“Demand generation” is one of those marketing buzzwords that so many business men and women fail to fully understand. Demand generation, which is distinct from lead generation (a tactic to capture existing demand), is a holistic marketing strategy intended to… surprise… generate awareness and new demand for your products and services.
Here, we want to clear the clouded air and lay out the most effective demand strategies in the B2B space right now.
Events present the largest opportunity to engage directly with leads and make your presence known in your industry. It’s also the toughest marketing tactic to generate ROI. Why? Because most companies fail to invest the time to properly promote their event presence. It’s not enough to “shut up and show up”. Before you fully embrace event season, create tangible goals, ways to measure them and plans to reach them. Make each event you attend an opportunity to create demand for your products and services.
Social Media Marketing
Although social media doesn’t typically lead to direct sales, it affects aspects you might not even realize. When you type in your company name on Google, I bet some of the top results are your social media pages. Believe it or not, your social standing is part of what determines your site’s ranking. If you’re not consistently engaging audiences on social, Google may not see your site/company as credible. Don’t forget this crucial detail when it comes to demand generation.
Give Away Your Best Content
If you’re looking to engage customers at their level, you need to provide content that’s useful and valuable. Instead of projecting more noise into the marketing megaphone, reduce the volume by offering some wise, helpful advice. Make sure your content offers fill a niche. This will create a sense of trust with your brand. It might even create audiences that share and advocate your content. This is when your demand generation starts to run itself.
Wouldn’t it be great if your marketing programs ran themselves AND generated demand? That’s what marketing automation does. If you’re not familiar with this marketing approach, it refers to the scaling of marketing programs by automating certain marketing actions…without completely sacrificing message customization and granularity. Specialized software for automating marketing allows you to manage landing pages, schedule emails, collect analytics data across multiple channels, etc. It’s all the rage in marketing right now, but it isn’t everything. In order for automation to work, you have to create fundamentally sounds marketing programs to automate and offer valuable content, which brings us to our next point.
Invest in Content
Content creation has never been more important than it is now. A holistic content strategy for demand generation incorporates many of the elements previously mentioned, including giving away your best content. Content, like demand generation, is a long-term strategy that many companies fail to implement well. With each of your content pieces, it helps to be critical—to ask why you’re releasing this into the world. Asking this hard question will allow you to produce content tailored to your audiences.
Optimize Email Strategy
Email can be a powerful element of your demand generation campaigns. With email campaigns, a/b testing is essential. If you resort to persistently blasting your email list, you run the risk of turning your prospects off and harming your brand. With tests in place, you can ensure your email programs are as strong as possible. Everything from subject line copy to offer placements should be tested so that you can make informed decisions about your email campaigns based on hard data rather than assumptions.
When to Utilize Demand Generation Services
If you’re a new company or your marketing tactics are not generating ROI, then demand generation is a wise place to invest your time, money and energy. But it takes just that – a great deal of investment to implement an effective strategy. That’s why so many companies outsource demand generation services to marketing agencies that are equipped with the resources and know-how to execute a holistic strategy.