How to build compelling B2B brand messaging (part one of two)
The buying cycle and your messaging
As part of a communication strategy, there are four stages through which a connection must move to successfully form an enduring commercial relationship. These phases are awareness, interest, preference, and action. And, your messaging at each stage of the relationship must evolve to reflect the needs and desires of your target audience to keep your brand relevant and compelling.
At this stage, your target audience is becoming aware they have an issue and your objective is to get them to see you as someone who has an in depth understanding of their sector challenges, through your engagement message. This is not about flogging a solution or your brand but positioning yourself as an expert they can trust.
To achieve this, your brand, senior executives, and subject matter experts, need to be visible and proactive. They can do this by expressing opinion within LinkedIn posts, sharing relevant insights, authoring thought leadership in the media, presenting at key events, and addressing the issues that matter to the target audience with whom they seek to work. Remember, people buy from people.
How to deliver your engagement messaging
The key B2B PR tools you can use include: your website, Insights/white papers, event sponsorship, speaking opportunities, LinkedIn engagement and news management. Your brand needs to be active and relevant. ‘Everywhere’ your target persona ‘goes’ – your brand needs to be visible.
During this phase, your target audience is starting to formulate possible solutions to their issue. This is where you help your target audience to better understand the specific nature of their challenges and begin to formulate the ideal solution – still curbing your desire to reveal your self-interest. Your challenge is to build trust by advising and guiding them a myriad of possible options and highlighting the pros and cons of each, maintaining an independent stance, while steering them towards your solution as the ideal fit.
How to deliver your solution messaging
This is where thought leadership articles can be invaluable, as well as independent round tables, white papers, issue-led podcasts and social videos, and objective explainers with strong visual prompts.
Your need to use your B2B PR to make your target audience feel that by listening to you, they are better equipped to deal with their challenges. They trust you and value your counsel.
Throughout both the awareness and interest phases, your focus is entirely on building familiarity, trust and influence before starting the next phase, although it’s fair to say that in the words of Simon Sinek, it’s an ‘infinite game’ and each phase will be in play as long as the business is seeking to grow.
Click here to see part two, where we suggest how to leverage the next stages of the comms journey; preference and action.