For the last several years, we have seen B2B firms cut back on brand marketing and shift more resources to focus on lead generation. While lead generation is directly tied to revenue, the lack of brand marketing affects a company’s visibility in the market.
What is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is a longer-term game that requires discipline and sustained effort. It targets the broadest possible audience, which includes prospects, existing customers, investors, media, influencers, and partners. Brand marketing helps you connect with people, makes them aware that you exist, and that you solve real problems that they may not even know that they have. That is it. Brand marketing does not convince prospects to choose your solution – that is the role of lead generation and lead nurturing.
Brand marketing encompasses a series of integrated programs where the main objective is to increase awareness and extend your reach. Each program consists of a series of tactics designed to feed the brand awareness flywheel.
How is Brand Marketing Measured?
When these programs work in tandem, it creates a surround-sound effect that generates momentum. Share-of-voice (SOV) metrics measure this momentum.
SOV is a measure of your brand visibility and the dominance of your conversations and is represented as a percentage of total mentions within an industry or among a defined group of competitors. The more SOV you have, the greater popularity and authority you likely have in the industry.
What do we mean by mentions? Mentions include everything that you see on the Brand Marketing Flywheel – media mentions, advertising, PPC, social media, etc.
Share-of-Voice represents your visibility as compared to your competitors in your market.
What your Executive Team Needs to Know About Share-of-Voice
Also, SOV measures your ability to gain market share. This is a big deal and should be of interest to your executive team.
Recent studies have shown if your SOV is greater than your current market share, then your brand is growing. If your share of voice is less than your current market share, then your brand is shrinking.
In other words, your competitors are growing and you are not.
Strategies to Increase SOV
There are several ways to increase your SOV. Remember, the goal is to increase your reach.
- One of our clients increased their SOV 5x by launching an aggressive thought leadership campaign. Read the case study here.
- Another one of our clients increased SOV by event marketing integrated with aggressive media relations with 600+ articles in 10 days . Read case study here.
- Create a program that goes deeper into existing markets. For example, increase byline placement and editorial with proactive pitching in existing media targets.
- Expand social media program. Many B2B firms, especially in manufacturing and industrial do not have a social media program. When journalists are looking for experts for editorial commentary, the first place they go to find them is Twitter. B2B firms need to have at least two active social channels – Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Expand into new markets. Every time you get a customer in a new vertical, expand your media targets and #hashtags into new verticals.