The Four Biggest Opportunities in Industrial Social Media Branding

There are no challenges, only opportunities.

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It no longer matters if you are a B2C company that sells directly to your customer or a big B2B corporate that sells complex industrial machinery, with the right strategy any type of company can find success and create a winning social media formula with a positive result.

Industrial companies have always had the challenge of how to portray their products and services without making them seem overly complex. The good news is that they can take a few pages out of the B2C playbook and add their own twist.

It’s a good idea to first understand some of the challenges that industrial firms face before brainstorming solutions. Here are 4 challenges to think about:

#1 Sales vs Marketing

Industrial companies generally have a much longer sales cycle, with a number of people involved in the buying/decision-making process. Marketing and Sales departments need to work together to agree on the type of content that will help buyers gather information and knowledge about the company as well as products and services, through every step of the customer’s decision-making journey (awareness, consideration, evaluation, and purchase). Closing the gap between sales and marketing teams means that content is produced with a specific aim or type of customer in mind. Creating content that can inform and engage while forming the building blocks of a relationship should always be the end goal, helping turn prospects into qualified leads in less time.

#2 Creating vulnerability

Releasing the technical overcoat and showing the human side. Vulnerability is a fundamental human condition and something all humans can relate to. By tapping into this universal feeling, industrial companies can stand out from their competitors and create new connections in a way they haven’t before.

#3 Resources and consistency

Limited resources such as time, budget, and backing for content ideas are challenges industrial companies may face when trying to create high-quality content. A social media strategy is essential to successfully plan so that the available resources are used in a way that marketers can consistently share high-quality content and grow the company’s audience. Limited resources can however force companies to think outside the box or focus on a particular segment of their market.

#4 Patience and managing expectations

Good content marketing takes time. Industrial companies need time to grow their online presence and authority with the understanding that producing quality content and building relationships cannot be rushed. Setting and managing expectations early on will help align goals, limit frustration and confusion, and increase the chances of success. 

Is your business using social media’s full potential? At Brieffin we use our expertise to unlock everything social media has to offer your business or personal brand. We use our experience in content creation, strategy and planning, and social media management to help build consistency and deliver marketing success.

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The Value of Simplicity

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo da Vinci

As children, one of the first things we learn is the concept of opposites. Yes and No. Up and Down. Young and Old. Short and Tall. Easy and Difficult. Soft and Hard. Simple and… Complex.

In the technology age, we tend to think complex is better. Last week, the newest models for the iPhone were announced – the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. One of them has THREE cameras. And even though the phones aren’t officially launched for a few more days, and even though the vast majority of us have 1-2 year-old phones that work perfectly fine, the pre-orders for the new models are rolling in.

Why? Is it really because we feel a deep need in our souls for our phones to have three cameras? For a few people, maybe. But for many others, it’s more about having the latest and greatest. It’s about saving ourselves from possible FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It could even be about the perceived status associated with having such a fancy, complicated technological gadget. The answers might be different for everyone.

In some ways, it might be logical to come to the conclusion that complex is better than simple. Think back to your first mobile phone. If it was like mine, it could only make basic phone calls. Now, each of us is the owner of a tiny, powerful computer that fits in our back pocket. And it may or may not have THREE cameras. It seems like everything is trending toward complexity.

However, simplicity and complexity don’t necessarily need to be opposites – at least, I don’t think we need to pick one or the other.

Think about the reason why certain complexities exist: it’s because we want life to be simpler for ourselves. The complexity exists because we want to do less work – making our own jobs simpler. The iPhone 11 Pro has three cameras because we want to have professional-quality photos without becoming professional photographers.

It’s worth bearing in mind: Simple doesn’t always mean basic, and complex doesn’t always mean advanced.

When thinking about consumers, studies have shown that people actually want simplicity. There’s a lot of value in simplifying your messaging, especially as the online space becomes more crowded with more competing voices.

According to research  by design consultancy firm Siegel+Gale in their 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index, “brands that embrace simplicity tend to enjoy increased revenue, brand advocacy and engagement.”

They found that 64% of consumers would pay more for a simple experience, while 61% would recommend a brand which has a clear proposition that saves them time.

“Simplicity, in these terms, refers to the entire customer experience and can mean anything from providing concise product information, intuitive website navigation or a quick and easy transaction process.” (Medium)

It’s not about offering less, but making what’s offered more accessible, more intuitive, and more user-friendly. So, when it comes to your brand – regardless of your industry – how are you able to accomplish these directives?

Consider these topics when simplifying your brand:

1. Visual identity

Take stock of all your visual communication assets. What fonts, colors, shapes, icons, textures, logos are you using? Then ask yourself whether they’re all truly necessary. By identifying the assets that truly represent your brand the best, you can increase harmony and decrease the disconnect.

2. Portfolio/services

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? It basically means someone who knows something about a lot of different topics but isn’t an expert at any of them. Another opportunity for simplification in a business is in portfolio/services. Maybe your brand has evolved from where it was when you first started, or maybe you now focus on a specific product offering. By discarding the extras, you’re able to streamline your brand and attract customers who know exactly what they can expect from you.

3. Content/campaign strategy

While it might be tempting to throw ideas against the wall and see what sticks, it’s not your best bet for brand simplification. Instead of trying to cater different campaigns or strategies to different audiences, focus your approach and concentrate on your strongest option. The same goes for your brand’s values, attributes, personality, and other features. Decide on the essentials and focus on those – think not about everything you could do, but what you should do that fits with your desired brand image.

Simplicity has become increasingly desirable in our oversaturated digital world, but it’s perfectly achievable along with a bit of hard work. By taking inventory of your brand image, you can identify the essentials and streamline your identity to simplify. Your customers will thank you.

As always, we at Brieffin are here to help if you need any assistance in the brand-identity-designing process. Just reach out to us, and we’d love to partner with you to achieve your brand goals.

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Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain