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B2B Brand Awareness Tactics
Today, the world of marketing is obsessed with metrics and conversion rates. Due to the increased demand for measurable results, brand awareness often gets overlooked. While it is more difficult to measure brand awareness tangibly, it’s still critical for B2B brands. Some argue that it’s not worth investing in brand awareness because it doesn’t have an instant payoff or result in immediate sales. However, not paying attention to brand awareness can have an indirect negative impact on visibility and overall growth initiatives.
There’s a catch twenty-two when it comes to brand awareness: not investing in it could be inadvertently hurting your conversion rates. Brand awareness is the “first impression” of marketing, and it only takes buyers seconds to determine whether or not they’ll open your email, click your link, or learn more about your solution. While it may seem trivial, it’s human nature to judge based on first impressions. Especially for B2B sales cycles that are long, layered, and have multiple decision-makers, you must deploy brand awareness tactics as part of your overall marketing strategy.
The following are brand awareness tactics specifically for the B2B market:
HubSpot is an excellent example of a company with a distinct brand voice. HubSpot provides value by producing a variety of free content. Most of their material is in the “how-to” category. They break down marketing concepts in ways that non-marketers can understand. They have an informal, casual tone that’s appropriate for their audience: small business owners.
To establish your brand voice:
- Make sure your voice reflects your values. Review your company’s mission statement and make sure your copy is aligned.
- Understand your audience. A college professor and a kindergarten teacher have very different ways of addressing their students. Make sure your voice is appropriate to your audience.
- Create voice rules as part of your brand guidelines. This will help when hiring designers, writers, and anyone who has a say in creating content for your brand.
Social media marketing is a huge opportunity to build brand awareness while reaching large audiences. Its power lies within its accessibility. The majority of people have smartphones or tablets. There are 3.8 billion people active on social media. Social media allows you to create brand awareness in a few different ways.
- Create thought leadership content on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. By posting engaging content regularly, your brand becomes the authority in the very same industry you’re trying to reach.
- Create highly targeted paid ads. If you’re trying to get in front of IT directors at SaaS companies that have between 500 – 5,000 employees, you can run campaigns on platforms like LinkedIn that target specific job functions at companies.
The prospects you reach on social media may not be in the buying stage yet, but when you build brand awareness early on, your company will be top of mind when they’re ready to embark on the buyer’s journey.
Creating original content is imperative in building B2B brand awareness. Content is king in brand awareness because of B2B buying behavior. We know that right after the buyer has identified their need, the immediate next step is research. Creating SEO-optimized, informative content allows your company to show up in prospects search results during that research phase.
There are several different strategies to take when it comes to putting out brand awareness-focused content:
- Give value for free. If the buyer is going to be consuming content to do their research, why not have them downloading your white papers or reading your ebooks. Yes, they may be reading other publications at the same time, but when using your free materials, your brand and logo become imprinted on their minds. Although it costs money to create free content, it pays off when they ultimately decide to become your customer. As they say, familiarity breeds trust.
- Praise your customers publicly. Most companies know that they should be creating case studies, but they usually take the wrong approach. Your case studies should be focused on your customers and what they’re doing—not the features and benefits of your product. While it may be tempting to talk about your own brand in brand awareness efforts, flip the focus back onto the customer. Showcasing your partnership will actually be more effective in building trust because people are more likely to take recommendations from peers versus advertisements.
Brand awareness is a foundational aspect of marketing. By building brand awareness, you speak to the knee-jerk, split-second reactions of consumers when they first come across your brand. It is the subconscious factor that buyers take action from. To build brand awareness, make your brand memorable by crafting a unique voice. Leverage social media to build strategic audience-focused marketing. Create original content that provides value and positions your brand as a leader in your industry. While building B2B brand awareness isn’t as measurable as other forms of marketing, it’s importance cannot be overstated.