6 Latest B2B Demand Generation Best Practices You Should Follow

Demand Gen vs Lead Gen

It’s no mistake that demand generation is one of search marketing’s most difficult pain points, and as such, it’s important to understand how it differs from lead generation.

In a nutshell, demand gen is used to create awareness and attract new people to your business. From there, lead generation is used to turn those people into qualified leads and move them down your sales funnel.

But, and especially when it comes to B2B, there’s a galaxy of difference between having a functional demand gen process, and a cost-effective one. That’s where B2B demand generation best practices come in.

B2B Demand Generation Best Practices

Stay Active on Social Media

Social media has long been a small and somewhat removed part of search engine marketing and demand generation strategies in general. But where B2B, is concerned it’s not so far removed at all.

When it comes to B2B demand generation best practices, social media is ideal for everything from promoting content to interacting with C- and B-level executives in multi-point marketing campaigns. Social media is especially helpful for B2B marketers given the elongated sales-cycle B2B is known for.

B2B campaigns often require multiple points of contact with your prospects over a long period of time. Social media allows you to be ever-present in their search experience until they are ready to commit.

Why Use Social Media?

There are 3 key reasons social media is a must for these multi-point interactions:

  • Social platforms are quickly becoming marketplaces for thought leadership.
  • The “Help, don’t sell” marketing approach works best in short, casual interactions, something social media is specifically designed for.
  • Social media’s targeting abilities enhance your strategy and the keywords you target.

Integrate Your Sales & Marketing

The old way of “siloed” thinking is gone. As Google becomes ever more universal and adaptive, your campaigns need to keep up. For this reason alone, your sales and marketing teams should be sharing their data.

Your marketing team’s goal should be to create content that both engages and educates readers. The idea is to entice readers to move further down the sales funnel. A strong campaign then uses lead nurturing strategies to promote the proper content for each user at each level of the funnel, to help move them along.

This is where your sales team takes over and starts handling the marketing team’s content. Integration becomes key at this stage, as they can leverage high-quality content to nurture leads. And since your sales team has direct contact with your prospective clients, they can ask for feedback on the marketing team’s content. This allows the marketing team to adapt on the fly continuously.

Take Your Email Marketing Seriously

It doesn’t matter how much search marketing or digital marketing in general changes – email isn’t going anywhere. In fact, over 60% of businesses today still report that they find email marketing to be effective and worth considering when it comes to ROI. (source)

It’s important to remember that most email campaigns see the most success when they are one part of a multi-point social strategy. What’s more, your email needs to be responsive; content should change and adapt based on how your contacts interact with it.

Consistently use your emails as a starting point in your outreach campaigns. Bear in mind that one cold email likely won’t be enough for a cold lead – but if that email has their name in the subject line and goes hand-in-hand with a follow-on Twitter or a LinkedIn InMail, you’ll probably start to see some traction.

Optimize Your Search Performance

Search can become one of your most effective marketing strategies if you choose to use it smartly.

SEO or search engine optimization is a collection of techniques that endeavors to get more traffic to your website from organic search results.

Getting your website ranked on the coveted first page of the search engine results page, can give a big boost to your website traffic and consequently your website conversions.

Broadly categorized into off-page and on-page optimizations, there’s a lot the goes into good SEO.

Keyword research, search intent, competitor analysis, and link building are just a few techniques that make for good SEO. While SEO is a highly technical strategy, if done right it can reap dividends and ROI that are unmatched.

Every piece of content that you create must be viewed through the lens of SEO. Steer clear of keyword stuffing though. Search engines are now smart enough to understand that those excessive keywords don’t add any value to the content.

And valuable content is the most important. Great content brings with it authority and virality. These are signals that search engines pick up and give that content prime real estate on SERP.

Know Your Customers With Buyer Personas

The ability to truly understand your customer is a competitive advantage like no other. A buyer persona helps you build a more holistic view of your ideal customer.

Put simply, a buyer persona is a research-based and semi-fictional profile of your ideal customer. It describes how they make decisions, the challenges they face, and what a typical day in their shoes looks like.

Having this information can help you build a more targeted lead generation campaign that caters to the exact challenges a buyer persona might be facing.

You can even create multiple buyer personas for customers at each stage of the funnel!

A typical buyer persona will include a name (doesn’t need to be a real name), demographic information, interests, and behavioral attributes.

Not all personas are the same and it is best to create a bespoke marketing plan that caters to one type of persona. Customizations can be made in the content, channel strategy, SEO, and paid advertising.

You can even complement your buyer persona with a customer journey map that lays out how your persona will behave at each stage of the funnel.

Ads That Actually Convert!

Every business that takes digital seriously runs ads. A well thought out paid advertising strategy can quickly get you in front of your target audience.

But it’s not that easy! The biggest complaint that marketers have is around ROI and that their ads simply don’t convert. Either useless clicks jack up the ad spends or nobody seems to be clicking on them!

A good way to remedy this is by focusing on the bottom of your funnel. Those are leads that are primed to make a purchase and more often than not need a slight nudge (in the form of great content) to convert.

You will sacrifice a lot of clicks and impressions but in return, you’ll get qualified leads that are hot and are easy for Sales to have a conversation with.

Regardless of the channel that you’re using, a segmented audience list with a deep understanding of your buyer persona can help you identify your bottom of funnel prospects and run bottom of funnel ads for them.

Another reason why this approach works is that bottom of funnel prospects usually have a very clear understanding of what they need and if given the right impetus, will be more than willing to engage with your ad.

Retargeting, display ads and pay per click ads are some ad formats where you can begin using this approach. Your Sales team will thank you for the high-quality leads!

With businesses across Canada still feeling the impact of COVID-19, you might be concerned about the current state of your company’s marketing efforts. But despite the difficulties, new opportunities are presenting themselves to businesses with the savvy to respond.

If you’re hunting for a full-service agency to help with your demand gen, lead gen strategies, or any other aspect of your digital marketing efforts, book your free consultation with Asset Digital Communications founder, Mary-Jane Owen, today!

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