Demand generation or demand gen helps build brand awareness and authority and drives interest and cultivates leads for your B2B brand. That’s why it’s essential to have a strong demand gen strategy in place for your B2B.
Look no further! We show you how to build a killer demand gen strategy in just 4 steps. These four steps are your building blocks.
What’s the Difference Between Demand Gen and Lead Gen?
Before we dive into our demand gen strategy, it’s important to know the difference between demand generation and lead generation, which people often use interchangeably. Although there are overlaps between them, they are not the same thing.
Demand generation is a marketing strategy focused on building reliable brand awareness and interest, generating high-quality leads. Lead generation and its strategy focus on converting an interested audience into leads through direct outreach using multiple channels. Both can work together, though, and should work together to bring about great results (high ROI) for a brand.
Step 1: Build Brand Awareness for Demand Gen
With today’s competitive digital landscape, brand awareness is crucial for a consistent flow of quality leads for your B2B brand. There’s so much information on building brand awareness to help you. However, many brands still think that brand awareness is simply just gaining the attention of prospective buyers. Although this is undoubtedly part of it, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
To properly build brand awareness, you have to have your fundamentals in place: your purpose for existing, what you stand for as a brand (your values), your unique selling proposition (USP), your target customers (buyer personas), and your ICP ( ideal customer profile).
From here, you have a solid foundation to work from and are ready to present your solution to your customers. Remember, all brands are offering some type of solution to a problem. A sure-fire way to not only display your solution as the best or one of the best and increase visibility for your brand is through customer reviews and case studies.
These offer excellent social proof. But keep in mind the three R’s: Recent, Relevant, and Real. Ensure your reviews and case studies aren’t out-of-date, relevant to what you’re selling, and authentic.
TIP – B2B buyers are educated and well known for doing their research before making a purchasing decision. So social proof in the form of testimonies and case studies is essential in providing them with high-level insights into your brand that help position you in the best favorable light.
You want customers raving about your brand, not complaining about it and hurting your reputation. If you haven’t already done so, set up a Google My Business Account. It is a free and fantastic way to showcase reviews/testimonies.
Step 2: Create Content for Demand Generation
Virtually all brands on the planet create content in some form or another as they realize its importance to growing their brand and engaging their customers.
Most brands have invested in some type of content marketing. Content marketing specialists that specialize in B2B can help fast-track all your content needs. They can design a solid content marketing strategy that offers timely, helpful insights at each stage of the purchasing journey.
Content is still King in 2022 as it helps position your brand as a subject matter expert in your field and torpedoes your overall brand awareness and authority. So, it’s an integral part of any demand gen strategy. If your demand gen strategy doesn’t have content, we would argue that you don’t have a strategy!
But remember, content must be done well. That is, it must be compelling, engaging, relevant, and offer solutions to your customers. Poorly done content will just hurt your brand and damage your reputation. Avoid it at all costs!
TIP – Mix up your content to appeal to different consumption types. B2B audiences want a variety of content: blogs, articles, videos, social media posts, infographics, white papers, e-books, etc.
Don’t forget to incorporate proper SEO for ranking for each piece of content. Remember, creating content is just one piece of the puzzle. Don’t forget to promote, share, and repurpose content to help amplify its reach.
Step 3: Lead Nurturing and Sales-Marketing Alignment
A proper and robust demand gen strategy must include lead nurturing and sales and marketing alignment. This can only be achieved when marketing and sales teams work closely together.
Traditionally they have worked as silos, but more brands realize that this no longer works. For both teams to work well together, they must be on the same page and know what each other is doing. They must regularly check in with each other and learn important details like stages of the marketing and sales funnel, the purchase journey, content performance, and buyer behavior (trends, questions, concerns, and attitudes).
Both teams should monitor lead feedback to see whether outreach strategies are meeting customer needs. Regularly reviewing and monitoring is the responsibility of both teams. If your budget is too small and won’t allow for a marketing and sales team, spread your marketing and sales amongst your current team members.
TIP: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) can set up your marketing and sales teams for success. It requires both teams to strategically select accounts to target and nurture through customized engagement and support, leading to more expansion and opportunities.
Step 4: Partner with a Third Party for Demand Gen
Brands have ample opportunity to gain by partnering with a third-party provider (i.e., influencers, industry experts, etc.). You can reach a much wider curated audience than you could on your own.
It is much easier to get your message in front of the right people by finding a partner who has already carved out the online audience you want. There is an audience in need of what you have to offer for just about any service or product.
Third-party partners can get your brand’s services or products in front of the right buyers at the right time. Even long before the digital age, brands understood this and were using third-party partners to get their message in front of bigger audiences.
TIP: It’s easy to launch (PPC) a pay-per-click campaign but not so easy to get traction, hence why a third-party partner is your better option. Third-party partners can develop into great long-term relationships, leading to collaborations, sponsorships, and more.
Generate the Demand Your Brand Deserves
Building a killer demand gen strategy requires a lot of orchestration, so it’s always good to get expert help for your demand gen strategy. Book time with our B2B content marketing experts, and let’s fast-track your demand gen strategy today!