In the B2B space, it’s easy to forget that there’s an actual human on the end of the buyer funnel.

Too often B2B marketers don’t add that human touch that makes their campaigns seem more authentic and real. All too often, there’s a focus on features, rather than elevating their marketing efforts to truly connect the people who make the purchasing decisions and use their products.

It’s time for B2B to take a page from B2C and focus on marketing to individuals, rather than faceless organizations. Even though you’re selling to a business, it’s still a human (or a team of humans) you’re marketing to at the end of the day.

In our B2B marketing ones to watch 2022 report, we identified brands that were really on top of all the biggest trends we expect to see in 2022, including their ability to connect with people through their marketing.

You can download the report right now! But for a sneak peek at some of the nominations, take a look at these five standouts who really proved why humanization is such a key component of any marketing strategy.

Gong

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform for B2B sales teams. Their platform records, transcribes, and analyzes sales calls so businesses can get a deeper understanding of these interactions. Gong enables businesses to have greater transparency of risks and opportunities across their business so revenue teams can be certain what’s coming down the pipeline each month.

When it comes to their marketing, Gong is a big proponent of LinkedIn. They have amassed a huge, dedicated following, and share an average of 10 to 15 posts on their company page per week. Their content leverages data-driven insights, emotive imagery and graphics, and attention-grabbing hooks.

Gong’s branding is instantly recognizable with their bold colors and great sense of humor. They also know how to have fun with their posts, allowing them to be more relatable on the platform and ultimately drive engagement.

Gong’s content is all about the customer, engaging in conversational marketing that enables people-to-people conversations that are more authentic and human.

Gong secured a place in the 2021 Forbes Cloud 100 list, the definitive ranking of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world, representing the best-emerging companies in the cloud sector. This follows their placement on the same list the previous year, demonstrating their strong momentum.

In 2022, there’s going to be more emphasis on B2B brands marketing more like B2C, with personalization, authenticity, and humanization - talking to people rather than businesses and building a community around them. That’s why we believe Gong deserves a spot on our list, as they’ve already demonstrated their commitment to conversational marketing and built an incredible community.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs provide an all-in-one SEO toolset that allows businesses to optimize their website, analyze competitors, search for keywords, and learn what content is the top-performing in their industry. Their index is updated with fresh backlinks on the web every 15 minutes, and their crawler processes up to eight billion pages a day. With tutorials and a dedicated, supportive community, Ahrefs is an essential toolkit for junior marketers or SEO aficionados alike.

Ahrefs produce high-quality content, going into great depth with their research and providing comprehensive user guides and blogs packed full of advice for users. They have established themselves as a true authority in everything SEO, and this is plain to see in the amount of engagement they receive on their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook posts.

In our article detailing upcoming B2B marketing trends in 2022, we highlighted the importance of becoming a thought leader in your industry. Rather than opting for a hard sell, audiences want a company that’s knowledgeable about their industry, so Ahrefs has achieved a unique position as a true expert in their field that customers can rely on.

On social media, Ahrefs utilize a consistent branding style that is instantly recognizable, combining a retro-style with fun, colorful graphics to make their posts stand out. They also do plenty of employee-based posts, giving their audience a behind-the-scenes look at the business and helping to humanize the brand.

Dooly

Dooly is a sales enablement platform that provides a connected workspace where users can eliminate busywork, sell with consistency, and collaborate. What started as a tool to update Salesforce faster has grown into a connected workspace that brings revenue teams together to close more deals.

Dooly thinks about marketing not as B2B or B2C, but as person to person, relationship to relationship. They strive to get the very most out of their content by extending its shelf life in creative ways, such as cutting videos and sharing the assets throughout the week.  

Dooly balances the careful art of educational content that is also entertaining. They understand the need to have marketing that’s lively, taking inspiration from the B2C space by being incredibly present on social media, running campaigns born from a collaborative workspace where they believe that anything can be content.

In 2022, we expect to see a rise in the humanization of B2B brands, as more utilize the marketing techniques of B2C, marketing to people rather than faceless companies. Dooly has already shown how they’ve used social media in this way, and we can’t wait to see what they offer in the coming year.

Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer service platform designed to improve communication between businesses and their customers. Their software can be scaled to meet the needs of any business, enabling them to take their customer service online.

Zendesk takes a different approach than most B2B brands with their social media exposure. Using a blend of humor and professionalism, they target the customers, not just the company. They incorporate all channels of modern B2B marketing into their content strategies, such as webinars, blog posts, and whitepapers. Their strategy is quality over quantity, producing pieces they feel will really resonate with their audience and markets.

It’s crucial for B2B brands to maximize their customer experience so they can retain customers - given it’s five times more expensive to gain a customer than it is to keep one. Zendesk puts out plenty of content about improving the customer experience, so any company focusing their attention on that is one worth paying attention to.

We’re always big fans of companies not afraid to have a bit of fun with their marketing, and we know that in 2022 the focus is going to be on people rather than businesses. So we’re excited to see what kind of content Zendesk produce for their audience in 2022.

Drift

Drift provides a revenue acceleration platform that connects companies with buyers in real-time via chat, video, voice, or email. By enabling companies to engage in real-time, personalized conversations with their customers, they can build trust and accelerate revenue.

Drift is a proponent of conversational marketing, connecting with customers when they are live on your website, ready to make a purchase. What ties their products together is conversation, making a connection with customers on a personal level.

Drift has taken steps to humanize their content, using plain, simple language to simulate everyday conversations. They use photos of real employees and customers throughout their channels to add that touch of authenticity. Part of their marketing strategy involves sharing their knowledge, including stories behind their team, offering customers a useful insight into their business practices while also elevating their brand and putting faces to names.

We love a company that keeps things simple and engaging. With their casual language and employee-based content, we think Drift deserves a spot on our list for embracing the idea of humanizing their marketing efforts, and we can’t wait to see how this continues in 2022.

Want to learn more about what top marketing strategies B2B brands are utilizing in 2022 to stay ahead? Download the B2B marketing ones to watch 2022 report today!

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