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The chapter discusses online branding in the business-to-business domain and the benefits it offers to B2B actors. Online branding is a tool to interact and communicate with existing and potential customers. The authors also present content marketing as a marketing effort available to B2B marketers, as well as the nature of digital relationships in social media. The reader learns the importance of branding the company through digital channels and those benefits that can be reached through such actions. The digital tools presented in the chapter relate to social media, for example, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, search engine optimization, and paid advertising. These tools are discussed in detail, both related to their benefits and pitfalls.
9.7. Summarizing Thoughts on Online B2B Branding
Recognizing the importance of an online B2B branding strategy is vital to companies. With people spending progressively more time online, B2B companies simply cannot afford not to brand themselves online. Apart from increased brand awareness, loyalty, and reputation, companies can also build and maintain good relationships with customers and partners by branding themselves online. All these factors, when combined, can without question increase profitability and sales. Although the various digital platforms are important branding tools for companies of all sizes, it is potentially even more important for smaller companies with fewer resources at their disposal. There are two main reasons for this. First, online branding is cost-efficient in comparison to traditional, offline branding. Second, the spread of the published content is not exclusively determined by the budget behind the content but rather by its quality. This fact makes it possible for small companies to enter the competition for people’s attention.
Companies should strive at designing their marketing communication in such a way that it communicates their brand values. Brand values are typically those attributes that companies want their customers to associate with the brand. By creating content that enhances and nurtures these values, a company can potentially achieve its goal of conveying the desired image of the brand into people’s minds. Furthermore, as regards the content published online, it should bring value to the customers and thus engage them in voluntary consumption of the content. What can be considered valuable content depends on the industry and the customers, but the aim should be to (1) inform, (2) entertain, (3) inspire, and/or (4) emotionally touch the customer. The potential result of using content marketing on a regular basis is increased customer loyalty, brand reputation, and profitability.