Why it pays to invest in innovative design for B2B content

Why it pays to invest in innovative design for B2B content

When it comes to getting noticed, B2C marketers often pull out all the stops, as shown in these eye-catching examples from Lego and Nike.

B2B marketers who produce videos or gifs to attract the attention of their would-be customers face exactly the same challenge: they need their intended audience to see them in an increasingly saturated marketplace.

Great design, of course, appears so simple it is almost invisible. And yet it silently promotes the brand by delivering a stress-free service that is both engaging and seamless – so pleasing that the customer will come back for more. It stretches far beyond the ‘look and feel’ or the colour palette, and encompasses the whole digital experience.

This focus on original, customer-centric design has largely been the domain of B2C marketers. But now that everyone has experienced it as part of their daily lives, they also come to expect it. And B2B marketers need to be aware of the dangers of being left behind.

Continual innovation

Here’s one piece of innovative B2B content we made for Standard Chartered Bank that really stands out. It takes technical elements of existing digital formats and combines them to create a fresh approach – a cross between an infographic, an animation and a slideshow, where movement and design integrate seamlessly with the facts and figures. 

The tricky thing about capturing attention is that the goalposts keep moving. Something that was different enough to stop the scroll last month may well not do the same a month later. To counter this, firms need to accept the norm of embracing continual innovation. 

Among current digital trends, 3D is leading the way. See, for example, this 3D rendered artwork in the corporate social space, or this high-end animated video being used to promote a business workflow tool

Shining a new light on static imagery Source: LinkedIn/Peter Tarka

Breaking down barriers

While the challenge of continual innovation may seem daunting, there is also some good news for B2B marketers when it comes to cost.

The advance of technology, both in terms of hardware and software, means there is a comparatively low cost to many of the design tools needed. And the timelines, from idea to creation, are now much faster as a result.

For example, Adobe Character Animator enables designers to quickly produce the kind of complex animations that were previously only feasible for large organisations like Pixar. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to capture movement saves a huge amount of animating time. 

Similarly, AI is also being used in creative apps to turn simple brushstrokes into realistic landscapes or backgrounds, allowing designers to focus on the foreground and messaging.

Finding a partner

This doesn’t mean, however, that a freelancer is the right fit for a big company embarking on this journey. It’s critical that whoever is designing and writing your content has a deep understanding of your messaging and brand. That’s why, at Formative Content, our team of designers and animators works alongside an experienced team of journalists with a sensitivity to PR and a real nose for the story that will grab attention.

The other good news for companies is that competition in the B2B marketing space is limited. Much existing B2B content has great scope to be bolder and more experimental from a design perspective. Businesses that dare to buck the trend will automatically get more of an uplift and be able to showcase themselves as an innovation-first company. 

When an organisation posts content on social media it shows its public face to the world – and puts its reputation on the line. An innovative, experimental and open approach to design will protect businesses from seeming outdated, and has the potential to connect with new or different audiences.



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About the author: Alex Martin is Head of Visuals at Formative Content, overseeing the entire visual output for our clients. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.


Alex Martin - Head of Visuals
Author:Alex Martin - Head of Visuals