Imagine that you’ve created a chat software similar to Slack. Your software has many more useful features and you want companies to know about it and become your clients.
Because your software is new and no one knows about it yet, you will need to generate demand for it. It means that you will somehow need to make its name and abilities known in your B2B market and your potential clients believe your software can make life easier for them.
B2B demand generation has always been challenging for every startup. If your product itself isn’t useful for your users as you think it is, you may already fail at the beginning. This is when demand generation is useless and a complete waste of investment.
However, startups that have plenty of financial backups can change their business models or adjust greatly to make their products useful for their users. As long as the product is adding real value to companies, the lead generation effort will eventually be worthwhile.
Some companies generate demand for their products faster than others depending on many factors such as the talents they have, the niche they’re in, etc.
The followings are the required steps for a demand generation strategy done right.
Research your market
People often downplay the importance of market research. It’s, in fact, the most important task that any business owner should work on very carefully.
1. Identify your market’s pain points.
Clearly knowing your niche’s pain points is essential for building a tool that helps add real value to businesses’ success.
Some issues should be prioritized solving over others, and startups will need to focus on the ones that matter the most.
Don’t assume and fast jump into making a product that you believe people will need without the backing of reliable data. If you do, you will probably end up losing a lot of money and effort.
2. Market size
If the number of your potential clients is too small, you should re-consider your business model because even if your product is useful, it’s not going to make the kind of money that makes you think it’s worth your effort and time.
Understanding your market size is also crucial to plan your cost for product development because products such as software can easily cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to build.
3. Market survey
When you’ve completed creating a product, don’t spend tons of money to advertise it immediately. Instead, we highly recommend you to hire a few groups of people to test your product and give you some feedback.
Even if it means going to the street and asking people to try your products, you should do so. If yours is a digital product, fortunately, you don’t need to do it like that.
There are many survey services on the Internet that have connections with a lot of people who will try your product and give you quality feedback. The only thing you need to do is picking a reliable one.
When your company and product are new, it’s very hard to even have people try, let alone pay for it.
You should offer free trials for people to try. In some cases, offering very cheap trials to your first-time users can work out as well.
If you’re running a software startup, offering free or cheap trials is a must. Trials will help users learn how to navigate around your software and discover its benefits.
Software, depending on its complexity, can take users anywhere from several days to months to get used to. Therefore, a trial feature should never be ignored.
Identify your digital marketing channels
Almost all startups have a tight budget, therefore, they can’t just invest in everything that is available on the market.
Startups need to focus on a few digital marketing strategies that work best for them. But since we’ve just started promoting our products, how do we know which one is better than the others?
Instead of investing heavily in a few things in the beginning to get results fast, startups should divide their budget into smaller chunks for all of the most popular channels.
For example, don’t invest tens of thousands of dollars in Google & FB Ads in the beginning, instead, spread this investment across SEO, several social media ads, social media, email and affiliate marketing.
Then, be patient and watch the performance of each channel while continually improving your products. This way will help startups identify which strategy is working best for them at a lower risk.
Invest in creating high-quality content for the best channels
Once, you’ve identified the best channels for your businesses. It’s time to draw up a plan for content creation.
Instead of jumping right into making the content, spend some time planning which content your business should target and the budget for them.
One rule to remember is that while you should always try to go as fast as you can, you should spend most of your effort on making high-quality content.
High-quality content is always favored by popular platforms such as Facebook or Google. Therefore, great content will bring your business traction fast, and more importantly, impressed visitors are much more likely to give your products a try than the normal ones.
Demand generation channels reviews, pros & cons
1. Social media
I haven’t seen a single big company in this world that doesn’t have a social media page. Social media nowadays have become an indispensable part of our daily lives, therefore, having a good social media presence at some point is a must for any business.
However, growing a social media page for a startup is a challenge. It usually takes a lot of time and effort until the page can gain good traction.
- Get seen by your audience because your potential clients are almost certainly on a popular social media platform.
- Can generate a lot of sales.
- Easy to manage
- Free of charge unless you run ads
- Take a lot of time and effort to grow, especially in the beginning.
- Some social media platforms may not be for your business model.
SEO is one of the most effective channels for demand generation. Your high-quality content not only attracts traffic to your site but also helps educate readers and turn them into clients.
SEO is very challenging and it’s becoming harder every day to get a good result.
- SEO is a sustainable way to maintain and grow a business
- Tend to be lower cost compared to running other channels when your SEO is already gaining traction.
- SEO-generated visitors have a higher probability of becoming your leads or customers.
- Depending on a few things such as the niche you’re in, it can be very difficult to get good traffic through SEO
- Can be expensive in the beginning.
3. Paid ads
Most businesses generate demand, leads and customers via paid ads. Despite being expensive, it’s one of the best ways to generate demand, get users and clients fast.
Ads platforms nowadays have been becoming more sophisticated to help advertisers achieve their goals more efficiently.
- Can generate demand and sales very fast
- It’s getting easier to run and manage ad campaigns.
- Ads platforms are becoming more efficient to help advertisers achieve their goals.
- Usually expensive and most small to medium-sized businesses can’t stick to ads for long
- In many cases, when you stop running ads, you stop getting new clients.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most popular channels to generate demand.
Although email marketing doesn’t generate demand and sales as effectively as SEO and paid ads, it’s affordable for your long-term strategy.
We ensure a risk-free experience for our users by offering free trials and excellent support to help you make the most out of your lead and demand generation effort.
- One of the most (if not the most) affordable ways to generate demand, leads and sales.
- Relatively simple to run and manage
- Email automation makes life easy for marketers and businesses
- Can be annoying to your recipients.
- Conversion rate isn’t as high as the other channels
5. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is the collaboration between a business and its promoters. Promoters earn commissions for every qualified sale that they referred.
Affiliate marketing can bring a lot of benefits to your business’ growth since it doesn’t only help you generate sales but also your branding effort.
- Can help generate sales effectively.
- Can help with your SEO & branding effort.
- It can be affordable.
- It can be difficult to find suitable partners