We all know that there’s a difference between communicating with an audience of consumers and communicating with a corporate audience. For many, the idea of B2B communications can seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Our PR agency works with a large number of clients who speak directly to corporate audiences. Bearing in mind the difference between B2B and B2C communications – as well as their similarities – we can ensure that we work to keep corporate audiences engaged. Drawing from examples working with our client BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK, here are four of our top tips.
Maximising Social Media
Social media is a key part of any communication strategy, but when it comes to talking to a corporate audience it’s worth thinking about how to maximise the potential of different channels and recognising the difference between the audiences you have on each platform.
For instance, on LinkedIn you’d expect to use more corporate messaging than across other social media platforms. For BNP Paribas Personal Finance, the channel is largely aimed at targeting potential partners, so we adopt a more professional tone in our social media posts and focus on posts about successful work, award wins and campaigns.
LinkedIn is also a particularly good platform for encouraging your employees to be your brand ambassadors. Those of your employees who utilise LinkedIn for their own professional networking can be encouraged to help to spread your message on the platform, helping you to reach a wider professional audience.
Showcasing your authority
When talking to your audience – particularly when targeting new partners or clients – it’s worth setting yourself up as the authorities in your particular field. This can be most effectively achieved in press releases that are issued or blog content which is written and featured on your own website or across other blogs.
When it comes to demonstrating authority, include commentary from senior members of the team. Whether they write an entire blog post or contribute just a few elements, their presence within the article establishes a sense of authority. For example, when BNP Paribas Personal Finance launched its motor finance solution, the news story featured a quote from the Managing Director of Motor Finance, highlighting the expertise within the business.
Be corporate… but not boring
Ultimately, corporate audiences are still human beings. The way that we aim to speak to a corporate audience shouldn’t be too dissimilar to the way we speak to consumers; they engage best with stories.
Although it’s important to maintain a professional tone of voice, there’s a danger of content coming off as too ‘dry’ and it’s important to find a balance. Ideally you want to be able to find the story within the messaging and bring it to the forefront. Don’t forget to make your messaging human – read it back to yourself or get somebody else to read it and analyse if it’s truly engaging. If you’d switch off, chances are your audience would, too. It’s also worth pairing it with strong visuals, to really help grab the audiences’ attention.
For instance, when BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s apprentice was recognised at the Solihull BID awards, the accompanying piece of content came with lovely imagery and a human interest story which appealed to internal and external stakeholders.
Don’t forget your corporate social responsibility
Finally, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to demonstrate their CSR (corporate social responsibility). In the current climate, there’s such a huge emphasis on ethical practice and developing a business approach which has economic and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. It’s worth making this a key part of your messaging, showcasing where your company succeeds, such as BNP Paribas Personal Finance’s effort to ban single use cups from their offices.
We’re a Birmingham PR Agency working with clients across the UK. If you need support putting together a communications strategy, or you’re looking for social media training, feel free to get in touch. Alternatively, take a look at the other communications services we offer.