Brand loyalty is based on emotions and shared value systems. The way people feel about your brand has a significant impact on the success of your business. A savvy B2B brand awareness strategy is crucial, because it can help drive more traffic to your website and also generate more leads.
Maybe you have a healthy new business pipeline right now, and creating a brand awareness strategy isn’t at the top of your to-do list. But it should be. Brand awareness builds your pipeline for the future; if it’s strong, buyers won’t forget about your company.
Awareness is that first crucial milestone in the sales cycle. If skillfully managed, it can increase leads, conversion, and ultimately, revenue.
A brand’s digital footprint means everything. According to a survey conducted jointly in 2021 by Bain and Dynata, about 35% of buyers already know which vendors they prefer before engaging with a sales rep, and 80% have already sealed their decision. Those vendors built their brands successfully.
Monitor to measure
There are many ways to measure brand awareness, such as focus groups and market research surveys. You can also get a sense of your brand’s reach by monitoring your own channels, including web and social. Get a handle on how your marketing efforts are impacting visitors to your website by monitoring the amount of direct traffic generated by your site. You can accomplish this by:
- Monitoring direct traffic from search engines
- Noting bounce rates
- Measuring the length of time visitors spend on each page
Much of the conversation around your brand won’t take place on your brand’s website, but in the wider forums of the internet, most notably on social media platforms. It’s important to keep a two-way presence on these platforms, so that you can:
- Pose questions to engage your target audience
- Discover how and where others talk about your business online
- Track likes, shares, retweets and comments
- Practice social media listening
As noted in a McKinsey report published in 2020, using the right tools can help you capture indicators such as buzz volume and user sentiment in real time with up to 90% accuracy. It’s crucial to decide up front what you want your brand awareness campaign to accomplish. For instance, do you just want to monitor website visits, or do you want to delve more deeply?
Talk to targets
Repurpose the messages you convey at the awareness stage to reinforce your brand promise later on in the sales cycle. Know who you’re talking to; this helps you reach the most relevant prospects.
Your goal is to put your brand in front of as many relevant audience members as possible. To do this, create a buyer persona that provides you with a clear picture of your ideal customer. Include data like demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals, and merge it with any data you have about your existing customers.
You also need to be able to find your customers, so do your homework to learn where they spend their time online. Choose the social media channels they use regularly and advertise there. Invest your budget on ads in places where they won’t be seen by your target audience. And be sure to keep track of the lessons learned from each campaign so your next marketing blitz will deliver even better results.
Read more: It’s important to understand who your target customers are in order to engage them. Learn more about how to understand your buyer.
Building brand awareness can forge a meaningful link between your business and the way your potential customers and existing customers feel about it. It helps if your business can relate to them just as a person might—via a strong emotional connection. When your brand resonates with customers, they’ll recognize it easily and be more likely to choose it.
Recognition is only the first step in your brand loyalty journey. Your brand awareness strategy will ultimately set the stage for brand loyalty. When your products and services perform as promised, your customers and prospective customers will trust your brand even more, ensuring the customer retention that is the lifeblood of your business.
Other ways to connect emotionally, while also enhancing the credibility and voice of your brand include:
- Forging alliances with other highly visible brands that share your values
- Rewarding your current customers each time they recommend you
- Tracking the results of your referral programs
- Launching a podcast to offer your own thought leadership or provide a forum for other industry experts
Mix it up
Don’t forget to include the right “old-school” vehicles in your B2B brand awareness strategy. Used appropriately, approaches like direct mail, print materials, billboards, posters and brochures can increase brand awareness. These more traditional approaches still offer significant opportunities to keep your brand alive in your customers’ imaginations. In fact, they can often stand out more, since your potential customers see so many digital ads, posts and emails every day.
When customers know and trust your brand, you’ve succeeded in your brand awareness efforts. And when your brand awareness is strong, you’ll be far more likely to retain customers over the long haul.