Demand Gen

11 Demand Generation Ideas to Fill your Funnels 

Demand Generation ideas worth trying for rapid SaaS growth in 2022 and beyond.
11 Demand Generation Ideas to Fill your Funnels 
Ray Slater Berry
by Ray Slater Berry

A solid demand generation strategy requires solid ideas. Nope, the bolded s in ideas isn’t a typo. Your demand generation strategy can’t be a one-pronged approach. You’ve probably already got a ton of demand generation tactics up your sleeve, loosen that up and let them all out, and let’s share the lot. It’s okay to hit the ground running with every weapon in your toolkit.

You’ll soon figure out which demand gen idea works best, and then you can double-up and knuckle down on those ideas that are bringing home the high-quality leads you’ve been looking for since the get-go.

A successful demand generation plan meets users where they’re at, however, if they’re not always at the same place, then this is a little harder to do. In this article, I’m sharing eleven demand gen ideas designed to meet your users where they’re at, and then meet them at the next place, and the place after that too.

Let’s start winning your sales and marketing teams the footfall they deserve, shining a spotlight on your product or service, and increasing MRR for your SaaS business.

11 Demand Generation ideas to get your from zero to hero

Because I forgot my TL;DR in the intro, here’s a breakdown of your demand generation marketing ideas we’ll cover in this article.

  1. SEO & Content Marketing
  2. Lead Magnets
  3. Chatbots
  4. SaaS Influencer Marketing
  5. Pre-launch Campaigns
  6. IRL meetings
  7. Webinars
  8. PPC
  9. Co-marketing campaigns
  10. SaaS comparison websites
  11. SaaS Micro-tools

Come at this article with an open mind, and don’t think you only need to select one strategy. If your sales and marketing teams have the capacity to take on at least three of these demand generation strategies, then give them the autonomy to do so. Let’s get that sales funnel filled.

1. Create a funnel with SEO and Content Marketing

So, welcome to the Skale funnel. In my years of writing for Skale, I’ve always admired how they apply their own services to the agency’s growth strategy—they treat the business as a customer and I honestly think it a core tactic for any agency growth. 🌱

An SEO and content marketing strategy need to come hand-in-hand if you’re hoping to rank while still providing quality to leads. Inbound marketing strategies don’t need to be one or the other, you’re still able to deliver on SEO terms and topics, while providing written content that website visitors find useful.

Here at Skale, I’ve been helping generate demand with our inbound marketing content—like this blog. In partnership with some incredibly talented SEO wizards, our marketing efforts are creating quality content that’s ranking for terms the SEO agency needs to be known for.

We’ve ranked, and hopefully—by the time you’re reading this—are still ranking for:

So, as is the case with most listicles these days, we featured our priorities front-of-shop. Welcome to the best-performing demand generation process for Skale—SEO and content marketing.

Oh, and in case you’re thinking of implementing this demand gen strategy for your SaaS and are looking for some help along the way, I’ll leave this here.

Apply to work with Skale today.

Leave your SEO to the experts

Up your game. Apply for full SEO Management with the Skale team

Contact Us

2. Use Lead Magnets

Coming in a close second on the list of demand generation campaigns are lead magnets. As far as demand gen strategies go, this one is nothing new—an oldie but a goldie. Lead magnets can be anything from E-books to brochures, and this largely depends on your niche.

Let’s take some examples.

For B2C products or services, brochures tend to be a better lead magnet. A few years back, I was the Head of Creative Strategy for European Bartender School. Our ICP was very different to the audiences I write for today.

However, back then we created the best lead magnet the company ever had, and it’s one that still feeds my ego to see they’re using it today.

Brochures are the most tangible experience of your product you can get a lead, outside of getting them in your product. They’re not something to be reckoned with.

Example number two is Ebooks! Yep, people still read them. If marketing and sales teams are peppering them into their own strategies and customer flows, you’ll give them an even better chance at demand gen success—rather than just waiting for them to be found via Google.

A brand that comes to mind for this particular demand generation strategy is Codility. The technical recruitment SaaS platform provides a ton of free great content in their marketing strategy. However, their gated content—with an email and a few details—is where they’re winning high-quality leads.

Plus, when a user “downloads” an ebook from Codility, they enter a short email flow where Codility sends them tips, tricks, and more content tailored to the initial download.

3. Chatbots

🗣️ Chatbots over modals, chatbots over modals. Say it with me. Let’s say it louder for the people at the back. 

Today, chatbots are an absolute must for your demand generation strategy. They save your sales team precious time, allow marketing automation, and are able to address (and track) customer pain points as and when they occur.

They’re also a lot less invasive than modals, and encourage a self-serve product culture that your customer success teams will be thankful for further down the line.

Star Wars Oscars GIF by The Academy Awards - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, for demand generation and lead generation consider a chatbot to help bring in qualified leads. I could probably write an entire article on chatbots, however, a few quick-fire best practices are:

  • Lead scoring: to give your leads weight and know when to transfer them to your sales team
  • User-triggered: to give your chatbots relevancy to users’ on-page actions
  • Keep them chatty: there’s nothing wrong with a bit of personality in a bot: R2D2 got quite the name for itself
  • Map your lead generation content: have your chatbot share relevant content to potential leads depending on their needs—keeping users on site.

An example of a great chatbot, you ask? Jump over to Whisbi and play around with their ‘bot’—this is a chatbot marketing dream, a demand generation machine, literally.

4. SaaS Influencer Marketing

I may be a little biased on this demand gen idea, coming from a content and social media background, however, I’ll harp on about influencers to fill your sales pipeline every day of the week.

Granted, SaaS influencers are a little harder to find. Sure they’re not as common as your foodies, or clothes haul OOTDs, however, they are out there and they are rife—even if they’re unintentionally influencing, and they can provide you with quality leads.

Let’s start with what we’re all thinking: LinkedIn—and get this social giant out the way. Of course, I expect you to go to LinkedIn for social media demand generation efforts. 94% of B2B marketers go to LinkedIn over other social channels, and 90% of social traffic for B2B blogs comes from the platform—I should probably be posting there most often, now I look at the numbers.

A few fan favorites of mine on LinkedIn are:

I also encourage you to think outside of the box. Our users are humans too, and it’s all too easy to think that your brand should only be on LinkedIn as that’s a professional platform. However, when was the last time you really scrolled on LinkedIn? Let’s say for over ten minutes?

You need to be looking at meeting users where they are, in their ‘human hours.’ When they’re zombied after a hard day in the virtual office, and are mindlessly scrolling on the sofa back home. TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Quora! There are tons of fantastic social media platforms out there for your next demand generation campaign.

Need more? Sure, here’s a list of SaaS influencers for your demand gen campaign:

  • Twitter: Kaleigh Moore. Freelance writer + content marketer for retail tech and related SaaS companies
  • Instagram: Ray Slater Berry. It’s me! I post a ton of content to support small business owners and freelancers
  • Twitter: Codi. Social media marketing strategist
  • Twitter: Udit Goenka. Building @pitchgroundhq – A $20m Bootstrapped Startup • Angel Investor
  • Instagram: Taylor Loren. Growing marketing careers with Instagram

🤓 Extra reading: The top demand generation metrics to track in 2022

5. Pre-launch a SaaS Product

One of the best demand generation strategies I’ve seen in action is to pre-launch your SaaS product to prospective customers. Now, of all demand generation ideas, this one is perhaps one of the trickiest to do, or at least the most specific to implement. Why? You need an audience, which is tough if you don’t have a product, or aren’t on my influencer’s list above.

Kick-start this demand generation marketing tactic and get your product on Kickstarter or ProductHunt to get some hype going for your product and start building that all-important mailing list.

This mailing list consists of your innovators and early adopters from your product adoption curve. They have the potential to be your most loyal customers, your product builders, and your biggest brand ambassadors. Find your people, build their trust, and then VIP-style launch your product to them first.

Guy Nachum did exactly this with Layla Electric, a SaaS platform that enables property managers to reduce operational costs and increase the sustainability level of their assets.

“Our first clients were family and friends, we didn’t publish anywhere—it was all word-of-mouth. Because we were part of an acceleration program, they arranged different calls with stakeholders from different companies, which helped us build out our pre-launch mailing list. They were all very nice and wanted to be part of BETA testing—it was very interesting to them and Layla appealed to their pain points.”

As Guy launched a B2B product in BETA, he didn’t need many clients to generate traction as businesses buy so many units. 

“We’re not working in an environment where we need multiple leads and emails, we need just 100 great clients to hit our ARR goals.” 

This type of pre-launch helps growth in more ways than one, Guy told me more. 

“It’s always surprising because you can be very fixed on an idea of what the market wants, but you get feedback on what they actually think is important, and the features that are of most value to them—and how much they want to pay for those features. If the market won’t pay for something then the feature is just not worth investing time and money on. 

Another thing we’re learning from our pre-launch is sometimes you think the product needs to go in one direction, and your first customers present an entirely new route. They open pathways you thought were not even relevant.”

6. Meet up in-person with potential leads

I would like to think the worst of the pandemic is behind us *anxiously touches wood 😅. In-person events and meetings are cropping up to take over the new normal. There’s a huge amount of screen fatigue today. We’re tired of tinny voices, shaky screen shares, and having to over-animate our reaction when we’re on mute.

Of all our demand gen strategies, in-person meets give you the biggest potential to lean back into relationship-based sales. Remember the running theme of this article? Meet your customers where they’re at. Figure out upcoming events they’ll be attending and make sure you’re on the guest or speaker list.

If they’re not into events but are a potentially huge lead then make the effort to visit them in person. Show them there’s more to you than an email address and a 5-year-old profile picture. It’s time to take your demand generation marketing strategy offline again, and combat digital tactics with real-world relationships.

🤓 Extra reading: The secret demand generation tools experts don’t want you to know about

7. Host webinars

Don’t come for me because I just told you to combat screen fatigue. I also have to stay on the topic of meeting your target audience wherever they may be. The truth is, they may not want to meet offline—and that’s okay, we’ll have you ready for that too!

Source

Look to host or co-host webinars that add real value to your ICPs. These webinars need to focus on addressing pain points and jobs-to-be-done, while having your product as the underdog—not the champion. Webinars are not product demos.

Webinars👏are👏not👏product👏demos👏 

Although webinars do fulfill a few demand generation aims, like building email lists as well as product and brand awareness and demand, they don’t need to be your “traditional” webinars. Social media lives are a great way to catch your leads outside of the office, with Twitter Spaces being the most exciting demand generation channel, for me, right now.

If you’re building a demand generation program and want to give your brand as much potential as possible to reach qualified leads then webinars need to be on your hit list.

8. Run PPC campaigns

Pay per click advertising is always up for debate. Should you run a demand generation campaign so heavily reliant on ad spend? 

First up, it depends on your resources. Can you afford it? Do you have the talent available to create ads and a full-funnel ad campaign that will help not only drive demand for your business but result in actual wins?

If you do, is this what will work with your demographic? The truth is, you won’t know unless you try. But, to give yourself enough data to try, you need to be prepared to spend a little. There’s definitely a downward trend, 40% of companies say their PPC budget is not what it used to be

One thing your PPC can really help with for an overall successful demand generation strategy is insights. PPC campaigns can massively help you streamline your SEO bets; from low-hanging fruit keywords, to content topics. Learn from what your PPC strategy brings up and use it elsewhere in your B2B demand generation strategies.

9. Partner with other companies for a co-marketing campaign

Another oldie but goldie, co-marketing has been a go-to tactic for generating demand for a long time, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. If anything, it’s evolving to find unique ways that brands and business leaders can partner together to provide quality experiences to target audiences.

Make the most of the community your marketing co-partner has already built and enrich your own with the unique perspective the partner can bring to any experience.

I know you’re probably leaning towards a co-marketing webinar as your first thought. However, demand generation best practices warrant co-marketing as a mutual exchange of exposure and marketing team lift. Perhaps this is an in-app product shout out, a blog or backlink exchange, newsletter feature, or something more in-depth.

Figure out a solution that works best for both and exchange marketing campaigns instead of cash for your demand gen efforts.

10. Get listed on Capterra, G2, or similar

This is a real easy win, and a free tool for SaaS product marketing teams to capitalize on. Websites like G2 or Capterra are your ICPs playground, no matter your niche. Make sure your product is listed on these places and start putting effort into building an all-star reputation there.

Source

In doing so, it will not only give a healthy 3rd-party perspective for future customers scoping you out, but you’ll also be featuring alongside your competitors in comparison pages that these websites host. This is great if you’re a relatively new SaaS as you’ll get a slice of prime real-estate pie alongside those competitors that your target audience has their eyes on.

Lastly, these pages are high-intent browsers. They’re visited by those looking to make a purchase, so if you’re not featuring at this stage in their buying decision then you’re seriously missing out.

11. Create SaaS micro-tools

Well hello there little buzzword. You’ve probably seen or heard of something micro in the last couple of years. Whether that’s micro-influencers, micro-communities or tactics. We’re in love with all things micro except when it comes to our phones and food.

And, we’re showing no sign of slowing that trend down. Micro-tools are the next in-demand topic to hit the market and they are hot as potatoes. Micro-tools are essentially a (free) tool that gives users a unique insight into what it’s like within your paid product.

If you’ve got the resources to create a micro-tool then it’s well worth the effort to reach your potential customers. A few of my favorite free SaaS micro tools on the market at the moment are:

Source

That’s your lot!

We’re done! If you made it this far in the article, I salute you. If you skimmed this far in the article, then I thank you all the same. I hope you’re considering at least one of these demand gen ideas, and if you’re not, then I don’t want to hear it! 

It’s been a pleasure. You can find me on Twitter—hustling to become point number four. Have a great day!

See some of Skale’s biggest SEO wins

Read SEO success stories, and see what Skale can do for your SaaS

Read our Success Stories

Demand Generation Ideas: FAQ

What are examples of demand generation?

Great examples of demand generation are SEO, content marketing, co-marketing campaigns, offline events, free tools and chatbots. Demand generation works differently for different brands and their audiences, you’ll need to pick one that resonates best with yours.

How do you create demand generation?

You can generate demand by implementing tactics like content marketing, brand partnerships, pre-launch campaigns, and so much more. Demand gen isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the lift.

What is demand generation vs lead generation?

Demand generation is the act of generating demand and interest for your brand and product. Lead generation is generating accounts of people that are ready to buy your product. Demand comes before lead

Learn more about

Demand Gen

Let's talk

Are you looking to hyper scale
and validate your SaaS SEO channel?

GET IN TOUCH