Demand Generation Tactics for Any B2B Marketing Team
Assembling a demand channel and tactics mix for your marketing team can be a tall order. Your mix will likely be based on several differentiating factors, such as your industry, the skills of your team, your marketing budget, and your target customers.
Not only do you have those variables to consider, but you also have to select the right mix of tactics across the entire funnel. This ensures that you’re prospecting, engaging, and persuading your potential customers effectively -- ideally moving them toward a purchase decision.
“This ensures that you’re prospecting, engaging, and persuading your potential customers effectively -- ideally moving them toward a purchase decision.”
The following demand generation tactics are organized by funnel stage and designated by category. The 5 categories are (1) content, (2) social, (3) paid media, (4) direct mail, and (5) events. If you have a content writer, a paid media manager, and a graphic designer, you’re well on your way to facilitating any and all of the demand generation tactics discussed below.
Top-of-Funnel Demand Generation Tactics
Vision-based Blog Articles
Vision-based articles are interesting for even the newest of prospects. These articles explain the concepts behind the solution that your business provides, without coming at them with nitty-gritty strategy or saley-type materials.
Educational Downloadable Ebooks
Educational ebooks are along the same line as the blog articles explained above. They’re intended to provide value, but still be helpful and interesting for a prospect at the top of your funnel. These are typically your “10 Reasons Why” or “5 Tips When” sorts of ebooks that can prompt greener prospects to hand over their email address.
Online Sweepstakes Contest
Everyone is a fan of free stuff, so hold an online sweepstakes contest where users must submit profile or contact information in order to enter. Use this as a means to gather relevant persona information for nurturing purposes.
Host a Webinar with a Thought Leader
A thought leader in your industry space can boost your webinar registrations and give weight to your brand. Make some good friends and leverage their influence in your TOFU marketing plans.
Educational, Persona-Based Ad Campaigns
Use gated, educational ebook offers in your ad campaigns to target relevant, interested personas.
Automated Social Posts for Newly Published Articles
Share your content regularly, but don’t waste time scheduling individual posts on a regular basis. Bulk-schedule social posts through a social media tool and watch the engagement flow.
Introductory Mailer Package
Send a professionally-designed and useful (or at least enjoyable) mailer package to new prospects. Usually, this is an account-based marketing activity used to engage A-grade accounts on the master target accounts list. Whether it’s a printed copy of an ebook, an infographic poster, movie tickets, decadent chocolates, or a simple gift card, use the mailer as an opportunity to introduce yourself to your new prospects.
Booth Attraction or Activity
Orchestrate an activity or main attraction at your event booth to garner more attention. People are more inclined to engage in conversation if they can play some air hockey, try a VR headset for the first time, taste-test a new treat or beverage, or receive a prize. Make them want to come talk to you.
Middle-of-Funnel Demand Generation Tactics
Strategy-focused articles target viewers in the middle of the funnel who are evaluating the merits of a purchase decision. They’re asking questions around strategy, usefulness, implementation, and feasibility -- so you want to answer all of their questions and put their concerns to rest with this second level of informational content.
Host a Webinar and Discuss Strategies Related to Your Offering
Similar to the articles above, this type of webinar answers a lot of technical and strategic questions that prospects will inevitably ask. Theme it around your product or service category so that it’s not too specific, but the content should be hands-on enough to be helpful to middle-funnel leads.
Deep-Dive Downloadable Ebooks
Again, these ebooks are all about the technical information they provide and the strategies that they recommend. Rather than explaining a theoretical new perspective or a set of tips (top-of-funnel), dive deeper and start to explain executable strategy.
Engage with People Sharing Like-Minded Content on Social
People like you are on social media all day long. Set up notifications and streams to monitor social posts from like-minded parties in your industry, and start to engage with them. If you’re running ABM, you can use this tactic to engage your target accounts.
Strategy-Focused, Persona-based Ad Campaigns
Using the content and themes you’ve developed with articles, webinars, and ebooks (earlier tactics), set up persona-based ad campaigns on paid media platforms to target (or retarget) mid-funnel prospects.
Retargeting Ad Campaigns
Retargeting is a helpful demand generation tactic that can re-engage a user who has taken a previous interaction (ad click, download, website visit, etc).
Field Marketing Events with Partner Companies
Partner with other companies who target the same (or similar) personas as you do, and host a field marketing event (or series of events). This tactic can be especially helpful for those companies implementing ABM, because the invite list can include target accounts in the same city (or close geographic vicinity).
Send Gift Packages to MQLs or Target Accounts
As long as you send helpful, interesting, tasty, or unique items -- you can never go wrong with gifts. Periodically send a mailer to your most qualified MQLs and align the campaign with your sales team’s outreach to ensure that the leads (or contacts/accounts) receive good follow-up.
Bottom-of-Funnel Demand Generation Tactics
“How-It-Works” Showcase Articles
These very deep-funnel articles are very specific to your product or service. In some cases, these might even be classified as sales-enablement content and turned into short instructional documents or one-pagers that sales can send to decision-makers.
Persona-Based Sales Enablement Content
Similar to the articles above, sales enablement content should be formulated with specific personas in mind. Make sure the marketing team delivers the content to the sales team using a classification or organizational system -- so that salespeople understand how to use the content.
Customer Case Studies
Strong social proof that backs up your company’s product/service benefits can be highly effective in the down-funnel marketing process. Request (or update) customer case studies by sending a list of questions and massaging those answers into a short but impactful customer review.
Pre-Demo Email Workflows
Some marketing teams choose to cut off marketing’s nurturing streams as soon as a lead switches to an opportunity. At that point, they hand the lead over the fence to sales and are never heard from again. However, pre-demo opportunity email workflows can lead to a more cohesive customer journey and better win rates.
Host a Product or Service Category Webinar
This type of webinar targets potential customers who are seriously considering a purchase decision. Dive deep into the benefits of your offering, show case studies, and give your audience very specific steps to follow toward successful use and implementation.
Ad Campaigns for Opps
Pre-demo and post-demo ad campaigns can be highly effective methods of engaging potential customers with down-funnel content. Don’t leave your opportunities out to dry. Serve them juicy ads with rich, informational content to keep them thinking about your product/service.
Executive-To-Executive Mailer Campaign
Executives protect their time, but they’ll often pay attention to emails, promotions, and other outreach initiatives that come from their fellow executives. For example, to reach a decision-maker who is well up the chain, go direct from an executive on your end.
On-Demand Demos by Booth Staff
At a trade show, conference, or other exposition event, have booth staff on hand who can provide sit-down demos on demand for attendees who show particular interest. Not only can this move a prospect through the funnel quickly, but it’s an opportunity to make a personal connection.
Now it's time to address how you will execute on these tactics and build campaigns. To do this you'll need the right demand generation technologies. In the next chapter we go over how to create marketing technology roadmap that fits your needs.