If you show your brand in a specialized trade show in your industry, will you get the reaction you want from the person you’re trading with?
If a client is looking for a solution to an important problem that he regularly experiences in the course of his work, will he think of you or will he easily find you by doing a Google search?
Is your content relevant and easy to find for your different customers, who are often sorted by personas and are expecting to find answers to their particular problems?
Brand awareness and credibility are some of the most important aspects of running a business and these two elements can be a real challenge in B2B, especially if you consider that most of the brand strategy literature focuses on B2C marketing.
Two questions to ask about the brand
The first question to ask is: “How is B2B marketing different from B2C?”
I will answer candidly that B2B marketing is fundamentally different from B2C marketing in many ways, and that all these differentiating elements start from your target’s purchasing process:
• B2C marketing is for consumers and typically involves one decision maker. As a result, sales cycles are generally short and the risks associated with buying are often lower than B2B.
• B2B marketing involves dealing with multiple people and services. You must convey the value of your brand through your tools but also to several stakeholders with different perspectives and needs. In addition, these decision-makers and influencers are in contact with several departments and people in your company. Does it make you think of creating a good customer experience? Me too!
• Since B2B is typically longer than B2C, conversion between a brand and a customer can take (quite) a while.
The second question is: “What tools and tactics are most relevant to increase the reputation and credibility of a B2B brand? Here are a few:
1- Have a custom website and lead generator
Creating or redesigning a B2B website is a process that begins with analysis and research needs. It must align with the company’s strategy and business model while being designed to generate leads to the sales force, or to a smaller extent, to be sold directly online.
The creation of a successful website is the cornerstone of any effort to “raise awareness” of a B2B brand. Almost every time you meet a “prospect” for the first time, tell yourself that they have already been to your site before your meeting or that they will go immediately after. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and is perfectly usable on all media platforms.
It should also communicate your value proposition through its different types of content and address your persona appropriately. Every opportunity must be taken to encourage the visitor to take further action.
2- Attending industry events
In business-to-business marketing, face-to-face communication is still important despite the increasing use of digital tactics. Buyers want to know that they can trust your business, that there is a fit in culture, a mutual understanding because they are risking a lot. To be able to represent “your brand” in person at an industry event, demonstrate your knowledge and the value you can create in this sector.
Also, an event like a trade show has three lives: before, during and after. You can incorporate several tactics into it to create a synergy that will help you get the most out of your investment.
3- Stay active on social networks
B2B companies that are not active on social networks miss a huge opportunity to increase brand awareness, generate qualified leads, increase sales and position themselves credibly, for instance, as a thought leaders in their market.
Of course, LinkedIn is the go-to network in B2B. However, for this network to perform for you, you need to give it love and time and know your segmentation or selection criteria. LinkedIn is a rapidly growing ecosystem that deploys tools tailored to different goals. It’s also good to know best practices before embarking on campaigns to avoid “looking bad.”
4- Don’t ignore email marketing campaigns
While there are new ways of digital marketing, email remains a first-choice tool for building and especially maintaining relationships.
The e-mail persists and shows no signs of slowing down. It is constantly evolving, thanks to technology and this is how we develop very sophisticated content strategies, such as marketing automation or supporting sales with nurturing.
5- Blogging for relevance, not just for the sake of it
Creating content is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. The blog is one of the tools that is generally preferred and is used by a considerable portion of companies in B2B. It is still at the center of all content marketing strategies. However, it’s not enough to write a blog just for the sake of writing one. Blogging is about telling and sharing experiences and expertise.
If you want to make a profit from your efforts, there are rules and good practices to follow. There are simple tricks to put in place and ways of doing things that can really make you known and credible.
6- Pick up the phone
Although not all consumers respond well to cold calls, this is different in the world of B2B. Sometimes talking to someone over the phone can foster a business relationship rather than making online contacts.
With good intent to the right targets and preparation, the direct telephone approach can be a pay-as-you-go experience.
Sending a few “representatives” or brand ambassadors to an event relevant to your development allows you to establish warm ties in a social context. Humans still have a place in the business relationship.
8- Making videos
A recent study by Hubspot found that 96% of B2B companies already use video in some form and that 73% of these report generating a positive ROI. Knowing that 75% of executives watch work-related videos at least once a week, would you be surprised to learn that it is expected that by 2022, 80% of internet traffic will be video!
Your landing pages, social media platforms, online demonstrations and even your e-mail marketing, whose effectiveness is already greatly enhanced by the integration of video, will require the increasing use of It. Get used to the camera, it will become unavoidable!
Conclusion: why is B2B notoriety important?
People can’t buy from you if they don’t know who you are. That’s why your first job in marketing is to make sure that other companies in your industry know and recognize the name, logo and value you generate.
Brand awareness and credibility can really differentiate your business. However, it is even more important to ensure that the brand you are promoting is rooted in key aspects that make your business unique.
Be sure to focus on what sets your business apart from the start to avoid fundamental branding errors that would reduce the value of this important aspect of B2B marketing to your business.
If you want to develop some topics with us, contact us!
This post covers the outlines of generic tools and tactics that can be used in B2B but you and I know that each market has its characteristics and that everything adapts to each situation.