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Feb 09, 2024
How can you use marketing to grow your pipeline in 2024? Demand generation might be the answer you’re looking for.
While it’s not a new way of marketing, demand generation has steadily become recognised as a best practice approach.
Marketers understand that buyer behaviour has changed. People are hesitant to hand over their details, such as name, email address, or company. For businesses that focus on generating leads through gated content or cold emails, this can make reaching your target audience difficult. This is where a demand generation strategy can help.
A demand generation strategy is a plan of action you take to generate demand in your business.
The goal is to drive awareness and interest in your offering and lets buyers educate and evaluate anonymously. It encompasses every interaction you have with a potential buyer.
You can create your demand generation strategy yourself, or use expert marketing strategy services to help you.
There are two core components of a successful demand generation strategy in 2023. These are demand creation and demand capture.
Demand creation is the process of generating awareness of a problem and solution. This includes creating and distributing content to your audience, on the channels they use. Be it social media, podcasting, or communities. The purpose is to target users who aren’t actively looking for an offering.
These are buyers in your market who are actively seeking a solution to their problem. Demand capture focuses on converting these buyers. It involves capturing buyers in the channels they use when they’re ready to buy. For example, Google search, review sites, and your website. This aligns more closely with well-known inbound marketing strategies.
Social media is a powerful way to create demand. But your posts must be aligned with the content that your buyers want and that social media platforms reward.
Your strategy needs to encourage in-feed consumption and offer content that enables buyers to consume it within the platform. Buyers shouldn’t need to click links that take them off-platform to view your content.
The benefit of doing this is it’s a way to reach buyers before they have a preference for a brand or have identified a problem. It lets you bring awareness at the first stages of customer understanding.
Blend recommends: Prioritise distributing in-feed content on social media that gets in front of the right people, with the right message.
You can use paid social media to distribute content to a specific audience. This helps you get your message in front of the right people, without them following you.
You can also use paid social for retargeting. If a user has completed an action relating to a campaign, visited your site, or performed a behaviour, you can serve ads to them. Retargeting can be used to remind a user about your brand, product, or services using an ad.
Blend recommends: Treat paid social media as a way of distributing your best in-feed content to your perfect audience.
Bringing people together, creating a community, and distributing your message during a live event is a powerful way to generate demand.
To be successful, your live events need to be educational – and not just focused on your product. And you shouldn’t just focus on getting customer data, like names or email addresses. Instead, focus on generating greater brand affinity and brand awareness.
Blend recommends: Don't just focus your event efforts on badge scans, prioritise communicating your message to your ideal customers.
There are now more ways than ever to consume content. And each buyer has their own preferences. So you should align your demand generation strategy to make sure you're distributing content in the channels that your buyer wants to consume content through.
Podcasting has seen a huge spike in popularity. It is predicted that there will be around 504.9 million podcast listeners worldwide by the end of 2024.
Podcasting naturally supports demand generation as it can't be directly attributed to leads, and instead focuses on creating engaging content.
For demand generation, ABM is only applicable in certain situations. This is because the majority of businesses use strategies that target wider audiences.
However, if you need to market to a niche audience, you can tailor your demand generation strategy to the buying groups within your target accounts, rather than a larger market.
With 8.5 billion Google searches happening daily, search is still a crucial part of almost all B2B purchases. So, SEO is essential to generate demand.
Some of the benefits of using organic search to distribute content include:
Blend recommends: Add embedded materials to your content and website pages, like videos and podcasts, to build a deeper connection and affinity for your brand. This makes it more engaging when users do land on it.
PPC is a great method of getting your business in front of your target audience at critical moments in the buying journey.
Targeting keywords that show purchase intent is the best way to maximise ROI on your ad spend. Understanding things like buyer intent keywords can help you achieve this. You can create website pages or content that builds awareness of your offering, and by having content that targets the correct keywords, you’ll have a higher chance of success when a buyer decides to make a purchase.
In B2B marketing, PPC works best when demand already exists, and people are looking for a solution. This is why high-intent keywords have the most impact.
Review websites display a ranking of the top businesses for specific solutions. For example, G2 collects reviews for thousands of software and service categories and then ranks them accordingly. Today's buyers seek reliable sources to validate their purchases, and review sites provide a way of doing this.
If the search results for high-intent keywords in your category are dominated by review sites, then your demand capture strategy should include increasing your exposure on these websites.
It's going to be much harder to try and compete with these sites organically (because buyers find them helpful) than it is to leverage them to capture demand.
If your industry relies on review sites, optimise your presence on them to increase discoverability.
Using capture demand channels to generate traffic is important, but without an effective website, you won't truly be able to capture demand.
Ideally, you want visitors to complete a desired action, like contacting your sales team. And you want them to be able to find what they're looking for, fast.
By optimising your website's performance and user experience, you can make it easier for users to find answers and contact you.
Demand generation does the legwork for your business, and builds brand awareness across your potential customers. All this without disrupting them or asking too much of them too soon. This means they'll be more prepared to buy.