What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation, as you might guess from its name 😉, includes any activities that generate demand for your business:
Demand Generation is the process for generating awareness and interest in a company's products and services through marketing programs, with the goals of increasing customers and revenue.
It covers all overarching Marketing & Sales campaigns along each stage of your customer acquisition funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
A Demand generation strategy typically involves:
- Teams: Multiple teams across Marketing, Sales, and sometimes Marketing Operations (depending on how large your company is).
- 📊 Channels: All marketing channels, such as Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Online Advertising, Email Marketing, and more.
- 💰 Goals: Establish a strategy that generates loyal customers and grows your business.
- Tools: CRM platform, Marketing Automation software, Marketing Attribution solution.
How Is a Demand Generation Strategy Different From Lead Generation Strategy?
Demand Generation is often used interchangeably and sometimes confused with Lead Generation.
Though both should be used as part of your customer growth strategy, you can think of them in pie terms 😁:
- Demand generation is the entire customer pie, and covers all your marketing tactics used to generate customers.
- 🍕Lead generation is just one slice of the pie, that sits near the top of your customer acquisition funnel.
For example, any of these actions would be considered a new lead generated at PixelMe:
- A person who signs up for a free trial
- A person who schedules a Customer Attribution demo
- A person who subscribes to our marketing newsletter
In comparison, demand generation designs programs that cover the entire customer onboarding funnel, of which a subset includes lead generation. From top of the funnel brand awareness efforts, all the way down to campaigns that focus on converting leads into customers.
Now, let's take a look at how to tackle your demand generation strategies to grow!
10 Demand Generation Strategies to Increase Your Growth
Tip 1: Setup & Measure KPIs
Having the right Marketing KPIs in place and tools to measure your efforts, will let you lay a strong foundation for a successful demand generation strategy.
For example, you'll want to monitor campaign performance metrics such as:
- Cost Per Lead (CPL)
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
These KPIs can tell you which demand generation campaigns are most effective, so you can keep investing in what's working and stop under-performing campaigns.
It can easily be done through marketing attribution solutions, which track your ROI across any paid or organic channel with multi-touch attribution models.
Before implementing attribution at PixelMe, we were painfully tracking KPIs and metrics across all our channels using Google Sheets and updating them every week. On top of that, we realized that we still didn't know how each channel as a touchpoint contributed to a conversion 🙈.
💥Pro-tips: Get our guide for the Top 10 Marketing KPIs To Track, to increase revenue and optimize your website performance.
Tools to use: Smart Attribution, the first Customer Attribution solution, will clearly show your Customer Acquisition Costs, revenue, and ROI for any channel. With multi-touch attribution, it'll also show your customer journeys and the top touchpoints that lead to conversions.
Tip 2: Double Down On Content Generation
We're huge fans of Content Marketing at PixelMe! It's one of our top 3 customer acquisition sources, and HubSpot also found that 55% of marketers list their blog as their top inbound marketing strategy.
Generating content for Inbound Marketing is a major success factor in demand generation campaigns. It can help you better engage prospects by giving tips and tools that improve & automate their day-to-day, as well as boost your SEO rankings and in turn new customers.
A few ways you can develop free content for Inbound Marketing campaigns:
- 📝 Blog articles: Cover key topics and content for your target audience.
- 📹 Videos: You can try different types of videos, the new content format king, across different stages - from brand awareness to lead generation.
- 📺 Webinars: Webinars are a great way to educate and onboard people to become customers at scale. And it's a proven tactic, as 73% of B2B marketers have said webinars are the most effective way to find quality leads.
- 📘 Whitepapers & eBooks: These can elevate you as a thought leader, particularly if you partner with other leading businesses on the content. Many B2B companies also gate these types of content behind forms, to generate leads.
- 👯Success Stories: Case studies are the best forms of social proof. Even better, they can be easily repurposed into landing pages, ads, newsletters, sales presentations, and more.
- Invest in SEO-friendly content: Optimize your content with target keywords potential customers are likely to search for. This can increase your content discovery, longevity, and ROI over a long period of time.
- Listen to your customers' needs: Understand the most pressing pain points from customers as well as tools they lack, then create content that helps them with both. This is part of why we publish many online advertising tips & marketing attribution guides 😉.
Tools to use:
- Cloud Campaign is a fantastic tool if you're a marketing agency, to manage, personalize, and track multiple brands' content across social media channels.
- Promo.com is a powerful video platform, as it provides all the tools and templates you need to spin up high-quality and customized videos in only a few minutes.
Tip 3: Distribute Content Everywhere
There's an old saying taken from the movie Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."
Unfortunately, this isn't always the case for demand generation content you spend time crafting and publishing (as we've learned). We ran an analysis of all our PixelMe blog posts since 2017, and saw that almost 80% of our traffic comes from less than 18% of our blog posts. The best performing content ranked highly on SEO, and were promoted in both paid and organic channels.
So the takeaway is to find ways to amplify your content across multiple channels. For example:
- ▶️ Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
- 💌 Email newsletters
- 📣 Content distribution platforms: Zest.is is a Chrome extension and content curation platform we love that's built for marketers to share and discover amazing content.
- 🎯 Online Ads: Facebook, Google, Bing, Quora, and more.
- 👯Online Groups: Try sharing your content in relevant communities, such as niche Facebook Groups or even Reddit subreddits (as long as you're already engaged in the Reddit community and aren't purely on there to promote your content 😉).
Tools to use: Cloud Campaign is a great tool for automating the way you manage & measure your marketing content across social media channels. You can schedule posts in advance, respond to customers from their platform, and see your most engaging multi-channel content.
Tip 4: Offer Free Trials & Demos
Just like car dealerships 🚗, providing free product trials and/or demos is a great way to let people take a test drive, before committing to a purchase.
Currently, over 44% of SaaS companies provide free trials (ourselves included!).
For example, we offer a 7-day free trial at PixelMe, as well as an option to book a demo before even trying us out. Providing demos has also been a valuable way for us to get feedback on features to prioritize and new tools to build.
Ahrefs, a leading SEO analytics tool, also provides a 7-day trial but charges a one-time $7 fee. You can test various trial models to see what results in the highest signups and conversions.
Tools to use:
- Calendly: For demos, this is our preferred meeting booking tool, as it lets you setup individual and team calendars to automatically assign meetings to different team members.
Tip 5: Score & Nurture Leads
When it comes to mid-funnel demand generation goals, specifically lead generation, what ultimately matters is finding high quality leads that'll convert.
So in your quest to identify your best acquisition sources and leads, it's a good idea to score the quality of your leads and create lead nurturing campaigns.
- 👨🏫 Lead scoring: Lead scoring lets you rank leads based on their online behaviors and how they interact with your content. They help your Sales & Marketing teams determine how ready a lead is to be nurtured. Typically, you can assign certain values to each action taken by a lead (e.g. 3 for downloading a guide, 5 for signing up to a webinar, 8 for booking a demo).
- Lead nurturing: Lead nurturing is the step that follows lead scoring, which is the means for turning prospects into customers. This is when it's most effective for your Sales & Marketing teams to collaborate on lead nurturing programs. Leads can be segmented by their score and other factors that gauge their stage in the buying cycle.
Tools to use:
- For lead scoring: HubSpot (SMB) or Salesforce (Enterprise)
- For lead nurturing: HubSpot (SMB) or Marketo (Enterprise)
Tip 6: Invest in Partnerships
They say that "two is better than one" and this holds true for demand generation campaigns too.
Some of the best ways to increase word of mouth, create new customer acquisition streams, and generate high quality demand in your products is via co-marketing.
By partnering with strategic partners that have complementary services, are non-competing, and have mutual goals, you can launch campaigns that grow customers for both of you. For example:
- 👥 Increase high-quality customers: Get exposed to another business's similar customers.
- 💦 Pool together resources: It's common to create bundled packages, making it more enticing for potential customers to signup for both your services.
- 💻 Boost your SEO ranking: Increase your backlinks through co-branded content (especially as backlinks are crucial for your website's ranking!).
- Establish more industry credibility: Plus grow brand awareness through new channels.
On top of mutual partnerships, you can also tap into influencers in your industry who already promote similar products, and have them showcase your company in ways that are mutually beneficial to their communities.
Tip 7: Launch Online Ads
Since 2017, online advertising has grown by about $1B every year in the B2B space.
In the ideal world, you could focus all your demand generation efforts on organic channels, but given industry trends, online advertising can be an effective way for you to more quickly meet your marketing KPIs.
The top 2 preferred online ad platforms for our B2B customers are: Facebook Ads & Google Ads.
For example, you can run Facebook Ads along different stages of your customer funnel, and A/B test various ad components to zone in on your ideal customers:
- 🎯Targeting: Link Retargeting is a great way to retarget anyone who's clicked on any of your links (even links to 3rd party sites like YouTube, Medium, and the App Store!). Lookalike Audiences are a very effective way to find new customers who look like your best customers.
- 📹 Formats: Try running video ads, which are highly engaging, and using Facebook's free video templates if you're light on resources to easily create high quality videos.
- 📝 Content: Try different value props and headlines to see what captures people's interest.
- Check out Top 15 Facebook Ads examples for lead generation.
- Take a look at Top 11 Google As examples for lead generation.
- Use Smart Attribution to track your ROI across ad platforms and campaigns.
Tip 8: Build Free Tools
Everybody loves a free resource that adds value to their daily tasks, so offering free tools can boost the effectiveness of your demand generation marketing efforts.
At PixelMe, since launching AdInboxMe as a side project, it's been one of our top 3 traffic sources 🔥. We plan to grow into a powerful free tool we can leverage in demand generation campaigns. And since AdInboxMe sends you an email alert whenever a competitor launches a Facebook Ad, it lets us qualify customers who likely run Facebook Ads, and will find value in our Customer Attribution platform.
Of course, building free tools require a lot of investment and resources, but if it'll bring you a high ROI in the long-term, it could be worth building.
Alternatively, you can also build easier lightweight tools, such as giving away free marketing templates that help people accomplish a key task in a faster or more automated way.
💥Pro-tips: Ask customers for feedback on tools they'd find valuable, or use form builder platforms like JotForm to validate your ideas before you begin building.
Tip 9: Align Sales & Marketing
Sales & Marketing are examples of teams that work better together especially when it comes to demand generation.
So for launching the most successful demand generation campaigns, ensure your efforts are well-coordinated and communicated across Sales & Marketing.
Both teams play integral roles to various stages of a demand generation campaign. Typically, Marketing might kickstart the process with top of the funnel campaigns, and then pass the baton to Sales to follow up with sales-ready prospects to close the deal.
An example of an integrated demand generation campaign might look like:
⬆️ Top of funnel:
- [Marketing] Develop a package of free email marketing templates that are gated behind a form.
- [Marketing] Promote the free template to new audiences via Facebook Ads & Google Ads.
👉 Middle of funnel
- [Marketing/Sales] Send automated & personalized follow-up emails to leads that both downloaded the free email templates and requested a product demo.
- [Marketing] Send leads who only downloaded the free templates but haven't taken other actions, into an automated email nurturing sequence that tells them about upcoming webinars and announces key product updates.
⬇️ Bottom of funnel
- [Sales] Nurture leads who received a demo with special promotions and follow-up calls to turn them into customers.
Tip 10: Keep On Testing
Like in all aspects of marketing, A/B testing is the best way to improve your strategies and grow.
Keep testing and refining your strategies and variables within campaigns to find the best channels and campaigns.
You can test different topics for free guides develop and promote in ads, test different content and designs on landing pages, test different email CTAs, and the list goes on.
Just as important, is segmenting leads from your demand generation campaigns, based on any information they've shared (e.g. industry and job title). Then, use lead scoring and test different nurturing programs and sequences that can best convert them into paying customers 🚀.
Want to track multi-touch attribution across your Demand Generation campaigns? Sign up for a free PixelMe trial 🎉. Or message us from the blue chat icon in the bottom-right corner! 💬
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