B2B Marketing Blog

Damn Good Strategies For Better Demand Generation

By Andrew Nguyen
Jan 28, 2015
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On some days the truth hurts. There's no single guideline that provides all the answers for a hyper successful online marketing campaign. It's mix of tried and true methods, experiments and industry specific best practices. It's a lot to think about: expanding the sales funnel and getting leads through faster.

We started pipeline marketing, a community of data and revenue driven B2B marketers, to address a few problems. For example, a Forrester research report finds only 0.75% of leads actually turn into customers.  

The table below shows the lead to sales conversions for top performing B2B companies. And even these top performers average a 1.54% conversion rate. We as marketers can do better than that.

lead_nurturing_benchmark

Start Driving Traffic To Your Site

It's not A/B testing or great CTA's, nor is it compelling landing pages that lead to demand generation success. It's all of the above AND creating value for community members by getting them involved with your cause. Let's look at some examples of this. 

The Moz blog creates value for those who contribute, increasing contributors' site traffic and notoriety. Inbound.org and Growthhackers.com offer similar value -- we recently shared our results after getting on the front page of Growthhackers.

Having a high standard for quality content in an online communities makes that it a trusted source for information. This results in an online community where your content can be found, and shared by an influencer or the masses. 

It's all about having a high standard for quality.

There's a reason we check the box that says, "I promise this is good content" before joining and posting on Inbound.org.

b2b_marketing_add_value_to_online_communities

Thinking about how you can make an online communities more valuable is a great starting point for brain storming content in your demand generation campaign. Here's a simple guideline from Inbound.org:

Guidelines For Improving B2B Online Marketing & Demand Generation

Generating more leads and nurturing your prospects faster is possible with a few tactics. 

Think lead quality 

If you're givings the sales team bad leads then you're wasting effort that could have been spent on developing more qualified buyers. One way to generate more qualified leads is to improve your ad targeting by testing different parameters and audience sizes. Constantly revisiting your personas is another tactic that shouldn't be forgotten. Customer satisfaction surveys, events, and new product features are opportunities to update the new information you learn about your target customers.  

Tell the best stories

Connect with audiences emotionally by telling better stories. A good story provides a vivid, memorable experience where readers make connections between your message and the bigger picture. A story revolves around an easily identifiable experience like accomplishing a goal or realizing a new truth. This requires empathy. 

According to Demian Farnworth on Copyblogger, you can use an empathy map, shown below, to help understand your audience, and brain storm an irresistable story

empathy-map

For deeper writing tips, check out 's recent post on using word pictures to improve content engagement.  

Have a clear call to action, or don't

For email nurturing CTA's: each email should have a specific action you want the reader to take, whether it is to learn more or request a demo. Think about increasing the weight of the CTA over time, so by the end of the nurturing flow they are ready to contact sales.

For landing pages you can skip the CTA all together. Kissmetrics speeds up the demo or trial offer experience by immediately asking for SSN access -- no CTA necessary. This doesn't apply to every context but it's definitely an interesting approach. 

 

no_cta_approach_lead_generation 

Act fast once you've captured a lead. Place leads into lead nurturing campaigns immediately. Waiting hurts conversion rates, it also lengthens your marketing cycle. 

Explore multimedia

Images, podcasts, and videos help prospects consume information quickly. Wistia found that including a video in email improved CTR by a whopping 300%. 

New featurers on paid social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to embed multimedia in your ads. This is a great way to reuse existing multimedia you've invested in. Here's what a video embed looks like on LinkedIn Ads. 

prudential_2

Generate A/B test ideas

When it comes to emails and landing pages there are countless dimensions to A/B test. We came up with 8 easy ways to A/B test your homepage, but Optimizely beat us by compiling 71 things to A/B test.

While A/B testing provides the hard numbers, qualitative feedback is also important. Getting feedback from different departments can identify problem areas you haven't yet considered. 

Obsess over email nurturing

In a survey of 324 B2B companies 30-50% leads are qualified but are not yet ready to purchase. After spending dollars to generate leads, nurturing them because a question of how not to waste them. Here are some best practices for email lead nurturing campaigns. 

For lead nurturing strategies involving email, you should segment leads based on qualifications like product line fit, company size, web behavior, email click interaction and job roles. These criteria signal the kinds of email content and messaging that will be most relevant to your segments. This is why collecting relevant information is so important. 

Software tools like Pinpointe (shown below) can help B2B marketers from mid-sized companies to segment and analyze their email marketing campaigns

email_list_segmentation_b2b_marketing

For email campaigns a 30% open rate and CTRs of 3% are good targets. Once you have a baseline rate it's time to optimize.

Watch closely to improvements based on changes in messaging or new content. Know your overall objectives and focus on moving people forward in mass.

Don't lose focus on content promotion 

Some marketers spend split their time 50/50 on content creation and content promotion. Others split their time 70/30 or 80/20. 

Staying focused after researching, coordinating and writing content is tough. But content promotion is essential if you're growing your audience base. 

The tool we use for our content workflow is Trello. Check out their guide on using Trello to manage an editorial calendar. Below is our Trello checklist for promoting our blog posts:

checklist_for_promoting_blog_posts_b2b_marketing

Great content gets shares and links, but not if you haven't built up a following. This is where content promotion comes in, and it's a vital part of demand generation.

That's all for now. We'd love to hear your best practices for successful demand generation, send us a tip at @Bizible, and subscribe to our blog for ongoing coverage on getting more traffic and revenue from your demand generation efforts. 

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Topics: lead generation, email marketing, paid search, paid social ads, demand generation

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