Looking for ways to fast-track your brand’s awareness and build customer loyalty? For today’s blog, we’re bringing you the top tips and tactics for increasing brand recognition from industry experts and gurus in the world of B2B marketing and branding.
1. Showcase Your Brand’s Personality on Camera
As Edwin Dearborn of Power Branding Secrets discusses, a lot of companies shy away from video marketing due to fears that it will cost too much and won’t reflect well on the brand. But with almost 5 billion videos being watched on YouTube every day, you really can’t afford NOT to try it. In his article, Dearborn points out that some truly memorable and well-branded videos can be made using just an iPhone, like this one from Bentley Motors.
2. Consider Using a Retargeting Ad Provider
Retargeted ads are one of the best ways to stimulate brand recall in people who have previously visited your site or opened and clicked on one of your emails, according to Jeff Epstein of Ambassador. Given the sometimes lengthy process of making a sale in the B2B market, prospects will often leave your site without making an immediate purchase or interacting with your brand. But with retargeted ads, the next time that prospect visits his or her own favorite websites, your display ad can show up on the page to give them a gentle nudge, inviting them to come back and take a second look at what you have to offer. AdRoll and other similar service companies can help you get started.
3. Sponsor a Charity Event
It’s a bit more of a grassroots strategy, but sponsoring a long weekend event, such as a charity golf tournament, exposes your brand to more business leaders, local politicians, and media sources over a two-day period than you could have reached on your own in the same amount of time using traditional B2B marketing strategies. Says John Csiszar of studioD, when identifying potential events to sponsor, you should look for long-running events hosted by well-established organizations that would generate media buzz and lots of publicity.
4. Host an Unusual Contest or Competition
According to Tiffany Holland of The Fresh Egg blog, a “free glasses for life” online contest hosted by retailer SelectSpecs last year netted that company 3,687 unique referrals to their website, 7,296 unique contest entries, and 66,778 impressions – all of which bolstered their brand awareness in a major way. While that was of course a consumer brand, B2B companies can easily get just as creative and offer an outstanding prize of some kind while garnering social media and trade/industry publicity along the way.
5. Conduct a Survey and Post Results on LinkedIn
In the B2B space, information about customer attitudes or industry trends is as valuable as gold. Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing suggests conducting surveys like these and posting your conclusions and insights. Larry Kim of WordStream adds that publishing items like these on your LinkedIn account can easily establish you as a thought leader in your industry – which of course can accelerate your brand awareness at warp speed.
6. Partner with Other Brands
When you’re first starting out, you want your company to be easily differentiated from other brands in your space, so you might think partnerships would be counter-productive. However, partnering with a complementary brand in a different industry can actually benefit both companies. In an article on HubSpot, Lisa Toner talked about a clothing company (Uniqlo) that offered free admission to a local museum every Friday night between 4 and 8 p.m. for several weeks. This type of goodwill partnership campaign strategy can expose your brand to an entirely new set of prospects, and both companies will benefit from the extra traffic.
7. Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Dovetailing off the above idea, if you’re in a position to be able to give something away for free, why not use that to entice customers to share your brand with others? Most businesspeople are aware of the now-famous Dropbox Referral Program, but according to John Rampton of Survey Monkey, Uber also started out in this way by offering free rides to key influential people throughout the Silicon Valley.
8. Build up Your Resource Library
According to Ryan Young of KOMarketing Associates, offering free educational materials in a special “Resources” section on your website is a great way to attract prospects and potentially convert them into paying clients. The more white papers, datasheets, case studies, analyst reports, and demonstration videos you have to offer, the more time a motivated prospect will likely spend on your site. And even if they don’t end up purchasing from you, Young says there’s a good chance they will share your content or recommend the entire Resources section to a friend, client or colleague — especially if your information is presented professionally and if you can position yourself as an authority on the topic.
9. Tell Your Story
Storytelling has become all the rage over the last couple of years, but telling your story is not just about entertaining or enticing your customer base like the quick 2- or 3-paragraph blurbs we often see on “About Us” pages. It’s really about trust. According to Sharon Michaels of Forbes, prospective clients need to be able to accept you as the man or woman behind the brand before they will consider buying from your company. Prospects want to hear your story, explained from the heart, so they can identify and resonate with the reasons why you do what you do.
10. Create a Compelling Brand Promise
The folks at Fusion Marketing Partners posted a really useful SlideShare presentation underscoring the idea that your brand positioning is based on your company’s unique brand promise to customers — a promise that they say must be based on reality, must be specific, and must be offer-based. In a follow-up article, Christopher Ryan of Fusion went on to give examples, such as this one from Bob’s Windshield Repair: “We come to you to fix chips, dings and cracks up to 14 inches in length.”
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