In the business to business (B2B) space, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking brand awareness and reputation aren’t important. However, just because your customers are fellow businesses, it doesn’t mean you can forget about marketing. Quite the opposite. Without strong brand recognition and a sterling reputation, it can be extremely difficult to forge the types of lasting relationships that make the B2B world go ’round.
The following is a list of 6 surefire ways your business can help build brand awareness and its reputation: Tweet This
1. Publish and engage on social media sites.
Social media use for B2B marketing is on the rise. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s report, “B2B Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,” the use of social media content is considered one of the top critical components of content marketing success for the coming year.
Daina Falk, founder of the Hungry Fan™ brand and curator of the sports fan’s game day experience, leverages her status as social media influencer not to sell to her followers, but rather to bring awareness of brands and products that can enhance her followers’ game day experience.
Similarly, B2Bs must remember social media is most effective for building awareness and connecting with other businesses, not selling to them. However, over time, those connections can and often do lead to successful business relationships.
2. Use HARO.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) connects journalists with expert sources. Participation as a HARO source can be a tremendous resource for business owners looking to position themselves as experts in their industry and secure media placements. HARO sources have reaped benefits ranging from increased sales to appearances on major media outlets.
3. Create original content.
Content is still king, with 83 percent of B2B marketers surveyed by Content Marketing Institute reporting the use of social media content and 52 percent using blogs. Again, the focus must be on providing value rather than on selling. The most effective content is both relevant and sharable while staying on-brand.
4. Build an email marketing list.
The key here is not to send out a barrage of generic sales emails but rather send value to your subscribers. This could be in the form of discounts and promotions, loyalty incentives, or useful information regarding your product, service, or industry. Consider customizing your emails for different customer types, such as prospective customers and longtime customers. Doing so is often much more effective than simply sending out the same blast to your entire list.
5. Speak at events.
Focus on speaking at events relevant to your business field. If you speak at an event like a trade show for your industry and can’t sell, you’re in trouble. Take those opportunities very seriously and work on closing business.
6. Give to charity.
Giving to your alma mater and using that as an opportunity to network with alumni can be very smart. It’s a win-win as your business is giving back while making valuable connections. What’s more, social responsibility is becoming an increasingly important part of doing business. Philanthropy is an excellent way to help promote a good cause while increasing your business’ social responsibility.
Building brand awareness and reputation is an essential component of B2B marketing. It allows you to differentiate your business while laying the foundation for lasting business relationships.
For Small Business Saturday 2016, we interviewed top marketing influencers about how small businesses can effectively market themselves. If you’re looking for more ways to build your brand, see what they had to say.
Photo Credit: lelia_milaya, Twenty20