Demand Generation Strategies That Drive Results
So you want to grow your business, sell a new product or service, or just drive additional revenue – but where do you start? In today’s competitive, saturated market it can be difficult to cut through the white noise and effectively engage your prospective customers while providing a measurable return on investment (ROI). There are a variety of demand generation strategies that can help companies to do just that, yet it is key to find the right approach for your particular audience that both supports your brand’s goals and is something that you can commit to maintaining. Demand gen takes time and effort, and there is no point in jumping headfirst into strategy that you can’t keep up with or dedicate the appropriate time and resources to.
It is also essential to first spend some time identifying your target buyer personas and segments, as well as understanding their unique pain points and needs, which will allow more tailored messaging and amplify the impact of your campaigns. With a little effort, implementing a successful, targeted demand gen strategy can not only increase your overall brand awareness, but help to drive better qualified leads that are more likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
Types of Demand Generation Campaigns
- Paid Search – A paid search campaign (like Google Ads) can help you boost traffic to your website or content when organic search isn’t driving enough on its own. Paid search (or pay-per-click) campaigns can be a little tricky, however, and can quickly eat up your budget if not properly implemented – which includes writing compelling ad copy tailored to individual segments, doing some keyword research to find affordable keywords that relate to your product, as well as monitoring and capping bid price. These campaigns also work best when driving to a dedicated landing page on your website that is tailored specifically to the subject of the ad – whether it’s a product page, gated content, or free trial sign-up form.
- Paid Social – For B2Bs, LinkedIn is by far the most applicable social channel for reaching prospective buyers, and there are two primary ways to leverage LinkedIn for demand gen. One approach is to share original content related to your industry, products, area of expertise, etc., which can help you establish your business as an authority on the subject matter while providing sharable content that can spread awareness. The other tactic is to pay for sponsored ads, which can be either in the form of text ads or visual ads, that run on a pay-per-click basis. While cost per click can get rather high on LinkedIn, it allows you to carefully target your ads at specific industries, companies, roles, and other factors that ensure they are being seen by top prospects.
- Email Marketing – With overloaded inboxes and high delete rates today, email marketing strategies typically works best (especially for B2B) when implemented in an account-based approach – meaning highly targeted and personalized to the individual – which helps entice them to open. The more relevant the content and approach, the more likely your emails are to be given a second glance. To do this, though, means knowing your audience and what their individual needs and concerns are, whether you’re leveraging an in-house contact list or purchasing a list of new prospects. The most effective email campaigns are those that contain something of use to the recipient, such as a pertinent piece of content, a success story showing how you can help them achieve a similar outcome, or an offering for a free trial or other incentive. Essentially, the idea is to show that you understand their needs and can help to address them, rather than lobbing an empty sales pitch. Leveraging email automation software can also make the whole process less hands-on, helping you track open and click rates to see what’s working and ensuring you maintain GDPR compliance.
- Content Marketing – With 80 percent of business decision makers preferring to get company information from articles or content versus an advertisement,1 it’s easy to see the weight that a content marketing strategy can have. Not only is well composed, original content a great way to help establish your brand’s authority on a subject or product, but it can help to drive organic traffic to your website or blog. Gating access to certain types of content can also help you collect leads and grow your contact list while providing material to fuel your other of demand gen efforts – like sharing the latest blog post to your social feed, or emailing a link to your new case study.
- Website Optimization/SEO – In today’s digitally-driven economy, having a finely tuned website is pretty much a no-brainer. Yet to leverage your website as a demand gen asset means having more than just concise, compelling information and easy navigation. Optimizing your website can include tactics from implementing an SEO strategy (embedding and optimizing keywords within your site that drive relevant search results to your pages), to creating dedicated landing pages tailored to individual products, services, or industry needs. Adding original content like a blog can help drive additional traffic to your site, while gating other types of content (e.g., case studies, whitepapers, eBooks, etc.) allows you to collect leads at the same time.
- Trade Shows/Events – Most B2Bs are familiar with the event and tradeshow circuits, which have been sources of demand gen since long before the explosion of digital commerce. Depending on the industry and product, trade shows can still be an effective part of an overall demand gen strategy but is most effective when combined with other digital tactics – such as following up with trade show leads via an email or social campaign. Similarly, hosting in-house events like a seminar, demo, or webinar, can be a great way to sign prospects up directly to a free trial, or to at least collect leads that can feed into other channels for follow-up engagement.
- Retargeting Campaigns – Retargeting is a valuable tactic that allows you to leverage the soft leads you have already collected, whether a cookie pool from visitors to your website, people who have filled out forms for gated content, or contacts collected through other engagements. From Google display and LinkedIn retargeting ads, to a follow-up drip email campaign, a retargeting strategy can help put your brand back in front of prospects who have already shown some interest and are that much more likely to convert.
Want to learn more? Connect with us to see how we can help you develop a demand generation strategy that fits your needs.