Thought Leadership on Revenue Growth Through Qualified Leads And Increased Closing Ratios presented by Katie Jordan at Verasolve.
We’re bombarded with marketing messages all day, every day — when we’re catching up on news online, scrolling through our social media feeds or listening to a keynote speech at a conference. The exponential increase in exposure to marketing and advertising messages has made every decision maker a skeptical one. In fact, recent research from Google found that most B2B buyers conduct an average of 12 online searches before ever clicking through to a specific site.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to implement marketing strategies that not only differentiate your company from the competition, but also build trust with your targeted audience. By putting a face to your brand, your company becomes more accessible, believable and more trusted. Without a foundation of trust in your brand, your sales and marketing efforts are likely to fall on deaf ears.
1. Invest in vertical marketing
Buyers want to know you’re familiar with their industry. A CEO of an established manufacturing company, for example, won’t be swayed by your success supporting a tech startup. It’s important to tailor your messages so that you’re speaking the language of your customers’ industries. You can start by developing case studies that demonstrate your expertise in your target verticals. The International Data Corporation surveyed B2B buyers earlier this year and found that most buyers see case studies as very influential in their purchasing decision process.
2. Think about thought leadership
By positioning your brand as a resource (not just a source of sales pitches), you’ll earn the trust of your target audience. You can begin your thought leadership effort by publishing bylined articles in media outlets that are relevant to your industry and your target audience. Strategically share thought leadership pieces via social media, newsletters and on your website.
3. Provide quality content
Consistently providing quality content is essential to building a trustworthy brand. Avoid self-promotion — your brand’s content should help prospects solve a problem, teach them something new and interesting about their industry, or entertain them. According to Demand Gen’s 2014 B2B Content Preferences Survey, B2B buyers are most likely to use white papers, case studies, webinars, ebooks and videos to make purchasing decisions. By sharing your best content, people become familiar with your company and will begin to look to you for information.
4. Leverage social media
Once you’ve created your quality content, share it on social media. Social media is the ideal platform to humanize your brand and directly engage with partners and potential buyers. At the very least, be sure your company has an active presence on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other relevant social networking sites. Social media presence enforces your brand and demonstrates legitimacy.
5. Work Your Website
According to Acquity Group, 83% of B2B buyers vet vendors’ and suppliers’ websites during the decision-making process. Make sure your website is properly maintained, optimized for mobile and user-friendly. Websites that are disorganized, too busy or not optimized for mobile viewing will likely turn-off your audience and damage your credibility with them. A thoughtful, organized website will enable your potential customers to easily learn more about your company’s expertise and qualifications and continue to build trust in your brand.
With brand trust comes brand loyalty and advocacy. So, get out there and start building trust in your brand and you’ll soon have a strong base of loyal customers that are also raving fans!