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How to build B2B brand awareness quickly

You need to boost awareness for your B2B brand and you need to do it fast. While there’s no way to do it overnight, there are ways to speed up the process of building brand awareness.

In this article we’ll give you step-by-step practical advice on how to build B2B brand awareness quickly. Let’s get started!

Why focus on B2B brand building

According to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, only 5% to 10% of your potential customers are ever in-market for your solution at any given moment.

A pie chart showing 95% of people are out of market. 5% are in-market.

Brand building focuses on the 95% of folks out there who are currently out-of-market, but who will eventually become in-market for your product or service in the future.

Brand building allows you to stick in the minds of your out-of-market prospects. You can probably guess why this is so valuable.

B2B marketing has traditionally been focused on short-term activation through ABM and demand gen. But the tide is turning. And more and more B2B brands are now scrambling to build a brand so they don’t get lost in the sea of competitors.

That’s where boosting brand awareness quickly comes in and why you’re reading this article!

The easy way to build a brand: category reach

Per The B2B Institute, the CPA for hyper-targeted campaigns is almost twice the cost for broadly targeted (targeting everyone in the category) campaigns. 

Why is this? Because it’s not just the c-suite making buying decisions. Yes, they’re the ones who end up signing the check, but they’re influenced by a whole load of people within the company. If you’re overpaying to reach the c-suite and ignoring all the other folks who have their ear, you’re wasting valuable budget spend.

The solution is to reach all potential buyers of a given category – those who are buyers now and those who may buy from you in the future.

A group of diverse potential buyers

Gain reach efficiently – focus on creative

Hopefully we’ve convinced you that broad category reach campaigns are the easiest way to boost your brand awareness. But how do you do it profitably?

According to Data2Decisions, creative execution can give you a 12x profit multiplier on your investment. This trumps other factors like budgeting, targeting, and even the channels you use.

If great creative is a profit multiplier, how do you get it? And what does it look like? Let’s tackle the latter first.

Looking at Adweek’s 25 Best Ads of 2021, 17 of the 25 best ads were video ads. That’s right, commercials. The rest were a smattering of OOH, digital, packaging and design. But 68% of the best ads of 2021 used the medium of video. And that’s where you should focus to gain brand awareness quickly.

B2B video ads take awareness into overdrive

So why are Adweek’s best ads of 2021 primarily video based? Because even with all the new technology that’s available, still no medium has the bandwidth to deliver words, music, visuals, sound effects, story and emotion in a consolidated package like video does.

Video ads, done right, can entertain, inform and most importantly, brand; all in short bursts of content that last mere seconds. They also auto-play in feeds which means people don’t even need to click the play button anymore!

B2B brand awareness ad examples

We’ve found the best B2B video ads use either humor or emotion – or a combination of the two of them. Here are some examples of B2B video ads done right.

These don’t feel like typical, boring corporate B2B videos, right? They don’t focus on the product’s or service’s features and benefits. They entertain first and foremost and then intelligently sneak their brand in through alignment with the story they're telling.

How to get started building brand awareness with video

We've established great creative often comes in the form of video. How do you get great video creative?

Step 1: Set your expectations and KPIs

Building brand awareness is a long game. It is not a project that necessarily will show big results by the end of the quarter or even the end of the year. Keep that in mind as you get goals and KPIs for the project

When setting goals, consider setting 6 month, 1 year, and 2 year goals. Some should be based around metrics, and others on more intangible goals. 

Examples of brand awareness project goals and KPIs

  • Increase share of voice by x% after 6 months, and x% after one year
  • Increase social media followers by x%
  • Improve name recognition in customer surveys by x%
  • Increase Google rankings for x keyword by x places
  • Increase website traffic by x%
  • Increase ratio of new vs. returning customers by x%

There are many more goals your team could set based on where your brand awareness sits now, and where you want to go. 

Once the goals are established, then you can set the corresponding KPIs. Start by recording all your baseline numbers for each KPI you want to track. Set targets for each, but be willing to adjust as the campaign works. 

Remember to set targets based on improvements over your own previous numbers, not necessarily based on your competitors’ numbers. For example, if your Twitter account currently has 10,000 followers and a competitor with greater brand recognition has 45,000, it may not be a realistic target to surpass the competitor. Getting yourself to 20,000 is a 200% increase, which is fantastic!

Since brand awareness is a long game, check in on your KPIs every quarter or every 6 months. Update your goals accordingly, and make adjustments to anything not working.

Charts and graphs representing KPIs

Step 2: Set your budget

By design, brand awareness campaigns are going to be expensive. Your goal is to get as many people in your target audience to see your spots as possible. That means lots of money set aside for advertising.

A lower budget can work for you, but it will take a long time to reach the whole audience. If you are looking to build brand awareness quickly, it’s going to cost you.

In addition to setting a budget for advertising, consider setting budget aside for increasing earned media (public relations) and social media. Getting your video campaign picked up by trade publications or influencers is a great way to spread your message and gain some credibility in the industry. 

Step 3: Strategy

Before you dive into the creative process for your campaign, take the time to do a complete strategy. 


  • Who your target audience is
  • What they currently think about your brand (if anything) and what you want them to start thinking
  • What the single most important message will be 
  • What channels you will use to reach your target audience

For more on creating a video marketing strategy, check out this blog or this video.

Step 4: Creative and production

This step is where far too many brands decide to start. Skipping the previous three steps will leave you unable to measure success and, worst of all, potentially working with the wrong messaging.

Use your strategy to brainstorm creative ways to get your message across. When doing a brand awareness campaign, keep in mind that the majority of your viewers will not know who you are or what you do. They will not give you a lot of time to explain. Find creative that allows you to get that key message across as quickly as possible.

To conduct a creative brainstorm on your own, consider starting here. Or work with an established creative agency.

Once you have your creative idea, then it’s time to produce the spot. If you worked with an agency, they should handle this step. If you wrote your own creative, then you’ll have to hire a video production company.

Step 5: Distribution

Once your campaign is ideated and produced, you’ll need to make sure people actually see it. Throwing an awareness-level spot on your website or social media and hoping for organic views is a good way to fail. You need to get people who don’t know you (meaning they aren’t on your website or following you on social) to see the spots. Enter: distribution.

For most spots, that means paid advertising. Social platforms are an easy place to start. Find out where your audience is (we generally recommend LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter as a baseline for B2B brands) and start promoting.

Two people handing out flyers to other people

If you have a great creative campaign, try to get some earned media or influencer coverage. An agency can do this for you, or you can do the outreach yourself.

As with anything in marketing, monitor results and be willing to tweak as the campaign continues. Reduce spend on losing targets and platforms to reinforce the winners.

Remember to give your campaign time to work. For a brand awareness campaign, do not expect new leads to start banging down your doors. Remember, only 5% of your target audience is in-market for your product or service at any given time. The other 95% are out there watching your spots and, hopefully, filing you away for future reference. Be memorable for the 95%.

How to measure brand awareness campaign effectiveness

Setting effective KPIs for a brand awareness campaign can be difficult, because by definition the results might take years to see. To evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign, consider choosing a few of the options below.

To learn what people are saying about you: Market research

An agency that specializes in market research can run surveys before and after you run your campaign to see if your standing has improved in the marketplace.

To run market research in-house, consider Google Customer Surveys or ComScore’s Brand Survey Lift

If you ran a YouTube campaign with an ad buy of more than $10,000, you’ll be able to use Google’s Brand Lift surveys. Google will send surveys to audiences who saw your ad or are in the target segment for your ad. 

No budget for deep market research? Use Google Trends to compare your brand to your past self, and to your competitors.

To measure results: Metrics

Make sure to determine what metrics you want to track before the campaign (set KPIs) and record the baseline before the campaign begins. 

Here are a few key metrics that could be used to measure the effectiveness of a brand awareness campaign. Keep in mind that clear results will give you the power to do more campaigns in the future.

Social media

  • Increase in followers on social media channels
  • Increase in interactions on social media (comments, shares, likes)
  • Organic views on YouTube

Share of voice 

  • Social listening - Are more people talking about your brand?
  • Many tools make it easy to track earned and social media mentions.
  • SEO - Have your rankings improved for branded keywords?
  • Paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush allow you to track changes over time 
  • For free, try Google Keyword planner. Record the search rate of your branded keywords before, during and after a campaign.

Leads/new customers

  • Increase in leads
  • Increase in returning customers (Did putting my brand out there remind them to come back?)

Website traffic

  • Increase in new users
  • Increase in direct traffic

No single metric alone will be able to measure the success or failure of your brand awareness campaign. Choose several that make sense for your business and campaign.

Remember, brand awareness is the long game. Think in terms of years, not months or quarters. Things may start slow, but they should build over time. Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll have a full pipeline of prospects vying to work with you.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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