How to raise brand awareness came out on top.
When we asked some of our existing clients and social media followers “What is your main business goal this year?” we had expected “increase turnover/profits” to be number 1.
It turns out raising brand awareness is more important and a common goal for most B2B business owners.
What are the benefits of raising brand awareness?
Now we know that this is one of the key objectives of businesses in 2017, why do businesses want to raise brand awareness and what are the benefits of doing so?
- It builds trust – If you think of some of the top B2B brands like Microsoft and Accenture the one thing they all have in common is trust. We feel as if we know them. As if they’re part of our everyday business lives. With trust comes loyalty…
- Increased brand loyalty – Although in B2B we’re dealing with businesses, we have to remember that it’s still people making the decisions and we think like consumers, even if we think we act differently at work. Some people won’t buy anything other than Heinz beans, Fairy washing liquid or Dove hand soap.Why? Because those are the brands we’re most aware of. They stay “top of mind” meaning when we come to have a need for a product or service, we automatically buy that product. Without thinking.Brand awareness in the B2B space can work in the same way. Why would we need to go elsewhere to buy products when we can use the one we are already aware of, that delivers results and benefits?
- Premium prices – Brands with awareness on their side often charge premium prices. Increased brand awareness helps differentiate your product or service in the customer’s mind, moving the buying decision further from cost and more towards emotion and wanting the best product or solution.
Ways You Can Raise B2B Brand Awareness Online
- Use your personal LinkedIn profile before other social media channelsWe all know we should be on social media but what channels are right for your B2B business? Your personal LinkedIn profile should be a staple of your social media strategy. Although you’re technically building your personal brand awareness, you’re also building the credibility of your business. Focus on building your network of contacts. There are lots of articles on social selling for you to read up on how to make the most of your LinkedIn presence.Beyond your own LinkedIn profile, try using 1 other platform to promote your business online. Being on one platform allows you to focus your energy on building your following. Provide real value to your followers by sharing informative blog posts and news from your industry. People don’t follow your business to hear about how much discount you’re offering in May – they follow you because there is something in it for them.
Use the 80:20 rule on social media. 80% educational or entertaining. 20% promotional.
- Partner with another businessOne of the things I love the most about the creative and marketing sector is the collaboration between peers. If something isn’t in our particular skillset for example we will refer our clients to more specialised agencies in that field. This is something I think can be implemented in other B2B business sectors.Why? Because it works the other way round too. We often get introduced to clients by other businesses and partners – raising our brand awareness.
Who could you team up with to raise awareness of your business? Who in your sector has access to the decision makers you need to close new business?
- Produce regular content Content is perhaps the most cost effective way of boosting your awareness online. Content could be in the form of blog posts on your site, personal posts on your LinkedIn page, downloadable eBooks or infographics. There are many benefits of producing regular online content but perhaps the top two are:Boosting your search engine performance – Google loves fresh, helpful and relevant content. Making your site the go to for information in your sector and niche will help boost your performance in search results.
Increased sharing – In Michael Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” he talks about how ideas and businesses go “viral,” why some businesses can exist for years and years without being noticed and some can become known by millions. By producing relevant content for your industry, you’re becoming the Maven (an expert or connoisseur) of your industry.
The most important thing to get right if you’re starting out in producing content is to have a plan. Produce a 3-6 month content plan of what topics you will discuss, what format they will be in and where they will be shared.
- Guest blog on other sites Guest blogging has been around for years. Back in the day you would copy a post from your existing blog content and send it to random people to host on their site. Today, things have moved on somewhat and, just like producing regular content, guest blogging is all about quality. Reach out to industry publications and bloggers to see what sort of content they’re looking to add to their sites.Focus on high authority sites. What sites in your target sector do people regularly visit? Focus on building long term relationships with journalists and bloggers so you’re top of mind when they’re looking for guest blogs or comments on particular subjects. Follow them on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.
Add a #journorequest & #prrequest column to your Tweetdeck – to get the latest requests for guest posts and comments direct from journalists and bloggers.
- Offline networking / Join your local Chamber of CommerceThis one is cheating a little as it’s not online. But hear me out.Offline networking can compliment online brand awareness building. If you’re new to offline networking, start by joining your local Chamber of Commerce and attend a couple of their local networking events. Boosting your online brand awareness is a lot easier when people are aware of your locally. The idea behind networking is not to sell to the people you’re talking to, it’s about building your network. Hence the name. The more people you talk to about your business, product or service – the more people will be aware of what you’re doing. The very definition of raising brand awareness.
Don’t go at it without a plan
It might be tempting now to go off and start working on some of the quick ways we have outlined to raise brand awareness of your B2B business online but it shouldn’t be done on its own.
Make sure you have a clear digital strategy for your B2B business.
Outline your objectives and what you’re trying to achieve online. If your sole aim is to raise brand awareness then go ahead and jump straight into the points above. But if you’re looking to turn that new awareness into sales or improved customer loyalty, you need a clearly defined plan. Things like whether your website is built to convert increased traffic, is your follow up process clearly defined and are you targeting the right sectors are all vital questions to be asking before jumping straight into brand awareness building.
Download your free copy of An Introductory Online Lead Generation Guide for B2B Brands
If you have any questions like these or you’d like to discuss how to raise brand awareness – get in touch with one of the Reward team today.