How Can Startups Capture Demand By Putting The Buyer Experience Top Of Mind?
Inbound demand generation is a strategic approach to creating valuable content that aligns with your target audiences’ needs, inspires long-term customer relationships, and generates awareness, traffic, leads, and, critically, opportunities in your pipeline. Or, to put it more simply, your customers are your customers because you offer solutions to their problems.
When done correctly, demand generation can supercharge your inbound marketing and drive results. But how do startups and other B2B SaaS companies capture demand? And as a SaaS leader, how do you tailor your demand generation approach to get ahead of the competition? That’s what we’re going to be diving into today.
Demand Generation Is Not the Same As Lead Generation – So, What’s the Difference?
There’s plenty of confusion around the difference between demand generation and lead generation. In fact, many digital marketers even use these terms interchangeably. However, while they share some of the same end objectives, demand generation and lead generation are not the same. So, what’s the difference?
Demand generation: The marketing process of generating awareness and demand for your products or services. It’s about creating a buzz that drives traffic and converts interest into action. It heavily relies on data-driven strategies that generate awareness and interest.
Lead generation: The process of turning prospects who show interest in your products or services into fully-fledged customers.
While they sound fairly similar, your goals for each are different. For example, with demand generation, your primary goal is sparking interest. This means your content will revolve around increasing brand awareness (the extent to which potential customers recognize your brand), educating your target audience (showing off your expertise and proving you understand their problems), and building trust. However, with lead generation, your content takes a different approach. Here, it’s more about capturing contact information, directly nurturing qualified leads, and demonstrating brand value or differentiation.
Now, let’s look at the top demand-generation tactics that can supercharge your inbound marketing.
Fuel Your Inbound Marketing Using These 3 Proven Tactics
Cultivate Thought Leadership Content From Within Your Business
In a fiercely competitive SaaS landscape, thought leadership content can be the differentiator that gives your brand visibility over your competitors. Thought leadership is typically broken down into three categories:
Industry: Sharing knowledge and opinions about current trends or pressing issues in your industry and the role you play in shaping the industry’s future.
Product: Extensive knowledge of your product and how it solves consumer problems.
Organizational: An unwavering and solid interpretation of how your business functions and its responsibility to employees, customers, and the wider world.
If you’re not leveraging your employees for thought leadership content, you’re making a mistake. People trust your brand when you can share innovative content that they can’t find elsewhere – content that sparks discussions and ideas. And according to one survey, 91% of B2B buyers are active on social media, so this is where you should be.
Moreover, it’s a good idea to go beyond the executive level when establishing your thought leadership creators. Having different types of employees share thought leadership knowledge specific to their experience or role can help create a stronger and more cohesive brand image. It’s important to remember that you’re not just targeting decision-makers but also the people that decision-makers trust.
Consistency and Relevance Across All Channels
It’s critically important that your brand, including its style, design, values, and messaging, be consistent across all your marketing channels. Consistency ensures that your brand can be easily recognized, and repeatedly exposing potential customers to a strong brand image makes them more likely to choose you.
Equally important is relevance, especially providing relevant content to your ideal customer profile (ICP). Your ICP is the person or type of company (in B2B) that would benefit the most from your product or service. Your messaging needs to address your ICP’s pain, needs, and wants across all channels.
Using Account-Based Marketing Platforms for Demand Generation and Demand Capturing
Effective demand-generation strategies must include account-based marketing to be viable. Account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on specific accounts, takes a personalized approach to the buyer’s journey, and requires alignment of the sales and marketing teams. As a result, you can achieve shorter sales cycles, waste fewer resources, and build stronger trust-based relationships. Essentially, it’s a revolutionary approach that favors targeting the right leads over many leads.
Leveraging ABM solutions can help supercharge your inbound marketing efforts by allowing you to grow your Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) more consistently using data-driven insights that help you save time and money. There are several leading solutions in this space, like Acquisent’s ABM platform. Acquisent’s ABM solution is specifically geared toward SaaS leaders. It helps them create compelling customer personas, perfect storytelling, and strategically engage with key accounts. Book a demo today to see what Acquisent can do for your SaaS company.
To Gate or Ungate? The Million Dollar Question for Your B2B SaaS Company
Gated content is hidden behind a lead capture form, and the user must provide their personal information to access the content. By contrast, ungated content allows visitors to access content freely without having to provide information. Gated vs. ungated is a hot debate in the marketing industry, but when it comes to demand generation, ungated content is the clear winner.
If your content is never seen, it has no practical value in helping spark interest or generating awareness for your brand. Moreover, gated content often frustrates users and leaves a negative brand impression. By ungating your content, you keep the buyer experience top of mind.
Other Top Tips to Supercharge Your Inbound Marketing
We’re not done! Here are some other top demand generation tactics for B2B SaaS companies.
Block 30 minutes a day for listening to sales calls: If your calls aren’t turning into meetings, it could be because your sales rep isn’t the right person to talk to your ICP target account. This doesn’t mean they can’t be in the future, but just that they need more training in how to address the specific wants and needs of the ICP. Again, listening to calls lets you know what you’re getting right and, more importantly, what approaches need more work.
A robust content strategy and SEO: You can’t leave your content strategy or SEO up to chance. You need to research and understand what types of content work and how much of each kind of content you need to boost your brand authority and awareness.
Focus on your personal brand: As a CEO/founder or a Marketing executive, your personal brand is just as vital to the success of your company as your company brand. You need to show up on LinkedIn every day to be seen and trusted.
Use UGC (user generated content): Leveraging UGC and incorporate it in your social campaigns, lading pages, and emails can help you gain more traction and build trust among your prospects. You can use customer reviews and ratings from websites like Capterra and G2 to showcase social proof and turn ‘just looking’ into ‘ready to buy’.
Demand generation isn’t easy, but it is vital to success for any SaaS business out there. By following the tips in this article, you should have everything you need to take your inbound marketing efforts to the next level.
Here at Acquisent we understand the ever-changing B2B buyer’s journey and are ready to show you how you can easily adapt to new trends by keeping your Inbound engine consistent. The key to constantly improve inbound lies in constant content creation, optimize for your ICP needs and wants and not for SEO keywords you got from a software, run the exact same program using multiple distribution channels (social media would be a good start), and align everything that you do with your ICP wants and needs – if you do that you’ll keep your Inbound engine constantly producing and growing.