Do you know why 40% of B2B marketers are increasing their demand generation budget by 20%?
It’s because demand gen works.
Capturing your target audience early gives you the chance to show them how you can solve their pain points, driving demand for your solutions.
Not only does this help you generate more qualified leads, but it can also accelerate the sales cycle and lead to more conversions.
Read on to learn what demand gen is, why you need a robust B2B demand generation strategy, and what tactics work the best to fuel demand among your target audience.
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- What’s B2B demand generation?
- Why do you need a robust B2B demand generation strategy?
- How to improve your B2B demand generation campaign strategy: 7 tactics
What’s B2B demand generation?
B2B demand generation marketing is a data-driven, early-stage inbound marketing tactic that aims to drive interest in your products and services at the top of the B2B sales funnel.
While 68% of B2B revenue leaders say that they plan to enter new markets this year, 61% feel that B2B buyers are more cautious than ever. Demand marketing helps convince these customers that your products provide viable solutions to their issues.
A demand generation program specifically tries to identify the pain points of your target buyer persona and answer the question of how your company can solve these issues.
The main questions a B2B demand generation campaign asks is:
- Why would a company need our solutions?
- What do these companies look and behave like?
Using demographic and behavioral data, your demand generation team should work to identify this target audience and figure out ways to boost brand awareness and generate demand among this group.
The main steps involved in building B2B demand gen campaigns are:
- Identifying target personas
- Building brand awareness
- Reinforcing brand authority and expertise
- Converting potential customers into leads
By following these steps, you’re able to send better-qualified leads down the sales funnel, making it easier for your sales team to close deals.
Why do you need a robust B2B demand generation strategy?
When addressing a new business need, a B2B company is just as likely to choose a new supplier as they are to stick with a supply that already fulfills other needs within their business.
In this sense, there’s always room to drive demand for your products and overtake your competitors.
As it turns out, a strong demand-generating strategy works.
First, it helps to improve targeting so that you understand the needs of your potential customer group and you’re marketing to the right audience from the beginning.
This is an important advantage for B2B firms since 40% admit that understanding the changing needs of their target audience has been their biggest challenge.
Further still, demand generation activities can help your company better identify the right decision-makers within your target companies. 63% of B2B marketers use demand gen tactics to reach the right contacts within their target accounts.
Overall, this digital marketing technique improves lead quality. Since 42% of B2B marketers are focusing on leveraging buyer data to find new opportunities, they’re better able to prioritize leads that demonstrate typical buyer behavior.
Plus, this type of B2B marketing helps to convince customers. Unfortunately, 2/3 of buyers are more hesitant than they previously were, making it harder to close deals.
However, an intelligent demand generation campaign can help to significantly increase brand awareness and streamline the buyer journey, making the purchase process easier.
35% of B2B revenue leaders admit that their biggest struggle is aligning content with the buyer journey. Data-driven demand gen tactics make it easier to work out the right messaging and actions that you need to steer a buyer down the sales funnel.
Thanks to better targeting, higher lead quality, more convincing arguments, and sleeker buyer journeys, demand generation helps to improve conversion rates.
In fact, 68% of B2B marketers say that they specifically leverage demand generation to improve conversions and campaign results.
How to improve your B2B demand generation campaign strategy: 7 tactics
If planned well, your B2B demand gen strategy can fuel brand awareness, authority, and trust, and it can power demand early in the sales cycle. This improves lead quality, resulting in faster sales and higher conversion rates.
Here are seven proven tactics to help shape better B2B demand-focused campaigns to reel in B2B buyers.
1. Leverage intent data to refine your audience
45% of B2B marketers admit that identifying their target audience is their toughest challenge.
This is where intent data makes all the difference.
Intent data is demographic and behavioral data that helps you understand how buyers behave. By looking at the data footprint left by your website and social media visitors and buyers, you can get an idea of what a B2B buyer looks like and how they behave.
This helps you refine your target audience so that you understand who they are, what they look at, and what their main issues are.
This information makes it easier for you to target each buyer persona with content that appeals best to their demographic or behavior pattern.
Thanks to the use of this type of data, 70% of B2B intent data users say that their digital marketing campaign is very successful.
Intent data helps you better focus your marketing efforts. And, 42% of B2B marketers say that they also use intent data to better assess prospects that are actively researching a purchase to enhance lead quality.
That way, you can pinpoint the most likely buyers so your sales team can prioritize lead engagement.
You can harvest first-party intent data from your website using your CRM or Google Analytics. You should also look at your social media profiles to understand your social intent data. This tells you how your visitors and buyers are behaving.
You can also purchase third-party intent data that’s harvested from websites that are similar to yours. This shows you how comparable visitors and customers behave.
2. Create targeted SEO content
60% of B2B marketers agree that content marketing results in the most qualified leads at the top of the sales funnel.
This is why 71% of B2B brands intend to add more content marketing to their demand generation strategy over the coming year, and 64% specifically plan to boost their SEO tactics.
SEO helps to build brand recognition, sending more visitors to your website. By reaching the top of Google search results, you command more clicks, leading to higher website traffic. In fact, 1/2 of all Google clicks go to the top search result.
To generate as much traffic as possible, target keywords that are relevant to your audience’s specific pain points.
But that’s not the only reason for a well-crafted SEO content campaign.
Professionally written how-to articles and expert guides show a potential B2B buyer that your company has the knowledge, expertise, and skills to help solve their problems.
Try creating educational content such as infographics, blog posts, guides, whitepapers, and ebooks to showcase your problem-solving capabilities to B2B buyers within your target audience.
3. Build customer case studies
Case studies are your secret weapon to offer social proof of your past achievements as an organization.
An in-depth case study can show a target buyer persona how you’ve helped a similar company or solved a comparable problem previously.
Not only did 54% of B2B buyers engage with case studies when making their last purchase, but a third also go as far as to say that case studies are their most important resource when making purchases.
Why not use case studies as a lead generation tool?
31% of B2B buyers are willing to share personal and company details to access case studies. You can put your case studies behind a gateway so that B2B buyers have to give contact information to access these materials. You can use these contact details for future marketing.
After all, 30% of B2B marketers say that case studies generated the most qualified leads at the top of the funnel.
Plus, video case studies provide you with a versatile marketing tool: two out of three people admit that they’re more likely to buy a product after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how that business, product, or service had helped another person like them.
You can post a short case study video on your social media accounts, send it in an email blast, or use it as a testimonial ad.
This is how Robin uses its case study videos to convince future B2B buyers of its capabilities.
In this short Instagram case study video made by Testimonial Hero, Mel Heeney, director of operations and technology at OneEleven, explains the business situation the company was facing and how Robin solved these pain points.
She outlines the major benefits, and you get to see the platform in action, all in under a minute.
4. Encourage customers to leave reviews
It’s wise to encourage happy customers to leave reviews since customer reviews provide social proof that real people endorse your solutions.
Customer reviews are a highly persuasive tool for future buyers, with 85% of consumers admitting that they sway their purchase decisions.
Actively direct your customers to places they can leave reviews, such as your social media pages or a third-party website.
You should also curate the best and most relevant reviews to build a testimonial page on your own site since 62% of buyers will read reviews on a firm’s website before making a purchase.
5. Host webinars and online events
Webinars and live events are some of the most valuable demand generation campaign ideas for B2B companies.
53% of B2B marketers say that webinars are the most effective engagement tactic for generating qualified leads in the early stages of the sales cycle. And, 42% also say that webinars help to accelerate and convert leads in the middle-to-late stages.
This should come as no surprise, since 38% of B2B buyers say they find webinars useful in the early stages, and 54% say that they’ve attended webinars during their buying journey.
Try hosting a webinar to talk about industry-related topics to demonstrate your firm’s expertise. Simultaneously use the opportunity to generate demand by promoting your solutions to customer pain points.
You can also invite industry thought leaders to join you to boost your credibility.
Not keen to host your own webinar? Appear as a guest at other live events to show your company as an industry expert.
6. Demonstrate your expertise by offering a free tool
A free tool offers customers a gadget that shows the type of services your company can offer and the quality of the tools you can produce.
You can offer a free tool that complements your main offering. This gives a sample of your expertise.
Alternatively, you can offer a free trial of your paid-for tool so that buyers can test out the ways in which your solution can solve their problems.
You can also offer a free tool that has in-tool upgrades for customers who need extra functionality.
Free tools are a great way to collect lead data. Place your free tool behind a gateway so that potential customers have to submit contact details to access it. You can use these details for future marketing efforts.
7. Create retargeting campaigns
Retargeting ads target past visitors who have already been to your website, as these prospects have shown potential interest in your company.
A retargeting campaign will send ads to these people on different channels, such as social media platforms and related websites.
This helps you capture the audience who weren’t ready to buy when they initially visited your website by hitting them with more touchpoints. Now you can stick in the customer’s mind and become their go-to solution.
To net more qualified leads and accelerate sales cycles, you need to actively drive demand for your products and services.
You do this by clearly showing your target audience how your solutions solve their problems.
There are many different ways you can drive demand among your B2B customers. Try creating educational SEO content or helpful free tools. These demonstrate your expertise and show your customers what you can do.
Alternatively, leverage your existing customers to showcase exactly how you solve problems and the benefits you bring by encouraging reviews and building out case studies.
Video case studies are a versatile marketing tool that can help you drive omnichannel demand.
Get in touch with Testimonial Hero today to learn more about creating video case studies that generate demand for your B2B solutions.