B2B Demand Generation Tips and Tactics
Inbound marketing is a desirable strategy because it brings interested prospects directly to you. Unlike traditional marketing, demand generation creates a niche in the market that only your company can fill. This article will provide a list of inbound tactics for B2B companies and offer expert tips for each one.
In 2005, visionary Brian Halliagan had a revolutionary idea. What if marketing messages were two dimensional? His coining of the phrase ‘inbound marketing’ started small, eventually integrating itself into major marketing vernacular. It was the start of an inbound marketing mindset that would revolutionize the B2B marketing industry. In Halligan’s words, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Inbound marketing, sometimes referred to as demand generation, is the process of bringing leads to your company rather than forcing yourself on an audience. Demand generation is long-term, powerful, and sustainable in execution, easily one of the leading marketing strategies for B2B industries.
This article will cover the major elements of demand generation, along with some of the best ways to implement the tactics. It will include:
- Why inbound marketing is important
- Types of B2B demand generation
- Where to start with B2B demand generation
Why Inbound Marketing is Important
Inbound marketing is a relatively young strategy with extremely long-term implications. While traditional marketing spoke to customers using a one-way chain of communication, inbound marketing creates dual channels to reach audiences right where they’re at.
Since B2B companies are noted for their slower growth patterns (i.e. longer decision cycles and large LTVs), offering a steady stream of content should help decision-makers flow through your buyer’s funnel with ease.
Interestingly, inbound marketing also helps generate a hotter list of leads. While traditional marketing creates content for a large audience, demand generation curates content that speaks to an ideal customer. Rather than commissioning a billboard of your B2B’s benefits, you could answer customer pain points in a blog, podcast, or video.
Still not enough for you? Inbound marketing is essential for lots of other reasons:
- Increases brand loyalty
- Boosts social media engagement
- May increase search engine rankings
- Lowers costs (when compared with traditional marketing)
It’s important to note that demand generation is perfectly integrable with traditional marketing tactics. B2B companies looking to generate demand should rely on both to gain the greatest amount of attention in the marketplace.
Types of B2B Demand Generation
There are eight major demand generation options for B2B companies interested in inbound marketing. Although there may be subsections or niche opportunities within each section, they still fall under one of the umbrella categories. Your best option is to find a combination or set of combinations that reach your audience at a point of need.
Blog posts are a mainstay of demand generation that has been around since 1994. The basic premise of blog writing is creating transparency around your business, niche, or industry. By writing articles that answer, inform, and entertain your leads, you build trust that may eventually result in a sale.
Just ‘writing’ a blog doesn’t take much effort, but creating an interesting, actionable, well-researched piece certainly does. Dave Larson, the founder of @tweetsmarter, believes this is one of the most critical elements of blog demand generation. In his words, it’s essential to “create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.” Start by using Google search suggestions or a tool like Answer The Public to target and answer keywords in your industry. You might be surprised how quickly this improves site traffic.
How-tos, tutorials, and product demos are a few vital video genres for B2B and beyond. According to recent statistics, online videos are 600% more effective than print and direct ads combined.
Although your videos shouldn’t be longer than two minutes tops, it’s vital to incorporate all SEO, CTA, and storytelling tactics. If possible, generate videos at all stages of the lead funnel, including top, middle, and lower segments.
Social Media Campaigns
Regardless of the B2C stigma, even B2B companies should leverage social media for demand generation. LinkedIn is perhaps the most popular platform, although Facebook and Instagram are also excellent for raising brand awareness.
Consider how your B2B could integrate with other, more niche platforms. Tech companies and software devs could find a space on Reddit or Quora, while more product-heavy businesses may use Pinterest.
Downloadable resources are compelling elements of the B2B content cycle. The vast majority of these include ebooks and guide sheets, although many others exist in the marketplace. These include:
It should be noted that downloadable resources are some of the more expensive demand generation formats. While they may take longer to produce and more time to research, downloadables generally offer strong lead generation.
Experts suggest filling your downloadable resource with valuable information, particularly knowledge that your leads can’t find anywhere else. Position yourself to be an authority in your industry, and you’ll start capturing emails while you sleep.
Newsletter content is a powerful method of engaging warm leads across multiple campaigns. Unlike targeted emails, which usually end with a stronger CTA, newsletters inform, entertain, and engage your audience. The founder and CEO of Copyblogger, Brian Clark, refers to this audience as ‘your tribe.’
Because newsletters are so much more than email, it may be a good idea to consider unique formats. Consider short, simple videos to boost engagement. Try sending thank you notes or special offers to frequent readers. Finally, consider embedding a contributor list to employ an element of user-generated content.
Pillar pages are one of the most robust demand generation methods for B2B organizations. Although they can be built in many ways, it’s best to think of them like large blog posts with multiple topic clusters and links. SaaS corporations like HubSpot, Typeform, and Cloud Elements offer various types of pillar pages to engage and inform their audience.
Write pillar pages between 2,000 and 5,000 words, and incorporate long-tail keywords that capture searchers under many subtopics. Adding a table of contents may improve shareability and customer UX.
Press releases for B2B expand your visibility far beyond your current market. Online sources such as PR Newswire allow for widespread reach and access to journalists who may be interested in your story.
Like any other form of demand generation, B2B PR releases must offer some element of value. Create a newsworthy story that speaks to the audience at hand, and look for potential media outlets that may be interested in picking up your piece. Try to avoid braggadocious lingo or advertorial speech. Instead, focus on telling a story to your readers.
Podcasts and Webinars
According to industry leads, audio or video-based content marketing has the potential to become the biggest driver of ROI in demand generation. Jake Jorgovan, the creator of Content Allies, found that over 68% of his revenue resulted from podcast guests.
The best strategy for executing podcasts and webinar leads is consistency. Offering a regular podcast series provides on-the-go value to busy decision-makers, while webinars nurture highly qualified leads with actionable information.
Where To Start With B2B Demand Generation
Once you have identified areas of content growth for your B2B, it will be important to track down the writers and subject matter experts that bring it to life. You have three options: in-house, freelance, or agency work.
The most significant benefit to using in-house experts is that they have lots of hands-on experience with your USP. However, they may not have enough time or energy to create the copy you need. They might not be familiar with writing, digital media, or other marketing skills, which could reduce its overall effectiveness.
Freelance inbound marketers have more time to create the materials you need. Bear in mind, however, that they aren’t the same as employees. Freelancers take on multiple projects simultaneously and may not have the industry depth you’d prefer within your subject matter. Finally, freelancers may be unavailable during critical deadlines for your company, like PR events or recording sessions.
Inbound marketing agencies employ industry experts worldwide and develop a strategy that incorporates quality demand generation with ranking SEO results. If you have the space in your budget, agencies could be a great starting place for growth.
At Draft.dev, we focus on technical content that addresses software devs and tech-minded decision-makers. If you’re running a B2B that could benefit, let’s chat. Book a call whenever’s convenient.
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