B2B Brand Awareness Tactics And How You Can Use Them
Brand awareness - your target audiences’ familiarity with your brand, products, values, taglines, history, and industry relevance - is the key to embedding your brand into consumer consciousness, lifestyles and purchasing habits.
Brand awareness is often contextualised in B2C markets, but it’s every bit as significant in B2B environments. The simple truth is that B2C and B2B consumers who are familiar with a particular product or service are more likely to consider it as a viable option.
Education is a key component of successful B2B brand awareness campaigns. It helps to create authoritative content like white papers, case studies, webinars, and industry insights, which in turn, encourages companies to subscribe to newsletters or other channels that will promote constant communication.
B2C or B2B, brand awareness is essential to your brand’s success. It builds trust, improves brand perception, drives website traffic, boosts sales, and boosts ROI. Having a lack of awareness tactics can negatively impact your business and result in your brand not appearing in search results, experts not acknowledging your brand, little brand recognition, and internal disconnection.
Due to its intangible nature, measuring brand awareness remains one of the biggest challenges for B2B marketers, who tend to prefer quantifiable results that can demonstrate ROI – especially when stakeholder pressure pushes them to measure success against targets and objectives.
Brand awareness, however, should not be overlooked and is critically important. The cornerstone of brand equity is brand awareness, and the level of brand awareness has a profound impact on marketing, brand perception, and revenue for your company.
Brand awareness plays a key role in multi-channel branding and marketing strategies for B2B companies. By following this guide, you can build brand awareness, increase brand awareness, establish your brand in the minds of your audience, and build campaigns that allow it to grow and change.
Let’s dive in.
Why brand awareness is essential to B2B organisations
Brand awareness content can live organically on a brand’s website, social networks, and in other related brand initiatives; however, it may also need a boost to reach the right audience in the right ways.
From social media to SEO, all your marketing efforts rely on brand awareness. By making people aware of your brand and what you have to offer, you can gain their trust and influence their decision-making process, resulting in more sales sooner.
If brand awareness is not a priority in your B2B marketing strategy, you may wonder whether improving it is worth the effort. Despite the fact that awareness doesn’t guarantee an immediate sale, it is a crucial first step in the sales process and can significantly impact whether someone decides to learn more about your company.
In addition to presenting an image of your company that your target audience will engage with, it can provide prospects with value before they even initiate contact. A prospective client’s awareness of the company alone isn’t enough to drive revenue.
In order to drive awareness, you need to do more than just get your name out there. This is just the tip of the iceberg – there is so much more to your brand than just your company’s name and logo. You must understand how consumers see your company, products, and services and how you stand out from your competitors.
Even though B2B purchasing decisions are typically made by a team rather than one single person, that team is ultimately made up of people, and the way they feel about your brand can determine whether they choose to work with you or not. If you earn a new client, their perception of your brand will determine whether they stay with you or switch to a competitor.
Customer awareness is the first step on the path to conversion. This won’t be a one-time effort in the lengthy B2B sales cycle. Throughout the buyer’s journey, it’s critical to stay top of mind and engage with your prospects.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to harness the power of marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness, reach new customers, and drive sustainable growth. Let’s begin.
Ten B2B brand awareness tactics
The simple truth is brand awareness matters. The ability to create greater brand awareness will have a significant impact on the quality of your lead outreach, the recognition of your brand, and the revenue that you generate.
Using the following ten strategies, you can increase your B2B business’ visibility among competitors and increase client loyalty. Let’s get started.
1. Start a podcast
The power of podcasting can help your business stand out from the competition. You can showcase your organisation’s personality and character by choosing content that is relevant to it. This will not only help you attract more customers but also increase your sales organically. As a result, you’ll be able to develop more authentic relationships with your clients, which is essential in a saturated market where products and services are plentiful.
Be a podcast guest if you don’t want to produce your own podcast. Podcasts are popular because they allow people to listen asynchronously and at their convenience. No doubt, you’ll find an audience who can benefit from your knowledge and expertise among the thousands of podcasts available across hundreds of niches and industries.
Among Shopify’s content resources are a blog, business courses, and community events. In terms of content, it is its podcast, Shopify Masters: The e-commerce business and marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs, that makes the brand stand out.
On the podcast, entrepreneurs share inspirational stories and offer practical tips for starting an online business, and cover a wide range of topics.
A company offering such valuable, interesting content for free is an excellent example of B2B marketing that should always provide value before trying to profit from it.
2. Be savvy with your content marketing
Content marketing has become an important tool for building brand awareness, even though traditional advertising is still a viable option.
It encompasses any type of content that primarily aims to educate – blog posts, white papers, social media posts, downloads, videos, and podcasts. Its focus on education is what makes it so powerful. Customers in B2B markets are driven by logic and financial incentives – they want to understand how you can help them thrive and why they should trust you.
A brilliant way to establish thought leadership and brand awareness in B2B is through free, high-value content marketing. But before getting down to the actual content, you will need to:
- Identify your buyer personas. Know exactly who you’re talking to, what their challenges are, what their aspirations are, and what their role is.
- Develop a detailed strategy. It’s a great idea to start blogging regularly. Nevertheless, planning a well-executed strategy is much better.
- Provide content at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Informational, top-of-funnel content is the biggest mistake many businesses make. Traffic may be driven by this, but content for the middle and end of the journey is crucial.
With so much content being published every day, content teams face the challenge of cutting through the noise. The solution? Creating content that is both useful and educational.
Think about how much content your customers and prospects are exposed to every day, and whatever you do – don’t be boring. Be bold, catchy, and unique. Your job is to cut through the noise and make an impact. Creating enticing subject lines is one example. With just a few dozen characters, you can capture the attention of your audience. Unless you can hook them here, you can’t expect them to read the whole thing. Your email subject lines deserve almost as much attention as your emails themselves.
Doing a case study featuring one of your clients is a great way to build trust with B2B customers. Have you considered interviewing one of your existing clients to find out how they benefitted from your brand most? Learn about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them – it makes for great educational and shareable content!
Slack maintains a blog called ‘Several People Are Typing’ where they provide tips and tricks on how to use their platform efficiently. Besides writing about events they’ve attended or hosted, they share brand announcements and share productivity hacks. Content like this builds brand trust and increases brand awareness among new and existing users by providing useful and educational information.
3. Create a unique, personable brand voice
Brand voice matters in B2B. It used to be that B2B and B2C marketing were at opposite ends of the marketing spectrum. In contrast to B2C communications, B2B materials were formal and professional.
Today, however, things are changing. B2B brands are increasingly being measured by B2C standards. B2B clients, after all, are also consumers. B2B brand voice plays an important role in influencing the customer experience that buyers demand. A brand’s communication style sets the stage for all future interactions and leaves a lasting impression on readers and listeners. So for B2B brands, developing a unique and personable brand voice is imperative.
A unique brand voice and story will set you apart from your competitors and help you build stronger relationships with your customers. By simplifying your brand message, your customers will be able to better understand what your brand offers and be able to buy into your business’s ideals, beliefs and services.
You also appear more trustworthy when you have a unique and consistent brand voice. Your customer messages can be interpreted – and misinterpreted – in many ways, and you can’t always guarantee they will understand them accurately. But, with an intentional voice, you can ensure your customers get a consistent message from your team.
You also become more relatable when you have a brand voice. Your customers will want to interact with you more if you have a friendly, approachable, and, most importantly, a recognisable voice that humanises your brand. They’re more likely to open emails and check out your content if they feel as though their needs are being met and understood by the brand.
Buffer is a social media management platform, but they’re also known as gurus in branding, content marketing, and many other areas. In all areas of their communications, they’re open, honest, informative and helpful. You can see their personality reflected in their content when reading their Voice and Tone Guide. They share inside tips and advice freely in their podcast series, and their blog posts are informative and comprehensive. As far as salaries and financials are concerned, they are also known for being transparent.
4. Think about thought leadership content
The importance of thought leadership and personal branding in B2B marketing cannot be overstated. Your name will gain authority, credibility, and trust if you publish original thoughts, opinions, predictions, and analyses about topics relevant to your niche. You’ll also get more visibility, interest, and engagement with the authority you’ve built.
It all starts with fresh, original content, and that begins with you. You must cultivate your thoughts to cultivate thought leadership. Rather than providing sales-driven content, this is your chance to establish yourself as an expert. You still have opportunities to highlight your product or service, but the most critical thing is to be seen as knowledgeable, thoughtful, original, and even pioneering.
Compared to large companies, small companies have a more difficult time building brand awareness. In the absence of a reputation in the marketplace, thought leadership is a tried-and-true strategy.
Creating thought leadership content with a strategic partner is an excellent way to leverage your industry knowledge. By collaborating with a strategic partner, you can produce high-valuvalue content. Webinars, white papers, case studies, interviews, articles, guides, podcasts, and videos can all be used in this way.
As soon as the content has been crafted, you will be able to reach out to each other’s audiences, increasing the exposure of your brands.
Featuring industry reports, analyses, insights from subject matter experts, and a ‘Watch and Listen’ section, Deloitte’s audiovisual blog solidifies its position as an industry and thought leader. Its ‘Watch and Listen’ section embeds thought leadership into engaging media, such as podcasts and videos.
Deloitte’s blogs stand out because they combine audiovisual content with conventional written content. Their videos are visually appealing, and their podcasts are both informative and entertaining. Thus, buyers and clients can subscribe to a variety of content based on their tastes and requirements.
They also include transcripts in their podcast. As well as maximising their SEO ranking, this demonstrates their consideration for the hearing impaired.
5. Be active on social media
Social media marketing isn’t only useful for brands targeting individual customers, despite common perceptions. According to Foundry, 75% of B2B buyers use social media during the purchasing process. From initial awareness to long-term loyalty, companies must engage customers across all touch points and throughout the entire customer journey. This is where social media comes in.
Maintaining an active social media presence is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Almost any business can reach its audience and potential customers using the right channels and messaging.
Connecting with business customers via social media can be challenging due to the long sales cycle and chain of command, but it has its benefits.
Using social media for marketing and customer engagement can be an effective method for building brand awareness, humanising your business, and giving your company an online personality. As with email marketing, social media is a highly effective channel for sharing your content and enhancing your brand authority, which B2B customers value.
In this case, keeping an eye on social media trends is crucial. For optimal results, identify the channels you should use. Hubspot reports that roughly half (49%) of marketers say LinkedIn is the best platform for sharing video content, followed by 28% who choose TikTok.
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for reaching out to everyone in a B2B category – and even B2B buyer groups since LinkedIn users tend to visit the site with specific goals. As well as learning and growing, they devote time to becoming more productive and successful.
Mailchimp, a marketing automation company, is a stellar example of how social media can be used creatively and effectively. Using colourful and engaging graphics, Mailchimp engages and excites viewers. Several of Mailchimp’s partner communities are featured on LinkedIn and Instagram, two of the world’s largest professional networks. Using these customer profiles from around the world, you can see the wide range of use cases Mailchimp supports.
During COVID-19, the Mailchimp team used Instagram to showcase how they worked remotely. This helped small businesses understand how to engage remote and virtual employees as well as strengthen their employer brand.
6. Coordinate sales and marketing teams’ work
B2B marketers are tasked with building brand awareness, but salespeople are responsible for converting this awareness into sales. In the event of a poor marketing campaign, sales results are also unlikely to be good, and vice versa. Coordination and synchronisation of all processes are essential for success. To achieve better results, make sure all your channels are working together simultaneously.
It is equally significant if your brand uses an external marketing agency. It is impossible to overstate how critical it is for teams to communicate with each other. To ensure that every client is reconnected and reached, the marketing team should plan ahead with the sales team before launching a new campaign.
7. Brand consistency and consistent messaging
In B2B sales, the process will likely take longer than in B2C sales. A brand’s conversation with a customer can be lengthy and nuanced, making consistency across B2B brand awareness activities and communications all the more critical.
A key challenge of B2B is that there isn’t just one customer experience; there are many. Customer experiences vary from stakeholder to stakeholder – your partners, distributors, and suppliers will all engage with your brand in different ways. Similarly, each decision-maker interacts with your business differently.
In order to be successful in B2B, your brand must be consistent across all channels and devices. Forbes (2018) reports that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. Providing relevant content and product recommendations to your target audience will help you ensure a more streamlined and satisfying customer experience.
In terms of design consistency, Dropbox’s cloud-based file-sharing platform excels. Dropbox’s trademark open, blue box logo is present on all of its communications and platforms. Every aspect of the brand’s design follows this style, from its email marketing to its homepage to error pages.
8. Utilise search engine optimisation
A search engine optimisation strategy boosts a website’s ranking on search engines such as Google and Bing, and creating and leveraging a B2B SEO strategy involves several steps.
To begin, it’s crucial to understand your buyer and create personas for key decision-makers in companies in your target spheres. Be familiar with the keywords they use when searching for what you sell and optimise them. Identifying topics and content to share with your audience is another effective opportunity to differentiate and illuminate your solution. An example of a successful outcome might be capturing an email address or being mentioned on social media.
Each webpage should be optimised for terms that indicate buying signals using on-page SEO. Search engines understand what you do better when you use keywords in short URLs, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, and long content publications.
Quality backlinks are critical for your B2B business, even though they are not easy to obtain. Considering the amount of content and research required, this could easily become a full-time job.
If you know your audience and create content that deserves to rank, whether it is written content, video content, or even commercial content, you will achieve SEO success.
Canva receives 38.7 million organic hits per month from SEO. How do they do it? Search engine optimisation. Their website ranks highly for terms like brochure, template, and YouTube banner. In addition to ranking well for these keywords, they provide a solution to their audience’s problems. There’s every chance that someone searching for “brochure” is looking to create one, and Canva lets them do it for free.
9. Run retargeting ads
A well-planned retargeting campaign can help build brand awareness among website visitors. In your role as a B2B marketer or brand expert, you probably spend a great deal of time, effort, and money driving traffic to your website. But, once they’ve left, how much time do you spend engaging them?
There are several reasons why retargeting ads can benefit brands with little awareness. Using retargeting ads, you can re-engage visitors who have already been to your website. Additionally, they can help you test your website’s messaging and targeting. For example, a destination page that is getting a lot of clicks but not much conversion may need to be cleaned up and made more conversion-oriented. It could also indicate that your targeting and your understanding of your customers need to evolve.
It’s important to remember that most visitors to your site are in the early stages of the sales process. Maybe they are looking for information about who offers products and services, what kinds of products and services are available, or even whether they need these products and services. Using an ad retargeting strategy, you can continue to show ads to website visitors who left your website after they left, so your brand will remain visible even if they only visited your B2B website once.
Using sponsored content, HubSpot targeted small to medium-sized businesses on LinkedIn by creating a feed of content that would appear on their newsfeeds. In addition to providing information to clients, HubSpot also gained new leads. According to DataCaptive, it increased lead generation by 400%.
10. Network online and offline
Keeping your brand in the spotlight is one of the most effective (and perhaps most obvious) strategies for increasing brand awareness. There are still effective (and cheap) ways to do this.
Knowing where your potential leads are consolidated is the first step. Online, you can develop social media channels, create podcasts, start a YouTube channel, or give a TED talk.
Alternatively, you can go out into the real world, but there you’ll have to be even more creative and spend a lot more money. Organise a conference, sponsor a sporting event (many large B2B companies do this to increase brand awareness) or even advertise OOH (out-of-home).
It is possible to achieve incredible results even with a banner on a train. To improve engagement, you can also generate dynamic QR codes for offline marketing collateral.
Mastercard used the power of influence to promote its True Name initiative, which allows transgender and non-binary people to display their chosen names on certain credit cards, which has been adopted globally.
As a brand that differentiates itself through creative solutions that change lives, Mastercard created a campaign that made a meaningful impact in the real world. As a result, positive brand sentiment increased by 3,000% and multiple awards were won, including the Black Pencil award at the D&AD Awards in 2021 and Cannes shortlisting.
How to measure B2B brand awakeners – define your metrics
You and your marketing reps can measure brand awareness success based on several metrics:
- Reach and impressions of the targeted audience
- Ideal consumer profiles (ICPs) visiting your website
- Rate of engagement
- Brand sentiment
- Voice share
- Website visitors
- Number of new customers
- Customer retention
- Consumption of content
- Growth in followers or subscribers
- Analyst and influencer mentions from your industry
Our final thoughts
Brand awareness is often overlooked by B2B marketers, but it can have a significant impact on reaching and retaining new clients, breaking through to new markets, and standing out from the crowd.
Brand awareness campaigns can be a great addition to your marketing strategy if you’re not already creating positive associations with your brand.
Finding success doesn’t have to be difficult. Create original content, be active on social media, and try to get your brand published on sites where your audience spends time online.
Over to you. Time to build the ultimate B2B brand awareness strategy
Now you understand B2B brand awareness tactics and how to harness them to generate fresh ideas for future growth, it’s time to get started on your own B2B awareness journey.
At Studio Noel, we work with B2B brands of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to global corporations, to build, boost and bolster brand awareness.