A B2B brand strategy is critical for building familiarity, and later, trust with your audience and leads.
Unfortunately, many businesses fall short in the B2B branding department – either missing the mark or not connecting with buyers quite as they should – and it has real-world consequences.
63% of buyers look for shared values when deciding whether to form a professional relationship with a brand. Meanwhile, buyers who form an emotional connection to a brand are 60% more likely to do business with that brand.
How to Build a Memorable B2B Brand Strategy
An effective B2B brand strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful analysis of data, consideration, and research about your audience. Follow some of these tips to build the best B2B brand marketing.
Create a B2B Brand Strategy Guide
Memorable B2B branding all starts with a useful guide. Think of this as your brand’s constitution for voice, representation, colors, and logos.
Here’s a snapshot of LinkedIn’s brand guidelines:
Notice how it covers everything from fonts and colors to feeling and connection?
A strategy guide is crucial for maintaining consistency because you can forward it to writers, email marketers, designers – anyone – and ensure that your brand looks, sounds, and feels the same no matter who creates your content.
Think outside traditional aspects like logos, images, and colors. Don’t forget to include the less tangible aspects, too, like how your email marketing and blog voice should sound.
Think Like Your Audience
Research is essential here. Study your audience and your competitors. How do members of your audience sound on LinkedIn or Twitter? What kind of language do they use?
Many brands wrongfully focus entirely on their own interests, products, and vision while building a B2B brand strategy. Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
According to Salesforce research, 83% of B2B buyers say the key to winning their business is treating them like a human being rather than a number.
Look at the data you’ve collected on your audience. Where do they work? What’s important to them? From there, you can create B2B branding that puts them first.
Consider Some Out of Home Advertising
Digital marketing is important because buyers complete up to 90% of the sales process entirely online without reaching out to sales teams.
An accessible website without forms is crucial for helping your leads nurture and building brand awareness.
However, you can also think outside the website and beyond the internet. If you’re employing an account-based marketing strategy, you might consider where your leads work every day. Would it be worthwhile to put up a billboard on their route? Where are they hosting events?
Those are both awesome opportunities to expand your B2B brand marketing beyond today’s means.
Employ Social Selling Tactics
Communicating with your audience on social channels can help build brand awareness, trust, and an emotional connection.
Several industries report that over 50% of their revenue comes from social selling tactics – up to 67% in some IT industries.
What does social selling look like? Don’t think of it so rigidly. Forget about specifically promoting your brand for a moment. Instead, just focus on building your profile up with branding and contributing to different conversations.
Make sure you share links from other sources besides your own domain too. About half of people admit they will unfollow someone on social media who focuses too heavily on self-promotion.
4 B2B Branding Mistakes to Avoid
It’s also important to understand what you shouldn’t do as you build your B2B brand strategy. Here are a few things to avoid.
1. Inconsistent B2B Brand Marketing
To convince leads to buy, you need to establish trust. To establish trust, you need to build familiarity across your target audience and leads.
Unfortunately, many brands slack off in the consistency department. You need to use the same language, voice, colors, and logos across all channels.
If you’re connecting with influencers or employing social selling tactics, there’s a little room to break from the norm. However, you should still share your brand guidelines and mission with influencers, so everyone’s on the same page.
2. Robotic and Emotionless B2B Branding
It’s a huge mistake to assume that robotic and stuffy works for B2B.
B2B buyers are young. Professional? Yes, but they still want to be treated like human beings and form an emotional connection with brands.
Too many B2Bs don’t tell stories. They just talk about themselves. Take a break from that atmosphere to promote your mission, vision, and values in a human light.
3. Latching onto B2B Branding Trends
B2B branding trends can work great – when they’re used correctly. However, trends are just that – trends – and they change regularly.
Latching onto a specific trend – like the word “integrated” or phrase like “company culture” – puts you at risk for falling out of style when the fad ends. Plus, you’ll struggle to stand out from competitors.
Instead, focus on creating authentic B2B branding that stands the test of time and differentiates your brand from the competition.
4. Lacking a Purpose-Filled B2B Brand Strategy
Brands make another major mistake by focusing too much on aesthetics and not enough on purpose.
With nearly two-thirds of buyers looking for shared values before committing to professional relationships with brands, you really can’t afford to slack off in this department.
Think back to your audience and why you do what you do. Look at what your competitors already have covered. What do you hope to accomplish within the next 5 or 10 years, and how can you express these values through branding visuals and language?
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