The year 2020 has seen many brands, both B2B and B2C, scramble to adjust their content strategy in light of the pandemic. It wouldn’t be fair to touch on this topic without first pouring one out for the marketing team at Corona, who launched an upbeat, fun-loving campaign for their hard seltzer right around the time the unfortunately-named virus hit the US. The content created for this campaign was swiftly removed from Corona’s channels and has only recently been replaced by a new campaign with a much more muted tone. Despite the momumentally bad luck, Corona has been an unlikely success story this year, maintaining their position as the world’s most valuable beer brand, a real testament to their ability to adapt their content to the world around them.
While no B2B brand had to deal with a situation quite like Corona’s, all had to pivot in some way to meet their audience’s new expectations and concerns. Whether that was finding new ways to help customers work remotely or creating digital experiences to replace physical ones, we’ve seen some brilliant content produced in the past year. To celebrate this creativity, we’ve pulled together this list of our five favorite B2B content marketing examples of 2020.
In this fun video, Joel from monday.com goes on a mission to keep his coworkers motivated while working from home. He does this by creating a robot that is automated to drop a cookie on a coworker’s desk at the click of a button, with hilarious results.
It’s been a pretty somber year, so a bit of lighthearted video content like this really stands out. Not only is it contextually hitting the mark by dealing with the topic of losing motivation working from home, but it’s also highlighting the mission statement of monday.com in a really subtle way. Their whole thing is about empowering teams to be more effective. They get this across here in a really unconvential way that’s empathetic to a remote business audience.
Partnering with Deloitte, Google interviewed 30 board members from Fortune 1000 companies on the role of the CMO. They ended up with more than 1,300 minutes of audio and over 100,000 words from their interviews. They took this raw data, ran it through a topic modeling algorithm, used human evaluation to find the most interesting quotes, and instilled everything into one paragraph that captures the aggregate opinions of the board members. This is all packaged in a digital, interactive report you can see here.
This report works because its format is really empathetic to content consumers in 2020. It’s digital (a necessity), but it breaks away from standard formats by being interactive, which also allows readers to control how much detail they engage with. You could read this end-to-end in a couple of minutes, or you could spend longer by clicking on the paragraph’s key points to comb through the quotes that generated that sentence. B2B readers fatigued by online content are unlikely to be overwhelmed by this condensed report.
Smartsheet commissioned a global survey in the early stages of the pandemic when remote working was not yet an established norm. They found that young people in particular were struggling with the new working arrangements, with 81 percent of Gen Z and Millennials in the US, UK, and Australia feeling less connected and 70 percent feeling less informed since the start of the pandemic.
As a work and collaboration software, these findings are obviously very product-relevant for Smartsheet. But we’ve decided to include this content marketing example because it simultaneously exposed the brewing mental health crisis among young people, and added impetus to the increasing need to support friends and colleagues. Content that has both business and wider social benefits is hard to come by, but Smartsheet pulled it off.
One of 2020’s most timely examples of content marketing was produced by Cognizant, who delivered an imaginative report from five years into the future, looking back at the predicted impact of the virus. It covers everything from remote working to business travel to digital privacy.
Why do we love it?
While content predicting the impact of covid has been incredibly overdone by now, this guide was published back in March. It was one of the first pieces of its kind out the door and because of that, it saw huge engagement. This guide was actually created using Turtl’s software, which is partly why the team at Cognizant could turn it around so quickly, and in the anxiousness and uncertainty of the spring, it captured the attentions and soothed the concerns of tens of thousands of readers.
At the start of summer, when working from home had been the norm for a few months already, Apple launched one of the most fun and relatable examples on this list. The seven minute video tells the hilarious and endearing story of a team up against a deadline while dealing with the common challenges of remote working.
Apple has a reputation for meeting customer needs before they even realize what they want and this video campaign is no different. Taking our shared experiences and putting a lighthearted spin on them encourages us all to find the funny side of our strange new work environments. It was the perfect way to contextualize their products for a business audience and with almost 30 million views on YouTube, we’d say it went down pretty well.
Want to see our favorite B2B marketing examples of all time? You got it.
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