In business, whether it’s B2B or B2C, the ultimate goal is to create demand, delight customers, and have them coming back for more. And sparking interest is the first step to success. This blog will serve as a helpful guide to demand generation strategies and will provide you with all the steps necessary to help you master demand generation tactics. Let’s get started!
What is Demand Generation?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “demand generation focuses on changing or shaping your audience’s perspective in order to create demand for your category, specific products or services.” Ultimately, through your marketing efforts, you’re trying to get your intended audience to care about you and what you’re trying to sell. Seems pretty straightforward, right?
But, what is really at the root of demand generation? Content! Always remember, content is king.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
Is there a difference between demand generation and lead generation? If this question crossed your mind, you are not alone. Many marketers are in the same boat.
At the root, this is about capturing a person’s information in exchange for content. The lead will then be put in a lead nurturing sequence. The ultimate goal of lead generation is contact production for sales and marketing purposes.
This is about creating interest in your product and services; it’s about inspiring excitement around your company. This demand will ultimately lead to an increased amount of people buying your product or services.
The benefit of focusing on demand generation is the higher quality of the leads you’re nurturing through the funnel. These individuals get to know you, as a company; they enjoy and are excited with what you have to offer and sign up to hear from you, rather than solely because they enjoyed a certain type of content.
Now that you have the general idea behind demand generation, let’s dive into how you can achieve this by using demand generation strategies and tools.
Demand Generation Strategies to Help You Achieve Success
Before we move into looking at a basic strategy, let’s look at a demand generation funnel.
Now, what you may think of when we say funnel is the one geared towards marketing with awareness at the top, consideration in the middle and decision at the bottom. There are similar stages of awareness and interest, but then there is evaluation, commitment, sale and then the repeat stage, which is where current customers bring in new ones.
How do you get people through this funnel? How do you inspire your customers to promote your brand? How do you ultimately generate demand? Below, we explore a basic demand generation strategy strong enough to answer the questions above positively.
1. Create a Buyer Persona
Buyer personas are fictionalized profiles of individual ideal customers, rooted in data from your existing successes. These profiles will help you better target your ads, create personalized content and hone your messaging to suit the specific needs and convert leads into loyal customers better.
Questions to ask yourself when creating personas:
- What is their name?
- What is their job title?
- How many years of experience do they have in their specific field?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- Do they have an education? If so, what do they have a degree or certificate in?
- What do they care about? Outline her goals.
- What are their challenges?
- Why would this person use your business or purchase your services? How can your business help them with their challenges?
- What are the opportunities here?
- Where do they get their information?
- How do they communicate?
- When they are researching, where do they start?
2. Creating Customized Content
For each stage of the demand generation funnel, you need to create customized content. When focusing on content at the top-of-funnel, include some gated offers so that you can capture your lead’s information and monitor their journey.
Content marketing is what drives and nurtures leads through the funnel. Ultimately, it’s one of the largest parts of your demand generation strategy which leads to a purchase. Make sure your content is answering your persona’s pain points; any challenge your persona has is an opportunity for you to help. The more you help, the more they trust you, the more they trust you, the likelier they are to make a purchase.
3. Meeting Your Persona Where They are
After creating your personas and accurately describing your ideal customer, and conducting SEO research, it’s important to take your customized content and meet them wherever they spend their time.
If they love Instagram, create posts about your new content on the platform, customize the link in your bio, use stories to tell your persona what you’ve produced.
If they love Facebook, shift your focus to that platform and adjust your social media marketing strategy accordingly.
Yes, you can focus on more than one platform, but if your persona isn’t spending time in specific places, it might be best not to invest time, effort and money in all locations.
4. Lead Nurturing Sequence
Once a lead has put their name into a lead generation form to receive a piece of content or subscribes to your newsletter, this is where you need to implement marketing automation.
The leads coming from content pieces, whatever the piece may be, are three to five times more likely to convert than cold leads; therefore, make sure a form is attached to a specific, intentional email – or lead nurture – series.
The sequence will pave a pathway to take that lead further through the demand generation funnel, hopefully getting them closer to making a purchase.
For example, a lead puts their information in a form to receive an offer about what content marketing success looks like a year after implementation. The leads then receive an email thanking them for the download with an attached video to learn more about content marketing automation. The lead will be sent multiple additional emails in the sequence.
5. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring allows you to organize and prioritize leads based on the specific information they have provided, or important steps the lead has taken. Ultimately, it helps you identify the most qualified leads.
Specific information can include:
- First and/or last name provided
- Title provided
- Email provided
- Forms completed
- Email clicks
- Media views
- Social interactions
- Pages visited
- Campaign pages visited
According to Marketing Sherpa, organizations using lead scoring see a 77% increase in their lead generation return on investment (ROI).
7. Measuring and Optimization
This is where you see how your demand generation efforts are working. Through analytics, you’ll discover the strengths in your strategy and the weaknesses.
Here are some useful metrics to focus on:
- Closing percentages
- Cost per acquisition
- Cost per lead
- Average deal size
- How long it took them to make a purchase
8. Further Working to Delight Current Customers
Your demand generation strategies don’t end once your customer makes a purchase, you now need to work to delight – and to keep delighting – your buyers.
According to bigcommerce.com, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
Buyers coming out of the bottom of the funnel can bring even more business to your company if they truly enjoyed their experience. On the other side of the spectrum, if these customers didn’t enjoy their experience — or the product — they can prevent people from going into the top of your funnel.
Make sure to include the “delight” stage in your demand generation strategies.
Examples of delight content can include:
- Amusing quizzes
- Listening to customer feedback and incorporating it in video or articles
- Sharing newest content with your customers exclusively
Shaping Your Audience’s Perspective
By focusing your efforts on demand generation, you’re working to create excitement about your products and services. This approach leads to people getting to know and trust you as a company, rather than solely a product you offer.