Why Demand Generation Doesn’t Start in the Lower Funnel

August 13, 2017

Marketers are in an enviable position these days. After decades of merely suspecting that their efforts resulted in increased revenue, marketers can now prove it with data.

This increased capability to prove marketing’s effectiveness comes with a temptation. It tempts marketers to spend too much of their budgets on lower funnel demand generation. That temptation should be resisted, because the data shows that the most effective demand generation is a full-funnel occupation.  

This concept of demand gen is just one of the ideas that I’ll be discussing in a webinar taking place next Friday, August 18, at 3:00 pm ET. The webinar, called “Delivering ROI with LinkedIn Demand Generation,” is part of PPC Week, an event hosted by Unbounce in collaboration with Adalysis, AdStage, Ad Fury, CallRail, Bing, Hanapin Marketing, LinkedIn, Optmyzr, and Steelhouse. PPC Week begins, Monday, August 14, and features 15 live one-hour webinars over five consecutive days.   

In my PPC Week webinar, one of the things I will talk about is that content marketing, in particular, should be a full-funnel endeavor. Upper funnel content, such as thought leadership content, isn’t just for demand gen marketers.

Here’s proof: LinkedIn and Edelman recently conducted a study that found quality thought leadership does help close deals, even if the content creators themselves aren’t that convinced. The study found that just 20% of thought leadership content creators thought that the content they create helps win business. At the same time, business decision makers and C-suite executives said thought leadership content helps influence buying decisions almost 50% of the time.

But trying to force this kind of thought leadership content into lower-funnel demand generation can be counter productive. The Edelman-LinkedIn research also found that tech buyers are 37% less likely to consider buying from a company if the first piece of content they encounter from that organization is gated. On top of that, they are 75% less likely to consider a company as a vendor if all the organization’s content is gated.

In the webinar, I’ll also dive into how to apply this full-funnel demand generation approach on the LinkedIn platform. I’ll show you a three-step process for using LinkedIn Sponsored Content, LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, and LinkedIn Matched Audiences and other LinkedIn tactics to build a strong demand gen program.

Step 1: Targeting  

When you set up an ad campaign on LinkedIn, you can use LinkedIn’s demographic data to target an audience based on characteristics such as seniority, job function or title, company name, geographic location, skills, industry, and more.

LinkedIn also recently introduced Matched Audiences, which enables marketers to use their own first-party data and match it against the LinkedIn global member base to engage people even more likely to convert into qualified leads. For example, with Matched Audiences, marketers can retarget professionals who’ve recently visited their website.

Step 2: Setting Up a System

LinkedIn offers a number of tools that can boost the efficiency of demand generation. For instance, One-Click Lead Gen Forms help marketers capture quality leads with forms that are pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data. Additionally, you can track your prospects’ post-click activity using the LinkedIn Insights Tag.

Step 3: Optimizing

LinkedIn tools, such as Conversion Tracking and Website Demographics, enable marketers to gain a deeper understanding of the audience that is converting. These tools enable marketers to measure how many leads they’ve captured from their LinkedIn campaigns, their cost per lead, and return on ad spend. Ultimately, marketers can use this data to show the sales team exactly how much value they’re driven for the business.

To gain a deeper understanding of how to leverage LinkedIn across the entire funnel, register today for the PPC Week webinar, “Delivering ROI with LinkedIn Demand Generation.”

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