3 min read

How to Build a B2B Brand in 2022

Brand building for B2B has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. The old playbook of sponsorships, trade booths, SEO and banner ads become increasingly less important in a world where buying decisions are happening on social platforms and in niche-communities.
How to Build a B2B Brand in 2022

Brand building for B2B has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. The old playbook of sponsorships, trade booths, SEO and banner ads become increasingly less important in a world where buying decisions are happening on social platforms and in niche-communities.

So following are four steps that I have seen success with personally and with our clients:

1. Open Up an Ongoing Stream on Customer Insights that your competitors never see

  • Build a recurring community event where you offer free consulting to your target customers. All of the questions & data you get from this are pure consumer insights.
  • Identify the social networks, groups, and communities where your customers spend their time. Don’t make assumptions! Figure out how to be a part of those communities. Act like a peer, not a vendor (if you are not a peer, than choose someone else in your company).

If you approach this with the right mindset, you now have an ongoing stream of market insights every single day that your competitors never see (because they aren’t looking).

2. Build a Native Content Strategy Optimized for Social

  • You need a completely different content strategy for social than you do for SEO. That’s why most companies fail at social. Because they try to copy & paste their Google search strategy into LinkedIn (and it, obviously, fails).

The difference is on Google someone searches for something and then you give it to them (they have intent to find that information). That’s not how it works on social - there is no intent. Which forces you to create content that people actually want.

  • Who are we going after? Who is the target for this? What information are we sharing? What is our point of view? What are the key topics that they care about? Who is the subject matter expert who's going to create this information? How are we going to resource and produce it? How often do we need to produce it? What things are we going to need to do that?

Your content needs to be so much more relevant. So much more expertise-driven. So much more customer-centric. Build your team & allocate resources accordingly.

3. Identify the Social channels for initial distribution.

  • We initially distribute content on LinkedIn, Podcast & YouTube. We get most of the consumption directly on those platforms.
  • Then there is secondary & tertiary distribution where people share the content & ideas in Slack channels, DMs, text messages, direct word of mouth, Facebook groups, LinkedIn shares, the list goes on and on.
There’s no tracking so companies don’t even realize it’s happening.

4. Strategize, Produce, Distribute, Analyze, Repeat

  • Build a loop to consistently produce & distribute content. Listen to audience feedback. Engage in the comments. Look for qualitative insights about where they’re sharing it.
  • The data here is mainly qualitative and not reflected in attribution software so most marketers don’t know what to do.

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If you’re a B2B company, your objective should be that everyone in your industry knows about you (and hopefully in a positive sense). Not just the people that use your product.

And they love you because:

  1. You go into building the brand with the right mindset
  2. You have a progressive, modern strategy for marketing and interacting with your customers and the market
  3. You produce the best information on the internet for our buyers and you distribute it natively in the channels where they actually pay attention.
  4. You don’t spam people with sales-focused messaging all the time trying to shove them into meetings when they hate it

p.s. In 2011, brand was built with trade show booths & banner ads & SEO. But that was a decade ago and a lot has changed since then