How do you market your business to another business? In a way, it’s similar to marketing to consumers—except your consumer is a whole business. A lot of the same strategies used in B2C marketing can be utilized in B2B marketing. The difference comes in the content produced and the audience targeted. For example, a paper company will look to sell to a whole corporation, but they need to target the individual who purchases the office supplies. But what’s the best way to do so? Here are three of the top brand awareness strategies that B2B brands can use.
Content marketing has several functions. While its superficial purpose is to fill your website with information, well-written content will help with search engine optimization and positioning your company as an expert in its respective industry. Content is found throughout your website in the form of informational pages (e.g. About Us, Services, Products), blog posts, or downloadable content (e.g. white papers and eBooks). Though it can take time to create this content, content marketing is a must for any B2B business looking to promote their business.
Regular Content Production
A key aspect of content marketing is producing new content on a regular basis. Having new content:
- Enhances SEO through keyword usage and internal linking
- Positions your company as experts in the industry
- Provides valuable information to your customers
- Shows that you stay “in the know” regarding changes, industry trends, and more
The more often you publish original, well-written content, the better. Some companies are large enough to have a team of full-time writers, whereas others use third parties to craft content for them. But if you can only publish fresh content once a week, that works, too—as long as you are consistent about posting new content on a frequent basis. Content includes blogs, videos, eBooks, and white papers.
Info Graphics and Visual Content
You’ll want to include visuals like photos, info graphics, or videos in your blog posts. It not only helps break up the text but also offers a different way to present information that interests the readers. Imagine reading 1,000 words of nothing but text—it can get visually dull! Make complex information simpler by putting it in an info graphic, or create a video instead of writing a blog post about a topic.
Nearly everyone with access to the Internet has at least one social media account. From Facebook to Snapchat to Reddit, there are a lot of options. So where should your company have a presence? Wherever your audience is. For many B2B companies, this means LinkedIn, but others will find their audience is active on another social platform as well, one like Twitter.
Daily Social Posting
Like content marketing, you’ll want to post regularly on social media. See what your audience is talking about. How can you join in their conversation? B2B sales are made easier when you have a relationship with the person to whom you are trying to sell. So follow these individuals, pay attention to what they are saying, and share content that they may find helpful. Consistent effort will keep you on their radar.
Paid Social Ads
One way to make sure that your audience sees your posts is through paid social ads. You can target a specific audience—including age range and geographic region—and ensure that they see your post. If you notice that a particular post is doing well organically (meaning you have not paid for it to appear in users’ news feeds), consider turning it into an ad. To make sure you are targeting the right audience consider doing quarterly PPC audits.
Polls & Surveys
Have your audience engage with you by publishing polls or surveys. Get their views or opinions on industry trends, problems that they encounter, potential product releases, and more. Polls and surveys give you direct insight into what your customers need, meaning you can better target your marketing. Notice that a lot of people responded having a specific problem? Write a blog post about it. See a need for a product? Look into creating it.
Another way potential customers can learn about your brand is through another trusted source. Is there an online or printed industry publication that your customers read? Try to get a mention in this publication, either as a source for an article or by offering your own content. The same goes for online websites in specific industries by utilizing a strategy known as online blogging.
Most industry publications are seen as an authoritative voice on information surrounding the industry. Having a high-ranking executive (CEO, CFO, etcetera) serve as a source for a reporter’s article gives kudos to your business. Seek these opportunities by developing relationships with reporters at specific industry publications. You can also use Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a website that allows individuals to offer themselves as a potential source. Outlets such as Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Time, Mashable, and the Wall Street Journal use HARO.
Guest blogging is exactly as it sounds: You blog on someone else’s website. While it might seem counterproductive to craft original content for someone else, it actually helps strengthen your SEO. Write content for a third party blog and include a link or two back to your own website. These outbound links helps Google recognize your website’s authority based on what other websites link to it. It’s a win-win situation: The third party website gets fresh content and you get positive impact on your SEO as well as the third party’s audience becoming knowledgeable of your brand.
Put it All Together
While these strategies are good on their own, they are more impactful when used together as part of your marketing or brand awareness campaigns. Write fresh content and Tweet it out, or write a guest blog and include a video that you crafted. These strategies work to get your brand out there and have people know that you exist. Once they do, you’ll have an easier time forming relationships that can help you make a sale.
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google