Craig Rosenberg, co-founder of Topo, is something of a guru in the demand generation space. In a 2014 interview with Technology Advice, Craig made predictions about the future of demand generation. In particular, he projected that demand gen would continue to be more and more customer-focused and personalized. Including everything from predictive analytics to estimate a customer’s future behavior, retargeting specific content to customers who left a landing page, and turning the existing customer base into champions and advocates.
Now, one year later, Craig writes about the trends that have happened in demand gen over the past year, and where it is headed next, in a post on the Topo blog. Most notably, the same themes of personalized marketing appeared again, with account based marketing as a top priority for many marketers.
From complex marketing automation systems to a dedicated team of individuals, personalized demand generation can become expensive quickly, but the small business doesn’t have to shell out big dollars. At Socedo, we’re passionate about personalized engagement, but as a small startup ourselves, we also know the importance of low-cost demand gen solutions. Here are a few suggestions from our own experience.
1. Segment Your Email List
This is the easy one. For nurturing campaigns, divide your customers among buyer personas and where they are on their customer journeys. Many low-cost platforms exist for email campaigns, but if you have a small customer base, segmentation can even be free, with a simple spreadsheet and contact groups in your email account, as long as you have the bandwidth to keep these updated.
2. Differentiate Content Across Channels
Knowing how and where your customers want to interact with you is an important factor in personalization. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend time or money developing several channels worth of content. Content can be repurposed for different mediums, and if you have a different type of audience on each channel, you can tailor your conversations specifically. Personal development posts perform well on LinkedIn, whereas Facebook users prefer posts about a brand. Pinterest and Instagram are not the best platforms to engage with leads, but if you have a visual brand or a lifestyle persona, posting images on these sites can create an attitude of “I want to be a part of that!”
3. Serialize Content for Verticals
In addition to segmenting your audience, segmenting your content through recurring campaigns will build interest in your brand. Serialized content, furthermore, will increase engagement and retention over time, by building a loyal following. Create a narrative through blog posts, social media, and email, around the specific concerns of each industry in your audience.
Predicting what your customers want to talk about is one thing. Being prepared for whatever they search is another. Create demand by being present, right at the “top of mind,” whenever a prospect has a need or question for which they are seeking an answer. The more your website shows up in search results, the more demand you’ll generate. Although paid search options do exist, most optimization factors can be done for free, such as using strategic keywords in your blog, filling metadata with a targeted message, and increasing social shares.
5. One-to-One Social Conversations
46% of buyers look to social media when making a buying decision. The nice benefit of social media for demand generation is that it’s public and it’s free, though tools can also help you target, engage, and manage conversations with individuals on social sites. It takes time to build a following on social media, but once you do, conversations move quickly. The demand from social is immediate, and you can take these leads to your landing page much quicker than other channels.
6. Customer Advocacy
Similar customers think alike. Let your customers do the personalization work for you by tapping into their unique audiences and sharing their own, highly relevant stories. Promoting their content, in return, is an easy, low-cost way to encourage advocacy, as well as setting up a referral program with manageable incentives.
No matter your demand generation strategy, personalization goes a long way in the era of customer-first marketing. Do you have an easy, low-cost solution that you want to flaunt? Tweet it to us @SocedoApp.