Many demand generation marketers employ a typical set of demand generation strategies to drive awareness and leads through the marketing funnel. These strategies range from segmenting your email marketing based on industry or job level and tailoring the messaging accordingly, to putting on local events to engage with target prospects 1:1, to writing thought leadership content and distributing it through third-party sponsorships.
While it’s a good idea to pursue and test these long-proven strategies for your target audience, we also always need to be flexible and try new avenues. After all, our audience is inevitably changing in their preferences and behaviors—what worked today to drive demand may not work tomorrow.
Here are 3 out-of-the-box demand generation strategies to consider trying for your business.
Elevate Your Employer Brand
We’ve all heard the saying that brand = demand, that they go hand in hand (see what I did there?).
It’s never been more true. Your employer brand is what attracts prospective candidates to your company, and now it’s also playing a quieter but significant role in attracting prospective customers to come to your website and check you out. Whether we realize it or not, we are naturally attracted to companies that give off a strong culture, have values and perspectives that resonate with our own, and which portray a fun, happy work environment with engaged employees. We want to work at these companies, but we also want to work with these companies.
Here are some tips to enhance your employer brand:
- Work closely with your HR, People, and/or Recruiting teams to ideate and contribute to the development of a branding campaign once per quarter. If they don’t have a marketing presence on the team, they’ll especially seek your guidance and leadership. Align the theme of the campaign to the quarterly theme of your other marketing and content efforts, to ensure consistency across the board and build expectations for your audience.
- Leverage the talent of your employees. Launch an internal “elevator pitch” contest where employees create a 30-second video to pitch your product in a way that highlights your value proposition and is aligned with your messaging. The more creativity, the better. Then put together a social media campaign that shows off the winning submissions. Not only will you elevate your employer brand with the underlying message that your company knows how to have fun and highlight stand-out employees, but you’ll also get more prospects to hear your company’s pitch in unique ways…and maybe one will resonate…
- Encourage and enable other employees to build their personal brands on social media and through publishing content on third-party sites and in relevant communities that share your target audience. If they show their expertise and provide helpful content to the greater community on a regular cadence, this will reflect well on your brand and build awareness for your company vicariously. You can enable your teammates by helping them brainstorm topics to write on and asking them the right questions to pull details and ideas out of them that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Or, you can interview and ghostwrite for them (if writing is not their forte).
Re-invest in Joint Content with Partners
You may or may not have already dabbled in producing joint content with partners. Understandably, it may not have been the best experience (we all have our stories). Perhaps time and effort investments from each side were not equal. Or perhaps your goals weren’t as aligned from the start as you thought they were, which created a relentless bumpy road to the finish line.
But no one can deny the benefits of producing joint content, including elevating your brand by association and getting access to the other’s audience, and the promise of this lures us back in.
Here are some tips to make your joint content efforts more effective:
- Work with a partner that has at least a 50% overlapping target audience. For instance, both companies sell to marketers at enterprise and mid-market companies, but perhaps one company sells primarily to the marketing operations professional whereas the other company sells primarily to the demand gen marketer (who may be influenced by their marketing operations counterpart)—there’s not perfect overlap in audiences, but there are enough similarities to make the partnership worth it.
- Before you ultimately agree to work together, hold a preliminary meeting. The goal is to get on the same page about various aspects, to ensure you have the same goals and vision for the work. Where will the research come from, and who will write the content? What is the editing/feedback process and timeline? How will the piece of content be made available—through landing pages from both partners, or just one? And how will leads be shared? What is each partner committing to in the way of distributing the content?
- Make sure there is balance in the co-branding so that one company isn’t upstaging the other. If it’s a written piece of content, ensure elements of both companies’ color palettes are incorporated and that both logos are used in the same places and are of equal size. Also, ensure that any CTAs are similar in perceived value. (For instance, you wouldn’t want one company to push a demo, while the other company is giving away gift cards in exchange for a demo.) And if it’s a webinar, ensure there are the same number of speakers from each company and that each speaker is at a similar job level and speaking experience, so that one person doesn’t grossly overshadow the other.
Optimize Your Biggest Digital Asset: Your Website
Your website is arguably your biggest digital asset. It’s the channel that all other channels—both offline and online—point to and drive traffic to. If you’re putting all this time (and money, eek!) to drive traffic to your website, shouldn’t it be optimized to receive this traffic, move it down the funnel, and actively convert it into leads for your sales team? Seems obvious, right?
But many marketing teams fall into the trap of putting all the work in upfront, only to leave the rest up to chance. Let’s change that today.
Here are some tips to ensure your website is optimized for conversion:
- Do your research. Recruit a handful of prospects and customers and sit down next to them at the computer. Watch them go through the key pages of your website and try to make sense of your messaging, terminology, explanations of what your solution or service does, your value proposition, and more—without chiming in and swaying them in a certain direction. This real-time, unfiltered feedback will help you pinpoint areas that may not have been as clear as you thought they were. Have this research be the basis for ideating new tests for your headlines, copy, and more.
- Use your existing data to optimize and personalize the buyer journey. You’re undoubtedly collecting lots of data on your audience, both through your website and other channels like paid ads and email. This may include demographic, firmographic, or behavioral data, all of which speak to user preferences or previous engagements and, in turn, can help you create a personalized experience for your visitors. For example, if the visitor already downloaded a certain piece of content, it would be a poor experience to put it in front of them again. You should serve them a different piece of content that’s further down the funnel but perhaps on a similar topic so you know it resonates, therefore increasing their chances of downloading it and maybe becoming an MQL for your business. This is why it’s critical to leverage your existing data to personalize each unique website visitor’s experience and compel them to convert—and Intellimize can help.