With millions of businesses sprouting up almost daily and widespread access to powerful search, review, and social networking platforms, brand awareness is unquestionably vital for B2B brands.
To contend with the influx of businesses crowding online spaces, B2B marketers need to get clever about building recognition for their products, services, and company. Sagefrog identified this trend in the annual B2B Marketing Mix Report, where industry-wide surveys showed that brand awareness is the top objective among B2B marketers this year.
The most significant benefits of great brand awareness include more widespread industry recognition, customer loyalty, company credibility, and the ability to attract talented people to join your team. Let’s start with a foundational understanding of brand awareness and then dive into B2B marketing tips to increase brand awareness for your business.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is how readily customers recall or recognize your brand under various conditions. The ability to recognize a brand is central to purchasing and decision-making since customers can’t make purchases from a company without knowing about it first. Awareness doesn’t necessarily mean the consumer must recall a specific brand name but rather remember enough distinct features to make a purchasing decision. Generating brand awareness is the initial step in lead generation and conversions.
Identify What Differentiates Your Company
Identifying your differentiators can be done through a couple of methods. The first is to study your competitors. Consider:
🤩 How others portray their brand
🤢 What others avoid when displaying their brand
✨ Potential opportunities to differentiate yourself positively from others
Using those pieces of information, think about how you want others to perceive your business in the marketplace and develop the characteristics of your unique brand. This information should all be organized in a single, cohesive brand strategy and identity that defines how your company looks, feels, and sounds in the marketplace.
Your brand identity is the first impression, second look, and final input to a prospect’s decision to work with you. Competing with an outdated brand identity can instantly leave your company in the dust among increasingly saturated B2B markets like healthcare, technology, manufacturing, logistics, and business services. The whole brand identity process is actually a lot of fun. At Sagefrog, we love getting creative with new ways of positioning businesses that connect with highly target audiences.
Check out our Brand Identity Checklist to assess if your business has a competitive and clear brand identity.
Consistency in Your Brand Awareness Strategy
Uniform messaging throughout all channels, especially social media, is vital to building brand awareness effectively. Consistent messaging helps improve recognition with your target audience and means that no matter where your name, logo, unique services, values, taglines, and messaging appear, you’re confident everything is accurate and attractive.
In addition to consistency, ensure your messaging isn’t cryptic or vague. Imagine a new hire in the industry who hasn’t heard of you before. Now, review the main headlines of your website and consider the clarity of your messaging. Would someone immediately know who you are, what you do, and how you do it? Help your audience by giving them key pieces of information ASAP to move them along their buyer’s journey. Check out our blog, Top 3 B2B Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022, for insights on applying your differentiated messaging on social media.
Leveraging Paid Advertising
As with every other aspect of the B2B marketing landscape, SEO becomes more competitive every day. Pay-per-click advertising guarantees your brand appears at the very top of search engine results pages for relevant terms based on your budget, no matter how long you’ve been in business or worked to establish your online presence. So, while it’s important to continuously invest in SEO, leverage paid advertising for quick wins.
One of the easiest ways to establish a brand story is with a dedicated Our Story or About Us page. Here, you’ll reinforce what makes your business different from your competitors and share aspects of your company history that highlight your experience, leadership, innovation, and notable organizational transformations. These stories help audiences connect with your company culture and identify with the humanity behind your products and services to hopefully evoke a positive emotional response and further drive brand awareness and recognition
Brand Identity Visuals
A cohesive visual identity system is one of the most effective ways to organize your brand identity’s visual elements. That system is your company’s trademark, first impression, and complete visual package, consistently blended to share your brand’s purpose and personality. Chief elements of a brand visual identity include:
- Logo and sub-logos
- Color palettes
- Typography, iconography, and graphic elements
- Imagery styles
- Conceptual overview diagrams
Have you optimized these elements to reinforce your brand in every possible customer encounter? At Sagefrog, we develop B2B brand identity systems that drive results. Our unique business-minded approach to brand identities combines strategists with creatives to develop iconic logos, color palettes, typography sets, and imagery styles that accurately reflect their mission, vision, and core values with the right personality and tone of voice.
Build Positive Partnerships
Working to build successful partnerships in B2B is invaluable in maximizing exposure among others in the industry. Actively seeking out companies where both parties have something to gain is an excellent way to gain referrals within your immediate field and generate awareness in adjacent sectors. Brand partnerships should feel authentic and natural where the brand values of each business align, rather than simple broad exposure.
Of the most common types of content, blogs are among the quickest and most effective formats for highlighting positive B2B partnerships. Formal case studies, detailed white papers, and colorful infographics all have a role, but blogs remain the go-to for thought leadership, education, and industry insights and offer the flexibility to easily support content found in case studies and white papers. Take a look at our blog, Go-to B2B Blog Format Ideas, for examples.
Measuring Brand Awareness
Measuring brand awareness can be challenging, but digital marketing experts have effective tactics to help quantify this information, organize the numbers, measure and analyze their impact, and make decisions to optimize moving forward.
One method is to analyze organic web traffic. This is the modern measure for brand awareness and here’s why—direct traffic comprises visitors who typed your URL into the navigation bar to arrive at your website. If a user goes directly to your website, you know they’ve previously been made aware of your brand. By collecting statistics and analyzing emerging trends, marketers can better guide strategies to serve audiences.
Another method is to analyze social media engagement. Marketers track and build KPIs around followers, likes, retweets, comments, and other engagement elements, helping to guide strategies and stay abreast of market trends and evolutions.
Not all direct traffic and social engagement will directly link to a specific aspect of brand awareness – but as your B2B brand awareness tactics take effect, an overall increase in these numbers signals that things are working!
Sagefrog as Your B2B Marketing Partner
Successful branding defines and unifies how a company stands out visually and verbally in the marketplace, and in B2B, branding can make or break a business. Competing with an outdated image or a voice that no longer speaks to modern audiences won’t get you or your team anywhere and could even affect other areas of your marketing efforts, both online and off. If you’re looking for qualified leads that are warmed up and ready to move on to sales, you’ll need to start investing in branding to help your company stand out. Want to learn more about how we can help you? Let’s talk.