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Lead Generation

Demand generation marketing: A complete starter’s guide

October 14, 2021
The demand generation process is the first step in the sales funnel, and it’s important to understand at least the basics. This guide will teach you how to start generating leads through your website.

In this era of technology, demand generation marketing has become one of the most prominent strategies for both SaaS and B2B companies. It provides you with a highly effective, consistent, and streamlined strategy to engage your target audience by improving your brand awareness.  

The primary purpose of any demand generation campaign is to find potential customers using their behaviors and history to provide your sales team with highly qualified leads. It incorporates multiple touchpoints and everything that your business does to generate recognition, awareness, and buzz. 

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about demand generation marketing to ensure efficient and sustainable business growth. So, let’s jump into it. 

What Is demand generation marketing? 

Demand generating marketing is the practice of using marketing tactics to create demand and awareness of your services/products. It improves your audience, drives more traffic, and brings highly qualified leads that engage with your brand and turn into revenue.  

What is demand generation? 

Demand generation is a digital marketing strategy derived from data to create awareness and interest in your targeted audience about your services/products. It deals with every single touchpoint of the customer journey from an unaware visitor to a satisfied customer. 

Is there a difference between demand generation and lead generation? 

In the simplest words, demand generation is the practice of getting your target audience interested in your products or services. On the other hand, lead generation is the process of converting that interest into lead details such as names, contact information, and so on for follow-up.  

But if you would like more information, check out our Demand generation vs lead generation article. 

The five stages of demand generation marketing 

The ultimate goal of digital marketing campaigns is to make the demand generation funnel as well as the buyer’s journey smooth. The process of demand generation spreads across your marketing funnel and tries to convert prospects at every touchpoint. That’s why it’s important to understand the demand generation marketing funnel and its different stages to make the whole process smoother.  

What are the different stages of the demand generation funnel? 

The different stages of the demand generation funnel are: 

  1. Awareness building – Unknown Visitors 
  1. Interest generation – Known leads  
  1. Consideration provision – MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) 
  1. Intent fulfillment – SALs (Sales Accepted Leads) 
  1. Evaluation acknowledgment – SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) 
  1. Conversion and Retention – Closed leads 

Make sure you understand each stage thoroughly, we have created an article that goes over each stage as well as how to create the perfect demand generation funnel. 

Demand generation best practices 

The recent stats suggest that 55% of B2B marketers have increased their demand gen activities and 78% states that they are expecting to experience an increase in their demand generation budget.  

Consider following the best demand generation tips that we have listed below for your businesses.  

Before you start, create a buyer persona for your audience 

Your demand generation strategy should start with a buyer persona. In the simplest words, it is the representation of a customer who needs your services or products the most. The more realistic and detailed your buyer persona is the easier it will be to find and address the pain points of your target audience. Ideally, your buyer persona should include the following: 

  • Interests 
  • Location 
  • Age 
  • Career goals 
  • Language 
  • Stage of life 
  • Marketing triggers 
  • Objectives 
  • Spending power and behavior 

The best way to create your buyer persona is to analyze the very people facing the problems that your services aim to solve.  

Help your audience, don’t sell to them 

More than 4.4 billion people use social media across the globe and if there is only one thing that this gigantic number tells us is the potential it holds. From interacting with your customers to promoting your content, social media is an ideal place when it comes to the best demand generation campaign. 

Over a long period of time, B2B marketers need multiple touchpoints with their prospects and social media provides that.  

  • Social media platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and YouTube, have become powerful marketplaces for thought leadership. 
  • It’s a great place to practice “help, don’t sell” which states that you need to offer valuable content to help people before making them your customers.  
  • It comes with great targeting abilities and you get to interact with the prospects that are interested in your services. 
  • Don’t just share articles that help your company, share and interact with people on social media in a real way – Try to give answers to questions they are asking publicly, share third-party articles that help them out, and find new ways to get personal with them. 

Integrate your marketing and sales teams 

Ensure that your sales and marketing teams communicate and collaborate to entice your prospects to move down the marketing and sales funnel. 

  • Make sure that your marketing team creates and distributes engaging content that also educates your audience and solves their problems.  
  • Create campaigns that use your lead nurturing strategies to provide each user with the content they need at the right time at different stages of the funnel. 
  • Your sales team should have access to high-quality content to use it for the lead nurturing processes to improve the chances of conversion. 

Utilize email marketing 

More than 60% of businesses believe that email marketing is a very effective strategy when it comes to ROI. However, it’s important to note that your email marketing must be one part of your overall strategy.  

  • Create email campaigns to use as a starting point to increase your outreach. 
  • Your emails must be personalized and address different prospects differently based on their needs.  
  • Make sure that your emails hit the right person at the right time. 

Increase your brand’s authority and influence 

Creating your brand awareness is not just about showing the logo of your brand. Most people use brands they trust to perform businesses. You’ll need to build trust piece by piece along the way and you can do the following for that: 

  • Write detailed blog posts that answer the most common queries about your industry. 
  • Participate in related conferences. 
  • Conduct webinars and live events to engage with your audience. 
  • Collaborate with the industry experts to share their opinions.  
  • Collect testimonials from your existing customers and display them on your website. 

Bear in mind that building authority and trust is a long-term process and all the efforts you put in eventually pay off. You’ll need to stay focused and proactive by minoring your brand awareness and positioning. Regardless of the size and type of your business make sure that you have a unique vision and voice that you can spread. 

Create amazing content that people are willing to give their contact info for 

The main goal is to create demand for your product, but you should also find ways to convert the viewers into leads. This is where highly detailed, very informative, or exclusive content really comes in handy. 

  • How to guides 
  • eBooks 
  • White papers 
  • Case studies 
  • Infographics 
  • Playbooks 
  • Checklists 
  • Video tutorials 
  • Educational courses 

Offer this rich content for free, but require them to provide their content info to see it. If your content is really amazing, people will see the value and be willing to give up their personal info for it.   

Set Realistic and Transparent KPIs 

Setting crystal-clear and realistic KPIs upfront is the best way to ensure that demand for your brand grows. 

Top of the Funnel KPIs 

  • Sign-ups 
  • New website visitors 
  • The time that each visitor spends on your website 
  • Content engagement 
  • Bounce rate (open and unsubscribed rate) 

Middle of the Funnel KPIs 

  • Booked meetings 
  • Demo requests 

You can analyze the following once the deals are closed. 

  • Cost per lead 
  • Total number of leads 
  • Churn rate 
  • Length of average cycle 

Demand generation strategies to get you started 

Coming up with demand generation strategies for your business not only allows you to create demand and awareness of your brand but also helps you craft a sales pipeline for your business’s sales team. Here are some important demand generation strategies that you can use to get started.  

Strategy 1 – Give Away Your Best Stuff (Content marketing -organic inbound marketing) 

If you don’t already know, only 17% of the overall B2B buying process consists of talking to vendors. Interestingly, the remaining 83% consists of creating valuable content and internal business discussions for decision making. Creating content is vital for your business because it informs your potential customers to learn about your services. You can create valuable content and give it away to your audience to improve your brand awareness.  

  • Give away videos tutorials that offer an experience tailored to your potential customers 
  • Create blog posts that explain the most complex issues related to your fields with easy fixes 
  • Offer free white papers that allow users to understand how your business addresses the industry problems and what benefits it brings to the table.  
  • Offer downloadable eBooks on the subjects related to your business 

Depending upon the funnel stage you can offer the aforementioned types of content to your audience.  

  • Use informational videos and blog posts to target queries found in the TOFU. 
  • Use eBooks and whitepapers to target leads found in the MOFU. 
  • Use personalized webinars, case studies, and posts with high purchase intent keywords to target BOFU leads. 

Strategy 2 – Create Free Tool, App, or Resource 

‍One of the most successful demand generation strategies is to offer a free resource or tool that not only explains your expertise but also provides useful information to your audience about your services. You want to make sure that you display your best work with such tools and apps. Keep in mind that developing a tool or app won’t be easy and you’ll also need to allocate a budget for that. However, all the hassle pales in comparison to the results and value that it brings to your business. You can create evaluation tools, hashtag generators, free calculators, etcetera.  

Some of the most successful examples of free tools for demand generation are: 

  • Social media image resizing tool by SproutSocial 
  • Google Ads Performance Grader by WordStream 

Strategy 3 – Create Webinars 

When it comes to generating demand for your business, webinars are second to none. If you want to hold your consumers’ attention for more than several seconds, you must interact with them through webinars. Because nonverbal communication accounts for up to 55% of all communication, if your business isn’t using the power of webinars to attract more leads and generate demand, you’re passing up a lot of possibilities to boost conversion rate. Here’s what you can do to create a killer webinar.  

  • Create an idea for a webinar that you’ll conduct and give it a proper name. Consider incorporating numbers in your webinar title because it is critical. For example, “how Apple increased its sales by 200% last year”. 
  • Create an eye-catching, succinct landing page. The most effective landing pages are direct, yet appealing, and provide a clear value proposition. Consider including a headline, press badges for legitimacy, a short value proposition, and a module to capture email addresses. 
  • You can use your SEO strategy, social media, paid ads, etcetera to maximize your webinar’s exposure. Make sure that your target Facebook and LinkedIn for paid ad campaigns if your budget allows. Keep in mind that you’ll need to target the right people after identifying your buyer persona.  

Demand Generation Metrics: How to Measure Your Efforts 

Being a B2B market you must analyze the demand generation marketing KPIs. Not only will it allow you to earn a greater reputation in your industry but it’ll also help you understand how your demand gen program has aided the growth of your company. 

Tracking KPIs for demand creation does not need poring over every single piece of data. Instead, you must learn how to prioritize various KPIs and, more importantly, how to understand the meaning behind them. So, here are the most important metrics that you should monitor for your business.  

Engagement metrics 

As mentioned earlier, email campaigns work as the lifeblood to generate demand for your businesses. That’s why it’s important to measure the performance of all your email campaigns. Not only will it help you to analyze the current results but it’ll also allow you to improve your email marketing campaigns to generate better outcomes. 

How are your leads and prospects responding to your campaigns and content? Engagement metrics provide insight into how people interact with the content. They are relevant throughout the funnel but are only indicators of success and include metrics like: 

Site traffic 

You can use any analytics tool such as Google Analytics to calculate the sire traffic. Moreover, you can use the following formula to calculate the growth rate of your site traffic. 

Traffic growth rate = (((Total number of sessions in last month or year) – (Total number of sessions in current month or year)) / Total number of sessions (in last month or year)) x 100 

Click-through rate 

Click-through rate or CTR is the ratio of people who click on your ad, page or email to the total number of people viewing it.  

CRT = (total number of clicks) / (total impressions)  

Unsubscribe rate 

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who opted out and chose not to receive your messages anymore.  

Unsubscribe rate = Total number of unsubscribes / number of delivered emails.  

Read rate or open rate 

You can calculate the email open rate by dividing the number of open emails by the number of total sent ones. Then multiply the answer by 100.  

Open rate = ((Number of open emails) / (total email sent or total recipients)) x 100 

Social Media Engagement 

Measuring the performance of your social media efforts is also important. You want to make sure that it’s generating tangible efforts. It allows you to figure out how well your content on social media is resonating with your audience.  

How to calculate the social media engagement rate? 

You can calculate the social media engagement rate by dividing the number of the engaged user by your total followers. Then multiply the answer by 100.  

Social media engagement rate = ((number of engaged users) / (total followers)) x 100 

How to calculate the traffic rate derived by social media? 

You can also calculate the rate of traffic that a certain post derived by performing the following steps: 

  • Measure the impressions on a post 
  • Measure the number of clicks on the post’s link 
  • Divide the total click on the post’s link by total impressions on the post and multiply the answer by 100.  

Traffic rate derived by social media = ((number of clicks on post’s link) / (total number of impression on the post)) x 100 

Performance metrics 

Performance metrics are excellent for evaluating the effectiveness of your funnel as a whole. They include various metrics such as marketing qualified leads, sales-accepted leads, and sales cycle length. 

ROI metrics 

The hard money stats and dollar values that your marketing efforts generated. Includes metrics like customer acquisition cost, conversion rate, customer lifetime value, and total revenue generated. 


Greg Tucker