What is Demand Generation Marketing?
Demand generation marketing describes the full umbrella of marketing programs which serve to get customers excited about your brand. Demand generation helps you to reach new markets, build buzz and generate PR, and re-engage existing customers.
It’s more than just branding exercise though, or an early funnel marketing tact. Demand generation marketing covers all the touchpoints throughout the sales and conversion optimization cycles.
With demand generation marketing, the goal is to build and nurture relationships for the long term. To accomplish this goal effectively, there are a few things that marketers need to do. For instance:
- Responding to customer queries on Twitter
- Promoting blog posts and other content through Facebook
- Run email marketing campaigns
- Host informative webinars
Demand generation can take the form of weekly newsletters, ebook campaigns, meet-up events or even a company-sponsored webinar. It’s not just a quick banner ad or email blast.
The difference between demand generation and other customer acquisition tactics is the commitment to long-term relationships, and the strategic mindset.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation vs. Inbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?
To the untrained eye, demand generation, lead generation and inbound marketing might all sound remarkably similar. However, here are the industry definitions of each:
- Demand generation: focussed on targeted marketing programs designed to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products or services.
- Lead generation: the initiation of consumer inquiry or interest into a company’s products or services.
- Inbound marketing: a technique designed to draw customers to products and services through search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and branding
There’s definitely a lot of overlap between the definitions, so it’s understandable that there would be some confusion. Ultimately though, you can think of demand generation marketing as encompassing both inbound marketing and lead generation. Demand generation is the function, while inbound marketing is the method. Lead generation is also a component of demand generation, but the focus stops as soon as a lead is passed off to sales.
7 Amazing Demand Generation Marketing Strategies
So, now you’ve got a far better idea of what demand generation is. The remaining question is how you can go about implementing it?
Here are seven demand generation marketing strategies you can start using immediately .
1. Give Away Your Best Stuff
Whether it’s a content download, a free offer, or another promotional campaign, make certain to only give away your absolute best stuff.
Though this might sound counterintuitive, consistently offering giveaways of real value has several benefits.
Firstly, it creates a sense of trust between you and your audience. This means they’re more likely to come back to your content or your website.
Secondly, it reflects well on your brand. Some enthusiastic prospects may even take things one step further and advocate for your brand on your behalf. This makes them brand ambassadors.
Lastly, by offering something of real value, your visitors are much more likely to part with whatever information you need to begin qualifying them as a viable lead. This is the first step in the demand generation marketing process.
2. Provide a Resource, Tool or App
One of the best ways to begin a successful demand generation campaign is by offering a free tool or resource.
WordStream implemented this strategy back in 2011 when they launched the AdWords Performance Grader. The free tool proved a remarkably strong demand generation machine. It also helped thousands of advertisers audit their PPC accounts and take actions to improve them.
Over the years, they’ve graded billions of dollars in AdWords spend. This has helped them to strengthen and solidify their position as one of the industry’s most valuable resources for PPC and marketing help and news.
Of course, developing a free tool (or app) isn’t cheap, and there are overheads you’ll have to consider, such as development budgets.
3. Use Lookalike Audiences on Facebook
We’re going to assume that you’re already advertising on Facebook. And if you aren’t, it really is time to reevaluate that. Instead, we’ll recommend one of the most powerful targeting strategies on the platform, which is lookalike audiences.
As the name suggests, lookalike audiences are custom audiences that closely resemble users that have already expressed an interest in your products, services, or content, based on demographic and behavioral similarities.
Facebook allows you to upload custom audiences created using data you’ve already gathered from your actual users. From here, you can create lookalike audiences that share many of the same characteristics.
One of the key advantages of lookalike audiences is that you can essentially double the potential reach of your Facebook advertising campaigns. This is because it allows you leverage the vast wealth of data Facebook has on it’s users.
The larger the custom audience you upload, the more widely you can cast your net using lookalikes.
Given the amount of time people spend on Facebook, this targeting feature is one among your most powerful demand generation strategies.
4. Partner with Industry Superstars on Webinars
Some brands (again, particularly tech companies and startups) phone it in when it involves webinars.
Sure, they’re relatively easy to produce and don’t have much of a production overhead, but if you don’t give webinars your all, why would anyone pay attention to them?
If webinars are going to be a part of your demand generation strategy, you need to go all in, and only partner with the superstars of your industry on webinars.
Doing so helps you to forge connections with key influencers and increase your industry standing, as well as boost your brand awareness. All of these are crucial elements of a good demand generation marketing strategy.
Of course, partnering with industry rock stars isn’t as easy as simply emailing Guy Kawasaki and asking him to hitch your next webinar.
Establishing relationships takes time and effort, and initially, it might not be possible to snag the speakers you want.
However, when planning and producing webinars, you ought to strive to feature the foremost respected and well-known guests you can. You also shouldn’t hold back on the good tips and advice – see our first point.
5. Use Managed Placements in Display Campaigns
These days, display advertising sometimes gets a nasty rap. Display certainly has its limitations (and unique advantages), but many advertisers overlook the facility of Managed Placements in their Display Network campaigns.
If you’re not familiar with them, Managed Placements allow advertisers to control the audience their display ads are shown to more effectively by specifying where their ads appear, limiting their reach to individuals who are more likely to respond positively to them. Think of them as a more targeted approach to display, instead of the somewhat scattershot approach of normal display ads.
As the primary purpose of display campaigns is to boost brand awareness, display are often a highly effective a part of a wider demand generation campaign. You’re not necessarily looking for conversions from display (though it’s always nice), but rather increasing brand awareness and promoting your products or services, both of which are strengths of display campaigns. With Managed Placements, you get these benefits combined with additional control over who sees your ads, which may make this ad type even simpler .
6. Invest (More) in Content Creation
Inbound marketing may be a huge part of a successful demand generation strategy, and content creation has never been more important.
A solid content strategy for demand generation purposes incorporates elements of a number of our previous recommendations, including making a gift of only your absolute best stuff and providing your audience with an invaluable go-to resource. Similarly, content is most definitely a long-term investment, a bit like demand generation itself. Success requires consistent effort – something that many businesses fail to do when it comes to content.
If you’re already publishing blog posts regularly, believe how you’ll make them even more valuable. Do they incorporate original data or research, or just regurgitate what everyone else has already said? Do they supply timely insight into emerging trends, or are your posts always late to the party? Essentially, ask yourself some hard questions about why someone should spend their precious time reading your content, compared to that of your competitors.
With content marketing, success doesn’t happen overnight. It can take several years of hard work before your efforts really started to pay off. Don’t phone it in when it comes to content – double down and only publish the very best content you possibly can.
7. Optimize Your Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing can be an incredibly powerful component of your demand generation marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, far too many advertisers misuse it or fail to harness its potential.
When it comes to email marketing, A/B testing is essential, and the adage that “Less is more” most definitely applies. If you resort to carpet-bombing your email list on a regular basis, you risk turning prospective customers off and harming your brand. Rather than blasting your lists all the time, work smarter, not harder.
Everything about your email campaigns can (and should) be A/B tested. This is to ensure your emails are performing as strongly as they possibly can. Everything from headline length and subject line copy to linking strategies and offer placements should be tested in order that you’ll make informed decisions about your email campaigns based on hard data rather than assumptions.
You should also incorporate demand generation strategy favorite – only divulge your best stuff – when it involves email marketing. Constantly spamming your database with low-value offers is a surefire way to drive your subscribers crazy (and tempt them to click “unsubscribe”), but if you offer your list your very best tools, resources, and offers in your emails, you’ll soon have your prospects looking forward to hearing from you.