Have you ever put together a fantastic lead generation campaign that looked perfect on paper… only to get zero or little response from potential leads?
While this situation can make anybody feel like they’ve failed, the truth is that sometimes, it takes more to ensure that your target market knows who you are and why your organization matters. That’s where a demand generation campaign comes into play.
By bridging the gap between the marketing and sales departments, you can maximize your company’s performance and achieve your objectives. Attracting potential consumers and using various resources to awaken their interest is key to strengthening your brand and increasing your chances of successful conversions.
Let’s explore what is demand generation and which tactics and tools can help you build rapport with your audience, ultimately boosting lead generation and driving sales. It’s time to get your audience to truly know your company.
What Is Demand Generation?
Demand generation marketing is the process of driving interest in your business’s products or services — without converting.
That might sound counterintuitive, but there’s some logic to it. Demand generation is all about helping ensure potential customers know exactly who you are in the future, not whether they need you right now.
According to a DemandGen Report survey, about 95% of Internet users choose the company that offers the most relevant content and is indicated for each stage of the funnel. Precisely what a B2B demand generation strategy has as its objective: materials that arouse interest in your solutions and products.
In practice, this concept represents the focus on creating brand awareness and increasing consumer interest in its products and services.
This strategy is often confused with lead generation, which seeks to get information from consumers in exchange for relevant content. Meanwhile, a B2B demand generation strategy focuses on educating potential customers about a given problem and showing how your company can offer the solution.
The great challenge here is to understand that it needs to be divided into stages. Thus, your Marketing team will be able to offer what the consumer needs according to their level of education until that moment, for example.
Demand generation also works with a customer journey:
- Show customers that they have a problem
- Position your company as one of the possible solutions to this problem, presenting the benefits
- Finally, it’s time to differentiate yourself from the competition, showing the functionalities, values, and differentials that set you apart.
The difference between Demand Generation and Lead Generation
The main difference between demand generation and lead generation is simply the end result.
Lead generation is all about converting. A lower conversion rate equates to an unsuccessful campaign, as the primary goal was to attempt to bring in more potential leads and/or paying customers.
In contrast, demand generation is all about buzz. Metrics are tracked in traffic, leads, shares, and whether or not people like the content well enough to share it with others.
Think about this for a moment. Big brands like Coca-Cola and Nike know that you won’t go out and buy a beverage or new pair of shoes every single time they run an ad.
Instead, they understand that just reminding you of who they are and why they matter is enough for you to remember what they sell the next time you’re thirsty or start a new jogging routine.
This is why demand generation campaigns are incredibly powerful and why your company should be using them on a regular basis.
The Importance of Integrating Marketing and Sales
Any company that has integrated internal processes tends to stand out from other competitors. After all, all teams work together toward the same goal.
A study by TAS Group indicates that companies that encourage joint work between the two departments can register a 36% increase in the retention rate and 38% in the number of successful transactions. The revenue generated by marketing actions also tends to increase, with an increase of up to 208%.
The same survey indicates that only 27% of the leads sent by the marketing team to the sales team are qualified. In other words, the chances of closing a transaction become much lower, with a cold contact being handed off to the salesperson and, as a consequence, becoming a waste of time and resources.
Therefore, any business can directly benefit from the union between these two departments that are so important for the attraction and conversion of leads. The good news is that there are many ways to do this work and one of them is investing in a B2B demand generation strategy, engaging consumers with more precise messaging.
What are the Benefits of Demand Generation?
That said, let’s go a little deeper into the specific benefits of demand generation.
After all, if you’re going to run a campaign that specifically avoids conversions, you need to know what you’re getting in the long run.
Increased Brand Awareness
With a demand generation campaign, you can greatly increase overall brand recognition for your organization.
As we explained in our previous example using Coca-Cola and Nike, brand awareness is an incredibly powerful thing.
Generating demand for your products and services starts with introducing yourself to your market.
Failure to do this can mean missing out on a ton of opportunities in future campaigns to capture conversions.
Generate More Leads
Another benefit of this type of marketing? It helps you generate more leads, but maybe not right away.
The key thing to remember is that once people know who you are and what you do, they’re far more likely to take action when they see a lead generation campaign in the future.
Demand generation creates trust with your target market, which can lead to better lead generation in the future.
When considering a lead generation campaign, it is important to realize that it helps expand your overall audience.
For example, maybe your business is just starting out in your niche and not a whole lot of your potential customers even know who you are.
Or maybe you’ve been focusing on the wrong audience altogether.
Either way, running a solid demand generation campaign can ensure that the right people know who you are based on factors that make your products and services the right match for their needs.
If you’ve wondered why your target market hasn’t responded to your previous lead generation campaigns in the way you had hoped, it might just be that you’re targeting the wrong audience altogether.
Demand itself is a perfect word for describing how this type of campaign generates buzz for your business.
When people find out who you are and become excited about the content you’re putting out, they’re much more likely to tell others about it.
Likewise, demand generation campaigns are focused on offering tons of value with little to no expectation of a purchase.
Most consumers are much more likely to share something that is free and solves a problem in their lives, entertains them, or educates them in some manner.
Sharing is caring, right? Well, that’s especially true when it comes to a successful demand generation campaign.
Drives More Traffic
Finally, demand generation actually drives more traffic in a good way.
When your audience knows they can learn more about you or a specific topic without feeling pressured to make a purchase, they are likely to listen to the buzz and visit your website.
And, as you already know as a smart marketer, traffic is important for a lot of things — i.e. search engine optimization (SEO), page authority, monetization options, and a lot more.
Simply put, focusing on demand generation offers far more potential than even the most comprehensive lead generation campaign.
Which Acquisition Channels Can Be Used for Demand Generation?
One of the first things you should consider starting your company’s demand generation marketing strategy is to know the channels where you can make that happen.
It is vital to choose the right one for your ideal customer (that is, the most likely to be used by them) to be able to have effective results.
Through social media, it is possible to reach a substantial amount of prospects. Facebook, for example, registered, on average, 1.66 billion daily active users in 2019. We can conclude that there’s a high chance of attracting prospects to enter the purchase funnel.
Social media is also a useful medium to nurture and establish a closer relationship with your audience because it enables your company to contact it directly. Besides that, the effort to attract prospects will not be entirely yours — your engaged and loyal customers will probably share your posts, tag their friends, or perform other kinds of actions.
Moreover, social media allows several types of actions, from posting content to launching a contest.
Website or Blog
Today, organizations use websites or blogs to publish relevant content regardless of their market segment. It does not require high investment and is especially useful to attract and nurture prospects. You can offer, for example, content to explain concepts within your field of expertise or help your audience solve issues.
Your company can use these platforms for different stages of the buyer’s journey. Therefore, the strategies you use need to cover all of these stages, guiding the audience through the purchase funnel.
Using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics, it is possible to make your website or blog appear on Google or other search engines’ first results pages. This allows your audience to find it easier and increases the chances of getting more clicks.
In addition to that, it helps you to build trust and establish your brand’s authority, since the first pages are known for being the best among the results according to the engine’s algorithms.
Despite being used for decades, this channel is still extremely effective, as Demand Gen Report has shown. If well-executed, an email marketing campaign can attract and engage prospects.
One way to get this result is by segmenting your audience. To be effective, your emails need to be received by people that will be truly interested in what you have to offer and it is even better if they are personalized.
To do this, use an email automation tool. Other than allowing segmentation and customization, it provides metrics and facilitates every aspect of the process.
According to the 2019 Demand Gen Report survey, 46% of the respondents acknowledged that in-person events or trade shows were effective to drive early-stage engagement. So, you can also prepare an event (a Q&A session or a conference for example) to have direct contact with your prospects.
Another idea to generate demand is to sponsor a meetup event targeted at an audience that can be interested in your solution.
This channel does not require a lot of effort to expose your brand to a group of prospects since they will already be there to attend the event, which is organized by someone else, though it may be costly.
Effective Strategies Used in Demand Generation Marketing
Now that you know in which channels your demand generation marketing strategy can take place, find out some of the most popular approaches to put it into practice.
Using Content Marketing
As the name indicates, content marketing is based on creating and distributing content to the audience to build a relationship with it, nurture it, and retain it.
The content can assume many forms — for instance, blog posts, tweets, stories, email newsletters, videos, case studies, quizzes, infographics, white papers, and eBooks. It can be published in several mediums like social media, blogs, email, and websites.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, in 2019, 70% of the interviewed marketers successfully used content to generate demand and leads. This indicates the potential of this tactic when it comes to generating demand.
The key to producing content to generate demand is to invest in quality over quantity.
In this context, quality means that it contains accurate information, and resonates with your audience. That is, consider its profile and needs, captivate and engage it, and provide something relevant to them. This is one of the most efficient techniques to build rapport with your prospects.
Producing Interactive Content
Interactive marketing is often combined with content marketing to deliver unique and engaging experiences that allow the audience to interact with your company’s content and obtain personalized responses.
The possibilities of interaction and responses vary according to the type of content that you use. For instance, your business can create an interactive quiz to give personalized results to your audience according to its answers.
Usually, interactive content grabs attention because it brings several kinds of media together (images, texts, videos) to create immersive experiences. As a result, the audience feels encouraged to spend more time consuming the content, which leads them to seek other assets and know your services better.
Offering Free Resources
By offering a useful asset, such as calculators, quizzes, and eBooks, you can ask for information in exchange, for example, email, name, job title, and company. Free resources can also be used to nurture the audience depending on which stage it is at the purchase cycle.
With this strategy, your organization helps the audience to easily solve a problem or learn about a topic and turn it into leads. That is, people that demonstrated interest in your solutions by giving you some personal details.
As a result, the visitors feel stimulated to look up for more resources and naturally move through the funnel, eventually becoming customers. Ensure their quality and relevance while considering your audience.
What Types of Content Work Best for Demand Generation Campaigns?
At last, we selected a few types of content that your company can use in its demand-generation marketing strategies to accomplish its goals.
Infographics are known for presenting reliable research-based information in the form of images with minimal text. An interactive infographic allows the reader to control his experience, engaging him in educational content, that may include short quizzes and micro-assessments as well as animated elements.
This type of content is helpful for demand generation because it grabs attention from the beginning and provides something valuable to the audience. They will learn about a complex topic thanks to compelling content that makes it easier to understand the ideas presented.
eBooks are PDF files that address a topic within your company’s field of expertise and can be offered in exchange for filling in a lead form. They are not too in-depth or complicated and usually are illustrated. If you find a subject that interests your ideal customer, it is possible to attract the right audience and get more traffic.
This tool helps you to show your audience that you are willing to help rather than offering invasive advertisements to make sales. Consequently, your audience will remember you when they start looking for a solution later in the funnel.
This type of eBook can have even better results since the experience is more dynamic than the one offered by a static PDF file. The content tends to not follow a linear order — the reader decides what to read and when — sometimes including animated features, videos, more images, and even a soundtrack depending on the case.
As the reader interacts with the eBook, the content becomes more relevant. That happens because at the end of each section, he will find suggestions to keep reading, and the interactive eBook makes it possible to recommend chapters according to those that he has already visited. In other words, the material will indicate what he may find interesting based on his previous choices.
As we already mentioned, blogs are useful for all the stages of the purchase funnel. To attract leads, you can apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, and publish content about common issues that you can help with or popular topics related to your field.
You can also insert videos, images, and other types of content as well as links to your social media and landing pages. It only depends on your creativity.
In the middle or late stages, you can create content that helps your prospects to recognize their problems, be aware that they need a solution, and present your company’s services. Remembering the experiences that it provided, they will be willing to consider it as a good option to help him.
Regardless of the stage, remember to always finish the posts with a CTA (Call to Action) to stimulate the readers to take action. It can suggest sharing the content on social media, reading another article, leaving a comment, contacting your company, or directing to another asset, like an interactive experience.
A quiz helps you to get to know your audience (you can track the viewers to assess how they interacted with the content and discover their preferences, for example). Since it is easy to consume and share, engaging, and funny, it can quickly go viral. As a result, it will boost traffic on your page and increase lead generation.
Case studies are used to present your customers’ success stories. This content shows who they are, what problems they had before acquiring your services, why they choose your company, how it helped, how the implementation process went, the results, and further plans.
They are an opportunity to present your services in detail. Your audience will understand what it would be like to use your services and discover what exactly they should expect. Among the benefits, we highlight qualifying leads, increasing brand awareness, and accelerating leads (which is proven to be effective according to HubSpot).
Calculators or other online tools are practical and give your audience an immediate solution to an issue. Anyone can find them with an online search. If you decide to use this asset, a good idea is to include it on a landing page that has a CTA, a simple and optional lead form, as well as social media buttons to enable sharing the content. Since they are useful, your leads are likely to share them. Given these points, they can increase traffic and generate leads, for example.
Investing in demand-generation marketing allows you to grab your audience’s attention, boost brand awareness, and establish a relationship. As a result, the leads slowly move through each stage of the buyer’s journey and become consumers. For this reason, demand generation leads to a better marketing ROI (that is, increases conversion, traffic, sales, and amount of leads and customers, among other aspects).
Demand generation is a crucial strategy to ensure that your target market knows who you are and why your organization matters. It focuses on creating brand awareness, increasing consumer interest, and educating potential customers about your solutions and products.
By implementing effective demand-generation tactics and tools, you can build rapport with your audience, boost lead generation, and drive sales.
In your demand generation campaigns, consider using various types of content such as interactive infographics, eBooks, interactive eBooks, and blog posts. These content formats can effectively capture the attention of your audience, provide valuable information, and guide them through their journey.
If you’re ready to implement a demand generation strategy and want to strengthen your brand, increase conversions, and drive sales, take advantage of a free trial of WriterAccess. Start creating compelling content that engages your audience and helps you achieve your marketing goals.
Sign up now and get your audience to truly know your company!