Demand Generation | The Demand Generation Marketing Guide

Demand Generation Milk&Cookies Studio

Demand Generation | The Demand Generation Marketing Guide

As you probably have already figured out, this article is about Demand generation, aka “demand gen” if you want to play it cool and talk in internet B2B slang.

The bad news is that demand generation is one of the biggest challenges for new businesses, especially B2B startups and tech companies that work in crowded markets. This is mainly because generating leads is a bit easier than getting people interested in your products or services. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to pique people’s attention on your brand with all the noise in the market.

The end game of demand generation? To start conversations between the potential buyers and the seller, faster, easier, and better; conversations that could lead to higher conversion rates and more closed deals.

The good news is that startups now have access to many tools, technologies, and strategies, a lot of them low-code or no-code, that can help with demand generation. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to demand generation, what it is, how it works, and some of the best demand generation strategies for B2B startups.

 

TL;DR aka Key Points about demand gen:

  • Demand gen builds brand awareness, increases traffic, and generates new leads, making it a powerful marketing tool.
  • Demand gen is important for businesses because it creates a predictable pipeline for sales. This means that there is a regular flow of potential customers who are interested in what you’re selling.
  • Some common demand generation strategies are blogging, webinars, downloadable content, podcasts, videos, influencer marketing, PR campaigns, and SEO.

 

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?

The difference between demand gen and lead gen can be confusing. If you’re new to demand generation, you might be wondering what the difference is between the two. Especially since both of them share similar traits.

The main difference between demand generation and lead gen is that demand generation is the process focused on creating awareness and interest in a product or service. It expands your audience, generates buzz, and drives traffic. Simpler said it turns the prospect that is unaware of your product or service into a lead that is aware of what you do and what problems you solve for their business and eventually into paying customer. To create demand, businesses use various marketing strategies that aim to build relationships with potential customers and make them want what the company has to offer.

Lead gen, on the other hand, is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads. Lead generation can be the result of the demand generation marketing efforts. In other words, you got their attention through demand gen, now you’ll get their information and make them your paying customer through lead gen. But lead gen can also work separately from demand gen in the form of outreach.

  • A demand generation program makes your prospects aware of your solution.
  • Lead generation converts them into qualified leads. It’s a subtle difference, the two approaches are deeply connected but highly different in tactics and implementation.

Although some say that lead generation is a sub-strategy of demand generation, we believe that they go hand in hand, but they are rather waterfall. Lead generation efforts are a continuation of the demand generation efforts. First, you create awareness, then you convert them into leads and eventually into clients.

Demand generation:

  • It is Top of the sales funnel
  • Generates interest by highlighting a problem
  • Increases brand authority
  • Educates prospects
  • Engages with a wider audience

Lead generation:

  • It is Bottom of the funnel
  • Offers a solution to a problem
  • Presents benefits
  • Focuses on capturing qualitative leads
  • Collects contact information
  • Generates quantitative and qualitative data of leads
  • Demonstrates the value of the offer

 

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How to create a successful demand generation campaign

Demand generation for each company may vary slightly, based on the industry, geography, ideal customer profiles, sales cycle, etc. Every campaign should include certain steps that will help to increase your chances of gaining more attention for your business.

The most important elements of a successful demand generation campaign are:

Relevance:

The offer, the message, the timing, and the channel all have to be relevant to the person you’re targeting.

Personalization:

Your message should be personalized to the specific needs of your target audience.

Perceived Value:

The offer must provide enough value to the prospect to justify taking action.

Clarity:

The offer and message must be clear so that the prospect knows exactly what they need to do.

Easness to understand:

The offer and message must be easy to understand so that the prospect can take action without any confusion.

The steps of demand generation

A demand generation campaign is a strategic and structured process that helps you to increase the visibility of your brand, create interest in your products or services, generate leads, and eventually turn them into customers. There are five main steps in a demand generation campaign:

1. Research:

You need to understand your audience, their needs, and what type of content will be most relevant to them.

2. Plan:

You need to develop a plan for how you’re going to reach your target audience and what type of content you’ll create.

3. Execute your marketing strategy:

This is where you put your plan into action and create the demand generation campaign assets, such as landing pages, ebooks, webinars, etc.

4. Measure:

After your campaign has launched, you need to track the results and determine what worked well and what could be improved upon.

5. Improve:

Then, you take what you’ve learned and use it to improve your on-going demand generation campaign.

 

Demand generation strategy: some tactics and ideas:

Every business’s demand generation campaign differs somewhat. However, there are certain strategies, tactics and approaches that every campaign can follow to ensure that the brand gets the most out of the campaign. The methods you apply should be appropriate for your company, for your sales strategy, and, obviously, ideal customer profile.

While the strategies, tactics and ideas that we’ll cover here are not an exhaustive list, they should give you a good starting point for thinking about how to generate demand for your business.

Some demand generation strategies, tactics and ideas include:

  • Hosting webinars
  • Creating an ebook or guide
  • Developing a lead magnet
  • Creating a landing page
  • Doing A/B testing
  • Using social media
  • Paid advertising
  • Creating an email campaign
  • Write an white paper
  • Creat a free tool

Each of these demand generation strategies will be fleshed out in more detail below.

Webinars:

A webinar is a live or recorded online event that you can use to educate your target audience on a particular topic, build relationships with prospects, and generate leads. To make sure your webinar is successful, you need to promote it effectively and deliver quality content that provides value to your audience. You also need to have a strong call-to-action (CTA) so that people know what they should do after watching the webinar.

Ebooks or guides:

Another great way to generate demand for your business is by creating ebooks or guides. These are pieces of long-form content (usually around 20 pages or more) that provide valuable information on a specific topic. People are often willing to exchange their contact information (such as their email address) for an ebook or guide. This means that you can generate leads by giving away this type of content.

Lead magnet:

A lead magnet is a piece of content that you give away for free in order to generate leads. It’s usually something that provides value and solves a problem for your target audience. The most important thing with a lead magnet is to make sure that it’s high quality and relevant to your target audience. If it’s not, people won’t be interested in exchanging their contact information for it.

Landing page:

A landing page is a standalone web page that’s designed specifically for conversion. It has a specific purpose, such as getting people to sign up for your email list or book a demo call. To be effective, a landing page needs to have a strong headline, compelling copy, and a CTA that’s impossible to miss. The design should also be clean and simple so that people can easily navigate the page.

We have written an article on this with 11 tips to grow your landing page conversion rate as easily as possible and you can see the details here.

A/B testing:

A/B testing is a method of testing two different versions of something (such as a landing page, lead magnet, social media post or ad) to see which one performs better. This is done by showing one half of your audience one version and the other half the other version. Then, you measure the results to see which version had more conversions. A/B testing is an important part of any demand generation campaign because it allows you to fine-tune your content and make sure that it’s as effective as possible. Without this, you can never know for sure what works best from your ideal customer profile.

Social media content marketing:

Social media is a great platform for generating demand for your business. This is because it allows you to reach a large number of people with your message and build relationships with potential customers, while building awareness, and more importantly authority. When creating social media content, it’s important to make sure that it’s high quality and interesting. Otherwise, people won’t bother sharing it or engaging with it.

Paid advertising:

This one is pretty self-explanatory about why it is so important. With paid media, you can reach new clients that did not hear or interact with your brand before. It can be a great way to generate demand for your business if done correctly. If done incorrectly, it can become a money pit super fast.

Email marketing:

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that involves sending promotional messages to customers or prospects via email. It can be used to build relationships with customers, generate leads, or promote sales. To be effective, email marketing needs to be targeted and relevant. The messages should be sent to people who are likely to be interested in what you’re offering.

It’s also important to make sure that the emails are well-written and look professional. People are more likely to engage with an email that looks like it was put together by a professional. Otherwise it can backfire quickly.

Writing whitepapers: 

A whitepaper is a long-form piece of content that provides value and solves a problem for your target audience. Although the effort to write, design, deploy and distribute a whitepaper, especially for emerging technologies that are not yet understood at a large scale, is considerable, this is an amazing demand generation strategy. And we always recommend it because it is one that brings results in the long term.

Create a free tool:

By creating a free tool, you can attract new leads and get them to sign up for your email list. This way you can show what you are all about, create value, and solve business problems in a way that helps your audience. Give them something of value upfront and you will create propensity to buy. It goes without saying that to be effective, the tool should be high quality and relevant.

 

The benefits of demand generation campaigns

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There are many benefits that come with running a successful demand generation campaign. These include:

Increased brand awareness:

A demand generation campaign will help to increase the visibility of your brand and make it more top-of-mind for your target audience.

More qualified leads:

By targeting your ideal customer with relevant content, you’re more likely to generate leads that are actually interested in what you have to offer.

Greater customer engagement:

A good demand generation strategy helps to create a more engaging relationship with your target audience, which can lead to more sales down the line and happier sales teams.

Improved customer loyalty:

By providing relevant and valuable content, you can create a more loyal customer base that is more likely to stick with your brand in the long run.

Having a demand generation strategy is vital for any business in order to create awareness and eventually turn prospects into paying customers. By using some or all of the methods listed above, you can start generating demand for your business today.

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