5 failsafe strategies to increase brand engagement
What can B2B brands do to win the hearts and minds of their audiences? Michael King talks to the experts to find out
With new social media platforms popping up regularly, the pressure is on for B2B companies to find the channels and tactics to best engage their audiences. But how can they more effectively rise above the sludge of automated messaging and connect with customers in a deeper and more meaningful way? We spoke to some brand engagement experts to find out.
1. Create a consistent experience for your customers
While the main challenge for B2B brands looking to trigger an emotional response is to remain adaptable, distinctive and relevant, another vital element to the puzzle shouldn’t be overlooked, says Ricoh CMO Javier Diez-Aguirre. "The brand experience must match the image projected in marketing materials, otherwise customers will walk away," he says. "It’s extremely important to get this right on your website and not be distracted by content and social creative."
2. Convey emotion in your marketing messages
Sally Hunter, marketing director at agency Hunterlodge, points to Salesforce as a trailblazer in the area of emotional engagement. “Salesforce uses emotional engagement as a key marketing message in their digital advertising: ‘Hi. We’re Salesforce. We make your customers love you.’ They also use social to drive home the importance of their employees in its company culture, which creates a more authentic image of their brand.”
3. Keep content simple to better connect with your audience
“The future of B2B brand engagement looks more and more customer-centric,” says Javier. "Stripping out jargon to make copy compelling and focusing on quality are essential measures for a customer-centric business. Getting to the point and keeping content jargon-free will ultimately help to resonate with your customers. After all, any emotional connection is the result of the sum total of your communication with the customer.”
4. Know your objectives
Clarify your objectives and produce content that’s consistent, recommends Claire Savage, head of brand marketing at Ordnance Survey, who will be speaking in the engagement stream at Ignite 2017. "Also, know your audience – if you don’t, you won’t be able to communicate effectively with them. Brexit would be a good example: do you know what it means for particular B2B customers? Additionally, if you can tap into personal motivation and encourage user-generated content, this will achieve far greater results."
5. Use events to make powerful personal connections
Zoe John, senior account director at agency Amplify, says telling stories through influencers at carefully curated events can be a powerful way of connecting with customers. "Or collaborate with industry thought leaders, creators, developers or media partners," she adds. "Empowering these influencers to be the voice of their social channels, creating content and participating in brand events will help them to spread a genuine brand message, talk to new audiences and in turn drive engagement with your brand.”
On 22 June 2017, the B2B Summit will become B2B Marketing Ignite: the biggest, boldest and most inspiring event ever staged in B2B. The day promises over 1000 fired-up marketers under one roof, six new content streams, designed to challenge, enlighten and inspire your team, and a fully customisable agenda – pick from over 50 sessions.