In the final phase of one of the most challenging years in the history of most companies worldwide, Appetite promoted a final session in 2020 with a focus on reputation as part of The Talking Giraffe webinar series. At such a critical moment for so many B2C and B2B companies around the world, building a strong communications, social media and reputation strategy is more important than ever to not only grow your business but also stand up to the competition to claim.
Reputation and dealing with uncertainties
The concept of reputation can sometimes be fuzzy and different people may interpret it differently depending on the context. As a result, Steven Grinberg, Squirro’s Senior Director of Marketing, shared his definition of reputation as “being aware of and understanding the needs and interests of customers, prospects and partners, especially when planning marketing activities from developing a content cluster to to answer a tweet ”. .
Using the example of hybrid theory, Lei Sorvisto, the company’s global chief marketing officer, also highlighted the importance of innovation in the “underserved” B2B market by sticking to a solid digital strategy and unpredictable events – which in 2020 were countless – Mastered as the management key to building a good reputation in the B2B world.
“If you could run your business this Covid year, you could run it every year,” added Sorvisto. Hybrid Theory also partnered with Appetite Creative in early 2020 when the company decided to pursue a rebranding strategy. “We hired Appetite because it is an agency with a great deal of experience in creating content related to adtech and this is one of the areas we really needed support in,” said Sorvisto. This move proved to be one of the triggers for the historic growth of the London-based company this year.
Finally, Grinberg and Sorvisto shared some advice with B2B marketers. Among the many insightful tips shared by panelists, Sorvisto emphasized the importance of context versus “LinkedIn job titles,” suggesting that these may not necessarily mean a good match between the employee and the specific job vacancy.
Covid: a threat or an opportunity?
Katie Atkinson, Founder of The Runway Media, believes online events will continue to play a huge role as the move from offline to online work “will stay here”. Atkinson also mentioned the importance of mindset for small and medium-sized businesses. For the digital marketing specialist, smaller companies should take a positive stance on this crisis and not see it as the end of their story, but as another chapter in their book.
In fact, many companies have had to overcome difficulties by adapting their routines, activities and procedures to the new demands, needs and demands of the pandemic that was emerging as a great opportunity for several companies around the world. Qiyin Chuah, founder and director of QC Immigration, said.
As Atkinson also pointed out, investing in the right social media platforms is becoming increasingly important for brands to build a reputation with their audiences.
“In terms of reach, LinkedIn is king … but for an image-based product you have to be on Facebook and Instagram, as they are very powerful and inexpensive tools when used correctly,” said Atkinson. As brands stay up to date, they should avoid being overly reactive and change their business strategy according to external events – just like the pandemic.
“Don’t think that every product released these days has to be a ‘corona product’ as things will slowly return to normal,” advised Atkinson.
The role of PR in building reputation
Victoria Usher, the founder of GingerMay, often views companies as a lower-funnel PR activity, although this practice is focused on reputation-building and should therefore be viewed as a higher-funneled activity. Nonetheless, public relations presents various challenges to companies that do not have an in-house team to carry out the activity.
“If this is a sector where you really think you can benefit from PR, then you should be a freelancer,” advised Usher. “PR can become a distraction when you are actually trying to scale your business and put some power behind it,” she added as she pointed out that hiring a PR specialist is the best, most affordable way to get the activity perform done right.
Another tip from the panelist was developing a thought leader program if an international business is to be expanded. “One of the core areas of a thought leadership program is identifying your USP and your messages in the marketplace, looking at your competitors and seeing what they’re actually talking about. This will really help you refine your key messages.” Usher added.
So how can you build a reputation?
To answer the million dollar question raised in this webinar, Steven Grinberg shared his strategy with attendees: “Start with the end. Have a clear understanding of your ultimate need and plan backwards. “
In addition to the importance of planning and a solid strategy for B2B business, Sorvisto believes that knowing the context in the company is also key to building a strong brand reputation. Brands should also have a positive outlook on adversity and, as Atkinson said, adjust to overcome difficulties.
A thorough “internal review” was the tip from Chuah, who emphasized the importance of commitment and real alignment of all team members with a company’s core values and beliefs. In conclusion, Usher closed the session with insights from her experience as a mentor at several B2B companies and discussed the mistake of underestimating the power and importance of PR in building a company’s reputation.
You can watch the webinar on YouTube or listen to it on our The Talking Giraffe podcast, available here on Spotify, Anchor and Apple Podcasts.
Jenny Stanley is the managing director of Appetite Creative.