The "S" in "SAP" doesn't stand for sexy. We're an 88,000 employee, multinational enterprise software corporation that helps the world run better and improve people's lives. But our brand doesn't exactly scream "exciting" or "cool." So we on the SAP Small Midsize Enterprise (SME) marketing teams were faced with a question: How do we market our solutions to small and midsize enterprises that don't even consider SAP to be an option? We make innovative solutions but we realized that, in order to raise awareness of our SME solutions, we needed to do things differently—to innovate and come up with new ways to communicate our brand with our audience. Our products are so much more than just a bunch of ones and zeros; they enable and empower small and midsize enterprises to meet their full potential by becoming best-run businesses. We set out, not just to sell potential customers something, but to tell them something—to share authentic stories of the SME customers who's successes are powered by SAP. Because at the end of the day, people aren't influenced by big corporations, they're influenced by other people.
SAP has over 250,000 small and midsize enterprise customers, each one with a connection to our brand. We knew we wanted to tell their stories and highlight SAP's role in their successes—the question was, how?
- We created an episodic "Buddy Road Trip" across North America with two SAP employees (Ursula Ringham & Ryan Sonnenberg).
- We interviewed SAP's small and midsize enterprise customers at tech "hubs" like Silicon Valley, Montreal, Chicago, and Portland .
- The videos are centered around the customer brands—their history, their culture, their people, and their effects on the communities they inhabit—and NOT on SAP solutions.
- We got up close and personal, interviewing the companies' CEOs, supply chain managers, finance executives, warehouse managers, marketers, and more.
- Created "live" experiences during the video shoot to build awareness through social media.
- The series illustrates the profound effects SAP solutions have on the businesses who use them.
- The series shed light on life at these companies, while also breathing a bit of life into our SAP brand as well.
- End Result: short 3-5 minutes videos that got people interested in where Ursula and Ryan were going next and which companies they were going to interview.
- We developed and promoted short-form teaser videos for promotion across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- We used Instagram Stories, to drum up excitement around the series during the video shoot, and drive to the full length episodes hosted on SAP's SME community, the Growth Matters Network.
- We cultivated and carried out a tactical dissemination strategy that afforded the series great exposure, while avoiding audience fatigue.
- In addition to hitting our stride on our owned channels, we experienced great success on social via wider brand support, all of which contributed to the great success of #LifeAt.
Why episodic videos?
- Episodic series are how today's audiences consume filmed media (think Netflix).
- 72% of B2B buyers are watching videos to help them make their buying decisions.
- 64% of consumers say a video they've watched on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision.
- The series allowed us to feature two SAP employees because people want to relate to other people—not brands.
When we created #LifeAt, we did so to get the word out about SAP's small and midsize enterprise solutions and to connect with potential customers. To say we met our goals would be an understatement. Following a July 2017 launch:
Video for #LifeAt: Discover small and midsize enterprises innovating and growing with SAP solutions
- The series elicited 14,570,575 impressions (over 65% of which were organic), reaching countless users outside of our previously established audiences.
- Impressions led to 712,759 views and a view-through rate of 40%—almost double the industry standard (~21%).
- #LifeAt resonated so much, that we experienced 327,839 page clicks as a result of the series.
- On one customer visit, our Instagram Stories about the video shoot garnered over 107,000 organic views in under 24 hours.
- Viewers didn't just watch our content, they clicked through to explore the Growth Matters Network and discover all that SAP can offer.
- These clicks weren't just coming from any old users. No, they were coming from midsize executives and small business owners, who liked, commented, clicked, and joined the SAP SME conversation.
- 2017 Social Media Channel Success
- Followers up +67% (compared to industry benchmark of 5-10%)
- Impressions +14% over 2016
- Clicks from videos increased by 7,378%