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What Is Demand Generation and Why It Will Change the Way You Do Marketing

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering what demand generation is. Perhaps you’re wondering whether you need to scrap your current lead generation strategies ASAP because it seems everyone is shifting to demand generation. 

Hold your horses.

The notion of “demand gen vs. lead gen” has to stop. 

Demand generation and lead generation are two different things, but they enhance each other. In your marketing plan, they should come together to translate your efforts into revenue more efficiently.

Here’s the scoop about these two. 

What is demand generation?

Demand generation is the process of generating demand and driving awareness for products and services by using marketing methodologies such as blogging, SEO, and advertising. It helps you generate interest, build excitement, and get noticed.

The right approach to demand generation will bring you high-quality leads, quicker sales, and growing brand awareness. 

However, demand generation is more than a top-of-the-funnel marketing tactic — it spans multiple touchpoints and channels that include social media, content creation, webinars, email marketing, community building, and more across the whole customer journey.

Demand generation takes more than throwing money at paid ads. You must develop a holistic marketing strategy that attracts qualified prospects and sets the foundation for long-term customer relationships.  

Demand generation vs. lead generation vs. lead nurturing

Demand generation is all about creating awareness primarily through inbound methods, while lead generation is the process of capturing the leads brought by such activities. 

Demand generation helps you reach new audiences and markets, while lead generation helps you capture the leads that are most likely to convert.

Lead nurturing, on the other hand, is a bottom-of-the-funnel process that helps you nurture qualified leads into paying customers.

Should I use demand generation or lead generation?

Good question. Honestly, it’s not a matter of either-or. Both are essential if you want a complete marketing strategy that consistently generates a pipeline of excellent leads throughout your funnel. 

Demand gen and lead gen work hand in hand to produce leads that will eventually become paying customers.

Demand generation will drive attention, buzz, and traffic. And then, lead generation will convert this into leads, opportunities, and eventually customers. 

“The notion of “demand gen vs. lead gen”, demand gen is good and lead gen is bad,  lead gen is so old school, and so on is flawed.

The 2 methods are not excluding each other but complement each other. Without demand gen., the leads you generate would be cold/purchased/unsolicited/not leads at all. Without lead gen, you have a leaking bucket of leads coming at you that you never capture.”

Kalo Yankulov,
Co-founder Encharge

For your business to be successful, you will need both methods to succeed.

As Kalo explains, “Lead generation is a natural progression of demand generation, not its enemy.”

Benefits and challenges of demand generation

Demand generation sounds like a great first start to increase your bottom line, but the pros go beyond that. Below we are going to review some of them.

Improved lead quality

Demand generation can help you increase the number and quality of the leads you generate. The more targeted the content and campaigns, the more visitors you’ll attract to your website or blog. Ultimately, this can lead to more revenue and sales for your business.

Higher ROI

Demand generation can result in a higher return on investment (ROI) when done correctly. Since demand generation increases qualified leads by aligning sales and marketing, it can help you achieve 208% higher marketing revenue.

Lesser cost of acquisition

Demand gen can also lower your cost of generating leads. 62% of B2B buying decision is made before the potential customer talks to a sales rep. It happens when they read your content, see your website or download your report — the things that demand generation does.

As with any other marketing approach, demand generation also faces intimidating challenges. 

Don’t worry, there is no cause for alarm. In fact, the situation may be more manageable than you think. 

Creating engaging content

Churning out high-quality content that has the potential to capture the attention of customers is a big task. You’ll need a smart content team who knows how to analyze trends, pick out high-intent topics, and writers who know their craft well. On top of that, you’d need to understand how to align that content with the right stage of the buyer’s journey and scale the execution.

Inability to execute

Demand generation is a holistic strategy that requires attention, coordination, and teamwork. Marketing should be clear on the profile of the audience they want to capture, and they should work with sales to build the ideal customer profile and buyer personas. Then it’s no easy feat to follow a sophisticated marketing plan that provides lasting value and serves that audience.

Letting complexity stop progress

Since you’ll need several leaders to work on your demand generation efforts, there will always be the risk of coming up with too many complex and opposing ideas. The team needs to compromise and value action instead of ego and inefficiency.

6 Demand generation strategies to attract top-quality leads

1. Become an authority in your field

An effective content marketing strategy is essential for any business looking to increase website traffic and establish itself as an expert in its field. By creating valuable content, you can not only attract new visitors but also generate leads and sales. 

Ahrefs is good at this. When it comes to SEO, Ahrefs is the authority. They have ultra-helpful posts, SEO videos for actionable tips, and lots of case studies for understanding the topic at a deeper level.

When it comes to creating quality content, there are a few things to consider:

  • First, think like a journalist. Use first-party data and authentic experiences to create high-quality content with unique insights.
  • Second, make sure that your content is helpful, interesting to your audience, and has a unique perspective. 
  • Third, make sure that your site is optimized for SEO so that potential customers can find your content. 
  • And finally, make sure that your content is updated regularly to make your readers feel that you’re current and relevant.

2. Take your content distribution seriously

Creating great content isn’t enough on its own. You need to make sure that the right people see it. If you can get potential buyers to see your content, they’re much more likely to choose your product or service over the others.

Your website and blog should be the heart of your content distribution, but don’t forget about social media, paid advertising, community, and email marketing. By using all of these channels, you can reach more buyers and convert more leads into sales.

You can use a tool like Quuu to help you automate this part.

Just be sure the message and direction of your content are unified and deliver a clear message across all these channels.

3. Use ABM strategies on targeted accounts

ABM or Account-Based Marketing is all about personalizing your message to accounts that matter most to your business. By using the right tactics, you can reach more buyers and close more deals.

Here are a few ABM strategies that you can use to reach more buyers:

Target key accounts with personalized content.
Targeting key accounts with personalized content is one of the best ways to reach more buyers with ABM. This means creating unique content for each account based on their needs and interests.

Use targeted ads to reach decision-makers.

ABM can also be used to target ads to reach buyers. Using specific accounts to target decision-makers allows you to make sure your message is heard.

Take advantage of social media platforms.

The use of social media platforms for ABM is effective. By deploying targeted advertisements and creating customized content, you can connect with potential buyers on the platforms they use most often.

4. Leverage look-alike audiences on paid ads

One of the most effective ways to generate demand is through paid advertising. 

By targeting a look-alike audience — that is, people who are similar to your current customers — you can increase the chances that they’ll be interested in what you have to offer. And with the right ad strategy, you can funnel these leads straight into your sales funnel, resulting in more conversions and a higher ROI.

You can further improve your targeting by using look-alike audiences. When you target people who are similar to your current customers, you can be more confident that they are actually interested in what you have to offer. 

If you’re looking to up your demand generation game, start leveraging look-alike audiences on paid ads. With the Encharge Facebook Ads integration, you can automatically add your customers to a Facebook Ad audience.

5. Create events and partner with niche leaders

No matter what industry you’re targeting, creating events would be a good fit for your business. The key is to partner with the right event organizers so that you can reach your target market and niche leaders. 

Orbit Media Studios, a web design and development company, holds virtual events every now and then to attract clients.

When it comes to creating events, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Focus on your target market when planning your event.
  • Put together a solid marketing strategy.
  • Make sure you have a solid plan for how you will manage the demand generated at the event — prepare automated webinar follow-up emails

If you check all of these boxes, then your event should be a success! Just make sure you do your research first to make sure the event is a good fit for your business.

Read next: 15 Demand Generation Tactics That You Can Implement Right Now

6. Optimize the entire funnel

In order to get the most out of demand generation, it is important to ensure that your funnel is properly polished. This includes creating relevant and targeted content, optimizing your website for lead capture, and setting up effective lead nurturing processes. 

You can focus your campaigns on a range of channels for maximum presence. These include social media, webinars, online communities, or emails.

To make things easier, automate repetitive tasks in your work. Automation will free up your time to focus on more important tasks that will help you grow your business.

Marketing automation tools such as Encharge can help you convert website visitors into leads and help you turn leads into sales opportunities using email, SMS, and in-app messages.

It can automate the work that you don’t have time for so you can focus on more important tasks. 

A marketing automation Flow in Encharge

Provide valuable content to your audience and let marketing automation software take care of the rest.

Time to focus on generating demand

Demand generation gets you the attention that you like, plants the interest in your future customers’ brains, and harvests ROI as you sell more at scale.

The best way to describe it is magnetic marketing — intersecting the cunning knowledge of sales and the support of customer service with the charm of marketing. We just don’t want to go for the pitch right away. Humans don’t like it.

Marketers are realizing this, and that’s why global businesses are changing the way they market in the years to come. We hope you feel excited about this new era of marketing and eager to get started on making your top-of-the-funnel more inviting with demand generation.

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