A major challenge for new businesses, particularly for small business and other companies functioning in swarming markets, is demand generation. Markedly diverse from lead generation, demand generation is a much more intricate process – making it rather challenging for new brands.
Demand generation, like conversion paths, can be thought of as a funnel that starts with identifying audiences who are most likely to be receptive to the marketing tactics of your brand, before spearheading prospects through a funnel that addresses every stage of the conversion process.
Demand generation begins with identifying and qualifying prospective customers through content and inbound marketing, direct and email marketing before handing these leads to a nurturing team. The nurturing team further warms up the prospects using various resources and channels depending on the stage at which the prospect is in the conversion funnel; finally pass those highly qualified and nurtured leads onto the sales team.
Let’s discuss some strategies that can enhance your demand generation efforts:
Increase the effort around Content Creation
A critical link in a successful demand generation strategy is inbound marketing, and content creation is undoubtedly a significant part of it.
A robust content marketing strategy encompasses various formats and platforms, marketing unique content and provide your audience with an invaluable go-to resource. Content is certainly a long-term investment, just like demand generation itself. Success of content strategy entails comprehensive and consistent effort – a key factor that many marketing firms fail to acknowledge and implement.
Already publishing blog posts regularly? Ponder on how you can make them better with best of your content and enrich it with value-added information.
Do you integrate your articles with original data or research with emerging trends or merely regurgitate in line with hundreds of other blog posts?
Essentially, you must ask yourself some tough questions – why your prospects should be spending their precious time reading your content, as opposed on your competitors’ page?
Leverage Lookalike Audiences
Assuming that you are advertising on Facebook (in case it’s a no, it’s about time you’d start doing so), one of the most powerful targeting strategies on that platform is lookalike audiences.
As the name suggests, lookalike group of people are tailored audience who closely resemble prospects who had expressed an interest in your products, services, or content, based on demographic and behavioral similarities in the past.
Facebook provides an option to upload custom audiences created by you using the data you’ve compiled from your initial set of users and generate a niche of lookalike audiences that share many of the same characteristics.
One of the main benefits of lookalike audiences is that it allows primarily to accelerate the potential reach of your Facebook advertising campaigns manifold by leveraging the vast treasure of data that Facebook has in store. Given the amount of time people spend on Facebook, this targeting feature is one of your most powerful demand generation strategies.
Partner with Industry leaders for Webinars
Making webinars a part of your demand generation strategy, you need to go all in, and partner with the experts from your industry. Doing so will increase your stance and credibility in your industry, set grounds for valuable connections with key influencers, and boost your brand awareness – all are critical aspects of an efficient demand generation strategy.
Partnering with industry stellar casts is not a mean task,requesting them to join your next webinar. Establishing relationships is a time consuming and painstaking process, and initially, often you’d fail to convince the speakers you want to host.
However, your Plan B while hosting a webinar,should be to strive to feature the most respected and reputed guests to your best efforts, and develop on that as you dwell with best tips, advices, and strategies during the webinars, thus generating the brand value for yourself in market.
Give Away Your Valuable Stuff
Whether a white paper or case study, free offer,invite to an event, or a promotional campaign, ensure that you establish credibility by giving away the best you have in store. It might seem rather counter intuitive, but while you toil consistently in your strategy, you will witness the results with evident benefits in long term.
At the onset your efforts will establish a sense of trust between your audience and your brand, which means the chances of their come back to your content on your website elevates to a large extent.
Secondly, it establishes a wow factor on your brand – so much so that enthusiastic prospects may take things a step further and become brand advocates for you, promoting your services and products.
Finally, by offering something meaningful, your prospects are more likely to part with whatever information you need to initiate as qualifier as an important lead, the very first step in the demand generation process.
Use Managed Placements in Display Campaigns
Display advertising has some unique benefits, but same time has its limitations, but many advertisers ignore the potential of managed placements in Display Network campaigns.
Managed Placements gives the power to advertisers to control the audience their display ads are shown to in a more effective manner by specifying where their ads should be displayed. Thereby, setting limit to the reach to individuals but on the hindsight, they are the most probable audience to respond positively to your ad. The strategy can be used as a more targeted approach to display, rather than a scattered ad campaign.
As the main intend of display campaigns is to generate brand awareness, display can be a highly effective part of a wider demand generation campaign. Although you will not get noticeable conversion from display, yet it will certainly increase the mind share and promote your brand, both being high points of display campaigns.
Optimization of Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing is extremely a powerful component of the overall demand generation strategy, but often most of the marketers fail to use it optimally to harness its potential to the most.
A/B testing is important, and the saying “Less is more” surely works in this case. If you plan to bombard your listed prospects inbox frequently, you are running into the risk of turning your prospective customers off and negatively affect your brand. Instead, plan smartly, and offer information sparsely than going all loud about your brand.
Every time your email campaign should pass the acid test of A/B testing to ensure your emails are performing as strongly. Everything from length and subject line copy to linking strategies and offer placements should be tested so that you can make informed decisions about your email campaigns based on hard data rather to improvise on.
Demand generation is accomplished through a gradual, comprehensive, and holistic process that often spans entire marketing departments.Think of demand generation as a long-term relationship between a brand’s marketing and sales teams, and prospective customers.
A key feature of every demand generation strategy is consistent optimization fueled by cross-channel analysis. Marketers should constantly test, experiment and optimize to drive efficiency and revenue simultaneously.