What is Demand Generation? 15+ Tips and Strategies

What is Demand Generation?

Demand generation is any activity that pushes awareness and interest in a product, service, or offers from a business with the goal to generate leads. In other words, demand generation is any action that generates demand amongst your target audience in hopes of growing your business.

Overall, demand generation is actually an umbrella term that encompasses all marketing and sales initiatives from every checkpoint of a customer’s journey, i.e. from initial interest in a product or service to upselling customers.

It is important to note that demand generation has changed recently in that it is no longer just about creating demand for sales. Something known as conversational marketing has actually changed the role of demand generation by creating the opportunity for marketers to connect with their audience via conversations online.

With marketers able to start conversations with future buyers early on in the customer journey, they have a better chance of continuing the conversation with that same customer all along their path. Ideally, this will lead to a sale, making that potential customer a full-blown patron.

Lastly, keep in mind that demand generation is not about forcing demand. Rather, it is about naturally driving demand through marketing practices. By providing the right information at the right time to the right people, demand generation effectively meets your ideal customer’s needs and offers a necessary solution to a real problem or query.

How is Demand Generation Different from Lead Generation?

In a regular search of demand generation, you’ll likely come across the term lead generation as well. While many marketing professionals tend to use both terms interchangeably, they’re really not the same. Demand generation is a much more holistic process and long-term marketing strategy that works to cover each stage of the customer journey through the marketing funnel. This means from awareness and consideration to research and justification, demand generation plays a part.

Lead generation, on the other hand, is actually a subcategory of demand generation. It has a narrow focus on the top of the marketing funnel with a simple goal: to convert targeted audiences into quality leads. By collecting information from leads, lead generation marketing works to nurture them into customers naturally rather than through paid methods.

Though demand generation and lead generation have differences, you want to have a marketing strategy that generates both demand and leads. This means you need to develop a demand generation strategy that includes lead generation tactics that draw in useful information for long-term success.

Why is Demand Generation Important?

There are a few components of demand generation that make it an important marketing strategy that your brand really shouldn’t go without. These include:

Demand Generation Builds Genuine Relationships

A large part of demand generation is providing value to your ideal customers in the channels where they already exist. By going to where your ideal customers are, it makes it easier for them to become aware of your solution and learn how it can help them solve their unique issues. When a business focuses on its target audience’s problems, it immediately builds a trusting relationship between business and customer, setting up long-term sales and overall business success.

Demand Generation Establishes Trust

One of the most important things a business can do is build its brand authority and establish trust. Demand generation aids this process because sharing content that not only educates but inspires your ideal customer is a great way to foster the relationships you are already building. Even if your target audience isn’t quite ready to buy, they’ll keep you in mind as a source they trust to meet their needs and solve their problems. In time, this can lead to a purchase.

Demand Generation Brings in More Qualified Leads

When you engage in focused and targeted demand generation activities, you’re able to zero in on lead quality instead of just quantity. By making more targeted campaigns, you open your business up to higher-quality leads, which leads to a better match between business and customer, which usually leads to sales.

To begin the process of getting more quality leads, you must start with a clear understanding of who your ideal customer profile (ICP) is. To answer this question, ask yourself what types of people and businesses your solution works best for, what common traits such customers may share, and how you can cater to their needs in a natural and effective way.

Demand Generation Results in More Revenue

When you successfully generate more demand, you can convert that demand into measurable interest and predictable revenue. Keep in mind that it may take a while to generate actual revenue, especially when you’re attracting customers naturally rather than with paid methods. The key to generating more revenue, then, is to continue to nurture each member of the demand unit as they move through the marketing funnel. Ideally, this ends in sales, which results in more and more revenue over time.

When it comes to demand generation, you’re engaging in a marketing practice that treats your potential customers as more than just numbers. This holistic approach to attracting and engaging with customers is a great way to build long-term relationships with leads that can result in more growth, revenue, and overall longevity for your business over time.

15 Demand Generation Tips from Directive

Here are directive, we pride ourselves on our expertise in our marketing efforts. We have gathered some of our most knowledgable search marketers across all departments to provide you with 15 demand generation tips that will drive leads to your business.

Create a Stronger Relationship Between Sales & Marketing

Anh Dang, PPC Lead
This is nothing new but it is always worth mentioning. Sales and Marketing have long been separate departments but as digital marketing became the forefront of business strategies, we started to see a shift. As someone in marketing, specifically paid advertising, being able to communicate with a client’s sales team allows me to see a much clearer picture in terms of their struggles, strengths, goals, and mission.

This gives me much more ammo to set them up for success rather than building marketing strategies that do not align with their goals which can lead to wasted spend and time. For example, to create impactful ad copy and landing pages, we need to speak to our target audience and who knows more about our audience than the sales team? They hold the answers to your questions when it comes to what turns leads into customers and what doesn’t, so use it!

Content, Content, Content!

Ashton Meisner, Lead Digital PR Strategist
While producing large amounts of content can be beneficial, without quality, it is dead. To create demand for your product or services, every single piece of content you put out there is being analyzed against your competitors.

Are you taking the time to research buyer personas, include beneficial infographics, and provide actionable items your readers can take? If not, you might as well not produce content at all. The point is to drive that demand for what you’re selling up the wall!

Tips from Cassie Wiley, SEO/PPC Specialist

Know Your Value Prop

A value proposition is defined as “an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.” In order to sell your product, you need to clearly define your value proposition and what you can offer customers that your competitors do not. A good question to ask yourself is “why should a consumer by my product over my competitors’?”.

Build Trust

Clients want to know who they are buying from. Building trust is one important factor in creating demand. You can build trust by adding social proof of past or current customers that you have worked with. This can include client testimonials, logos of previous clients, or online customer reviews of your product.

Stay Up To Date With Competitors

Marketing tactics are ever-changing and sometimes your competitors are utilizing better marketing strategies than you. Be sure to constantly check back on your competitors’ sites and perform in-depth competitor analysis’ of what they are doing in comparison to you. Mimicking competitor strategies is an easy way to lock in some quick-wins.

Enticing CTA Offers

Over is the age of “Contact Us” call-to-action and any other CTAs that tell users they have to put in the extra effort. Avoid trigger words such as “request”, “contact” or “call” that place an emphasis on more work for the consumer (i.e. contact a representative, request an offer).

You should instead be creating CTAs based on what you can offer, making it hard for users to say no. Some examples include “Download Free White Paper, Send My Free Quote, Start My Free Trial”.

Speak to your audience

Refrain from going too overboard with mentioning your company constantly within your content. Instead, create copy aligned with what your audience will get out of your product. Unless your business is a nationally recognized brand-name, you should focus your pages on enticing users with motivating offers rather than promoting your brand name everywhere possible.

Podcasts

Hadassah Pegado, Sr. SEO Specialist
Podcasting has garnered immense popularity over the years, and that’s because of how well it works! Not only will you be increasing your traffic generation by reaching out to new audiences for your business, but podcasts can help in building familiarity with a wide range of audiences (increasing your brand awareness) and lifting your audience’s purchase intent (increasing your conversions).

Based on an online survey that Nielsen conducted, 69% of podcast listening agreed that podcast ads made them more aware of new products or services. Overall, most businesses have already started utilizing podcasts into their marketing strategies. Don’t miss out on what podcasting can do for your company’s growth.

Slideshares

Jesse Seilhan, Director of Client Services
Building SlideShares can become easy lead magnets if they are shareable, digestible, and informative. They don’t take long to create and can be as long or short as you want, as long as they are engaging for at least a few minutes. Also, if your subject matter is evergreen, you can collect views and clicks for years and years without needing to update the content at all.

Tips by Liam Barnes, SEO Specialist

Whitepapers

According to HubSpot, a whitepaper is a persuasive report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. These can be helpful in demand generation because the reader may not be aware of the specific problem that they have in their industry or with their business. The presentation of this problem creates a demand for their products and services provided by the solution in the whitepaper. It can be a useful lead generation tool, as well.

Guest Posting

As a tactic for link building, guest posting is incredibly important in SEO because it gives your website authority and increases your GoogleRank, ultimately increasing rankings on the SERP. Another important aspect of guest posting is that it creates demand for your services or products on another website through backlinking and brand mentions.

Longform Content

Longform content is extremely important from an SEO standpoint because it increases user engagement, decreases bounce rate, and increases average time per page session. By definition, longform content is anything greater than 1,000 words; however, studies show that content containing longer than 2,000 words are overall highly regarded across all SEO metrics. Longform content tends to increase social shares, which gives you drive social engagement and can increase demand for your products and services.

Tutorials

Tutorials are important because they not only make the usability of your products and services easier, but they can be important in developing and non-transactional relationships with the customer or client. By developing a personal relationship with a potential customer or client, you are creating a demand for whatever product or service you are selling or promoting.

Webinars

Webinars not only can be a valuable tool for promoting new products, but can be utilized to build a strong relationship with customers, clients, and other businesses within the industry. Webinars can draw demand for products and services by offering exclusive discounts specifically for viewers.

Give Away Free Products

You must be able to provide value to the customer prior to generating a large following. As a B2B company, relationship-based business is a heavy focus; therefore, giving away free products can give you the upper hand on your competitors. This strategy can drive demand not only for your target business but can create a referral system as well.

To further help your business growth and to learn more about how Directive can help you boost demand generation, get a free proposal from us today!

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