Principles to Live By When You Want To Drive Pipeline Fast

At Demand Frontier, we have spent our careers in enterprise B2B demand generation working with many of the best brands and smartest marketing leaders in the field. Through the years, we’ve witnessed firsthand the constant evolution of the practices, technologies, media, and data solutions that have fueled successful marketing programs. The only real constant has been the constant change in how we think about demand generation. We’ve given it different names: lead generation, demand generation, revenue marketing, content marketing, account-based marketing – but the underlying goal has always been the same: driving sales.

With all the disruptions we’ve experienced over the past few years, there has been an acceleration of the shift to mobile, video, and social media as the center of the B2B marketplace.

With that in mind, we’re creating a new video series that will summarize our point of view on what’s working, what’s not, and how to create demand generation programs that drive measurable sales quickly and efficiently.

Take a look below to see what topics we’ll be covering more in-depth in the weeks ahead:

Principle 1: B2B Marketers must stop living in the (recent) past.

As marketers, we’ve been engrained with the idea of mapping our programs and automation to try and support and accelerate the buying process.

This is yesterday’s demand generation focus. For better or worse, most people get their information today through social media and mobile apps. From dating to buying a home, it’s how we research, navigate, and consume information.

To reach today’s buyer, you need to understand how they behave TODAY. Focus on a mobile experience that delivers impactful, short-form content to be consumed within the social media platform, ungated. The whole point is to let your market know about you, so make it easy for them.

Principle 2: Storytelling is everything.

B2B buyers are trying to solve a problem. The way you tell your story – design, copy, user experience, calls to action – matters a lot. You don’t need elaborate production and enormous budgets to deliver your stories — all it takes is a laptop and a video recording. It’s much more efficient and effective to capture stories through video and deliver them in human terms than it is to write a book about them. Video engagement almost always outperforms all other forms of content in social media.

The words you use, the copy in your ads, the user experience you develop will make a much bigger impact on the results of your marketing efforts. Too often, quality is overlooked as marketers churn out large quantities of content that nobody reads.

Principle 3: Let your buyer tell you what messages work.

Your buyers are busy and constantly saturated with endless information. Before tossing a campaign into the waste bin, think about other ways to promote it. Try creating a video summary of the piece and using that as your ad. Summarize what’s in the content, so they can digest it within the social media platform. Try bolder messaging: invoke humor, sarcasm, or fear. The feedback loop in digital marketing is immediate. You don’t have to guess what works – try multiple approaches and see for yourself.

The fastest way to know what story to tell is to let your buyers tell you.

Principle 4: Stop hiding your stories behind registration gates.

Let’s look at the numbers: A great click-through rate for an ad is 1%. That means 99% never click. A great landing page conversion is 5%. That means 95% never convert.

How much time, money, and effort are you putting into content that 99.95% or your target market never sees?

Attention spans are very short. When you are trying to reach new prospects, deliver your information efficiently. If you have case studies, whitepapers, webinars – summarize them and put them in front of your target audience. Think of a paid social media ad as a mini-infomercial. If you get the attention of your prospect, don’t make them jump through unnecessary hurdles to get the message. If they like what they see, they will come to you. A well-designed program will have a mix of in-feed education, linked in high value content offers that drives lead conversion. Lead generation is important, but don’t look past all the engagement and brand building that takes place in feed, as your audience consumes your information within the platform.

Principle 5: You have all the content you need to get in market quickly and drive pipeline.

Enterprise marketers have more content than they usually realize. Yet, ask just about any marketer, and you’ll hear content development near the top of the priorities list. The fastest path to creating pipeline is to leverage the content you already have, only smarter. Leverage your arsenal of product marketing, whitepapers, videos, recorded webinars, case studies and turn them into short-form content, blog articles, animated videos, and carousel ads. Sure, that’s creating new content, but repurposing the thought leadership you already have is much easier than starting with a blank page. You can also create effective, efficient paid social content by producing videos as a layer on top the marketing efforts you are already planning. If you are doing a webinar, research, whitepapers, case studies, product marketing – consider capturing a video component where the subject matter expert(s) can talk about what’s in the underlying content. So you can both educate larger parts of your target market while cross promoting the asset you’ve already invested in.

Principle 6: Put paid social media at the center of your ad spend.

Social ads are fundamentally better than display. This is not an opinion, it’s a technical fact. Display ads may never be seen and have extremely low engagement.

With social media, your ads show up in the feed. That means that as your prospect scrolls through you get the entire screen to try and engage them. How many times has an interesting ad or article got your attention on social media, and you stop to listen? It happens all the time.

Far too often, we see paid social near the bottom of the budget, with more money being spent on events, sponsorships, industry media, and PPC. While all of these are viable media channels, we find none of them perform as consistently and cost-effectively as paid social.

Principle 7: Analyze correlation, not just conversion.

Conversion metrics are often the primary area of focus and analysis for the digital marketer, and for good reason. But the reality is that most B2B sales don’t happen from a click or a registration. When you see a television ad that interests you, do you immediately stop what you are doing and drive to the store? Of course not. You think about it, and then when you’re ready to buy, you remember the ad and it influences your buying decision. It’s no different for B2B: When your prospects are ready to have a sales conversation, they will come to your website and convert.

The trick is not to be singularly focused on the last point of engagement and conversion. B2B buying is complex, there are sales cycles, personal relationships, and multiple stakeholders involved. Your analysis should take all of this into the mix to really understand what is working.

We’re excited to dive deeper into these principles in the coming weeks. Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn to get first access to our video series!