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How to Use Demand Generation Marketing in 2021

No one cares about your brand the way you do. This is why you have to work hard to get people to know, like, and trust your business. And that’s where brand awareness and demand generation come in. 

With a demand generation strategy, you can focus on building up your brand so it becomes easier to drive leads. If you’re already using lead generation efforts, then you’ll find combining the two strategies can amplify your results. 

But more on that later. 

Let’s take a look at what demand generation marketing is and how you can use it to propel your business forward.

What is Demand Generation Marketing?

Demand generation marketing is a mix of marketing tactics used to build brand awareness, product/service interest, and conversions from passive audiences. In other words, you’re getting people who otherwise wouldn’t find or buy your products to engage with your brand.

To achieve this, you have to do three things:

  1. Research your target customers and potential audience, and create detailed personas. 
  2. Create messaging that resonates with each particular group. By segmenting the groups, you can zone in on the pain points and desires of each persona. 
  3. Share these messages via various channels, using various formats. For instance, you can create top-of-the-funnel blog posts, videos, and guides you share on YouTube, Facebook, and your business blog. 

The purpose of your demand generation content is to build interest, which later converts into sales. Once you build interest (demand), your lead generation strategy kicks in. This involves capturing lead information through opt-in forms, which go to your CRM. Your marketing and sales teams can then analyze and score leads based on their intent and sales readiness. Finding high-converting prospects becomes easier, which makes closing more deals possible. 

Using outreach and email nurturing campaigns can encourage prospects to engage with your brand via sales calls, demos, consultations, and other key steps within your sales funnel. But it doesn’t end when the prospect converts into a customer. 

You continue sharing valuable content to build trust and brand loyalty (a.k.a. create advocates and fans who drive even more business to your company). 

So how does demand generation digital marketing differ from lead generation? It’s simple:

Demand generation revolves around building brand awareness and product interest, while lead generation focuses on turning passive audiences into qualified leads using online forms.

What Are the Benefits of Demand Generation?

You may witness a variety of benefits when you implement demand generation into your inbound marketing strategy. But here’s a look at the key advantages that convince most B2B marketers to adopt it:

  • Strengthens brand awareness (which is critical for differentiating your brand within a competitive market)
  • Attracts qualified leads (since you’re getting attention from specific groups of people within your target audience)
  • Reduces customer acquisition costs (by speeding up the sales cycle with leads who are ready to buy)
  • Grows revenue (the more qualified leads you have, the easier it becomes to close deals)

What Are the 3 Pillars of Demand Generation?

There are three pillars that make up a good demand generation strategy. These include the following

1. Generating Leads

To generate interest for your brand and its products/services, you first need to know who it is you’re targeting. During the lead generation process, you’ll discover who your audience is and how to craft a message specifically for them. This way, you’ll have no problem capturing leads to push through your nurture program.

2. Capturing Attention

Once you know who to target and how, the next step is to find ways to get their attention. What can you offer to get leads to give you their contact information? This is where you’ll determine the best types of content and topics to use. During this process, you’ll focus on lower-funnel content, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads and keyword-optimized blog posts.

3. Accelerating the Pipeline

You have your audience, the content format, and message. Now, it’s time to drive leads through to the sales team. After getting the attention of your target customer, you can use techniques to accelerate your pipeline. The goal is to get a conversation going between prospects and your brand. Or you can use highly targeted content that speaks on the pain points of that specific prospect. The content should also match where they are in the funnel. 

For instance, if they’re still in the middle of the funnel, you can share content like case studies and testimonials to show how your product or service helped others. Then you can target those at the bottom of the funnel with free trials, discounts, and other tactics to get them to buy now.

What Are the Five Stages of Demand Generation?

So, where do you begin with your demand generation strategy? And where do you go from there? Here’s a quick overview showing how to break down a demand generation plan:

  1. Set goals: In marketing, it’s ideal to start planning with the end in mind. Knowing exactly what you want to get out of a demand generation campaign makes it easier to plan how to get there. 
  2. Find your audience: It’s impossible to successfully market a product or service when you don’t know who you’re talking to. The more you know about your target customer, the easier it becomes to identify their pain points, so you can craft a message that resonates with them.
  3. Build content: You need content that matches each target group at each stage of the funnel. So for each group, you need top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content that speaks directly on their pain points. For example, you can produce thought-leadership content at the top of the funnel to build awareness and desire. For the middle of the funnel, you can create buying guides, whitepapers, and listicles to help make a purchase decision. Then at the end of the funnel, you want to offer brand-specific information, such as demos, case studies, and customer reviews. 
  4. Distribute the content: Getting your content in front of your audience is key to building demand. So focus on delivering content on various platforms, such as email, video, live events, Stories, direct mail, social, and blog posts. 
  5. Measure your content: The only way to know if your demand generation campaigns are working is to monitor the metrics that match your goals. This will guide you in continuing or discontinuing tactics based on their performance.

6 Demand Generation Marketing Examples

So what does demand generation marketing look like in the real world? Well, there are several strategies brands use to generate demand. Here’s a look at how various brands are using demand gen to drive leads:

  1. Downloadable Resources: Eventbrite uses downloadable email templates to create demand. In one campaign, the brand sent an event planning template to its email list, highlighting pain points and how the template can be used in conjunction with its event planning tool. You can do the same by offering value to your website visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers.
  2. Guest Blogging: Buffer used guest posting to expand its reach and generate demand from untapped (but relevant) audiences. The key is finding like-minded businesses within your industry (that are non-competitors). Focus on writing a thought-leadership post to establish trust, then include a link back to your website.
  3. Interactive Tools: PedalTrain, a board manufacturer, chose to adopt an interactive tool on its website. What makes this effective is that it adds value to its offer. It helps users determine how many pedals they can fit on a single board. This way, customers can arrange the perfect fit before buying. There are various interactive tools you can create, such as calculators, product builders, and so on.
  4. Visual Content: GoPro decided to add visual content to its marketing strategy, which is clever given that today’s people enjoy consuming images and videos. This can be in the form of infographics, Instagram Stories, or user-generated content. 
  5. Social Media: Missguided learned its audience and found social media to be the ideal platform for generating demand. The brand partnered with online influencers who featured product-focused grid posts in their feed. They also shared light-hearted IG stories and funny Twitter content. 
  6. Corporate Gifts: Terminus used corporate gifting to drive $5.5 million to its pipeline. This included sending UberEats gift cards, hot chocolate, and custom cookbooks. Using gifts is r=proven to help create interest in brands and drive conversions

Build a Winning Demand Generation Strategy

Creating demand for a product or service isn’t easy. But as a B2B marketer, you already know this. That’s why it’s time to start using demand generation efforts to build interest. Once you have that, it becomes easier to convert them into leads and eventually customers.

With Sendoso, you can enhance your demand generation strategy with modern direct mail and gifting that inspires action, along with AI tools to analyze your campaigns. We’ve worked with numerous brands who’ve witnessed different levels of success using our platform. If you’d like to see how it works, then request a demo with us today!

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