Demand generation happens through several different tactics to generate leads. These include:
Offering free tools
Web insights & inbound marketing
Social media engagement
Measuring & optimization
Sales & marketing alignment
Your sales and marketing efforts need to generate real demand for your products or services. Otherwise, it’s just wasted time and money.
The biggest issue companies face with demand generation is having too many poor-quality leads.
That is why companies should focus on their demand generation process first.
If you’ve tried all of the common tactics for generating demand but are ready to invest in new ones and grow your pipeline, you’re in the right place.
This guide will show you some of the most effective demand generation strategies we’ve learned from working with the world’s leading B2B businesses.
What Is Lead Generation?
What Is Demand Generation?
It generates buzz, expands your reach, drives traffic, and ultimately grows your customer base by transforming their interest into action.
Demand generation also allows you to create a predictable sales pipeline for your sales teams.
It helps B2B businesses develop awareness and interest amongst their target audience.
The primary goal is to move your prospective clients through the buyer’s journey – generally three major stages: awareness, consideration, and decision – until they convert into a qualified lead.
What Does A Demand Generation Marketer Do?
The function of the demand generation marketer is to bring in tons of new leads and bring the right-fit leads who are most likely to become successful customers and brand evangelists.
Your marketing team should focus on the types of content prospective clients need and the most appropriate channels to share that information.
To be an effective demand generation marketer and drive results for your company, you need to first nail down the process.
They reach prospective customers by leveraging visually distinct, strong calls to action (CTA) customized to specific personas.
Your sales team can take over once your prospect inputs their information and is considered a qualified lead. From there, they can guide customers through the entire sales process.
A strong bridge between marketing and sales is imperative to understand your audience’s motivations and the kind of content they are eager to consume.
If you depend on quantitative data alone, you might miss valuable insights derived from customer conversations.
Alignment Between Sales And Marketing Teams
In many companies, marketing and sales teams work in silos.
Marketers work tirelessly to attract leads and hand them off to salespeople who do their best to close the deal — but if the goals, lifecycle definitions, processes, and technology stacks are misaligned between teams, it will eventually lead to unclosed deals and unhappy customers.
Benefits of A Demand Generation Strategy
Demand generation starts by identifying and qualifying prospective customers through content and inbound marketing, direct response and email campaigns, and events, before passing these leads to a nurturing sales team.
This sales team then further qualifies these prospects through scoring systems.
If your demand generation strategy works, your sales and marketing teams will be on the same page, working in tandem. Every tactic you implement will work towards a designated end goal.
You’ll reduce wasted marketing spend, increase lead quality, and consistently hit your targets.
Buyer Personas & Customer Journey Maps
Marketing teams should design target company personas based on high-value clients that are most likely to convert and/or grow.
Evaluate what business objectives and values these target accounts tend to share and what major steps in their buying journey precede purchase.
Use the target personas to inform how you market to these leads, providing them with personalized content that directly addresses their unique pain points and questions.
Your buyer personas and ICPs will guide everything you do as marketers and sales reps.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Once your audience is aware that the problem exists, they need to trust your brand enough to choose your product or service.
By getting in front of a targeted, informed audience, you increase the likelihood of someone remembering your product when they decide it’s time to purchase.
Develop A Digital Presence Through Social Media
Encourage user-generated content. You don’t always have to do the heavy lifting to get demand from your audience. Sometimes, you can get them involved to create buzz around your brand.
Social media is the perfect platform for inciting this. Social media provides a huge opportunity to increase awareness of your brand among your target audience.
According to Sprout Social, 89% of customers report buying from a brand website after following that brand on social media.
While social media is one of the key demand generation marketing fundamentals, organic distribution isn’t enough now that social platform algorithms have made organic growth much harder.
Using a proper social media marketing strategy, you can build trust and increase exposure to your brand.
According to the 2014 Demand Gen Report content preferences survey, 75% of B2B executives get more of their content through social networks or peer connections now than they did a year ago.
And according to Forrester’s B2B Social Technographics, fully 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes.
Besides impacting lead gen activities, social networks may also influence your prospects’ vendor selection and buying decisions.
Create Engaging Content
Content is at the heart of everything you do to create demand for your product or service and attract the right buyers.
It starts with making sure you create content that truly speaks to your buyer personas’ pain points and challenges.
Seventy percent of buyers ranked “relevant content that speaks directly to our company” as “very important” in the Demand Gen 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, with 76% of respondents saying the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their buying decision.
Your content powers the inbound activities that attract and pull prospects into your sales funnel.
A solid content marketing strategy that offers timely, helpful insights at each step of the purchase journey is the best way to build expertise.
Providing content that answers buyer questions/concerns while they move through their purchase journey builds purchase confidence and brand credibility.
Email Marketing Strategies
Spread The Word With Event Marketing
Despite in-person events being scarce lately, plenty of virtual events are sprouting for individuals and companies to benefit from.
A recent survey from Bizzabo found that 95% of marketers believe events significantly impact achieving their business goals.
Whether virtual or in-person, events can be a golden opportunity to build trust with your prospects and network.
Using and sharing your team’s knowledge of your industry and customer pain points is a perfect way to engage with anyone interested in your services.
You don’t need to attend the biggest industry expos for this to work, either. It can work a treat if you have regional events based on specific topics.
Years ago, companies would hold industry trade shows and events in person where the buyer would approach salespeople.
Most of those interactions today happen online. It’s why digital marketing increased during the pandemic.
Provide A Free Tool Or Resource
One of the most effective ways to create a successful demand generation campaign as a new brand is by offering a free tool or resource.
Think free calculators, hashtag generators, or evaluation tools. Examples of free tools for B2B demand generation include:
Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer
WordStream’s Google Ads Performance Grader
SproutSocial’s social media image resizing tool
Partner With Third-Party Providers
The recent rapid shift from in-person to virtual business interactions means a sharper increased focus on digital marketing.
Even as businesses begin to return to safe, in-person interactions with customers and staff, it seems likely that increased digital interactions are here to stay.
Companies need to share their message online, but pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be difficult to manage alone.
Partnering with a third-party provider can allow your business to reach a curated, prescreened audience.
Many companies choose to start on some of the broadest search or social media platforms, but then struggle to narrow their messaging.
A simpler way to quickly get your message in front of the right people is to find a partner who has already carved out the online audience you want.
For just about any product or service, a base of potential customers is waiting.
To determine a lead’s sales-readiness is where lead scoring comes into play.
It’s a way of measuring a prospect’s engagement with your brand and assets, and giving higher points for different activities that show more sales-readiness.
Lead scoring uses a point system to assign values based on a person’s online and offline behavior.
Implement Marketing Automation
So, your strategies are starting to drive leads into your sales funnel. Next, you need to nurture them towards a conversion.
But, if you deal with the high lead volume, you’ll inevitably let qualified leads slip through the cracks if you don’t have systems to mitigate it.
To many marketers, remarketing is a powerful strategy for increasing conversion rates.
While you should be remarketing to increase conversions, remarketing is also a remarkably powerful brand awareness-building tool.
Web Insights & Inbound Marketing
Your website is one of your most important demand generation strategies.
It is where you can observe the digital fingerprints of people visiting your website, which reveal their interests, pain points, content preferences, and even urgency.
Inbound marketing is a huge part of a successful demand generation strategy, and content creation has never been more important.
A solid content strategy for demand generation purposes incorporates some of our previous recommendations, including giving away only your very best stuff and providing your audience with an invaluable go-to resource.
Many inbound marketing tactics include content offers, blog posts, and other website resources.
Track Customer Data
To measure the success of your demand gen campaign, you need to know if it’s working.
Understanding what your leads respond to most will help you shift your demand strategy to attract high-quality leads from more reliable sources.
Examine your conversion rates and how they relate to your strategies. Look for a correlation between those rates and who you are targeting.
You can ensure you’re not throwing money away by measuring your demand generation efforts.
You can use testing best practices to isolate individual changes in your strategy and review the results.
Average Contract Value
Knowing your average deal size helps determine the sales cycle length, and the demand gen strategies you’ll use.
By comparing your ACV to your customer acquisition costs, you can calculate how long it takes for you to break even on your marketing spend.
How Long Does The Sales Cycle Take?
To find out, measure time to conversion for every funnel stage. This will tell you if you have a lengthy sales cycle or verification process.
You can also measure your sales cycle length per channel to determine which channels aren’t worth pursuing, and which ones you should double down on with demand generation since they provide better results.
Account Based Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a must-have for B2B businesses looking to increase demand.
ABM is a proven way to generate demand from decision-makers in your target accounts when done right. A good ABM strategy starts with building a qualified target account list.
If the accounts you target are an excellent fit for your product/service, selling to them will be simple.
What Is The Difference Between Lead Gen & Demand Gen?
These two strategies (though sometimes referenced interchangeably) have very different goals.
Where demand generation strives to build brand awareness and authority, so potential customers reliably enter the purchased track, a lead generation strategy focuses on turning an engaged audience into leads via direct outreach.
It’s common knowledge that demand generation will produce more leads than lead generation.
Even though demand gen has a broader focus than lead generation, a well-executed demand generation plan creates a significant uptick in leads.
If done properly, demand gen fills the top of the funnel with a stream of new potential leads.
Demand generation aims to identify potential prospects based on their initial behavior and guides them through a nurturing process so that the sales team receives high-quality, highly-qualified leads.
What Are Some Demand Generation Best Practices?
To summarize, there are various ways to increase demand for your product:
Create a consistent brand identity
Work closely with sales
Develop buyer personas & customer journey maps
Analyze and optimize your campaigns
A strong demand generation program builds brand awareness and authority, and produces thoughtful, engaging content that drives interest and cultivates leads.
At first, it’s a short movement with your generation strategies, but as time goes on, you’ll see a long-term impact as businesses develop a need for a product or service.
How Has Demand Generation Changed?
Demand generation marketing today is no longer just about creating demand for sales. Demand gen isn’t about forcing demand or tricking people into buying things they don’t need.
It’s about providing the right information to the right people at the right time so that what you’re sharing is the perfect fit for your ideal customers’ needs.
Even after the technology takeover, developing a demand generation strategy doesn’t take a scientist. With the right tactics, you can generate sales-qualified leads for your organization.
Hopefully, this short guide gives you ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Hop-On The Kennected Train
According to HubSpot, 61% of companies name their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.
If you’re part of that 61%, keep reading because what you’re about to discover could be a game-changer for you and your business (like it has for thousands of people before you).
So many business owners & sales professionals that come to us are struggling to get ahead because they’re stuck relying on referrals, lead lists, or manual prospecting.
This is taking up too much of their time and isn’t creating the consistent income they’re looking for to fund the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families.
Four years ago, the founders of Kennected had the same struggles. They found that lead generation was way too complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, knowing there had to be a better way.
So they developed a new way of getting qualified leads that turn into new customers on the #1 platform for B2B lead generation… LinkedIn.
In the four years since we developed this lead gen strategy, we’ve earned a spot on the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.
And more importantly, it helped over 17,000 businesses get new leads and sales for THEIR businesses.
Want to see how it works?
Click here to see how you can use Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.