The Ultimate Guide to B2B Demand Generation

The Ultimate Guide to B2B Demand Generation

Mark Raffan

In a world saturated with branding, marketing, and advertising, it’s becoming increasingly harder for audiences to notice your B2B. This is where demand generation is needed and why it’s become one of the most popular marketing strategies for B2B and SaaS companies.

Check out our ultimate guide to B2B demand generation, a comprehensive resource on everything you need to know about demand gen.

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is a highly strategic marketing technique using data to help boost brand awareness and build brand authority.

B2B Marketers use demand generation to grow brands, resulting in a great ROI. It involves every stage of the marketing funnel—from awareness of your brand’s product or service by a prospect to converting that prospect into a paying customer. It requires complete transparency into your funnel to identify gaps and opportunities for improved performance. 

The 3 Pillars of Demand Generation

Marketers have identified the following three pillars of demand generation. These are essentially tactics used to boost brand awareness and drive growth:

  1. Demand capture: data is used to look for existing demand in the market and channel that drives demand towards your products or services.
  2. Lead generation: strategies are created to capture contact data from interested parties so that these prospects can be nurtured and moved through the sales cycle.
  3. Sales Cycle Acceleration: prospects are moved through the funnel using accelerated sales techniques like reaching out to customers directly.

What’s the Difference Between Demand Generation and Lead Generation?

It’s easy to confuse demand generation with lead generation. Although there are overlaps between the two and are even often used together, they are not the same. Simply put, demand generation is about generating demand for your product or service. Lead generation is about generating leads from the audience who are interested in your product or service.

A demand generation campaign will focus on generating interest in your product or service, while a lead generation campaign will focus on turning interested parties (prospects) into leads. It’s easy to run both campaigns at the same time.

Why Your B2B Should Invest in Demand Generation

The obvious answer is that your B2B will benefit immensely from investing in demand generation, as when done well, it works, bringing in a great ROI for your B2B. B2B marketing experts can help you with your demand generation, so you don’t have to do it yourself.

You can just focus on running your business, and they will do the rest. Demand generation can help increase your conversion rates, get you better campaign results, and even qualify leads better before they get processed in the funnel.

This helps identify the right personas and build better customer relationships from the early stage—nurturing stage. In addition, demand generation can help you target the right decision-makers, reducing much wasted time chasing the wrong people.

What Are the Key Trends in B2B Demand Generation?

B2B marketers have identified the following 8 key trends in B2B demand gen, which will no doubt continue in 2022:

Virtual Events

Virtual events like webinars, seminars, LinkedIn Live, and others have seen a renaissance during COVID-19 and are still thriving. They are more cost-effective than in-person events, require less planning and logistics, and enable wider audience participation globally.

Tailored and Personalized Messaging

This is marketing that can take the form of text messages, paid retargeting ads, and emails but has a personal touch. It speaks one-on-one to the customer, most often addressing them by their first name. Audiences crave a more personal touch, so it’s a trend that’s here to stay.

Intent Data

This data gives you insights into your consumer’s online journey at every stage of the funnel, which is invaluable for understanding their overall needs, wants, and pain points.

Marketing Automation

This is all about using software to automate your marketing workflow, so your marketing runs smoother and your messaging reaches your audience faster and more efficiently.

Fresh Content

Content continues to be king, but your content must provide fresh perspectives to stand out in a content-saturated world. Incorporating storytelling and visuals like infographics, slideshows, and videos will also help you stand out. In addition, reworking old content and updating it will further help expand its reach.

Video Marketing

Video has been a huge trend for the past couple of years now, and it’s not going away as it’s highly interactive and enables brands to make more intimate connections with audiences.

Building Your Own Audience

More brands realize how important it is to build their audience. You could have social media accounts with several thousand followers, but you don’t own these accounts.

If they got shut down, you would lose your audience. So, the best thing is to build your own audience, and the most effective way to do this is with an email list.

Building Your Brand Identity

Building a strong brand will never get outdated. So you must invest time in creating a great B2B brand that audiences will associate with credibility and trust.

You do this both organically and paid, but with digital marketing costs, it makes sense to invest a lot of time on organic build.

Attract, Seduce and Engage: Three Demand Generation Best Practices

Aside from the above trends, our team of B2B marketers has also identified the following three vital best practices for generating demand. They can be likened to the traditional dating cycle: attracting a person of your interest, seducing them, and getting engaged.

Publish SEO Optimized Relevant & Mixed Content

SEO isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and all content your B2B puts out, including video, audio, and visual images, must be SEO optimized. This enables you to get to the top of relevant search results and in front of your target audience.

Many brands still don’t understand SEO or are not investing in it enough when publishing content. Their content is being lost or not seen by the right people. Have a checklist in place for SEO, and ensure that before any content is published, your checklist is ticked off.

In addition, ensure you mix up your content and offer various relevant and exciting content to your audience. You need to appeal to different consumer tastes. Software company Atlassian does an excellent job of mixing up content from the moment a visitor lands on the homepage.

There is an introductory video, an infographic, and a downloadable guidebook. Remember, content can be your brand’s greatest demand-generating tactic when done well.

Collect Customer Testimonials and Create Case Studies

Customer testimonials and case studies both provide solid proof that your brand is credible and that customers want to do business with you. B2B consumers are highly discerning, do their research, and like to do business with people they can trust.

So, it’s a good idea to add testimonials and case studies on your website and even in some of your other marketing channels. A highly effective way to do this is through video. You can combine both case studies with testimonials. It’s not overkill when done well!

Statistics show that 79% of consumers watch video testimonials and video case studies to find out more about a brand, product, or service.

Expand Your Reach with Influencers

In this digital age, influencer marketing is gaining traction for B2B and even B2C to expand their reach. Although it’s a relatively new term, the concept isn’t new. It’s been around since the earliest days of business and marketing when brands employed well-known people to promote their brand.

Think of Nike back in the ’80s and ’90s using Michael Jordan to promote their apparel and Pepsi and Michael Jackson. Through working with such high-profile celebrities, these brands expanded their reach and their profits. This was all pre-digital.

No doubt, if it were now, they would have used channels like email marketing and social media. Your B2B will reach new audiences through working with influencers, and your brand’s presence will receive a boost.

As you can see, B2B demand gen has many moving parts, but if you start with some of the tactics highlighted in this piece, your B2B will see great results. For more expert guidance, book time with our B2B marketing experts.

Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.