As a small business looking to grow, it’s tempting to jump straight to lead generation to fill your pipeline. But demand generation for SMBs is essential to do that—you have to build awareness of your brand before potential buyers will convert to bonafide sales leads.
For small businesses, the idea of building wide market awareness can feel daunting. But there’s more technology than ever available to help you do it, and with a consistent and innovative approach, SMBs can hang right alongside larger enterprises when it comes to online presence and target audience penetration.
In this guide, we’ll walk through 5 powerful ways to execute a demand generation strategy that helps you stand out with the right buyers and accelerate pipeline growth.
- Demand generation is a precursor to lead generation. Without it, lead-gen is much more difficult.
- With the use of digital marketing technologies, companies can extend their brand reach while still staying targeted to the right audiences.
- Video is the most popular form of online content for B2B and B2C buyers.
- Repurposing existing content is an effective way to expand the reach of your content assets and increase the ROI you get from content ideas.
- UGC is a fairly new type of influencer marketing in which influencers create content for you. It resonates as more authentic with potential buyers.
- Outsourcing your demand generation efforts is cost-effective and can help you achieve higher results.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation is all about brand awareness. It’s the process of building awareness of your brand in your target markets and educating audiences about your solutions. It’s the precursor to lead generation, which converts buyers who need your solutions into potential customers.
Demand generation is important for every business because it sets the foundation for successful lead generation and sales pipeline growth. Not every business or individual that fits within your ideal customer profile will need or be ready to buy at the same time.
Demand generation builds knowledge of your business with your target audience so that when someone is ready to buy, your solutions come to mind. The result is more reliable revenue and predictable growth—two essentials for small businesses.
Demand Generation for SMBs: 5 Approaches to Take in 2023
Companies today rely on digital marketing to reach potential customers. But the online business landscape is crowded. Taking status-quo approaches to demand generation won’t work for SMBs who often need to stand out from larger competitors with bigger marketing budgets.
Let’s cover 5 approaches that can help you differentiate your brand on the market and execute a winning demand generation strategy.
1. Get Targeted
Even though demand generation is about building wide brand awareness, it requires a targeted approach to be effective. Before digital technology, offline marketing tactics aimed to cast the widest net possible to catch potential interest. Today’s technology capabilities allow companies to get extremely targeted while still extending their brand reach to generate demand.
Here are some specific ways to do it:
- Know your ideal customer — Build a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) so you know which buyers are best fit for your solutions, and can target your efforts effectively.
- Have an SEO strategy — Optimize your content for search so that it ranks for the right keywords and phrases, making it findable for the right audiences.
- Leverage targeted ads — Use the built-in ad programs offered by Google or Facebook (and similar platforms) to reach high-fit buyers.
2. Focus on Video
A staggering 95% of buyers say that video content plays a role in helping them make purchase decisions. It’s by far the most-preferred type of content for consumers doing brand research or anyone interacting with businesses.
They watch videos for a variety of reasons, including to learn about new products and services, learning to solve a problem, or learning what other customers think about a brand.
If video isn’t already part of your demand generation strategy, it’s time to incorporate it. Some of the most effective types of videos for business audiences include webinars, product demos, how-to guides, social media stories, and case studies.
If you’re new to creating video content, an easy place to start is with repurposing existing content—for example, taking a how-to blog post and creating a video version.
3. Repurpose Your Existing Content
Speaking of repurposing content: There are a ton of ways to do it. By repurposing your best content, you boost the ROI you get from content ideas and expand their reach across channels and mediums.
All that successful repurposing requires is looking at your existing content library and identifying opportunities to deliver the same knowledge from one asset in another format.
As mentioned, this could mean turning blog posts into videos. Some other ways to do it include:
- Turning blog posts into shareable infographics
- Recapping webinars in a blog post
- Shortening blog posts to share the information on social media
- Creating shareable graphics from research/survey results
- Combining related blog posts to create an e-book or whitepaper
Marketers report several benefits from repurposing content that can enhance demand generation for SMBs, including higher content engagement, increased website traffic, an ability to reach more diverse audiences, and increased brand awareness/reach.
4. Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by actual consumers or users of a product, service, or brand. It’s all the rage today as social media platforms have increasingly provided a platform for individual users to share branded content and promote brands they love.
It’s a form of influencer marketing that’s more attainable for small businesses because it doesn’t require working with individuals who have millions (or even thousands) of followers. In fact, in many cases, users simply create the content and sell it to the brands themselves to share on their own marketing channels.
UGC resonates with buyers because it’s authentic—real people sharing their real experiences with a brand vs. a company promoting their own products and services for profit.
You can launch a UGC-focused strategy by asking your customers to create content about their experience with your brand and getting their permission to share it, or by creating a more formal program through which users create content for you on a regular basis in exchange for compensation.
This video shows some great examples of UGC for small businesses:
5. Outsource Your Demand Generation Efforts
Outsourcing is a powerful way to scale up your demand generation efforts. But many SMBs think the option is out of reach for them. They assume it’s out of their budget or that agencies mainly serve larger enterprises.
But outsourcing any business function is cost-effective, especially when you have more limited resources internally—a common challenge for small businesses.
Digital marketing is one of the most-outsourced functions for this very reason. It offers access to the technologies and expertise businesses need at a bundled, reliable price. You won’t have to purchase software tools to own or take on the overhead costs (and management headache) that comes with hiring an in-house team.
The ROI you get from an outsourcing demand generation almost always outweighs the financial investment required at the start.
How Televerde Can Help
Televerde is a market leader in demand generation solutions for companies in any industry, including SMBs. Our solutions are rooted in best practices and customers to every client’s needs to maximize results.
If you’re looking for demand generation support, we can help. Contact our team today to get started.