Consider the digital realm your highway to success. You absolutely MUST build brand awareness online for your B2B company to thrive.Good economy, bad economy, or in between, success is not guaranteed when you run a business. Unless you’re Tim Cook from Apple or Bill Gates from Microsoft, you probably don’t have the luxury of built-in brand awareness.
Sorry to break it to ya', friend, but your business could suffer without a serious online marketing strategy. Your competitors, if they haven’t already, are busy developing their own impressive online presence.
“What about price?” you ask. No one blames you for pinching pennies. So here are some ways to get the most bang for your buck (if you’re willing to invest the free time and brain power).
4 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase Brand Awareness
1. Define Your Target Audience
Who buys your product or services? If you’re a B2B company, chances are a certain segment or subset of the population does. Buyers are 48% more likely to choose companies that personalize marketing messages to solve specific business issues.
- A printing company buys printing things
- An interior design company buys designing things
- A metal shop buys metalworking things
You get the picture.
Beyond market segmentation, you can narrow it down to your buyer persona. From daily interactions, surveys, and interviews, you can understand the your persona and what generally drives their purchasing decisions.
Here’s a quick and simple example:
- Name: Ed the Engineer
- Age: 35-50
- Salary: $80K-$140K
- Education: 4-year degree in a STEM field
- Pain points: Tools keep breaking; finding efficiencies
- Preferred media: Facebook and trade publications (online and print)
Go here for a full guide to creating your buyer persona.
2. Craft Your Narrative
Winning companies bond with their buyers over winning narratives. Done right, content marketing creates a powerful connection.
Buyers will stand behind a brand that backs their beliefs and values. They want to know why you’re in business and the people who make it work.
- Are you passionate about the woodworking shop that’s been in your family for 5 generations?
- Does your small ball-bearing operation hire local employees first?
- Do you personify the American success story of a little guy who made it big?
Buyers want to know you and trust you. They want to feel their investment is worth it.
3. Become An Industry Thought Leader
Now that they see you and like you, it’s time to delight them even more with consistent content marketing.
You want to create an online web (forgive the pun) of educational content. A literal world of digital and traditional opportunities lie before you.
- Blogging (Do it consistently for yourself to increase your chances of being found online. Also see if you can guest post on other industry blogs.)
- SEO (Rank highly for relevant keywords in search engines.)
- Analytics (See how your content performs and adjust it accordingly.)
- Social media (Share content where your ideal buyer hangs out. Find third-party resources with relevant knowledge and share those, too.)
- Email (Follow up with sales leads and provide them with further nuggets of wisdom, but be careful not to be too pushy or annoying.)
- Multimedia (Infographics, video, podcasts, etc., are easily digestible and entertaining.)
- Industry publications (See if you can publish your content in industry magazines and blogs.)
- News media (Talk to a reporter about trends or announce a new major company initiative. Hey, it’s free publicity, and most newspaper, radio, and TV outlets have now caught on with decent websites and social media to help your brand go viral.)
4. Community Engagement/Networking
And I don’t mean just local engagement. Attend regional tradeshows. Be active in community festivals. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Offer to host Business After Hours cocktail parties. Heck, join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Don’t miss out while your competitors build their brands and succeed.