads “the 10 most innovative accountancy firms we met, link in bio”. Next thing we know, she could be navigating to that brand’s profile, and yes, clicking the link in bio to see what can be learnt from this article. Perhaps she’s curious how she can get her own firm featured as well.

You get the idea.

A chef may do something similar, watching YouTube videos on other styles of cooking he was always curious about on the train home. A real estate broker may start tuning into the same real-estate Spotify podcast his buddy told him about over WhatsApp because he figured it’s a productive way to spend his morning commutes into work.


This happens all the time. Yet many people still think that doctors only read "doctor magazines", or that HR managers only read HR blogs and only tune their attention to HR online groups and forums.

While these outlets may naturally get their attention, businesses will always have a tactical advantage over other players in the industry by merely recognising that buyers are humans too. This instantly expands the possibilities at our disposal when it comes to content. There are unlimited ways that our buyer persona can consume content across all popular online channels.

These popular channels are the ones you and I are thinking of right now, which include the likes of Google Search, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Quora, Medium, Twitter, Pinterest, Soundcloud, Spotify, and iTunes. Our buyer persona is very likely on most if not all of those.

Smart brands don’t take any chances on their revenue goals for the year and create content for all the above. Most interestingly for B2B from this list would be Spotify and Instagram.

An easy way to create content for Spotify and Instagram in one go is to think about how to create one pillar asset and repurpose into multiple content pieces from there.

So how come buyers are always switched on, even on the less obvious channels in their off-work hours? Here are two possible explanations.


Explanation 1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Simply put, and as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs taught us people have a natural instinct towards self-actualisation and becoming the best version of themselves in various aspects of life. Of course, before self-actualization comes other types such as esteem-based needs (e.g: getting a promotion), belonging and social needs (e.g: keeping up with peers), and safety/basic needs (e.g: keeping my job).


People want to do the best job they can, and to hit the next goal or overcome the next challenge, they formulate questions and then find (or stumble across) content that gets them closer to the solution. Naturally, the content producers often are the ones who sell products or services that provide those solutions. Common B2B expressions of that are, getting a promotion, getting better team alignment, proving the contribution of the department to the overall organization, or just growth of their business. On the other hand, if I don’t do well I may be fired, or generally face a risk - and so on.


Explanation 2. Craftsmanship

Some people genuinely love what they do (gasp!) and they’re always looking to learn more, aiming for increasingly ambitious goals on personal, company, or industry level. They’re like craftsmen, obsessed with creating great work, and are endlessly loyal to it as they identify deeply with the fruit of their labour. Some have a passion to do things differently, to be the outliers in their industry, and to stand out and build a legacy as such.

Others simply enjoy the rhythm of making sure they’re always sharp in their industry and understand the latest trends, with the agility to resolve challenges as they arise. They understand that to do so they need to familiarise themselves with their goals and challenges by consuming relevant content on the topics they’re passionate about.

 

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Tags: content marketing, episodic content