How to Humanize B2B Marketing Content—and Stand Out from the Crowd


In highly technical or complex industries—think software providers, industrial or manufacturing operations, scientific startups, or multi-layered member-based organizations—it’s natural to want to ensure that you show up favorably against your competition.

That attempt at creating an “apples to apples” match sometimes compels organizations to mimic competitors’ tactics and keywords. And as AI-assisted content, imagery, and workflows become increasingly common, it’s easy to generate aggregated, general information that ticks similar boxes as buying teams compare solutions.

But when many voices are aggregated together, ultimately, they all sound the same. Your unique message and value can get lost.

So, how do you humanize your established, complex, or technical brand—and avoid sounding like every other competitor in your space?

Need to set your brand apart, but not sure where to start? Tell us your story. We'll help you bring it to life.

Elevating the Humanity in B2B Content

In content marketing, there’s an outdated idea that there is a divide between B2B and B2C.

  • B2B = All Serious

  • B2C = All the Fun

It’s true that B2B buyers tend to have a lot at stake. More to lose than, say, someone buying a pair of socks with one click. But they still respond positively to a brand that resonates with them—instead of talking at them.

At the same time, B2B buyers are incredibly well-informed. They can instantly spot superficial attempts at “sounding cool”—and they will have a laser focus on copywriting that doesn’t demonstrate true understanding and expertise. Thus, Fear of Sounding Fake drives many organizations to adopt a formal, jargon-filled…even boring style.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to cultivate a natural communication style that elevates your intelligence, expertise, and value in an engaging way. But making that stylistic shift isn’t something that comes naturally to B2B brands.

Creating a brand message and voice that has a human touch—while still clearly communicating with industry- and technology-savvy buying teams—requires finesse, intentional focus, and some work.

Here are some ways to create a more authentic, relatable brand.

Tell Your Brand Story Your Way

If you’re selling personal watercraft, you might want a fun, exciting, adventurous tone in your website and collateral content.

If you’re selling cybersecurity—not so much.

Speak the language of your customers. (Yes, they do want you to use relevant industry terms). But talk in a way that helps them understand the experience they’ll have with you.

Here’s an example of how our client TaxAudit cultivated messaging that bucked the trend in their industry—elevating integrity over scare tactics.

Read the Case Study

Communicate with Visual Content Marketing

Yes, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

The right illustration, graphic, or animation can help people understand a complex concept at a glance—and help them easily move to the next level of the buyer journey with you.

For example, our client Rio Tinto needed a visual way to explain the impact of their sustainably produced aluminum. They gave away aluminum water bottles along with QR codes linking to the story of their creation—told in an animated graphic.

See the Graphic Story

Leverage Your SMEs for Video Marketing

Your subject matter experts have built a career on knowledge and experience that no other person on earth has.

Let them shine. Your audience will form an affinity with your brand through their real-life stories.

InfinityQS did this really well. They are a provider of quality management software for manufacturing. But their story goes deeper than that. They’re leaders are industry-recognized experts who have all worked in manufacturing. They truly understand their customers’ stressors at the core of their being. Their customer success stories showcase their personal commitment to what they do.

See a Highly Personal Case Study

Stream Live

Live or unscripted content lets your audience behind the curtain, where they can see your brand at its most authentic.

In webinars, live streams, and extemporaneous interviews, you give participants and viewers the benefit of your specialized knowledge—and your unique perspective—complete with outtakes, side chats, and backstories that don’t usually make it into other types of content.

For two seasoned educators, an interview-style video series provides a forum for them to accomplish a very personal mission: to elevate and celebrate the teaching profession. Their Teachers Talking Teaching series enables them to showcase experts from around their local district—and transform the image of teaching, one conversation at a time.

Discover How the Video Podcast Came to Life

Give Your Customers a Voice Too

Sometimes, the most persuasive voice for your company isn’t yours. It’s your customers’.

Case studies, user-generated content, and community forums all provide space for frank, honest conversations that address real-world concerns. When you allow prospects to see your solutions through the lens of your customers, you help them imagine their own success.

Freightliner trucks knows that their best spokespeople are the drivers who work and live in their trucks year in and year out. Their trucking career site, Team Run Smart, is a vibrant, living community—and a testimonial to the company’s esteem for their customers.

See Freightliner's Community

Embrace Customer-Centered UX

Humanizing your brand isn’t just about the language you use to communicate your messages. The user experience you create across your online presence can provide subtle and highly important connections for people considering your solutions.

A great example is the way our client Automox restructured their resource library. Most B2B organizations organize content in buckets by “type”—that is, blogs in one bucket, white papers in another, webinars in a third, and so on.

But site visitors don’t come to Automox find a blog; they come to learn about a problem they need to solve. So, we helped them restructure their content in a way that’s intuitive for searchers, helps them find what matters to them, and helps them find a path to a meaningful solution.

See Automox's Pragmatic Shift

How to Develop a Human Approach to B2B Content

Taking a fresh approach to your content typically requires a fresh perspective overall. An invested marketing agency partner can help you rethink your approach, ensure consistency, and build your brand’s authority while distinguishing you from your competitors.

  • Discover what makes your customers tick. Whether you’re launching from scratch or relaunching a brand, product, or solution, it’s essential to build a deep understanding of your audience, their needs, and their values. Your agency partner should conduct research at multiple levels to provide objective insights about your industry, competitors, and customers. Then, they will leverage that data to provide detailed brand and solution messaging and personas.

  • Open the doors to conversation. Human relationships require regular care and feeding. You’ll want to build a robust marketing content calendar to provide continuous, valuable touchpoints for prospects and customers. Through a managed content program, your agency partner can provide dedicated, expert resources to support your internal team’s broader initiatives.

  • Respond and adapt. Of course, even the best-laid plans of B2B marketers are bound to be disrupted. If your industry or customers experience an unexpected challenge, your agency partner will help you respond and pivot your content marketing to ensure you stay in step with your audience—whatever their circumstances.

Humanizing Your Brand Is More Important Than Ever

In B2B content marketing, we talk a lot about the unique value of a brand, a service, or a product. But what does that mean to your B2B organization—and how do you bring that value to life in a sea of online competitors?

The key is to remember that every buyer is a person. And they are more likely to engage, learn, buy, and stay with your company when they trust the people in your organization.

Your story resides in the people who have spent years building a solution based on real-world interactions with customers. It’s the story of your struggles—and your successes. And it’s the place where your customers start building their own stories—and their own successes.

An invested, dedicated agency partner will take the time to embrace that story—and set your organization apart.

Let’s tell your amazing brand story.

Yes, you do have a story—and it matters. To you. To your business. And most important, to the customers you serve. Let us help you stand out from the crowd.

Tell Us About Your Content Project