Does the “awareness phase” in B2B marketing refer to making a prospect aware of your brand or when the eventual buyer becomes aware that they have a problem to solve and begin researching solutions? We’re going to take the easy way out and declare that the awareness phase of marketing for manufacturers is the intersection of those two worlds. For both the prospect and the marketer, the awareness phase is about solving problems, getting answers and meeting needs.
The key to the awareness phase in industrial marketing is getting on the prospects’ radar. Another way to think of it is as the “attraction phase.” You want the prospect to be attracted to your brand and how you will meet their needs.
It is important to remember that this is not about qualifying leads or making sales pitches. You want to tell the prospect who you are, and how your capabilities will help them. Only 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process, when they’re first learning about the product, according to HubSpot.
In the latest episode of the Industrial Marketer podcast, co-hosts Joey and Nels discuss the top 5 types of marketing materials for your awareness phase.
1. Blog Posts for Your Website
Yes, the old content marketing standby still tops our list of vehicles for awareness. Blogs have staying power because they are cost effective, utilitarian content that is “always on” and drive SEO. According to Semrush, blogs:
- Build loyalty and trust – Providing advice and reliable information are building blocks for trust. Prospects start their buying journey with trustworthy sources.
- Increase visibility – Google rewards best practices for SEO, links, visuals, length of post and more.
- Create brand awareness – The more you blog, the more you improve your return on search but also through shares across social media.
- Generate new leads – Blogs are foundations for newsletters and email marketing, which help you build a relationship. Over time, reminding consumers of your brand through your content can help convert readers into long-term customers.
- Drive engagement – Blogs provide more shareable content than just your products or service posts for customers to share with others across social media.
2. Videos Are the Most Effective Way to Reach Your Audience
We’re referring to videos that geared toward educating your audience as opposed to a hard sell. The possibilities are endless — telling your brand’s story, how-tos and demonstrations, tips and best practices. A solid B2B marketing video could even be someone answering FAQs about your products and services or a video about your company culture.
3. Top-of-the-Funnel Downloads to Educate
Gated content isn’t typically used for brand awareness or visibility campaigns because it is not designed for high traffic. But prospects will provide you with their contact information if they see potential value in your content, such as an educational white paper or a substantive e-book or checklist. You can gate your awareness content if you are truly educating prospects or arming them with what they should be asking for later.
4. Social Media for Ongoing Interactions, Brand Awareness
One of the main benefits of social media for industrials is keeping your brand visible to the majority of prospects who are not actively in the B2B buying process. It’s a way to continue building relationships with new and existing customers. It’s a different tactic for building awareness and trust.
5. Webinars to Leverage Networks and Audiences
Live webinars provide prospects with a chance to interact with your brand in a longer format (average viewing is 52 minutes). You can demonstrate your expertise on a specific topic, take questions from the audience and demonstrate your expertise. You can also make it available on demand or repurpose segments into other content. HubSpot points out that webinars work across the entire customer journey, and they break down their use as:
- 36% for early stage awareness
- 47% for middle stage consideration
- 17% for late stage decision
Their advice is to leverage how-to advice, industry research and expert commentary in the awareness stage.
Listen to the Podcast for More Tips for the Awareness Phase
For more insights into how to leverage awareness marketing as part of your marketing mix, tune into Episode 35 of the Industrial Marketer podcast.
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