Can you believe B2B branding is still sort of a mystery to some?
Just like there are people that claim that climate change is not a thing (it is!)
Many business owners in industries such as construction, engineering, manufacturing, and so on that believe branding is just beneficial for B2C companies (it’s not!).
B2B buyers, project managers, analysts, or any title your ideal client holds, are people too and they deserve engaging content too!
Why should consumers have all the fun? 😉
Today is your lucky day because I’m about to debunk that old myth and tell you how you can build your B2B brand in 2020!
Whether you are a new entrepreneur and you’re getting ready to finally open your own business, or if you are an established business owner who needs help updating their branding, keep reading for some great branding tips.
First let’s review…
Your Brand Is Your Reputation.
It is the perception that people have of your business.
Your brand itself is not a logo or a company name it is how you make people feel and the different ways that they interact with your business.
Your goal as a B2B business owner is to have buyers choose you over competitors because they connect with your brand. Because they feel like they “know you” and they “trust you” regardless of price or quality (which we are assuming is the best of course!).
Once you achieve that level of connection, you’ll know you have a successful branding strategy in place.
Where to start?
Well before you can implement any brand strategy you have to be crystal clear on your purpose.
- Why does my company exist?
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- What makes me different than the rest?
- Why should people care about my company?
Once you have that figured out you can start planning the first step in your brand strategy…
Build Your Brand In 2020 With A Clear Vision of Your Target Audience.
You can’t build a successful brand strategy if you don’t know who you are trying to reach.
You can’t possibly be everything to everyone, right?
So, first things first, you need to know who exactly you want to work with so you can customize your messaging accordingly.
The key is to get as specific as possible.
- How does my target audience act?
- How does my target audience behave?
- What is the lifestyle of my target audience?
For example, we helped a client that own a tax consulting business. They were targeting business owners.
Seems okay, right?
Well, after analyzing their client base we realized that their ideal and most profitable type of clients were those that had expats as employees.
Moreover, they usually spoke to the HR manager of a company with over $5M in annual revenue. They didn’t talk to the business owner.
This HR managers challenge was to hire and relocate expats. They liked to make their employees happy during their relocation to Houston.
They have names, occupations, likes and dislikes, as well as challenges and ambitions.
As you can see, their entire messaging had to change.
Their new slogan was: Trusted Globally.
Their main keyword to: International Tax Preparation.
The results were visible right away.
They even landed a contract with a large Brazilian oil and gas company. (starts with a P)
So, to sum up, a target audience goes beyond of the simple demographics of a target market. Beyond business size, you need to learn the title of the buyer, likes and dislikes, as well as challenges and ambitions.
In other words, instead of targeting manufacturing companies, try to build an audience persona to target:
He is a project manager who works in a plastic manufacturing company with over 200 hundred employees. Their annual revenue is around $5M. He is looking to look good with upper management by buying the best product from a reliable and API certified vendor (that’s you!).
It’s very important to narrow down the niche as specific as possible and to know what their wants are.
So now you’ll put “Reliable API Certified Valves Vendor” with big letters on your homepage.
If you need help describing your ideal buyer, check out our Free Buyer Persona Template.
Build Your Brand In 2020 With A Useful, Usable, and Appealing User Experience.
A big part of creating a useful and usable user experience involves your website.
If your company has a website or a mobile app it will serve you as the most important tool to help grow your business and build your brand.
Your website and/or app is the place that your buyers will visit to learn more about your company, what you offer, and take action when they are ready.
It is imperative that you make their experience effortless and they can navigate your platforms with ease.
That means your website needs to load fast, be mobile friendly, and most importantly be secure.
The overall user experience must be exceptional in order to be a high-converting B2B website.
But wait, there’s more!
Your first task to achieve a desirable user experience is to be visually consistent between all your marketing channels.
What does this mean?
This means that the logo you use on your business card, should be the same logo you use on your team t-shirts, your website, your brochures, your social media, etc.
Because consistency is key!
How can you expect people to familiarize with your brand if your platforms are not in harmony with each other? If they see different visual representations if your brand it’s hard for them to make the connection.
It’s very important to define your brand guideline and make sure you list the colors, fonts, and images you want to associate with your brand.
Build Your Brand In 2020 With Engaging Content Across All Platforms.
Part of what makes a brand unique is its voice.
Your voice depends on your mission, your target audience, and your industry.
Your voice is important because it’s how you get to communicate with your buyers.
Is my brand voice:
The right voice will help you resonate with your target audience and will give you the highest chance of building a strong connection.
Once you find your voice, it is important that you are (you guessed it!) consistent!
That means your blogs, web content, and social media posts should all be cohesive and sound like they are coming from the same company.
This will help you start building a following because people will fall in love with your messaging and will want to consume more.
Which brings us to your tagline…
Your tagline is a very important part of your content because it helps you tell your story.
It’s important that your tagline is concise but descriptive.
It should provide additional information about what your business offers/
Some great example of taglines are:
- General Electric (GE) – “Imagination at work”
- 3M – “Science. Applied to Life.”
- SoulCycle – “Take Your Journey. Change Your Body. Find Your Soul.”
If you don’t have a tagline, I highly suggest you create one. 😊
Build Your Brand In 2020 With Email, Social, and Video Marketing.
Email marketing is sometimes the underdog of brand strategies.
Most people take it for granted because the don’t have a good email list or they don’t know how to build one.
But trust me, your highest click-through rate will come from the emails you send to your list.
Your email subscribers should be nurtured and be treated with respect. After all, they trusted you with important contact information and it’s your job to make their choice worth it.
Don’t be that person who spams every day or every week trying to sell something.
Instead send an email once or twice a month and make sure you include valuable information like a blog, a free guide, eBook, or webinar invitation.
If you’re reading this and thinking
“Sounds great, how can I get in on building a community through my email contacts?”
Well I’m glad you asked.
A few ways you can start building your email list is through your website.
Make sure you include:
- Landing pages
- Pop up forms
We recommend sharing valuable content that your audience wants to consume. Then, simply ask them if they want to subscribe to your monthly newsletter to receive more valuable information, tips, ideas…
Make sure you reinforce the fact that you will not spam their inbox. And mean it!
You can try something like this:
If you do want to stay ahead of the curve and receive an email once or twice a month with Free Exclusive Tips on how to grow your business with easy to implement marketing tactics, tips to optimize your website, how to improve your SEO, and anything and all marketing related topics, make sure to enter your email below and don’t worry, I won’t spam your inbox.
See what we did there?
The goal is not to collect emails as if you are a memorabilia collector.
The goal is to reach your ideal target audience with rich content they want to consume, have them sign up to your monthly email so you can stay in touch and nurture them until they are ready to purchase from you, and make them fall in love with your amazing company.
Now let’s talk social media marketing!
We’ve heard it time and time again from some of our manufacturing clients, “we don’t need social media because our buyers don’t use it.”
And that’s not the case.
The fact of the matter is you need to meet your buyers where they are.
Yes, they may not use twitter or Instagram, but they are hanging out in LinkedIn and so you should be in LinkedIn too!
Don’t let the idea of social media marketing overwhelm you and make you think you have to be EVERYWHERE.
You have to understand that the goal of social media is not to sell, it is to connect and have conversations with your buyers.
Some quick tips for social media marketing:
- Engage with your community
- Present relevant content
- Publishing original content
As you produce content for your social media account you will of course follow your brand guidelines and write your content using your company’s voice (don’t forget about these!).
And now for the newest addition to the family: video marketing!
Well not really new because video marketing has been around for a while, but it was within the last two years that it really started to take on a big part of your marketing and branding strategy.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but videos come up first on Google results.
There’s a reason behind that. Read the last Google Algorithm changes.
A video is great because it gives a buyer a sneak peek of what your business has to offer.
A well put together video needs:
- A descriptive and straightforward script,
- A glimpse of your team,
- A preview of your products, and
- Your Voice and Personality as a company.
Did you know that 52% of buyers answered that watching brand videos makes them more confident to make online purchase decisions?
That’s a big chunk of people!
I suggest you make a note to yourself to consider creating a brand video for your business. 😊
To build your brand in 2020 you should implement these strategies:
- A Clear Vision of Your Target Market
- A Useful, Usable, and Appealing User Experience
- Engaging Content Across All Platforms
- Email, Social, and Video Marketing
You don’t have to be a marketing master to implement these brand strategies.
However, if you want to build a successful brand, you have to make sure to be consistent.
B-E CONSISTENT! In ALL forms of communication and user experience across all your platforms and applications.
Also, make sure to keep an eye on your brand throughout the year and monitor analytics and reporting so you can tweak your marketing efforts.
You can also send out surveys to your clients and pay attention to comments and reviews you receive on social media to make sure your audience is being heard and their needs are being met.
If you didn’t subscribe above, and still want to be on the know of the latest branding strategies, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you! We’ll keep sharing a bunch of actionable tips to help you build your brand.
What aspect of branding do you struggle with the most? Comment below!