Do you remember how scary it was to ask someone out as a teenager? Racing heart, blushing cheeks, sweat crawling down 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 them to notice me?” is more likely “How can I get my brand noticed before I reach out to prospects?” And the answer to that question is brand awareness.
This article will cover some of the most important topics regarding brand awareness:
When you represent a B2B company, the most common solutions to increase brand awareness are to develop blogs, buy pay-per-click (PPC) ads, create guest content, run ads on social media, and use other inbound methods and marketing efforts to deliver results.
If you don’t have time to wait for inbound to do its job, there are other more sophisticated strategies to reach your brand awareness goals. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness can be defined as the degree of consumer recognition of a brand through its name, products, values, taglines, history, industry relevance, and other related characteristics.
The more familiar consumers are with a particular product or service, the higher the chances of considering it as a solid option to solve their needs.
While brand awareness is usually taken as a B2C approach, its impact on the B2B environment is also quite meaningful.
Successful B2B brand awareness campaigns tend to focus on education. By creating authoritative content like white papers, case studies, webinars, and industry insights, interested companies become more willing to subscribe to a newsletter or other channel that will promote constant communication within the desired target market.
While B2B brand awareness content can live organically inside a brand’s website, social networks, and other related brand initiatives; it could also use a little search engine optimization (SEM) boost to reach the right target audience at the perfect time.
How Do You Measure B2B Brand Awareness?
Examples of B2B brand awareness campaigns go wide and far. To measure the success of your brand awareness efforts, there are several metrics that you and your marketing reps can take a look at:
- Impressions and reach of the desired target audience
- Ideal customer profiles (ICPs) visiting your website
- Engagement rate
- Brand sentiment
- Share of voice
- Content consumption
- Followers or subscriber growth
- Mentions from important analysts and influencers from your industry
How Do You Increase Brand Awareness in B2B Marketing?
The effectiveness of B2B brand awareness tactics highly depends on the target audience. Increasing brand awareness relies on a snowball effect that keeps building. More people will desire to follow you as you gain more followers. For this reason, marketing reps must consider working on it daily.
Here are a few key actions that will highly benefit your B2B brand awareness campaign:
- Create thought leadership content.
- Launch retargeting strategies for the desired website visitors.
- Engage your social media community.
- Leverage email marketing campaigns to nurture your audience.
- Collaborate in key industry events.
5 Top-Tier B2B Brand Awareness Strategies
1. Use pre-targeting ads.
Brand awareness matters in direct sale efforts. Any good sales funnel begins with winning customers’ attention by making them aware that your brand exists. Pre-targeting ads achieve this in the best possible way.
How? This can be done by simply 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 to 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 the majority of your 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 grow consumer awareness or increase brand mentions. There should be something 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 questions, you can create different segments of potential leads. Different ads should be used for different lead-list segments, each leading to a specific landing page built for this exact segment. 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 information on this and nothing else.
Make sure that your marketing collateral is unique and memorable 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 converting this awareness into qualified appointments. If a marketing campaign goes 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, where 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).
Here’s our CEO John Girard giving a speech at Ted talk in Solana Beach:
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.
5. Be the best brand advocate out there.
While most companies are more worried about building strategies and hitting certain numbers (which is also important), they often forget that being your best brand advocate is critical to your success.
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 greatly impact 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.