Finding new customers to generate revenue is the ultimate goal of any business, but as most sales leaders confess, building a strong funnel is actually more important than immediately winning a few deals. For example, suppose an SDR engages, nurtures, and finally closes an account after 3 weeks, great job!
But if there is no strong funnel, what will they do next? They’ll have to start from scratch again and take another 3 weeks to close the next deal. If there was a large pool of nurtured accounts in the demand generation funnel, they might win multiple deals in a week. That’s why constantly filling the sales funnel with demand is instrumental to revenue growth.
What are good demand generation goals?
Good demand generation goals in B2B marketing include enhancing brand visibility, generating qualified leads, nurturing prospects, and driving revenue growth. Key objectives encompass improving lead conversion rates, increasing customer engagement, expanding market reach, and establishing industry thought leadership. Implementing targeted content, personalized campaigns, and effective measurement strategies are vital for achieving these goals.
Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation
Now, filling the sales funnel is often equated to generating leads. Yes, they are closely related but far from the same. Filling the funnel is all about demand generation. Now if you are confused between the two, demand generation is a broader and holistic approach that takes into account factors such as brand awareness, engagement, etc.
For example, consider this – you send a promotional email to 10,000 people of which 1000 land on your website and read your blogs, but not a single one of them fills out a form. From a lead gen perspective, that email campaign is a failure. But for demand gen, it performed well.
The purpose of demand generation strategies is to get people to know your solution even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. And just as they go from knowing your solution to liking it and then needing it, they move further down the funnel and ultimately become a customer.
Here are 10 highly effective B2B demand generation strategies that you can use to consistently fill your sales funnel and make new customers:
Blogging is the simplest and most cost-effective tool for demand generation that serves two core purposes – generating traffic and creating awareness for your solutions. They are instrumental in building an audience and creating engagement around topics related to your services. Blogging itself doesn’t generate many leads but is the foundation of most lead gen tactics since they also serve as the landing page in many cases. It is imperative to have a good blogging presence for better visibility on the web and to have ample content for other demand generation strategies.
An ideal blogging strategy includes a mix of top of funnel and bottom of funnel content to have an equal focus on traffic and use cases to ultimately build a large and engaged audience.
Often referred to as high-intent pieces, premium content like eBooks, case studies, whitepapers, etc. are excellent for reaching out to and engaging qualified audiences. Another benefit of premium content pieces is that you can make them form-gated to accurately gauge companies interested in your product and target them through separate campaigns.
For instance, if you publish a form-gated eBook and get 100 downloads, you can create a list of those prospects, cross-verify them to get a list of companies they are from and then target those companies separately to drive even higher engagement. After all, if one person from a company was interested in that particular eBook, chances are more people at that company would like it too.
People love FREE stuff, and if it’s useful to any degree, they gladly become advocates. So if you have any small tools, a limited version of your product, or a freemium model, you can leverage it to significantly increase your brand reach and recognition.
The importance and effectiveness of social campaigns can’t possibly be overestimated. Be it running sponsored content or retargeting specific personas, they are known to deliver great results. Also, it is one of the strategies with the shortest gestation period. So if you want quick eyes on your product, running social campaigns might be a great idea.
If your product or service works as a part of a larger ecosystem, having partnerships with relevant companies can yield great results. Be it referral programs or something as simple as joint marketing campaigns, joining forces with other companies increases your reach and creates more brand recognition. Depending on the exact terms of your partnership, it can either help you directly fill your funnel or create buzz around your brand.
This is probably the most tried and tested demand generation strategy that arguably delivers the best results. It is estimated that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you make $44 in return. You can’t possibly get a better deal than that anywhere.
Email campaigns, however, have their challenges. You need high-quality data at scale, have to get the messaging right, and need a strong foundation of engaging content to begin with. If you tick all those boxes, it can be a great source of generating demand.
Though they are a bit expensive for many businesses’ liking, their ability to deliver quick results is never under question. Be it search engine ads, social media ads, sponsorships, or any paid channels, you can get quick results if you are willing to spend for it. If you have a good closing rate or your average deal size is large enough, you can confidently spend on advertisements as they will compensate for the high costs in the long run.
As the space for blogs and premium content becomes crowded and extremely competitive, videos have emerged as a great channel to drive engagement, particularly short-format videos. Be it short tutorials, guides, animations, or even thought leadership, videos can be a great source of demand. It might take a while to initially build a consistent audience, but once you cross that threshold, it delivers great dividends over the long run. Videos can also be used in ads, organic social, and even embedded into blogs or emails.
Events have always been and will remain the primary source of demand gen for many companies and a major contributor for others. Even after events became non-existent during the pandemic, online events quickly rushed in to fill that gap. Yes, they aren’t effective as in-person events, but the elements of scale and flexibility make them unavoidable. Whether it’s a webinar, workshop, product launch, or a full-fledged conference, live events have a large dedicated audience always waiting to be served. Do it right, and you’ll see the results.
This is kind of an outlier in this list because it is not a separate entity but a culmination of all the strategies discussed here. From content and email to events and advertising, account-based marketing leverages them all. Depending on your typical sales cycle and ticket size, you can either target just a handful of accounts with a 100% personalized approach or run it at scale with some degree of targeting. In either case, ABM remains among the favorite strategies of B2B marketers as it consistently delivers great results both in terms of engagement and leads.