Demand generation, aka demand gen, isn’t only about generating a ton of leads. Nope. It’s also about the quality of those leads — because it’s totally possible to generate huge lead volumes and still come up empty-handed.
When there’s a mismatch between lead quantity and lead quality, it hampers your sales efforts, leaving your sales team spinning their wheels, working bad leads.
At the same time, marketers face increased pressure from executives to tie marketing efforts to revenue. And that’s where solid demand generation strategies come into play.
What Is Demand Generation Marketing?
A demand-generation marketing strategy creates interest or awareness about your products or services. It includes a variety of efforts, such as content marketing, social media, and more. The goal is to attract prospects, drive awareness, and convert leads.
A successful demand generation program is measured by:
- The quality of your leads.
- What you’re able to convert to revenue.
- The ability to prove your contribution to your company’s bottom line.
Demand generation is powerful because it can help shorten the sales cycle and produce more revenue, which is directly attributed to specific actions. But, of course, it starts with figuring out how to best reach and help your target audience.
What’s the difference between demand gen vs. lead gen?
Demand generation is focused on creating awareness and interest in your products and services. Lead generation is focused on collecting information from potential customers who have shown interest. In other words, demand gen lays the foundation for generating interest, and lead generation focuses on converting that interest to potential leads.
The two work hand in hand, which is why you need solid B2B demand generation strategies to get the best results.
The 7 Best Demand Generation Strategies
Getting a prospect to take action. That’s what you want, right? Yeah, us too. But that won’t happen unless you can walk with them along their journey from awareness to consideration to finally making that purchase.
But first, you must be found. And then, you need to know exactly where your customer is every step of the way, so you can give them what they need. Easy, right?
Maybe, when you know exactly what to do. Here are seven strategies to help you get there.
Optimize your website for SEO
When a prospect has a pain point, they search for a solution. And when they do this, you want them to find you. Of course, that’s what SEO and picking the right keywords are all about — getting found. But if you’re a marketer, you probably know that already, right?
However, when using SEO for your website, it’s also critical to consider the search intent of keywords. A person searching “best email marketing platform” will bring you far more targeted traffic than a person searching “best email.”
So make sure your website is full of the right keywords, free of HTTP error codes, and structured in a way that helps you stay on the good side of search engines.
Gate your best content
It takes moments for a visitor to close their browser. But before they do, you want to earn the chance to engage with them again. A great way to do this is by creating high-value gated content.
Are you already doing it? Great. But it’s still worth taking a fresh look at two areas.
- Relevance. Is the gated content still relevant to your target audience? Does it still speak to their most important pain points? Is there something that would work better?
- Personalization. Once a prospect hands you their email, do you have a personalized nurturing sequence to keep them engaged?
For example, we created an in-depth eBook about how B2B marketers can attract more high-quality leads. We include our favorite insider tips and offer the download in related blogs to help our audience improve their results.
Use website personalization
Personalized experiences. Customers don’t just want them … they demand them. And if you don’t deliver, it’s hard to create that connection that keeps people engaged and coming back for more. A strategy that helps you get there faster is website personalization.
And yes, it’s true: Website personalization has been around for years, but previously it was complicated, expensive, and out of reach for many B2B marketers (especially if you worked for a smaller company). That’s all changed though.
Website personalization provides intelligent content recommendations to engage various audience segments. It uses AI and machine learning to deliver a customized journey that helps prospects move through the sales cycle faster.
Engage in the right places
Are you serving customers in the B2B space? If so, you want to hang out in the same places they are to boost your lead gen efforts. A great starting point is LinkedIn, since over 90% of B2B content marketers report LinkedIn as an effective distribution channel.
Here at Act-On, we know our target audience (B2B marketers) spends a decent amount of time on LinkedIn, so we often use it to promote content that will help them with their challenges (like this recent post we did to promote a Demand Gen webinar).
A social media tool such as Act-On’s Advanced Social Media Module can also help you reach your customers by scheduling posts in advance, monitoring mentions, and helping you respond. You can even create advocacy boards to motivate staff to help spread the word about what you’re doing.
And remember: It’s less about promoting and more about giving your audience the information they need to make smart choices.
Leverage account-based marketing
Gridlock. That’s what it feels like with an increasing number of decision-makers in the buying process, which slows down sales cycles. According to Gartner, the typical buying group for a B2B solution involves six to 10 decision-makers. A solution that helps you manage this growing challenge is account-based marketing (ABM).
ABM can help improve the odds of winning over multiple stakeholders. It complements demand generation by targeting high-value accounts to help optimize resources and personalize engagement.
For example, a salesperson can personalize messages and marketing to accounts, based on the combined needs and pain points of all stakeholders. ABM also helps nurture connections and supports upselling, to create even more potential opportunities.
Use lead scoring
The purpose of lead gen is to attract new leads but also to make sure those leads are high quality. Lead scoring is a great way to do that.
Lead scoring evaluates a prospect’s past behavior — viewing web pages that signal purchase intent, interest in a product demo, and other actions. It uses this data to determine whether the lead is ready for the sales team. And if so, they can take action faster.
Combine a demand generation strategy and marketing automation
As you select the best demand-generation strategies, marketing automation can help support your efforts. The right tool can help you attract and nurture prospects throughout every stage in the funnel, from awareness to purchase.
As a result, you can shorten the sales cycle and more effectively link your efforts to specific results. Plus, as marketing teams struggle to do more with less, leveraging marketing automation helps you scale demand generation strategy while easing the burden on your staff.
Do you need help attracting more prospects? If so, we can help! Download our eBook and we’ll give our favorite tips for attracting new high-quality leads.