How to get more return from your digital B2B branding
It’s no secret – successful B2B companies use sophisticated digital experiences to build trust and nurture prospects. By developing a digital brand strategy that focuses on personalised, relevant, and timely communications, you too can gain greater ROI for your efforts. Here’s how.
Gartner reports that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. It also states that 90% of the sales process is not spent with you, but rather in buyers researching online, internal processes, or via other vendors.
This means you are at the mercy of what buyers read, watch, or hear about you, up until they decide (or not) to reach out and start a dialogue. Only those that have managed to impress and influence them by this point will come out on top. The only way to be in the front running is to make sure their experience of your digital brand has been professional, insightful, and helpful.
Digital branding isn’t easy
Digital branding serves as the vanguard that captures attention, fosters trust, and forges enduring relationships with potential clients. However, building a winning digital presence in B2B is no easy task, especially when you are up against bigger brands with bigger budgets.
While this offers multiple opportunities for transcending geographical boundaries and driving revenue growth, several factors typically hold businesses back from reaching their online potential.
By effectively curating an excellent online customer experience that exudes authenticity, relevance, and customer-centricity, B2B enterprises can secure the confidence and credibility they need for when buyers are ready to make the final purchase decision.
CBC blog link: B2B digital brand experience
Know the barriers
B2B businesses will often stumble over the same hurdles when trying to develop digital channels that deliver meaningful results.
For starters, buying centres are often niche and complex. Decision-makers will have specific requirements, preferences, and buying cycles, making it harder to craft an approach that covers all their needs and drivers. Sales cycles are also typically longer and involves multiple stakeholders, so it’s important find ways that maintain relevance and engagement throughout an extended buying process.
Even if B2B marketers do understand the value of applying a more customer-centric approach, many simply do not know how to leverage digital tools and channels to best effect, measure results to refocus activities on the areas that are most effective, or onboard their teams to overcome resistance to new ways of working.
As a result, when pitched against competitors that are well-versed in a digital best practice, their efforts simply get lost in the ether, which not only limits revenue results, but makes it difficult to justify budgets for further initiatives.
Five pillars for digital success
There are five important aspects to consider when developing an online branding strategy.
1. Build digital awareness
With numerous businesses vying for attention, breaking through the noise, and capturing attention can be an uphill battle. Try building a targeted, omni-channel approach using valuable and informative content that’s targeted to key stages in the buying journey, and make sure it’s well optimised for search engines. Smart use of social media channels can also help to amplify your message and actively engage with your audience.
2. Establish trust online
If B2B buyers find most of the information they need online before reaching out to sellers, you need to make sure what they read is credible and relevant to their specific needs. It’s important to hit the right notes that leverage real insights into a customer’s pains and value drivers, which will go far deeper than relying on product specifications alone. Also, find opportunities to showcase your value through well-crafted thought leadership content and case studies, and use social selling to foster personal relationships.
3. Differentiate your proposition
Communicate your unique value offering to clearly show why people should trust you over the competition. Take time to understand your target audience’s challenges and craft messages that directly addresses them. You can also use purpose-driven branding to ensure your communications are closely aligned with your audience’s own values and mission. Creativity can also be a highly effective vehicle to stand out and personalise your message to create that all-important emotional connection.
4. Personalise your digital content
Tailor your activities with role- and individual-specific content based on interactions, behaviours, purchases, and searches to date. Some businesses are even using predictive analytics to anticipate what a customer may want to know. According to a Gartner survey, 50% of respondents who invested in tools driving personalisation capabilities experienced growth in market share, and 77% of companies using direct one-to-one personalisation observed an increase in market share.
5. Nurture relationships online
Building long-term relationships is essential, but also challenging in an impersonal digital environment. Focus on providing an outstanding customer experience at every touchpoint. Personalise your communications, for example through direct channels like social media, and direct techniques like ABM. Use marketing automation to nurture leads and keep the conversation going and implement a robust CRM system to track interactions for further optimisation and engagement.
CBC blog link: Build digital transformation into your B2B marketing
The business is out there for the taking
Forging a robust online presence that resonates with target audiences requires a careful blend of strategy and customer-centricity. Building brand awareness, establishing trust through personalisation, differentiating from competitors, and nurturing meaningful relationships are all essential if you are to win in the digital space.
Nevertheless – it is possible. With the right approach and engagement, digital branding is proven to make a significant difference to driving inbound results.
If you need expert help to build, optimise, and sustain your digital branding strategy, talk to CBC. We’ve supported the success of countless businesses like yours and know what it takes to create the online presence and preference you are looking for.