Every brand has a vision. Every brand has an X factor. A story that sets it apart. But not every brand is able to communicate that story in a way that compels people to act. Especially in the B2B world, potential buyers are often greeted with a sea of sameness: similar products, similar value props and worst of all – but maybe I’m biased here – similar, boring content and creative.
Your content and creative actually play an integral role in telling your story and differentiating your brand. You can use messaging and visuals to establish a consistent, powerful message that connects with your audience at every touchpoint.
Every asset, from advertisements and social media posts to blog articles and campaign landing pages, should be informed by your brand strategy. And a distinctive voice, tone, and look and feel, directed at the right audience, at the right time, can be especially effective at driving brand awareness. Here’s how to make content and creative work for your brand.
1. Know Your X Factor
You can’t make content and creative that clearly and compellingly communicates your brand differentiators if you don’t know what they are. It starts with your vision and your story – selling your product is all well and good, but why should your customer care? What can you do for them that no one else can? And what will you do that benefits not only your customer, but the world?
Now distill that into a brand message that explains how you’re different from your competition. Discuss what your brand is, as well as what it isn't. Provide examples of voice and visuals that are consistent with your direction. Your brand messaging is your single point of truth when it comes to your content and creative.
2. Do Your Research
You won't build awareness if everything you do is the same as your competitors. Research your competition to make sure that the story you are telling and the look you are aiming for is unique. What part of the market is currently underserved or missed by your competitors? Where can you stand out as a company with a unique story and approach?
You need to understand your customers just as well: A whopping 76% of consumers say they buy from brands they feel connected to over a competitor, and 57% say they are more likely to increase their spend when they feel connected to a brand. Know your audience and their pain points, and personalize your approach to put the focus on them, not your product. And show, don’t tell. Instead of listing reasons your product is great, use your content and creative to make them feel that they can trust you.
3. Grab Their Attention
Fact: There is already a lot of content on the internet – the World Economic Forum estimates global servers held 44 zettabytes of data by 2020. (That’s 44 trillion gigabytes, aka a TON of data.) Also a fact: Pumping out more of the same content and creative isn't going to get your attention.
Even brands that are serious and respectable can find a smart way to stand out from the content clutter. You don't have to be funny, mouthy or hip to show you are fresh and relevant. In the awareness and consideration stages, interactive content like quizzes, video “tours” and calculators are especially effective. Plus, you can let your creative do some of the talking. A visual concept can be impactful and will communicate much faster to the brain than a block of text.
4. Focus, Focus, Focus
Your product or service is totally awesome. You’ve got tons of features, a great team, unrivaled knowledge and amazing customer service. You want to shout it from the rooftops, and we get that. But when it comes to brand awareness, you need to choose the one thing that will grab the most attention and hammer that home. There will be time to talk about other benefits later.
It's great to have details and specs available that your customer can use to make an informed purchase decision, but those shouldn't be the central talking points for your initial marketing message. People often aren’t thinking about exactly what they are buying in the early stages of the sales funnel; they are motivated by why they should buy it.
5. Be Consistent
Everyone from motivational speakers to marketing gurus uses the same phrase: “Consistency is key.” And they’re right. Your brand must remain consistent in voice, tone, and appearance so that your customer immediately knows when a message is from you. Your content strategy needs to be consistent as well, meaning your blogs, emails, social posts, and paid media publish at predictable times and your customers generally know what they’re going to get.
Build a content calendar to help you get more consistent with your publishing timelines. Create most of your content well in advance and schedule blog posts, emails, and ads to go live when your target buyers are most likely to engage. Track your results and use AB testing to refine both your creative and your messaging until your brand awareness strategy is a well-oiled machine.
6. Ask an Expert
To increase brand awareness, you need to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. But sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees. An outside company can help you rethink your overall branding and messaging and build a more effective approach.
Using content and creative for brand awareness is more than creating a kickass logo and tagline (although that definitely doesn’t hurt). Specs, sizing, typography, color palettes, image copyrights, and more can quickly get overwhelming – nevermind tracking and measuring your results.
If you need help with your branding, strategy, or content creation, we can help. Business Online is focused on helping B2B brands create sustainable growth – starting with awesome, powerful content and creative that stands out from the sea of sameness. Contact us today to learn more.