Blog Feed Post

Beyond the Basics: 5 B2B Branding Elements You Might Be Overlooking

Brand strategy is one of the most critical aspects of the growth of any business — large or small, B2C or B2B. B2C branding is far more art than science, because purchases are largely driven by emotion, and branding success means you have effectively addressed those emotions.

B2B branding, on the other hand, is a bit more science. Purchases are driven by logic and needs more than emotion, with data and facts guiding the buying decision.

Now consider this: According to MediaPost, in 2016, two out of three B2B marketers rank “generating high quality leads” as their biggest challenge and top priority for the year.

Think you can generate more and more of these high quality leads without an effective brand strategy? Think again. When making a purchase, buyers will typically consider several different service providers or products — but in general, they all offer the buyer the same basic value. In those scenarios, the brand is often the only true differentiator.

All too frequently, though, B2B companies focus their brand strategy entirely on basic things like logos and messaging guides, when in fact there are several other components that contribute heavily to the thought process associated with the B2B purchase decision.

Search engine rankings and associated copy

More than half of B2B companies are increasing their SEO spend in 2016. I suspect that if I asked any one of those marketers what matters to him or her from an SEO standpoint, the answer would revolve around driving quality traffic and, ultimately, leads to the company website. Brand wouldn’t come up.

And yet it should. Often, a search engine is a buyer’s first and most impactful exposure to a B2B brand. In fact, according to a 2014 study, 94 percent of B2B buyers do online research before purchasing.

Does your brand fail to show up in the top few results for a critical search category? Three quarters of users don’t scroll past the first page of search results — so if you show up four pages deep, that’s a loss not only for traffic to your website, but for your brand, as well.

Or maybe your brand shows up near the top, but you butchered the meta title tag and description tag by skimping on the writing. A discerning B2B buyer will notice that, and it will shape perceptions.

First impressions are everything.


Fifty-five percent of web users spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a webpage. Think anyone will stick around if your website doesn’t deliver the information they were expecting? Think it’s OK to provide a poor navigation experience? Think no one will notice if you make a weak brand statement on that first landing page? Remember, these are B2B users — perhaps a little smarter than the average bear. They can make a lot of judgments in 15 seconds.

Your website is your brand. In this day and age, if you can’t convey what your brand is all about on your website, it ain’t gonna happen anywhere else. Take Eminem’s advice: You have one shot, one opportunity. Are you going to capture it or let it slip away?

Social media properties

Admit it, B2B marketing director. You slap those Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn logos in your header or footer just because you feel like you’re supposed to. Because everyone comes to your website to then go off and check out each one of your social media properties, right?

Sarcasm aside, your social media properties are an important component of your brand strategy. They are an extension of your website, and in many cases, allow you to showcase the true personality of your brand more than a website allows you to. They represent an opportunity to humanize your company for customers, prospective customers, and prospective employees. And why would you want to do that? Potential buyers who feel a strong connection to your brand are 60 percent more likely to consider and purchase your product over buyers who don’t feel that connection.

Digital ads

The standard Google pay-per-click ad is a 25-character headline, 35-character first line, 35-character second line, and 35-character URL. A Twitter website card allows for 116 characters and an 800 x 320 image. With that little real estate, there’s no way a digital ad can really enhance or damage your brand, right?

used-toilet-paperhttp://www.rightsourcemarketing.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Used-... 300w, http://www.rightsourcemarketing.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Used-... 768w, http://www.rightsourcemarketing.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Used-... 250w" sizes="(max-width: 974px) 100vw, 974px" />

Think again. These ads are just as impactful for your brand as the television, print, or radio ads that dominated yesteryear. Do not mail it in on these. Even something as straightforward and concise as a direct response ad should portray a certain brand identity.


Interested in really lowering the value of your brand? Create low-quality content. This is near and dear to my heart, since Right Source lives and breathes the development and marketing of high-quality content for ourselves and our clients. We don’t believe in doing anything less — and frankly, I look down on those who do.

It’s laughable that many brands still produce content that is promoted as educational, but is really just a thinly veiled sales pitch. According to MarketingCharts, 75 percent of B2B buyers want branded content that helps them research business ideas, but 93 percent of brands focus their content on marketing their own products and services.

Software companies, especially those of the eight-, nine-, or 10-figure valuations, are the most frequent violators of the 80/20 rule, which says that 80 percent of your content should be purely educational, with no direct intent to sell. (I’ve covered the technology world’s obsession with software and how it has negatively influenced marketing here and here.) If you want to build your brand, you have to produce quality content that provides value to your audience.

There you have it: five new(ish) factors that influence B2B branding, brand strategy, and brand awareness more than the average businessperson might think. So the next time your CEO tells you it’s time for a “rebrand,” make sure you consider not only the basics, like logos and messaging guides, but these critical digital components as well. And if you’d like to talk about building your B2B brand to support your business objectives, I’m all ears.

The post Beyond the Basics: 5 B2B Branding Elements You Might Be Overlooking appeared first on Right Source Marketing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney and Right Source Marketing help organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...