How to Ensure Your Key B2B Marketing Presences Align With Your Branding
With B2B brands active on so many channels on social and elsewhere, it can be hard to ensure that you’re driving the maximum branding impact with each asset on each presence.
In your best-case scenario, your marketing ssets will get downloaded, forwarded, printed and shared around, and if people aren’t able to easily remember who’s behind the useful media they’re consuming, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to build brand equity in their minds.
Especially in the B2B space, you need to maintain vibrant presences on all key touchpoints that your audience frequents. Being active on social media is critical for attracting and nurturing leads, and it’s also essential for retaining customers. You have to stay in touch with customers if you want to stay in the front of their minds. They are constantly inundated with ads, even on social media, so using it as a platform to keep the conversation going with likes, retweets, and comments, is important.
Research shows 39% of U.S. adults, 55% of Millenials, and 50% of Gen Xers have posted on social media about their experiences with brands. People are talking about you – and one of the best things you can to retain customers is to listen and respond accordingly. Plus, when prospects see your brand is active on social media, this helps form and maintain a more positive view of your brand.
If your prospects and customers only ever interacted with you via your owned media channels, you woudn’t need to worry about branding as much, because the entire experience would be taking place in your own “walled garden.”
But with everything so decentralized and the sales journey being so self-service and non-linear, you need to brand the experience of your funnel to the max. Here’s how.
LinkedIn Company Page and Twitter Profile
This is a key touchpoint in the customer’s journey, because it’s likely one of the first places they’re ever going to interact with your company.
You can’t always assume your website is the first place your potential customers will find you, and you want to use your social channels to drive traffic to your website anyway, right? Including a call-to-action, a logo and some designed messaging in the cover images on both of those profiles can be an extremely effective way to brand your presences, as this example from Neal Schaffer on LinkedIn illustrates.
The key is not only knowing what you want your branded message to be and where it fits into your overall funnel and sales strategy, but to make the cover images attractive so they catch your audience’s eye. Even if you don’t have the budget for professional graphic designer, you can use a free tool like Canva to create cover photos of professional quality in just a few minutes time.
Webinar Registration and Attendance
Webinars are extremely powerful for educating your prospects and nurturing them as they progress along the sales funnel. However, most B2B companies use the bland landing pages and webinar room designs that their webinar platforms offer as a default.
When you can embed the webinar room on your own hosted web page, which superior platforms like ClickMeeting support, you can maximize resonance by using a look and feel that matches the rest of your branding. This allows you to further build a sense of trust, authority and memorability as your audience members interact with you before, during and after the webinar.
The advantages to an embeddable webinar room extend beyond brand equity impact. This type of soluton also allows you to use your own analytics tools to see what social channels drive the best impact, and use your own pixels to retarget.
The great thing about buying brand promotions on a podcast is the level of attention that audience members give the content. What’s more, the content doesn’t have to about your product at all, but you can be named as a sponsor quickly at the beginning, middle, and the end of each episode.
And, because you’re not the one creating the content, it’s not something you have to work into your strategy or operations – so it becomes a relatively affordable and painless way to promote your business.
You can advertise like this on multiple podcasts, too. Use platforms and networks like MidRoll or PodcastOne to find podcasts with audiences similar to your target. With podcast consumption on the rise, it’s no surprise that podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel– 94% are active on at least one, compared to just 81% for the entire population. And, podcast listeners are more likely to follow companies and brands on social media.
Blog Posts and Other Content Pages
Your blog may be where someone finds you initially, or where they come to learn more about the products and services you offer. Regardless of how they get there, having a tasteful design that matches the rest of your branding is important for building trust and credibility – and for keeping people coming back for more. Your content should inform and educate, rather than being too salesy.
You can also include mentions of your company in click-to-tweet text, if you have something you want to promote from within the blog post. For example, clicking on the below image, which was embedded inline within an article page recapping the ZoomInfo Growth Acceleration Summit, opens up a Twitter compose window, with the #GrowthSummit17 ZoomInfo event hashtag included in the suggested tweet text.
This type of branding allows you to easily see who is engaging with your content to the extent that they want to share it with their own networks, a major signal that they may be nearly ready to do business with you. It also helps to spread the word, because when people share your content, mentioning your brand or its various presences in the social posts, then your message is poised to reach a wider relevant audience, without diluting the brand impact potential.
We all know getting people on your list is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your customers outside of social media. It’s a direct, personal, and coveted place to be, because people aren’t willing to give their email address to just anyone. Platforms like MailChimp offer a number of design styles and templates to help you build the right messaging for your goals, and allow you to use your logo to create a cohesive brand experience. Once you’ve created a template, or found one that works for your brand, stick to it as much as you can, so people associate that style with your brand.
But even when you’re not using your email marketing platform to reach all your subscribers, you can use a tool like WiseStamp to create a powerful email signature that includes your logo (and if you want, your photo) to assist with manual nurturing. WiseStamp is especially powerful in this regard, because it allows you to dynamically promote your most recent blog articles on an automated basis.
Tying it All Together
No matter where your customers are, you must present a united front for your consumers and prospects. This means all channels, social media and otherwise, must be branded cohesively, so they become recognizable to the people who use them.
Keep your messaging consistent, but always appropriate for each channel, as people use these various touchpoints in different ways. Don’t expect to be able to share your Facebook status exactly the way you’ve written it for Quora, and don’t take that guest blog post and share it word for word as an Instagram caption. Be where your customers are. Listen. Pay attention, and engage. Your efforts will pay off in the end.