Building brand awareness to drive leads
Allison Kline
July 31, 2017

Brand recognition is important not just in the consumer space -- where shoppers may automatically think of Whole Foods for groceries or Target for school supplies -- but also in the business-to-business space, where buyers are increasingly conducting their own research prior to reaching out to potential vendors. Brand awareness is a vital strategy for reaching those prospects and driving leads.

Here are six brand-awareness strategies and how they can generate leads for your business:

Infographics

Infographics are a useful way to share information with prospects and have them keep your brand top of mind. To get started, think about the subject areas where your business has expertise and survey your customers or conduct research in that area to create an infographic that provides value to prospects.

Rather than reaching out with a direct sales push, you'll have something of value to provide and “pull” a way to kick off the conversation about how your company can add value to their bottom line.

Influencer marketing

Joining online groups and conversations allows communication with professionals who command authority in your field, and help you become recognized as an influencer yourself.

Scour social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, for individuals commanding conversations that would interest your prospects, and engage those individuals. Follow up on group activity by commenting on others’ activities, engaging in group discussions, posing interesting questions and responding to posts with useful insight based on your company’s experience

Over time, influencers will begin to engage and promote your input -- helping establish you (or your CEO) as a thought leader and further spread your brand in front of potential clients.

Referral programs

Eighty percent of purchasing decisions are most influenced by peer recommendations, according to a SmartBrief and Content Marketing Institute survey.

Ask clients to “refer a friend” to your company in exchange for a valid discount. This will encourage individuals to recommend your company’s product or service, create buzz organically and ensure future business.

Giveaways

Presenting the chance to win a giveaway prize is an easy way to gather hard-to-attain customer information, such as infographics or psychographics, that can help narrow your target audience.

Offer a quick survey to existing customers for the chance to win a valued prize or participate in a drawing. Many individuals usually dismissive of surveys will act on an incentivized impulse.

Original content

Posting original content is a modest way to develop marketing messages and establish your title as an industry expert. Whether it is on a blog or through an email newsletter, original content sets your company apart from competitors and establishes you as an authority.

Emphasize non-promotional content, such as white papers or webinars, that speaks to specific necessities or pain points or provides product and service specifications, as this is most valuable to business leaders making business decisions, the SmartBrief and Content Marketing Institute report advises.

Be sure to adjust the message based on the channel on which you publish content, and always ensure that information is sharable and accessible.

Social media tools

Take advantage of built-in technology on popular platforms that aid in the lead generation process.

For example, LinkedIn offers to simplify the lead generation process with its Autofill Plugin Generator. Businesses who replicate the site’s lead format can auto-populate consumer information using the Autofill Plugin Generator, which helps acquire data from customers easily dissuaded by online forms.

FaceBook Ads Manager and Power Editor also offer technology for businesses to translate data and reach core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

Using these brand awareness strategies to reach prospects at the beginning of their purchasing journey will help drive leads and boost the bottom line. Think of them as a starting point for beginning the conversation with customers.

Allison Kline is an editorial intern at SmartBrief.