When you think of demand generation, it may seem synonymous with lead generation but there are certain differences between the two.
Think of the former as the step before entering the lead generating mode.
So, what works for generating demands?
To answer this, we’ll break down some of the key strategies involved in getting people interested in your brand. This will help provide effective ways for generating demands and subsequently, leads for your brand.
An immediate trend that’s making huge waves in the email marketing sector, with effective results for B2B, is marketing automation.
What it does is minimize the manual workload involved in managing segmented lists and perform several tasks like targeting user behaviors that turn your ‘not-so-great’ marketing strategy into a ‘5 x sales increase’ type of strategy.
There are several automation platforms you can use to automate your campaign. Take Venture Harbour for example, they use Active Campaign as their overall email, marketing automation, and CRM platform.
If you want to learn about automation for boosting ROI, check out this infographic on Email Marketing Automation.
This is a classic demand and even lead generating strategy but unfortunately, a lot of brands simply fail to hit the mark.
Today, the promise of freebies no longer charms internet users, and the true spirit of ‘free’ starts to fade.
Proposify discerns this issue and offers its targeted crowds with free proposal templates, despite being a company that profits off of its proposal software.
This is of course a demand generation strategy – a rather cleverly orchestrated one – that converts free users into full-fledged paying customers.
The reason why this works so well is that there’s actual value in the free templates as they are pretty useful.
Businesses and users that utilize the free proposals learn that manually editing and managing proposals can be time-consuming and this is exactly where Proposify manages to hit the sweet spot by offering freebies as it can demonstrate the value of their product.
There’s a reason why webinars consistently top the list of effective content formats for B2B. 91% of B2B professionals claim webinars as their most favored educational content.
But to run a webinar strategy means putting in a lot of work, unless you’re automating the entire strategy. Now, that’s another story.
An automated webinar strategy is like planting a seed and reaping its benefits for years. Just make sure you do your bit by keeping track of performance and making occasional tweaks wherever needed.
You can find out more about how automated webinars are done here.
Exit-intent pop-ups remain a divided topic between the UX purists and the result-driven marketers. We are somewhere between the two groups but for now, we’re leaning towards the result-driven marketer group more.
Why is that? Well, we have seen positive and impressive results from this strategy, that is, when they are utilized in the right way.
This strategy is sort of a last-minute trick for generating demand. Exit-intent pop-ups aren’t about attracting users to begin with, but rather about capturing their attention as they leave your site.
You’ll have to determine the kind of message your brand can offer to divert their attention back as they leave.
What you offer during this final moment will ultimately decide whether they’ll have a change of heart or not.
The thing with this strategy is that a lot of time, money and effort are already being put into content creation for blogs, websites, social media, and more. Hence, you have to make the most out of it.
You can do this by collecting relevant group content and turning it into bigger content.
For instance, all of your business management blog posts could be compiled into a comprehensive, downloadable, business management guide.
The best part about this strategy is that you’re already aware of the audience engagement and traffic.
You’ll also remain in sync with the topics users are interested in, based on the traffic each content generates and the engagement each social post attracts.
In-depth guide creation is one part and increasing the number of downloads is another.
This strategy is created to convert those blog readers into leads and this is where the downloadable guides from strategy #5 come in.
The reason behind it as an important strategy is because you’ll want to turn as many readers as you can into leads before they disappear.
Readers can be quick to disappear so catch as many as you can, while you can.
What you need to do is place CTAs on the blog posts, prompting your readers to download the in-depth guides.
This way, you’re using their interest and creating a path that levels with both you and the user.
They get detailed information and you get possible leads.
About a decade ago, it was quite easy to rank your publications but things have changed and it’s not as easy to earn a place within the SERPs these days.
An effective way for generating links to bag the number one ranking for your page is packing loads of data onto your content. Stuff it with data, third party references via trusted sources and stats.
This makes your content accuracy and reliability easily verifiable for Google’s algorithm and it also makes your page more sharable and link-worthy to users.
When you take this method to the extreme, it is penned as data journalism where one publishes data loaded content that builds narrative surrounding data insights.
An example would be the data chart below that shows the most favored films directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Perhaps, one of the most essential SEO strategies businesses often forget or brush off is updating older content.
When you slack off in this department, new users will find it difficult to relate to your brand content and find another brand.
When old content is left unattended, several things can go wrong: information becomes inaccurate/irrelevant, broken links, decreased ranking, and more.
More importantly, your content will stop generating leads let alone demands.
PPC works great for attracting high-quality traffic into your site but however good your campaigns and targets are, it’s not enough for instant demand generation.
This is why it’s important to remarket your campaigns, as it allows your brand to be more engaging with users that are not ready to enter or even notice the scene.
In fact, there’s a lot to achieve from remarketing campaigns.
One of the top platforms for this strategy is social media. It has evolved over the years as a mature channel to gather demands, leads, and subsequently conversion for B2B marketers and by 2017, 83% of B2B marketers had started using social media, making it a very popular strategy.
Yes, LinkedIn ads are quite expensive and we won’t state otherwise.
This has stopped a lot of B2B marketers from advertising through the network but this is the wrong kind of mentality and it is in fact one of the top social media channels for B2B.
So, to level the field on what you’ve spent, you’ll have to target big spenders. LinkedIn advertising offers a direct line to business decision-makers, unlike any other network. This allows you to reach the individuals that make key purchases.
Twitter is quite popular for causing various discussions that will most definitely land on any topic. From news about what celebrities wore to the Met Gala to Presidential Debates and even business.
With over 145 million active users, you may think you’ve hit the jackpot but that’s not it. You’ll have to know your audience and provide subtle interactive content without shoving your business down their throat.
A great example of B2B demand and lead generation on Twitter is by SEMrush and they’re not just doing a single campaign.
They have an ongoing Twitter strategy that engages with users, likes positive mentions regarding their brand, and even promotes third-party content.
Demand generation may noticeably seem like an easy task but it does require a lot of work. There’s no way to 100% guarantee a successful flight for your brand, so back your strategies with the right data, marketing contents and follow the right trends to increase your chances.
As demand generation is something that aligns with sales processes, it usually emphasizes entirely in the revenue cycle. As such, the demand generation process is created to reach out to potential customers specifically at various stages within the sales funnel through the use of proper touchpoints and methods.
Marketers can transform their content, email marketing and PPC into a revenue-generating engine, where each dollar utilized is translated into more income. This is how marketing and sales work hand-in-hand. Marketers would guide prospects into the conversion funnel and when they become customers, the sales team takes over for navigating logistics, building a relationship and at last a deal.
Yes, companies can outsource demand generation with various demand generation agencies out there. Although, staffing in-house would be deemed more preferable as they are a lot more connected with other departments. Demand gen is something that has to be very much aligned with sales, hence, an internal relationship is preferable compared to external ones
Author Bio: Kristin Mortis is a Marketing Manager with 7+ years of experience at TDInsights based out of Plano, Texas. She helps businesses deliver the strongest marketing turnaround with cutting-edge digital strategies and tools. She writes about B2B Marketing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and other technological innovations. Connect with Kristin on Twitter to learn about the emerging practices being implemented in the B2B segment.