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Event Marketing

How to balance brand and demand in an uncertain market

Anne Balistreri
min read
Event Marketing

How to balance brand and demand in an uncertain market

Anne Balistreri
min read

At the beginning of 2022, B2B marketers felt confident they would put more money into brand campaigns to drive long-term revenue growth.

According to a 2022 industry survey conducted by Transmission, 43% of B2B marketers said brand awareness campaigns were more important than their company’s demand generation efforts. Still, most respondents didn’t have a budget to match the company’s priorities.

As markets fluctuate and uncertainty looms, brand marketing budgets and goals are more in flux. You might be struggling to keep your budget, prove the ROI of your efforts, and successfully grow the reach of your campaigns on a shoestring.

Below, we lay out the value of investing in B2B brand awareness and suggest 5 cost-effective tactics you can use to ensure the success of your campaigns—all while supporting pipeline growth in 2023.

The Value of B2B Brand Awareness in Times of Uncertainty

In times of uncertainty, marketing budgets are first on the chopping block. This seems to make sense if you’re chasing the short-term dollar to keep your company afloat. Demand generation produces pipeline, so why not concentrate your efforts on the marketing tactics that immediately generate revenue?

Unfortunately, in B2B marketing, focusing all of your efforts on demand generation won’t yield big results in the long term. Our products and services represent bigger investments for our accounts, and lead times are long. 

In fact, 95% of B2B buyers aren’t in the market for your products or services at any time. That means all your demand generation efforts are only ever successful for 5% of your potential customer base. Unless you’re a household name, the clients who need your products or services six months in the future might forget you even exist.

Investing in B2B brand awareness is the only way to guarantee long-term success in growing your revenue. And, at a time when other brands are cutting their ad and marketing budgets, maintaining or increasing your presence in the market with B2B awareness campaigns will help you stand out from the crowd. You might even dominate it!

5 Cost-Effective Ways to Build Brand Awareness in 2023

These cost-effective tactics will help you continue to build brand awareness in 2023—even if you’re faced with delivering big results on a shrinking budget.

Target the Right Audience

Trying to target too many accounts with a B2B awareness campaign is a waste of time, money, and energy. You’ll never see the return on your investment, and you can’t afford to waste your marketing budget in times like this.

Instead, fit the audience to your budget by weeding out the unlikely accounts to buy your products or services.

  • Use current account lists, personas, and verticals to identify a healthy mix of accounts to target.
  • Use audience segmentation tools in LinkedIn to target the right companies, job titles, or interests that will drive engagement and results.
  • Try different combinations of target accounts, personas, and industries to fine-tune and test your efforts.

Maximize the Frequency of Your Awareness Campaigns—Not the Reach

Do you know how often a potential prospect has to see one of your campaigns before its brand awareness improves? Or how many impressions it takes for a lead to convert?

If the answer is no, it’s time to crunch some numbers on your old campaigns. To maximize your spend in 2023, you should know exactly how many impressions it takes each quarter to make an impact on brand awareness.

Max Massingill, VP of Activation at Transmission, says the best frequency target for B2B awareness campaigns is 18-25 times per quarter, per account. By limiting your audience, you’re more likely to “breakthrough” to the potential accounts that matter to your brand.

Otherwise, you risk over-extending your reach—ensuring no one remembers who you are.

Explore Up-and-Coming Social Channels

As you “right size” your audience to make an impact with potential customers, don’t underestimate the value of advertising on alternative social media channels.

Your competitors likely eat up space on LinkedIn, generating 80% of B2B marketing leads. But under-utilized social channels for B2B marketers, like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, can also be excellent tools for building brand awareness.

In particular, platforms like TikTok provide B2B marketers with opportunities to create short-form video content that drives engagement. From product demos and tutorials to expert advice, short-form video converts. Plus, you can re-use this content across other platforms—including your blog, LinkedIn page, or email campaigns.

Partner Up to Reduce Costs

When you need to make every penny of your budget count, partnering up with like-minded industry leaders or influencers can help you reduce costs while increasing your reach.

Hosting partner events, like webinars, round tables, or Live Q&A sessions, puts you in front of your partner’s audience—and vice versa. 

At Welcome, we make it easy to create and host branded events with multiple presenters, track conversions, and share account data with your partners. That way, you’ll immediately see the ROI of every partnership—and be able to follow up with new leads ASAP.

Amp Up Your Creative

You’ve fine-tuned your audience, allocated a budget to break through with new accounts, and partnered with other industry leaders to maximize your reach. But you’re unlikely to make much of an impression without creative design to support your brand awareness campaign.

According to Hubspot, 80% of decision-makers prefer getting brand content from an article versus an ad. This means your content marketing efforts have to be in place before you run a brand awareness campaign—and they need to match the B2B customer journey.

Awareness content for B2B customers is slightly different than in B2C industries. It includes:

  • Checklists
  • White papers
  • Industry reports
  • Webinars
  • And informative short-form video

With stronger content marketing and creative, you’ll make an impression on your target B2B audience—and support their unique journey to becoming a paying customer.

Attributing Pipeline to Your Awareness Campaigns

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of pressure on B2B marketers to deliver tangible results in an uncertain market. That includes designing brand awareness campaigns that contribute directly to pipeline and revenue—even when that’s not the immediate purpose of brand awareness!

Here are two easy tactics you can use to prove the ROI of your efforts—and maintain or increase your budget in 2023 for better long-term results:

1. Use a control group for your awareness campaigns

For any campaign you run, use a control group to determine which leads—or how much revenue—was generated from your awareness campaign. 

Tally up all the leads and revenue from targeted accounts and compare them to the leads or revenue generated by non-targeted accounts. 

What’s the difference? Hopefully, it’s a notable one—and a percentage increase that you can use to demonstrate the effectiveness of your work.

2. Track new leads, product demos, meetings, or revenue generated across channels

Some awareness campaigns, like webinars and virtual events, are high-converters. For example, 62% of webinar attendees request a product demo after attending. Do you know what your conversion rate is? Own it! 

Use your webinar platform to track net new pipeline, closed-won opportunities, and closed-won revenue.

As pressure mounts on B2B marketers to deliver, the tension between shouldering big responsibilities for your brand with a small budget will only increase. It might not be the same as conducting a brand study, but attributing any pipeline or revenue back to your awareness campaigns will help you stay in the game in 2023. 

Final Thoughts

As brands cut budgets for awareness campaigns and other B2B marketing efforts, staying in the game will help you stand out in 2023. Cost-effective tactics for targeting your audience, partnering with other industry leaders, and developing solid creative ensure that your company will be top-of-mind when it’s finally time for them to invest in your products or services. 

We built Welcome with B2B marketers like you in mind. Design and host powerful webinars that drive awareness while tracking the data you need to prove the ROI of your efforts. From engagement scores to net new revenue, you’ll have analytics to track your progress and protect your marketing budget.

Schedule a demo with Welcome today to learn more about our beautiful, easy-to-use platform for webinars, virtual events, and more.

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