Most B2B marketers are well aware that they cannot have different approaches for demand generation and brand building. To be able to generate leads you have to continuously build awareness and credibility for your brand. This will help to refill the top of the B2B lead generation funnel. Although brand building and B2B lead generation are inevitably linked they have their own objectives and need to have subtle differences when it comes to the approach that you have for both.
It is very important that companies realize where it is that brand building ends and lead generation begins when they are approaching these aspects of the business. Depending on which level of the funnel the marketer is targeting they have to make changes in their strategy and have a vast mix of content that can be delivered in different ways. Depending on the role that this content has to play in the funnel its effectiveness can be measured. Understandably, brand building and brand awareness takes a back seat as B2B marketers have to pay attention to various KPI’s such as the conversion rate of the lead, the number of leads generated and the rate of conversion of the lead and the amount of time that is needed for a lead to get converted into a customer. However, this neglect is the reason why the long-term effectiveness of generating and converting leads gets affected.
There are four main areas in which the B2B marketer has to be able to clearly differentiate between brand building and B2B lead generation. It is also important that the B2B marketer tailor their branding and lead generation approach in such a way that it can match the objective.
Objective and the Type of Content
The type of content that you create for your website has to be in tune with what you want to achieve from the content. In terms of content for B2B lead generation, the objective is very clear, you have to be able to convert a potential interest into a definite lead and have to create content that is valuable enough so that the viewers are willing to exchange contact information for it.
A potential customer is much more inclined to read the content and give their contact information if they are aware of your company and this is where brand building is of uttermost importance. Addressing current topics that can grab the attention of the viewer is the best approach to increase brand awareness. The goal of content for brand building is to initiate a conversation and demonstrate the value that you can add by providing your service.
Strategy of Distribution
This is the next aspect in which you have to be very clear about your approach for brand building and B2B lead generation. The first and most important decision that you have regarding the distribution of your content is whether you want to have the content open to all or behind a data capture form. Having the data capture will go a long way in terms of lead generation, however, it can hamper the contents main objective of reaching out to as many people as possible.
If you aim to build your brand the most effective method would be to have content that has social advertising and targeted displays. On the other hand, your approach towards B2B lead generation will have to be much more targeted and you should be able to personalize the content further on in your leads journey.
Companies cannot always rely on organic media to generate leads and build their brand. But a blend of organic as well as paid advertising can be very helpful for the company. However, the approach that you need to have while choosing the kind of paid media you need will depend on what you want to achieve. For example, if you want to spread awareness and build your brand then you will have to invest in advertising that charges you on the basis of cost per thousand. While if your objective is to generate leads you should look into something that charges you on the basis of cost-per-click.
Measuring the success of lead generation is simple and can be qualified by the number of qualified leads that are generated from the system. While in case of brand building you will need to adopt a wider range of metrics such as engagement, impressions, amount of driven traffic etc.
In conclusion, both of these aspects are very important for your company and if you are able to properly synchronize them both then you will be able to convert initial awareness into a qualified lead with the help of lead nurturing.