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B2B Marketing Knowledge Series: B2B Demand Generation and B2B Lead Generation

Are your stale methods of generating leads simply no longer effective? It might be time to try something new if your business is struggling to grow. It's time to first focus on creating demand rather than increasing the number of leads (which may or may not actually convert).

What I mean is this: Let's say you're going grocery shopping after work. Although you are unsure of what you want for dinner, you are already starving. You see a video advertisement for juicy fried chicken as you enter the subway. You're craving fried chicken now because they've increased demand. Even though not all of us offer mouth-watering fried chicken, this tactic works for software companies and other businesses. By creating a demand for your product or service before convincing them to buy, successful demand generation focuses on increasing the quality of leads and it is especially effective in business-to-business.

How does B2B demand generation marketing work?

Before gathering leads or pushing for conversion, demand generation is a marketing strategy that creates demand for a product or service. When it works, it makes people aware of your brand and brings people to your website. It works best for companies that have a new or less well-known product or service, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) industry, but this strategy can be used by any company that wants to get more customers. Although there is a significant difference, it may sound similar to brand awareness. Your brand as a whole is not the focus of demand generation marketing. Instead, it focuses on educating prospective clients about the issues they face and the potential solutions. Demand generation is not a one-step strategy but rather a process. By informing your audience of your offering and encouraging them to learn more, the first step generates demand. Demand capture is the second step, in which intent is captured and conversion is encouraged. It's possible that this sounds like a strategy you already use, such as traditional lead generation.

What is the difference, then? What distinguishes lead generation from demand generation? Lead generation in business-to-business is all about obtaining contact information from your target audience so that the sales team can follow up later. You could, for instance, provide a gated eBook on a subject that interests your customers. They receive the download when they provide their email address or phone number. Additionally, you give your sales team their contact information.

What distinguishes lead generation from demand generation marketing strategies? The process of generating demand includes more than just lead generation. Businesses use demand generation to get customers excited about their product or service, entice them, and then work to get them to buy.

Lead generation has only one objective: acquiring as many contacts as possible. If customers don't know you exist, this could mean no leads or a lot of unqualified leads, no matter how hard you try to qualify them. The fact of the matter is that the B2B buyer journey has undergone significant change in recent years. There is no longer a single-size-fits-all approach to B2B marketing, sales, growth, and lead generation strategies.

To begin, the marketing and sales departments are becoming more integrated. This indicates that it is no longer necessary or effective to separate steps like a lead generation from the rest of the funnel. Companies must not hide their products behind lead capture forms if they want to succeed in B2B growth by increasing demand and awareness, producing high-quality content that addresses a problem, and getting in front of buyers on the platforms where they interact. Take the time to learn about intent signals once there is demand, establish a presence on channels with high intent, and engage your sales team when prospects are ready to buy.

How do you bring in customers? You might already be using some of these strategies. The primary distinction between demand generation and lead generation is that demand generation takes precedence over a lead generation. Create content with a lot of authority and SEO support. B2B buyers only spend 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. How would they use whatever remains of their time? Mainly conducted research on their own. B2B buyer time graphic for demand generation Engaging with potential customers at this stage necessitates informative, high-authority, SEO-optimized content. Contingent upon your business (and industry), this could include:

Blog posts, videos, case studies, books, and FAQ pages—keep in mind that this content is not restricted. The interest age stage is tied in with producing requests, not get-together leads.

Concentrate on examining user obstacles, and common issues, and offering solutions. Different types of content attract buyers at various stages of the buying funnel. Content that targets informational keywords is what TOFU users are looking for, whereas BOFU users are looking for more brand-related content like case studies or in-depth research. Focus on optimizing your content for SEO and making it as useful as possible, regardless of the type. Don't force people to convert yet. Services that are free to use Offering a free product or service is one of the best ways to get B2B customers to buy it. Six to ten different stakeholders are required to provide input on B2B purchase decisions these days. Stakeholders are given the opportunity to have a better understanding of your product or service and the value it brings by offering a freemium service—access to a limited version.

It is much simpler for them to persuade higher-ups to invest when they are able to demonstrate, "Hey, this platform brought us X number of leads already." They are more likely to stay if they start using your tool and see the benefits. Additionally, it may assist you in better comprehending how your users make use of your tool. It's similar to when restaurants in a mall food court give you free samples of their orange chicken in the hope that you'll buy it. However, we don't sell orange chicken; we sell software. Create a tool that addresses a major issue if you don't already have free software. An automated SEO audit, for instance, might be provided for free by an SEO company. They only have to put effort into it, but users get a lot of value out of it. Create a free solution based on your target audience's primary issues and offer it to them. Offer training to build authority. Webinars, live events, podcasts, and videos let you teach people more in-depth or technical tasks. For instance, training on better aligning sales and marketing might be offered by a website tracking tool.

Since aligning these two teams is a major issue for their clients, assisting them with this problem is a good way to be noticed. Training does not yet need to be specific to your product or service. But it can also be used to capture demand. Instead, focus on finding a solution to a problem that your potential clients face.

Ask them if you are unsure of what to discuss! Find a problem by participating in a Twitter or LinkedIn poll.

On the off chance that a colleague is proficient in the subject, have them have an online course, video, or digital recording. If not, host a training in collaboration with another organization.

Concentrate on LinkedIn Marketing. LinkedIn is one of the most efficient platforms for business-to-business marketing. It has more than 800 million members. Additionally, it is ideal for creating demand.

Start by establishing trust in the platform by promoting free tools, training, and SEO-driven content. However, you shouldn't just promote your own resources. Participate in industry-related groups, answer questions, and offer insight wherever you can. Social selling systems, such as enhancing your profile and taking part in discussions, are a decent spot to begin. Pay attention to the content that users share, the difficulties they face, and the interests you share. You'll be in a better position to use paid ads or other demand-capture strategies to get leads as you build relationships and learn more about your audience. LinkedIn actually offers a guide to demand generation to help you make the most of the platform.

B2B Demand Capture Tactics

Influence account-based advertising

Account-based advertising and request age remain inseparable. It is simpler to concentrate on generating demand among decision-makers because this strategy targets very specific accounts. Create a list of target accounts first. Demand generation ought to be relatively straightforward if you do this correctly. You can target accounts that are a good fit for your business by making use of intent-based data. To generate demand, then target those accounts with content supported by SEO, training, and other useful content. Customize your effort by tending to explicit problem areas they have. For a more individualized experience, think about utilizing dynamic content.

Additionally, I recommend monitoring their actions on your website with a tool like Leadfeeder or Happierleads to determine which content performs best. Move on to obtain their contact information using the strategies described in the following section once an account engages with your content. B2B demand capture strategies Once you've used the strategies in the previous section to generate demand, the next step is to convert that demand into paying customers. Instead of just collecting as many leads as possible, the key is to concentrate on signals and channels with high intent. Using a website intent capture tool, you can find customers with high intent. Website tracking tools use IP and domain information to track which businesses visit your site. For instance, you can see which pages a visitor from Microsoft viewed, how long they spent on each page, and where they left off on your website which can be great inputs for your sales executive or field marketer.

Hosting in-depth webinars or training that requires registration is a good way to generate demand. You could, for instance, share seven strategies for increasing customer numbers using demand generation. That creates demand for your product and establishes your value. You will need to be a little bit more in-depth and product-focused during the demand capture stage. You could, for instance, hold a webinar to teach users about a new feature, give them a detailed demonstration, or walk them through complicated procedures. When you ask users to sign up or register, you can get more information that you can use to reach out to them, retargeting ads, or nurture them in other ways. Paying for ads that target a specific niche is a great way to capture demand. A lower CPC can also be a result of awareness, which is fantastic. Users are already aware of who you are, what you offer, and the value you provide at this point.

Make use of paid ads to rank higher than organic results in search results. This is done to attract customers who have already engaged with you during the demand generation stage and are aware of your product or service. You'll save money on paid ads and get more customers if you focus on and target users who are already familiar with your brand.

Targeting is key here. By employing niche targeting, you can reduce your potential audience to a much smaller number than the average. Keep in mind that the goal is not to find everyone; rather, you want to get users who are familiar with your brand involved. Naturally, your precise targeting parameters will vary.

You might want to think about uploading a target email list to Google Ads and focusing on users who interact with you on social media or email. Use interests, location, and other targeting options to make a smaller target list if you don't have access to this. Google provides targeting automation tools that could be useful in this situation. Engage users on review websites The majority of users on review websites are BOFU. They are weighing their options and deciding which one to buy. Since there has been an increase in demand, this is your chance to shine. Make the effort to improve the appearance of your listing on review websites like Google, Yelp, G2, Capterra, and SaaS Genius, among others. Make sure your features and pricing are accurate and well-presented and simple to understand. After that, move over to the comments section. Thank users for participating if there are favorable reviews. Take the time to respond to any negative reviews, ask clarifying questions, and offer a solution. Screenshot of the responses to the Demand Generation review site You can't keep tracking the same old metrics because Demand Generation changes the entire sales and marketing strategy.

Demand Generation Metrics

Concentrate on the sourced pipeline to determine your actual level of effectiveness. Your overall close rate, for instance, won't tell you much. It should inform you that closes are rising, but you need to investigate further to determine exactly what is driving that rise. Track these five metrics for your BOFU demand capture channels rather than the overall metrics:

Rate of closure per channel: Although it can be more useful when tracked by channel or platform, the close rate is a broader metric.

Cost per acquisition: One of the most crucial metrics for generating demand is this one. While engagement and close rates are fine, you should also keep an eye on how much each acquisition costs across all channels.

Cost per lead: To figure out how much you'll need to spend on each lead overall to scale your efforts, keep track of it.

Commitment rates: Although it is a somewhat softer metric (you will need to decide what you mean by engagement), it is helpful to see how well your strategies for generating demand are working.

Value per customer over time: CLV monitors your average profit per customer. For a better understanding of where to focus your efforts and budget, aim to track this for each channel.

Demand Generation Is Key

A strong demand generation strategy helps B2B businesses attract new customers, pique interest in their products, and increase user engagement. This approach zeros in on building a relationship, instead of hanging carrots before leads and trusting they chomp.

Automating demand generation whenever possible can significantly boost both the quantity and quality of leads you receive. You'll be able to handle the flurry of leads with ease as a result, allowing you to close more deals.

About Engage48

Engage48 is a full-service B2B Content Marketing and Appointment Setting Agency servicing B2B marketers worldwide on their digital lead generation programs. We also provide accurate and verified b2b contact data for your marketing and sales outreach programs.

We support business owners, b2b marketing, and sales heads in their quest for qualified leads. Whether you are looking to promote your b2b offerings to IT directors, HR heads, CFOs, CMOs, or the executive suite you can rely on our targeted lead generation and appointment-setting programs to produce the desired outcomes. And on a budget!


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