B2B brand marketing is not a monologue. It’s also about encouraging advocacy and surmounting any negativity.
Incorporate brand listening, monitoring mentions for your brand online. Positive comments create opportunities to use a third‑party voice in your marketing. Negative brand comments create opportunity to show your brand as problem‑solvers – and as one who cares.
B2B brand marketing warrants a long‑term commitment. It’s the foundation over which you lay all your other sales and marketing efforts, from customer success to demand generation, to field marketing and advocacy.
Establishing trust is a tough mountain to climb, so, once you reach the peak, you need to work to stay there.
Brand marketing may not be a direct lead generator for your business, but never underestimate how much of a contributing factor it plays to your business ascension.
With strong trust, credibility and awareness of your brand, you will not have to work as hard or spend so much on everything else. So, while brand marketing can get neglected in B2B, it truly warrants peak priority in your marketing budget.
B2B brand marketing should not be faceless, it needs a human‑to‑human approach.
Harness the power of the personal. Emails should come from a specific person, articles attributed to subject matter experts, employees encouraged to have a voice and build out their own personal brand.
While demand generation may be the responsibility of marketing or sales, B2B brand marketing is not a solo climb – it requires a team effort.
Everyone needs to contribute. Whether that’s simply sharing company posts on LinkedIn, volunteering for industry interviews and podcasts, speaking or attending events, or contributing thought leadership content.
Be givers and educators. Be brave enough to reveal secrets, tips and in‑depth expertise to provide your market with true value.
Providing your market with free tools, resources, advice, and information that will educate or have a positive impact on their day‑to‑day will help to hike up your brand affinity, trust and credibility.
Find your niche: the specific category or space you can own within your industry. Then, use your B2B brand marketing activity to anchor your brand within that space.
Put your brand marketing focus on the specific communities, groups, events, publications and channels that are most relevant to your niche, rather than the wider industry.
Ensure consistency across all channels. Often, where brand marketing usually falls down is when it’s disconnected.
Many people can be involved with executing brand tactics, so make sure you are all aligned and charting the same course.
The ultimate objective of brand marketing is to strengthen brand credibility and awareness. This can only be achieved by consistency across all communications – including in look, feel and tone.
B2B brand marketing CAN be measured – and by more than soft metrics such as opens, impressions, likes and shares.
Look at the who behind the what. Understand who has visited your event stand – not how many. Get to know who is reading your emails, who is visiting your website and who is interacting with your posts and content.
Before customers will consider buying from your company, they need to be aware of it, trust it, believe in it, and fully understand what the firm has to offer.
It may seem like a mountain to climb, but, for B2B businesses targeting a niche, it’s brand marketing that will help your company conquer the challenge, reach the summit – and stay there.
Your B2B brand marketing strategy isn’t focused on direct selling. It should be to establish a basecamp from which you grow your sales and demand generation activities, creating awareness, credibility and appreciation of your expertise, bolstering your position in the market.
B2B brand marketing has a broader objective than other elements of your sales and marketing strategy.
Tactics should still be focused and targeted, cherry‑picking your channels to the same granular level as you would for a demand generation campaign.
Consistently re‑evaluate. Just because something has been a cornerstone of your brand marketing activities for years doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do today.
New routes to your audiences are opening up all the time, and these may be a better fit to elevate your brand. Sticking with the old is only going to hold you back.