With that in mind, here are some of the most effective actions you can take to supercharge your demand generation:
1. Know your audience
Imprecision is the enemy of success in B2B marketing, particularly when it comes to identifying your target audience. You need to have a clear idea of your customers' unique characteristics, pain points, and objectives, so you can demonstrate why your product or service is right for them.
This is particularly important for B2B brands, since the sales cycle in this space is typically much longer than in B2C. B2B marketers need to dedicate more time to nurturing leads, answering client questions and providing informative content throughout the buyer's journey, so you don't want to spend unnecessary time or effort on audience segments that aren't the right fit.
You can build up a good picture of your target customers using information like:
- Job titles
- Purchasing power
- Favored content channels
- Pain points
Business customers often operate in a very specific niche, so they're looking for content with a high level of authenticity that relates directly to them and their goals.
2. Invest in great content
High-quality content is one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal when you need to drum up demand and generate leads.
There are various content types that can help you stimulate interest and demand for your products. Some of the most effective formats at the 'top of funnel', demand generation stage include:
- Blogs - an ideal vehicle for SEO and discussing the subjects that matter to your customers
- Infographics - fun, attention-grabbing assets that convey plenty of useful information in an engaging way
- Whitepapers and eBooks - in-depth topic explorations that allow you to showcase your expertise and collect customer data through forms
High-quality content is essential if you want to achieve the fundamental goal of inbound marketing: to get your audience to come to you by giving them something truly valuable. It reduces the need for you to be intrusive and interruptive - something that many people today have little tolerance for.
3. Optimize your content distribution
Planning, researching and producing high-quality content is essential, but it's only the first step; you also need to know the best ways to distribute your content for maximum results. All the time and effort you've put into creating great marketing assets will be for nothing if nobody sees them.
The need for effective distribution is growing all the time. The increasingly crowded and competitive nature of the content marketing sector means it's harder than ever to cut through the noise and get your message across. Research shows that 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content every day, so there's plenty of competition.
Deciding which distribution channels to use will depend on various factors, including the nature of your audience and where they spend most of their time.
Generally speaking, email has a strong track record for getting brand messages across to customers. Almost all B2B marketers use email to distribute content, while 40% say email newsletters are vital to their content marketing success.
4. Nurture your leads
Gathering data on leads - often through forms you can put in front of downloadable assets like guides and whitepapers - is a key part of the demand generation process.
Going a step further, there’s a lot to gain from looking beyond simple lead generation and focusing on lead nurturing, which helps you develop relationships with potential customers at every stage of the buyer's journey.
According to Marketo, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost, while nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured ones.
Generating demand and acquiring leads is a fundamental priority in B2B marketing, but nurturing your leads to get maximum value from them is just as important.
5. Align marketing and sales
As clearly linked as they are, marketing and sales can often feel like very separate departments with different ways of thinking and working.
Bringing them together isn't easy, but there could be some big benefits to gain from this approach, with research showing that businesses can generate 208% more revenue from their marketing if they align the sales and marketing teams.
Where demand generation is concerned, sales and marketing can help each other in many ways. Sales can give the marketing team valuable frontline insights into buyer behavior and decision making, for example, which can help B2B marketers show greater understanding and empathy at the earliest stages of the buyer's journey.
These qualities can add a huge amount to your demand generation and consequently boost ROI and revenue generation.
- The Content Distribution Playbook
- Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Fundamentals
- 6 Demand Generation KPIs You Should be Measuring
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