Demand generation marketers spend a lot of time creating content, distributing assets, and fine-tuning campaign performance. Generating full-funnel demand may be the ultimate measure of success, but knowing what will attract qualified leads, nurture opportunities, and delight customers isn’t always simple.
B2B marketing organizations today are drowning in options for demand generation channels, technologies, and strategies. It’s easy to get caught up doing a lot of busy work only to end up having nothing to show for it.
Successful demand generation is less “doing things,” and much more “doing the right things.”
So, what are the right things to do?
13 Useful B2B Demand Generation Ideas
1. Provide a Free Tool or Resource
Sometimes, the most valuable formats are unique. While eBooks are still effective, they are starting to lose their appeal, which makes them progressively less effective at converting leads. Creating a free tool or resource can be a powerhouse demand generation idea, especially if it solves a specific problem your customers face.
Examples of non-traditional content resources could include:
- Interactive online tools
- Calendar files
- Educational Courses
- Certification programs
2. Repurpose Content for Multiple Channels
Creating content is incredibly time-consuming. When B2B marketing teams create assets that drive demand effectively, repurposing that content across multiple channels maximizes the return.
For example, turn a lengthy eBook into a slide deck, summarizing the main points. Share the slide deck on channels where eBooks don’t perform. Then, take the key slides, add transition animations and background music and create a short video to post on social media channels.
Repackaging great content in a variety of ways multiplies deliverability and increases the value of every piece of content you create.
To learn more about how the Integrate team repurposes our best-performing content into new assets for demand generation, click here to read 12 Repeatable Demand Generation Activities that Drive Results.
3. Syndicate Top-Performing Content
Partnering with relevant 3rd-party sites for content syndication extends the reach of your content. Your best-performing pieces will appear before a wider audience, giving you increased visibility beyond your current readership.
Don’t syndicate every piece of content you create. Prove its engagement on your website first. If it performs well, it is more likely to be appreciated on other websites and publications.
Only syndicating your best content keeps quality high, and ensures both your partners and their audiences find value.
4. Recognize and Involve Industry Leaders in the Conversation
Knowing where to turn for accurate information can be difficult for a B2B audience, especially if you’re in an industry that’s heavily-saturated. Finding creative ways to involve industry leaders in your content builds instant credibility. And, being on the radar of industry experts doesn’t hurt either.
Creating an annual award for top thought leaders and resources in your industry can be a valuable resource to inspire your audience towards success, while allowing your organization to form relationships with influencers and other organizations.
5. Unify Messaging Across All Channels
It’s hard to generate demand if your audience can’t wrap their mind around who your brand is. One of the most fundamental ways to build trust is to ensure your brand has consistent messaging across all online and offline channels, including your website, emails, paid ads, social media and in-person events.
Without that consistency, your personas may struggle to retain and trust your brand’s message. Thinking burns calories, and if your audience has to think too hard to understand your message, they will tune it out.
Failing to present a consistent message across all platforms hampers your ability to be heard above the noise.
6. Create Customer-Focused Content
According to Demand Gen Report’s 7th Annual B2B Buyers Survey, 67% of B2B buyers trust peer recommendations when making purchase decisions. Creating content showcasing your customers can lend critical social proof and facilitate B2B demand at every stage of the funnel.
While case studies are still an important tool for B2B marketing, don’t be afraid to showcase your customers across marketing channels--including social media, your website, webinars, videos and podcasts.
Dare to go beyond normal testimonials and share your customers’ stories.
7. A/B Test Marketing Emails
If you’re not maximizing the returns of your demand generation emails, you may be leaving a whole lot of potential untapped. Last year, a Chief Marketer survey revealed that email was still the B2B marketing channel with the highest ROI.
A/B testing your email sends using a smart email marketing tool or your marketing automation platform can help you capitalize on your emails’ potential. The basic rule of thumb for split testing is to start by testing the most disruptive elements and move toward the least-disruptive.
Elements to test:
- Subject lines
- Preview Text
- Message copy
- Hero images
- Supporting images
8. Personalize Website Content
Adopting personalized website content removes friction from the customer journey and ensures all prospects have access to the right information at the right time.
Most marketers naturally understand the importance of creating content to facilitate every stage of the buyer journey. The right piece of content at the right time can mean the difference between losing a contact and gaining a customer. Putting that logic into your website, where each lead is presented with the content they need based on their specific location in the funnel is huge.
MarTech like HubSpot has long given marketers the ability to use smart content to accomplish this goal. Still, most organizations fail to use the functionality to its full potential. We see this being a key practice, increasing in its importance over the next several years.
9. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
Generating a lot of leads without nurturing them is just building vanity metrics. That is, if you don’t nurture those leads into customers, the quantity of leads doesn’t really matter.
Full-funnel lead nurturing is a best practice every demand marketer must embrace. As technology advances, lead nurturing is breaking out of email and SMS, giving you the ability to nurture your leads across a multiplicity of channels and mediums.
A deep understanding of your personas and their common concerns at each stage of the funnel is key to effective lead nurturing. Once you understand the specific dominoes that must fall for your personas to make a purchase decision, you can craft a lead nurturing engine around each of those dominoes, leading to a higher closing rate per lead.
10. Get Creative With Video
According to a Cisco study, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2021. There is a massive shift happening, and creative video holds a lot of opportunity for demand marketers.
An industry video show that answers frequently-asked questions, hosts interesting guests and provides insider insight can help your brand solve your potential customer’s problems. Video content is entertaining and easy-to-consume. There are over 1.1 million subscribers to marketer Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube show Ask Gary Vee.
You don't need super-high video production value or perfectly-scripted conversations to create a hit YouTube series. In fact, you may be best-served by consistently delivering videos that are short, to-the-point and value-packed.
11. Start an Industry Podcast
Podcasting can help B2B organizations achieve thought leadership, extend their reach and increase brand awareness. It also may be a relatively easy way to stand out, since relatively few B2B demand marketers are using this tactic.
Just 12% of B2B marketers use podcasts, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends survey. And, only 3% plan to start podcasting in 2018.
Despite relatively low adoption by marketers, podcasts continue to pick up steam as a source of information among B2B decision-makers. The “average” podcast listener spends over 5 hours each week tuning into audio recordings at home, work, the gym, or while commuting according to Salesforce.
12. Leverage Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Ad Spend
LinkedIn may be the most popular social media channel among B2B marketers, but Facebook may offer some key advantages for generating demand. Using the “Lookalike Audiences” feature to boost brand awareness and demand gen campaigns on Facebook could enable you to get your content in front of the right audience. It’s hard to beat Facebook’s massive reach, after all - which TechCrunch reports is over 2 billion monthly global users.
Lookalike audiences allow you to create an audience of prospects who match your buyer persona profiles. You can use your existing Facebook audience as a source audience, or use your ideal customer profiles to fill out the right demographic and psychographic characteristics for your new Facebook audience. When this targeted distribution method is coupled with boosting high-value content, it can be a powerhouse way to increase demand generation.
13. Allocate Time/Budget for Testing New Ideas
B2B marketers have no shortage of options when it comes to generating demand for their products and brand across online and offline channels. To scale your efforts successfully, balance your demand-gen activities with some good, old-fashioned operations improvements. If your organization has an opportunity to automate manual demand gen tasks with better processes or technology, it could free up hours and budget for testing new campaigns, tactics and content.
Want to more strategies and tactics that are driving demand, pipeline and revenue for leading B2B marketers? Grab the "Real Revenue Marketing Strategies to Advance Your Game" eBook to help your marketing team get ahead.