In order for your company to succeed, you have to be recognized. Creating brand awareness for your B2B company will help drive business and increase sales.
Is your B2B company the best-kept secret in the country? If so, I bet you would like to change that. Here's how.
What Are You Already Doing To Build B2B Brand Awareness?
Someone knows about your business or you wouldn't be in business. That means you've done something right along the way with respect to your brand. Maybe it's your reputation in the industry. Maybe it's your annual speaking engagement at an industry conference.
Whatever you're doing that's working, you should ramp it up. You need to stop wasting time on ineffective tactics and do more effective things for your brand awareness. Examples of ineffective tactics include:
- Branded pens/pencils/styluses
- Magazine and radio ads
- Stress balls
These things may have your name on them, but they have little, if any value in building your brand. That's especially true with today's buyer.
Solving your brand awareness problem starts with modeling companies that are doing it right.
Model These B2B Companies That Are Growing Their Brand Awareness
These companies are doing a great job growing their brand awareness. You'll recognize some common themes with how these companies are reaching prospects and building their brand.
Miller Welding and Machine Co.
They've clearly identified who needs to be aware of them. They're producing great content targeted at helping the prospect. That's fundamental to building brand awareness.
For example, check out their blog post titled, 'Nail Your Procurement Budget With A 7-Step Spend Analysis: Part 1'. This series of posts is helpful to their target prospects, which in turn helps the Miller Welding become a trusted, helpful resource. Those are great qualities for prospects to associate with your brand!
Dahlstrom Roll Form
Dahlstrom Roll Form has been in the roll forming business for over 120 years. Even so, they work hard to spread brand awareness.
One look at the structure and content on their website will show they're focused on building brand awareness in search engines. This makes a lot of sense, since most modern buyers start with Google when they need something.
For example, look at the page title for Dahlstrom's MeshTrim product: "U-channel Framing for Woven Wire Fabrics & Perforated Metal Products." It's clear they know their target keywords and SEO best practices. Both lead to greater brand awareness in Google.
Although their product is called MeshTrim, they know that no one will be searching for that term. Most prospects will refer to it as a 'U-channel', so that's the very first word in their page title.
This focus on using prospects' words and voice is a great step toward increasing their brand awareness online.
Wiley Metal Fabricating
Wiley Metal Fabricating projects a fun spirit from the moment you land on their website. Guess what? That's part of their brand. When prospects talk about Wiley, they no doubt mention how fun and helpful they are.
Wiley has taken an approach to helping their prospects online with content (noticing a trend?). In exchange, they're seen as an industry expert, which builds further awareness of their B2B brand.
Their blog, which is called 'Tiki Talk,' is an excellent resource for their prospects. It also shows off the company's personality - a great way to connect with the humans behind the screen.
Wiley is active on social media (another great way to build their brand). They promote their own content as well as valuable resources that their prospects will benefit from. For example, this Tweet on metal fabrication:
4 Steps To Build Your B2B Brand Awareness
While maximizing your current effective branding efforts and modeling the three examples above, use these four steps to fill out the rest of your branding strategy.
1 - Define Who Needs To Know You Exist
If you want better awareness of your company, define who exactly needs to be aware of you. Who fits your ideal buyer profile? Who is your buyer persona? Those two building blocks lay the foundation for the next two steps.
2 - What Do Prospects Need To Be Aware Of?
Are you a fun but dependable company like Wiley Metal Fabricating? Are you a company with a long history of support and speaking the client's language like Dahlstrom Roll Form? Are you focused on consulting like Wiley?
You also need to use the results of step one above to determine what your prospects will want/need to read. What will help them the most (and, in turn, give your brand awareness a positive boost)?
3 - Be Where Your Prospects Are
Consider the Dahlstrom example above. They know they can gain a lot of brand awareness in search engines, so they optimized their site to do so. Every B2B brand can benefit from exposure in search results.
Are your prospects heavily involved on LinkedIn? If so, you need to be there too. What about industry forums, online publications, groups? Be there - but don't be annoying.
4 - Ask Current Clients to Help Spread The Word
What's the easiest sale to close? A referral! So, why don't most companies dedicate effort to getting happy customers to spread the word?
Sometimes it's as simple as asking. Sometimes it'll take an incentive. Either way, a third party is endorsing your brand. That's a great thing!
Don't Be the Best-Kept Secret in the B2B Industry
More brand awareness means more sales and business growth. Take the steps above to grow your B2B brand awareness.
Content is a great way to build awareness of your company. The following resource will get you started:
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published in February 2017, but was recently updated.)