Do you remember how scary it was to ask someone out as a teenager? Racing heart, blushing cheeks, sweat crawling down the collar of your shirt, and finally the words awkwardly coming out, “Hey! What are you doing Friday night?”
Surprisingly, few things change when we grow up. Especially when you work in B2B sales. Perhaps now, your main concern, instead of “How can I get him/her to notice me?” is more likely “How can I get my brand noticed before I reach out to prospects?” Or something along those lines.
When you are a B2B company, the most common solutions for how to increase brand awareness are to develop blogs, buy pay-per-click (PPC) ads, create guest content, run ads on social media, and other inbound methods that take ages to deliver results. If you don’t have time to wait for inbound to do its job, there are other, more sophisticated strategies to increase customer awareness of your brand.
To build brand awareness, use the five tips below to successfully warm up your prospects before sending out the first cold email or making that cold call.
1. Use Pre-Targeting Ads
Any good sales-funnel begins with winning customer’s attention by making them aware that your brand exists. Pre-targeting ads achieve this the best possible way.
How? Simply by displaying your ads to precisely targeted prospects from your lead list. You can pair the prospect’s emails from the lead list with the cookie data on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Adroll, or any other popular platform your potential customers might use. Then, instead of placing a huge, expensive, impersonalized banner visible for the general audience, display only your ad to those users whose attention you need the most (users with targeted emails).
Imagine what numbers your marketing campaign could get if 80% of prospects already knew (or at least had heard of) you before they receive their first cold call or email. Even if they are not entirely familiar with your brand yet, recognizing your company’s name, logo, or brand color might play a crucial role in building customer awareness and improving the cold outreach.
The main purpose of pre-targeting isn’t the call-to-action (CTA) or impressions—it’s the views. In B2B, CTAs can’t book a qualified meeting or sell the product, but the views, on the other hand, can increase brand awareness and help raise the efficiency of outbound prospecting in general.
2. Segment Prospects and Create Separate Landing Pages
Pre-targeting is a great tool, but it’s not enough to increase consumer awareness dramatically. There should be something else coming after the ad to consolidate the results: a well-structured, personalized landing page that’s segmented by the prospect’s interest.
Imagine you are one of these targeted users. On your favorite platform, you see an ad about hiring top-notch developers. Realizing you might need some iOS devs for your upcoming project, you click it. But instead of being redirected to a page about hiring iOS devs, the company’s home page pops up, stuffed with all types of coding languages, irrelevant info, and confusing design. Obviously, after getting a call from their salespeople a few days later, you may not even remember you’ve been on their website before. In this case, pre-targeting didn’t work, and your consumer awareness remained low.
The story above could have a happy end (customer awareness developed) if that company’s marketers completed proper lead research before setting up any ads. What are their prospects’ job positions? In which sphere does their business operate? What services are they more likely to be interested in?
Depending on the answers to these and other questions, you can form different segments of potential leads. It is of high importance that different ads are targeted at different lead-list segments, each leading to a specific landing page built for this exact segment. Thus, if a person needs iOS devs, the ad redirects them to the iOS devs landing page; if they search for a WordPress specialist, they get the info on them and nothing else.
Even if the user doesn’t make the desired action (e.g., purchases the services or books a meeting), skimming through a page with relevant content will make your potential client more likely to remember at least something about your company. Seeing an email from you in a couple of days, or receiving a cold call, won’t be that surprising or bizarre anymore.
3. Coordinate Sales and Marketing Teams’ Work
In B2B, one of the most important jobs of the marketer is to build brand awareness, but salespeople are the ones to convert this awareness into qualified appointments. If a marketing campaign went poorly, sales results won’t be high either. And vice versa, if nobody reached out to a prospect on time, it doesn’t matter how brilliant the brand awareness strategy was.
To succeed, all the processes should be well-coordinated and synchronized, working as a single mechanism. That’s what we call orchestrated outbound marketing when all the channels work together simultaneously to achieve better results. Here, communication between teams plays a key role. If the marketing team knows that a new campaign begins tomorrow, they need to work it out with the sales team so they have time to process their job and not lose a single client.
4. Stay Visible Online and Offline
One of the most effective (and maybe most obvious) strategies of how to increase consumer awareness is to always be in the spotlight of events. Sure, this advice is sometimes easier said than done, but there are still ways to do it effectively (and cheaply).
To begin, you have to know where your potential leads are consolidated. If it’s online, develop your social media channels, create a podcast (or take part in one like our CMO Eric Quanstrom did), start a YouTube channel, or make a speech at a TED talk—just be viral!
Here’s our CEO John Girard giving a speech at TedxSolanaBeach:
You can also go out into the real world, but here you’ll need to be even more creative and generally spend more money. Host a conference, become a sponsor of a sporting event (many large B2B companies choose this option to increase brand awareness), or even try OOH (out-of-home) ads if you can find the right way to do this. Even a banner on a metro can bring incredible results.
5. Be the Best Brand Advocate Out There
The final strategy is to always do your job well. It’s as simple as that! While most companies are more worried about building strategies and hitting certain numbers (which is also important), they often forget that it’s the results of your work that form your brand, not vice versa.
We have to avoid becoming “brands with empty calories.” What’s the point of building an awesome brand persona or having a very creative advertising campaign if, in the end, you bring no value to your customers?
Increase Your Brand Awareness Now
Knowing how to increase brand awareness can have a huge impact on the quality of your lead outreach, increase brand recognition, and boost revenue. By following these five strategies, you can help your B2B business achieve all the things above to become more visible among the competitors and increase your clients’ loyalty.