When it comes to brand messaging, your audience should be your primary focus. That’s why B2B and B2C marketing exist in the first place. Consumer and business audiences take very different buyer’s journeys. Business buyers have higher expectations for the quality of content a fellow business delivers to them. They also have unique and often more complex needs and hurdles between them and a final sale.
That’s why you need to build brand messaging around your target audiences. The more relevant, the better. Segmenting your audience may lead to higher quality leads, deeper connections, and brand loyalty.
Here are five ways to create the most value from your B2B brand messaging:
1. Understand your audience
Building a B2B brand messaging framework should start with knowing your audience. Research their challenges, needs, goals, and even their emotional state throughout the buyer’s journey. Interviews with your own team members can provide valuable insights. This information is essential to creating messaging that truly resonates with your audience.
Personas help form a solid understanding of who your different audience segments are. Gartner emphasizes that actionable personas are not just lists of age ranges, genders, and job titles. Gartner explains that personas should humanize your audience, using qualitative and quantitative data to reveal what matters most to the person.
Consider team dynamics around the buyers and what impact it has on them emotionally and their ability to close a deal. Depending on their role or their goals, this purchase could carry more pressure and opportunities than a consumer purchase.
If a buyer needs to get multiple approvals from different stakeholders, they may need specific information for each stakeholder. That’s why mapping the buyer’s journey can help you tailor content and ease the buying process.
One way to make purchasing easier is by speaking the buyer’s language. Adapt your message when communicating tech products to a buyer representing a hospital system or hotel. They use different terms, and you should, too. Referring to patients can get a hospital administrator thinking about your product working for their business. Meanwhile, guests makes more sense for a buyer working for a hotel chain. Translate your messaging across verticals to increase relevancy.
2. Be bold and be seen
There is a lot of marketing noise to fight through. So, how do you ensure your B2B messaging stands out from the crowd? Avoid your brand voice being an echo by doing a competitive analysis before building your messaging framework. A distinct voice and unique message can go a long way. It can capture buyers’ attention and get them into the sales funnel.
Ways to differentiate often center around key benefits like price, security, and speed. But you would be surprised how a simple pivot in style can make your brand more relatable and approachable. Your design and messaging have more power to connect when working together. Design can catch the eye, and great copy keeps it.
Let’s face it, a lot of B2B messaging falls flat. Brands with a flair for the dramatic are unexpected, and they stand out. Your B2B brand messaging should be compelling. You’re trying to get buyers to rethink the services they are using now or get them to choose your brand rather than the competition. Be bold. Spark intrigue and inspiration. Simply listing features doesn’t do that. Make a statement that contradicts expectations. Your message should be engaging and deliver enough information to convince buyers to learn more.
3. Ask “WIIFM?”
Once you have their attention, make sure there is a payoff. Using persona insights and the buyer’s journey, connect your product features to specific solutions for your audience. They want to know, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM).
For instance, if one of your selling points is terabytes of storage, your brand messaging could connect to the medical vertical by revealing how many patient files that is for the buyer. Get them to imagine their business at its best with your product or service. Reveal possibilities your product benefits create for their business. Connecting your service or product to the buyer’s world helps guide them through the funnel to a final sale.
When you know their pain points, goals, and needs, your WIIFM messages can drive upsell or cross-sell opportunities. But make sure it’s relevant and still focused on the buyer. Trying for extra sales can come off as pushy and cost you a deal. The cross or up-sell is about solving a problem or enhancing an existing product or service.
One final WIIFM tactic to keep in mind is WIIFMC or “What’s in it for my customers?” Helping a buyer’s organization run more efficiently is a great selling point. But helping an organization attract and serve more customers can more directly prove out ROI.
4. Keep your message consistent
Consistency of tone and style in your messaging and design establishes your brand personality. It helps buyers know what to expect. That can be reassuring. It’s one of the key factors that fosters trust and brand loyalty.
Forbes says that consistency is the key to brand recognition. Build a clear perception in buyers’ minds about your brand. Most people expect a consistent brand experience. When that doesn’t happen, it can be frustrating and confusing.
This is business marketing, so you may think that brand personality is not necessary. That’s not the case, though. Brand personality and emotional connections to your brand are just as important—if not more so—in the world of B2B marketing. A Google study showed that over 50% of B2B buyers formed emotional connections to brands they purchased from. There are several reasons, but the risk associated with business purchases stands out from the rest. The wrong software or tool can lead to poor performance—costing hundreds or even millions of dollars. Their job could even be on the line. That is why trust and emotional connection are essential to big B2B purchasing decisions.
5. Make it easy to understand
Another critical aspect of creating connections is user experience. All your sales tools and informational marketing pieces should make the buyer’s job easier. Elevate the essential details. Make navigation simple and intuitive. What you create should be shareable, so it helps convince team members who may not have the same level of expertise. Even if your messaging is excellent, it can get lost in a spreadsheet and be challenging to use.
Set your marketing and sales teams up for success with helpful guides and other user-friendly messaging tools. If your competition looks easier to work with, that gives them an advantage that can win over price points and even better tech.
When a potential buyer looks at the information your team sends over, what will they see? If they can’t navigate it or understand it, they won’t spend much time or effort trying to. An Amazon Web Services report states that 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after a bad user experience. What does that mean for a B2B audience? Buyers are on the clock. When they need to bring solutions to stakeholders, they aren’t likely to bring a poor website or eBook example with them. Instead, they’ll look to competitors that have consistent, clear, and approachable content.
A McKinsey survey revealed that suppliers who provide outstanding digital experiences to buyers are more than twice as likely to be chosen as a primary supplier than those who provide poor experiences, and about 70% more likely than those providing only fair ones. And it all starts with your first message.
Own the conversation
Your B2B brand messaging should open up relationships with buyers. That’s why knowing who you’re talking to and how to pique their interest is essential. From there, the buyer’s journey is all a conversation your B2B messaging is fueling.