A quick guide to demand generation

A quick guide to demand generation
Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

What is demand generation?

Essentially, every touchpoint in the consumer journey from prospect to retention and upselling can be included in the term “demand generation.” Each activity that helps to drive awareness and interest in your brand, product, or service, to generate leads that can help close the business is considered demand generation.

Key aspects of a demand generation strategy

Brand awareness

To create demand, people need to know who you are and start creating a relationship with your brand. Developing brand awareness with your primary audiences can help ensure they can recognize your brand and start building trust with what you have to say and offer.

  • Start by identifying and building your brand identity, which is how your business differentiates itself from competitors. Use these tactics to drive recognition and affinity to your brand.
  • Identify opportunities to establish thought leadership so that people will consider you an expert and authority in your industry. When you are seen as an expert, people will be more apt to think of your brand when trying to solve a problem.
  • Be active on social media and other platforms to communicate your brand and engage with followers. This includes using public relations strategies to develop a relationship between the public and your brand.

Capturing demand

Call this lead generation or inbound marketing, but once you create a demand for your brand through brand awareness, you need to be able to capture those who are interested. These tactics can help convert visitors into leads and leads into customers while creating ongoing demand for your product or service.

Accelerating sales

Once you’ve generated and captured demand, there are tactics you can use to help close sales. Sales agents are an obvious answer, but other examples of tactics that can help close the gap between marketing and sales include testimonials, case studies, fact sheets and FAQs, estimate calculators, and more.

Retention

To achieve sustained growth, you must retain the customers you worked so hard to acquire. Demand generation isn’t just about generating demand until the sale but also about continuing to generate demand to retain the customer long-term. You should always provide your customers a positive impression of your brand, including exceptional customer service.

5 strategies for a successful demand generation marketing program

You can use several tactics for demand generation programs, many of which you may already be using strictly as a lead generation or retention strategy. With some tweaking, you can use these strategies across the entire lifecycle of the customer.

1. Content marketing

Content can be just about anything, including blogs, videos, ebooks, podcasts, webinars, social media posts, infographics, whitepapers, case studies, etc. You can then use this content on your website or social media channels, emails, blogs, paid TV or radio advertising, etc.

2. Paid advertising

  • Amplify your content with paid search ads, helping get your content and website in front of people actively searching for related terms and keywords.
  • Use display advertising, including images and videos, to get your brand in front of specific audiences in targeted areas. Optimize for click-throughs or view-throughs with ads using text, images, and links to your website.
  • Social media platforms also provide paid advertising opportunities to ensure your ads get in front of the right people at the right time. Integrate remarketing or lead generation tactics to make your dollars go further.
  • Don’t forget about traditional media tactics such as TV, radio, billboards (out-of-home), and newspaper or magazine (print) ads. While these aren’t effective for all audiences or brands, utilize them if they are right for you.

3. Email marketing

Once you’ve captured an email address and opt-in, you are free to email those leads or customers.

  • Leads: You must continue to generate demand for your product or service. While they have shown interest, you must continue to engage. Use attention-grabbing subject lines and offer engaging content. Be sure to always include a call to action.
  • Offer content that convinces the leads they need your product or service. Answer their questions and show how your company can resolve their pain points. Use this as an opportunity to develop a relationship with the lead. The important thing is to always provide value; otherwise, they will unsubscribe.
  • Customers: Even after a person has become a customer, you can use email marketing to continue to engage with them, retain them as a customer, and even develop opportunities for upselling. Share company updates, teach them how to take advantage of your product or service, give them an inside look at your company, and make it personable.
  • Personalize content to speak to them at a deeper level. Use the information you have about your customers to your advantage.

4. Conversational marketing

Live chat and chatbots are great tactics to deploy conversational marketing. Prospects, leads, and customers want to know you are available to them to answer their questions and solve their problems whenever they need it. When that happens, it helps generate demand for your brand over competitors. Use these AI tools to make consumers feel they have access whenever they need it.

5. Website

While your paid ads may be the first introduction audiences have to your brand, your website is the front door that truly opens up the opportunity for demand generation. Your website should showcase your brand, culture, mission, and values.

  • Information about products and services should be easy to navigate.
  • Have direct, easy-to-find calls to action to make conversion simple.
  • Utilize search engine optimization tactics so that your website ranks and is visible.
  • Showcase the content developed in your content marketing strategy.
  • Have forms or gated assets to encourage prospects to become leads.

Tips for successful demand generation

Because demand generation involves various activities, it’s important to be flexible with your program and tactics. But, here are a few tips to help your programs be more successful.

1. Have clear goals

It’s important to identify the end goals of your campaigns in the beginning. What does success look like? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your revenue or sales goals? Are there specific KPIs you want to achieve?

2. Understand your audience

It’s challenging to develop a successful strategy and tactics if you don’t understand as much as possible about your ideal customer and existing customers. Not only should you have demographic information like age, gender, household income, education level, etc., but also psychographic data like lifestyles, interests, beliefs and values, etc.

3. Be authentic, engaging, and creative

When creating content or launching these demand generation tactics, it’s critical to be authentic to your brand, engaging to your audiences, and creative. Be original and do what you can to stand out from your competitors. Capture and keep your audience’s attention. Help them realize you’re the answer to their problems, and they need your product or service, but do it in a way that will make them feel good about engaging with your brand.

4. Analyze and optimize

You should be measuring as much as you can, as often as you can. KPIs to track can include:

  • Cost per acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per impression
  • Cost per lead
  • Conversion rates
  • Close rate per channel

5. Test

You may not know what works perfectly the first time. So, as you analyze and optimize, work to test different hypotheses, tactics, messaging, and creativity. Use A/B testing strategies to find out what works best for your audiences.

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