5 programs to kick off demand generation in a B2B startup

Blog Post created by 503a315d7597f1335caef256999daefade75e4f5 on Jul 13, 2015

Are you thinking of joining a B2B startup in demand generation role? Or maybe you just started working at one? If so, this post is for you.

I've been through my fair share of startups and launched demand generation programs of various stages. I wanted to share the 5 types of programs that are almost guaranteed to add value (and ultimately revenue) to your organization.

  1. Focus on follower growth: Before you can really market a product, you need an audience to market to. Growing a base of loyal fans on social networks is relatively easy and does not require too much budget. Follower focused campaigns on Twitter, boosted posts targeting your persona on Facebook, and sponsored posts on LinkedIn are the basic tools you need to achieve this.
  2. Search engine marketing: Did you know you can launch Adwords campaigns with $0? Google often runs promotions and offers $50 coupons to get the campaigns started. Go in and set up just a couple of basic campaigns – your brand terms, competitors, and the top 5 keywords (don’t forget to use Google’s Keyword Tool to estimate volume and competition!)
  3. Basic nurture email drips: In your marketing automation system (which is a good idea to use from the very beginning, by the way) set up email drip campaigns to your database. The key here is to repurpose as much content as you can. Think blog posts, white papers, products data sheets, research articles mentioning your company, videos, anything you have. Write emails and organize them into streams based on common denominators (i.e. lead stage, target persona, whether there is an opportunity already, etc.). Set them up to go out every 3-4 weeks – that way you have more time to generate more content – once you have enough you can switch to every week or 2. Marketo has a special type of program just for email nurture – engagement program.
  4. A/B testing on the website: Need I say more?? Testing anything and everything you can think of will help your conversion rates. And when you go in to set up your tests – assume nothing. A lot of the times we think we know what our prospects want to see and will react to, but in reality it’s the opposite. Let the data drive the direction you take, not the complainers (i.e. your CEO who says “That button just looks wrong”). One of my favorite tools for this is Optimizely – there is a free starter level that you can sign up for.
  5. Retargeting campaigns: Retargeting users that come to your site and don’t convert works. They are already familiar with your brand and will recognize it if they see an ad somewhere. Click through rates on retargeting campaigns are 5-10 times higher than regular display campaigns (in my experience). Twitter ads now enables retargeting, so does Facebook and Adwords. There are also tools that specialize in retargeting – like AdRoll. When you start running retargeting campaigns – watch carefully your cost per click. It should range around $1-$5 depending on your industry. Above $10 is a red flag.

These are just a few ideas to get your started on your demand gen path. Have any other tips? Please share them in the comments.