Memes Mean Business for B2B Marketers
Aidan Paringer, Marketing Director, BNTouch CRM
For many B2B marketers, there’s a feeling of dread that comes with trying out of the box ideas. After all, search, display and LinkedIn have typically been strong drivers of quantifiable results. This is particularly true in industries that are generally regarded as slow movers. By way of example, Geico and Progressive are trying their hardest to make insurance advertising memorable for consumers, but there’s no “Gecko” or “Flo” in the worker’s compensation insurance market.
And maybe marketers are missing the point.
We’re all familiar with internet memes, from the deluge of “One does not simply…” images (based on Boromir in Lord of the Rings explaining that ‘One does not simply walk into Mordor’) to the usage of Kermit the Frog explaining it’s “none of [his] business.” However, very few B2B companies have made attempts to understand how memes can play a role in their marketing initiatives.
With this in mind, the marketing team at BNTouch, a CRM platform that helps mortgage originators connect with their real estate broker partners, created a campaign to mirror the NCAA College basketball tournament; we launched March Memeness. The concept was simple, we’d post a new meme every business day, as a way to get our clients and prospects to smile a bit. Most of the images were created using common meme generators (you can find lots of options on Google).
The results were impressive.
On the social media side of things, our stats essentially doubled. Instagram follower count grew 160%, and our Twitter follower count also more than doubled as well. Organic daily reach on Facebook was also up more than 100%.
- Perhaps more importantly, we saw dramatic upticks on web traffic as a result of the initiative. Organic web traffic was up 23% (driven by a 42% increase from social media traffic. Our quality leads measurement was also up more than 40%.
Of course, this all leads to the question, “is this replicable?”
The answer is yes. However, to make it work, there are a few critical takeaways marketers can learn from our experiment.
The first is that operating slightly out of your generally accepted industry-wide comfort zone can have a profound impact. For BNTouch, that meant trying humor in an industry that’s generally seen as buttoned up and slow moving. The same effect can be used in any number of industries. In car insurance, Progressive and Geico have incorporated humor for years, perhaps the approach an insurer can take focused on the serious nature of being protected when it’s necessary. The important thing here is to zig when others are zagging.
The second is that it will require consistency over time. For BNTouch, we created an image for every business day of the month. While a one-off image or .gif can “go viral,” it’s important to not rest your laurels on one positive result, and to realize that success builds upon itself.
Finally, it’s important to understand what the results you garner mean for your business. Our web traffic from Instagram went up more than 220%, but overall leads from that platform were still below those we received from LinkedIn. This means that there might be a tremendous opportunity on Instagram for a B2B sales cycle, but that we need to remember LinkedIn as an important component of our approach.
Make no mistake, March Memeness was incredibly fun for the team at BNTouch, but it also demonstrated how the willingness to go outside industry norms can have profound effects.
Full results of March Memeness can be found at https://bntouch.com/mortgage-blog/mortgage-memes-grow-business/
About the Author: Aidan Paringer is the Marketing Director at BNTouch CRM, the mortgage industry’s most feature rich growth platform, which operates as a standalone solution while seamlessly integrating into the day-to-day operations for enterprise, team and individual brokers. In the last two years, the company has worked with thousands of mortgage brokers, enabling them to close more than $43 billion in loans. BNTouch removes friction and increases agility in each touch point of a mortgage life cycle for customers, agents and regulators alike. For more information, visit www.bntouch.com