When it comes to building your business, it’s as critical to generate leads as it is to create a brand that those leads want to engage with. Demand generation is a marketing philosophy based on this principle — it’s all about offering valuable content to audiences and qualifying leads through ongoing engagement.
More traditional lead generation is like casting a wide net — you might pull up decent volume, but there’s going to be a large number of leads that won’t ultimately bring revenue to your business. Demand generation, on the other hand, involves baiting the waters and only reeling in the highest value leads, the “big fish” who will become your brand’s most valued customers.
Effective demand generation brings together a range of marketing tactics and requires multiple touchpoints. To drive and convert prospects into customers, you’ll need to make sure your brand is present on multiple channels, and that these channels work in tandem to deliver a consistent message.
Here are a few channels — both digital and traditional — your brand should consider for demand generation:
Blogs, video content, ebooks, whitepapers, and other premium content are all cornerstones for demand generation. The center of the demand generation is to create engaging, educational content that establishes your expertise and keeps your audiences coming back to your brand — you can’t generate demand without high value content. While it might seem like a bit of an investment to create a library of content, these efforts pay off — content marketing generates three times as many prospects as outbound marketing, but costs 62% less than these more traditional channels.
Email is often considered the most universal channel for digital marketing, both in the B2B and B2C space. In fact, 79% of B2B marketers consider email to be the most effective channel. It makes sense that there’s a high value attached to email since nearly everyone uses email. It’s a highly cost-effective distribution channel, as it doesn’t require much of an investment to build an email drip campaign.
Email also offers deep, almost instant insights on engagement, including open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates for each message. With demand generation tools like email marketing automation, you can use demographic insights to tailor content for future campaigns, while using individual engagement actions to determine what specific messaging an individual prospect should receive.
Social media is here to stay, with millions of users logging in to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram daily. Each of these channels offers opportunities to create quick, regular impressions with a wide range of consumers. Luckily, these channels have made themselves highly amenable to businesses wishing to advertise, with audience and post insights, a variety of post types, and the ability to spend a relatively small amount of money to gain impact with a targeted audience. In fact, 73% of marketers state that social media marketing has been effective in their marketing demand generation strategy.
When publishing social media content for demand generation, it isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel. Look at your existing content marketing strategy and identify opportunities to syndicate the content you’ve invested in. You can also use social media to supplement that content and directly engage your audience with timely messages, polls, live Q&As and giveaways.
Keep in mind, however, that the ultimate goal on social media is to generate enough demand that users leave the channel and come to your website. Be sure to regularly include links, references to exclusive content, and other calls to action that generate demand.
Live Sales Efforts
Even in the digital world, person-to-person conversations remain a highly effective marketing tool. Trade shows, sales calls, and in-person meetings remain an important aspect in converting prospects to sales. Keep in mind, however, that these more traditional tactics are most effective after digital demand generation has taken place, or in tandem with other efforts. Live events generate the most leads according to 68% of B2B marketers, while content marketing helps convert the most leads. Cold-calling and unsolicited sales emails simply don’t work.
Once you’ve got buy-in, it’s time to make the personal connection. Offer to have a short conversation, answer questions about an article, or supply other content the prospect might be interested in. Keep in mind, personal conversations don’t have to be in-person to be effective: webinars and live streams offer that same level of connection without the need to travel.
Bringing the Demand Generation Channels Together
With all of these channels and demand generation efforts working in tandem, it’s critical to have a centralized location to manage every campaign. Seek out a centralized marketing automation platform with the demand generation tools that you need. Investing in the right automation platform for your business will help make generating demand more efficient and cost-effective while delivering better results, no matter your industry or company size.