Good white paper from Bizo entitled, “A Practical Guide to B2B Branding Online.”
The web and social media have given smaller B2B brands a platform upon which they can compete with much larger entities.
Nonetheless, the platform is useless if not used properly and the fundamentals of branding and marketing are neither understood, nor applied.
I like Philip Kotler’s definition of branding — “Brands are not only what a company sells, they represent what a company does and, more significantly, what a company is.” Everyone in your organization, especially at the c-level, needs to understand this.
Following are the “six essential tactics for unlocking the value of your B2B brand:”
- Establish your company’s brand identity with the goals of building relationships and preparing prospects to buy. Don’t expect to make immediate sales on the internet via social media. You need to engage prospects, gain their trust, build a relationship before you can sell them — just like in the real world.
- Know — and find — your target audience. I you don’t know who your target audience is or where they go on the Internet, they’re going to be very difficult to engage. How do you find out? Ask them. And then ask if you can join them.
- Communicate your company’s key messages and competitive advantage through your brand. What’s your vision, mission, values and strategic positioning? Don’t know? Don’t start your branding effort without identifying it, ensuring all senior managers are on board and all employees can tell the company story. If you don’t know who you are, where you stand and what makes you “different and batter” you’re wasting your time.
- Drive more qualified leads with your brand by combining display advertising with search marketing. In other words, integrated marketing still works assuming that you’re delivering a consistent message to your target audience across different channels.
- Use your B2B brand to increase email conversions. Again make sure all of your communications are consistent across channels. Lack of consistency will result in confused prospects and customers and ultimately a lack of trust.
- Place your brand where your prospects are and incorporate retargeting. Give prospects and customers alike the opportunity to share your content. By providing compelling, relevant information of value people will share with others they know who are interested in the same subject. Also consider repurposing content so it can be used in several different media (i.e., blog posts, white paper, SlideShare and YouTube).
What tactics are you pursuing to build your B2B brand?