Demand Generation: A To Z Guide For Beginners

We often say this while implementing a strategy that helped business giants grow in the past. But a critical part we miss is, we are in a growing stage and the leaders have already grown.

They’ve spent the time in the industry and built their authority. Therefore, it’s easy for them to generate buzz and demand for their business. One post can do the work.

But for the newcomers, this becomes a nut job.

Getting traffic and leads in the early stage is the most difficult part. Especially when you’ve just entered the market. Nobody knows you, nobody trusts you, let alone they’ll pay you for your services.

Here Demand Generation comes as a hero to save you from getting vanished in this competitive world. It is already helping many businesses, and maybe this is the reason 70% of marketers are looking to increase their demand generation budget. (Demand Generation Report)

So in this demand generation guide, you’re gonna learn every possible thing about demand generation that will help your small business grow. So let’s begin

What Is Demand Generation?
There are many explanations for Demand Generation on the internet. But I’ll try to explain it to you in the easiest language.

Demand Generation is a tactic where you aware the audience about your products/services at best to drive their interest in it, convert them into customers and retain them.

But what is the goal of demand generation? Why the heck brands use it?

I find a comprehensive answer to this question in this image

demand generation process
Source
If you’re not getting what this image is depicting, no issues, I too understood nothing for the first time. This figure is divided into three stages. Let me explain it one by one.

First Stage: In this stage, you use content, events, strategy, customer interaction, etc. to collect leads for your business. But those leads are unqualified. So to turn them into qualified leads, you go to the second stage.

Second Stage: In this stage, reporting, lead scoring, marketing automation, etc. are used to nurture them and convert them into qualified opportunities.

If some leads still don’t convert, you get marketing feedback from them which they analyze to strengthen their demand generation marketing.

Third Stage: Leads who are ready to do business with you, become qualified opportunities and transferred to the sales team. The sales team then engages them, proposes them, negotiate with them to close the deal.

In this process, you lose some customers too. But those who deal with you become your customers, and now you just need to keep them stuck with your brand. The delayed opportunities are your potential customers who just need more nurturing to close the deal. Brands send them back to the lead nurturing process to nurture them again.

So ultimately, the goal of a Demand Generation program is to create a marketing funnel to support every stage of customer journey. And convert a random visitor into a loyal customer.

And brands do that by delivering the right thing to the right people at the right time.

Hey, does that sound like Inbound Marketing? Yes, it does, but both are not alike. Let me clear the difference.

Demand Generation vs Inbound Marketing
While many people get confused between the two. I have a simple answer to this.

Demand Generation as I said is a process of generating leads, nurture them, and turning them into loyal customers. Whereas Inbound Marketing is a method used in the demand generation marketing along with content, social media marketing, ads, events, webinars, etc.

Do You Need A Demand Generation Strategy?
Analyzing these things mentioned below will make it clear whether you need a demand generation strategy.

Less Traffic On Website
If your website is not pulling good traffic, there can be multiple reasons behind that. Maybe your content is not good enough. Or your content is great, but your target keywords have extremely low search volume. Or your blogs aren’t being promoted well.

Whatever the reason is, the end result is low traffic. So if you agree on this, you can go for the demand generation marketing.

High Churning Rate
Churn rate is the percentage of those customers who’ve chosen another brand over you. If the customers are having a bad experience, or your service is not up to the snuff, customers will choose another option.

So if you’re dealing with high churn rate and customers are abandoning you, you’re good to go for demand generation.

Less Conversion
Honestly, conversion is something a brand will never be satisfied with. Conversion is the number of leads converting into a customer.

Though, a decent conversion rate lies between 2 to 5%. If your conversion rate is lower than this, you can try some demand generation marketing strategies to increase it.

Struggling To Track Your Outcomes
A crucial part of demand generation marketing is that it empowers you to track your outcomes.

Since demand generation strategies are data-oriented, it helps you understand what actions are giving you result and what not. This gives you a clear idea of what you should focus on and what you should stop doing.

So if you get stuck anywhere while tracking your success, start using demand generation marketing.

Don’t Know The Ideal Audience
If you leverage demand generation marketing, you promote your brand, products or services with a purpose of increasing their sales. But your efforts will be wasted if you’re promoting them to the wrong audience. The audience who is not interested in your products.

Though, there are many ways to identify your target audience, using demand generation tactics can also help you with this.

Demand Generation marketing attracts a specific type of users. And when you get their feedback, you get to know about their interests and dislikes. This helps you create your ideal buyer personas and allows you to make your marketing campaigns more targeted.

So these were some issues if you’re facing, you should try these demand generation strategies I’m mentioning below

Best Demand Generation Marketing Strategies For Beginners
1. Offer Helpful Stuff For Free
The Free word entices users a lot. So CTAs with a message Try for free, Download for free, Sign Up for free get the good number of clicks.

What you should do is to create some resources that you can give your audience for free. And these resources must provide some value to the audience. For example, if you go to HubSpot blogs, you always find a free resource attached to the blog like this

hubspot free resource
Source
You should also offer free resources. If you have a B2B business, you can give free SEO or Analytics reports, templates, guides, tools, etc. your audience can use in their business to simplify their jobs.

If they find it helpful, they’ll come back for more, which will help you build a loyal customer base. And those loyal customers won’t linger to pay you in future for your valuable services.

2. Leverage Email Marketing Best Practices
Many say emails are dead, but I don’t agree with this. They are still the best communication channel. And can play a very crucial role in your demand generation marketing strategies.

79% of B2B marketers believe that email is the best channel for demand generation. (Content Marketing Institute)
What you need to do is to analyze and measure what emails perform best for you. What type of content engages your audience, what kind of CTAs are making them click and where to place them. Simply, you need to do A/B testing.

In A/B testing, you test two or more variants of a page to check which one performs better. You can also do this in your email marketing by testing different versions of an email.

This will give you a better idea about the CTA placement in your email, content type, length, tone, format, etc. your audience likes more.

But email marketing best practices are not limited to A/B testing. Personalization, incentivizing customers, avoiding spam is also something you should do include in your email marketing strategies.

3. Content Updation Is A Must
Creating content is a significant element of a demand generation program. But apart from creating content, updating and optimizing, it is necessary too. Since demand generation is about spreading awareness about your products & services, you must take care that you don’t have any outdated content. If you have, it’ll spread wrong information which will mislead your audience.

Hence, updating content is an essential and powerful demand generation tactic. What it requires is time and some hard work, but the results you’ll get will worth it.

Here’s what we got when we updated an old blog with latest and comprehensive information

demand generation flow
Look at the rise in the impressions since October 2019. That is the time when we optimized our blog and republished it.

So keep updating your blogs, landing pages, etc. that describe your product, services, features, or other info. You can also analyze the heatmaps, scroll maps, rankings, etc. to identify what should be optimized, where customers are dropping off, what links are clicked most, etc.

4. Cement Lasting Relationships By Nurturing Leads
Lead nurturing is a critical stage of demand generation. If you don’t nurture them well, they’ll abandon you and you have to start the demand generation cycle again. This’ll waste your precious time, and you’ll have to make efforts again.

So to avoid this, use the best lead nurturing strategies. Use personalized problem-solving content, never spam them, interact with them on their favorite channels, ask for feedback, etc.

These were a few of the popular lead nurturing tactics. If you dive deep in it, you’ll increase the customer satisfaction at your store and never let them go.

5. Don’t Just Stick To The Written Text
Text is old school, users prefer it less, but we cannot underestimate it. However, you should not depend on text content only. You can focus on generating other types of content like images, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.

Engagement on infographics, podcasts, videos are higher as compared to text. Try to embed videos, infographics, GIFs in your blog posts and pages to make them more engaging. Google also prioritizes websites with a higher engagement rate. So this demand generation strategy won’t only keep your customers engaged but also improve your ranking on SERPs.

6. Customer Satisfaction Is Paramount
Customers are hard to satisfy, even so, you should never compromise with customer satisfaction. You should do all the efforts that are essential to provide a great customer experience to delight them.

Practice active listening, give a personalized experience, empathize with your customers, respond immediately. These are some helpful tips to content your customers.

Since a happy customer is a loyal customer, prioritizing customer satisfaction can be an impactful demand generation marketing strategy for your business.

7. Specify Your Success Metrics Before You Begin
Specifying your KPIs early will give you a clear idea about the metrics your marketing & sales team should track to measure the success. Moreover, it’ll improve the collaboration between these departments.

When both teams are tracking common metrics, the marketing team will pass only those leads to the sales team that follows the defined KPIs. the leads that aren’t matching your set criteria will be nurtured more and passed to the sales team when qualified.

This will make it easier for the sales team to convert more leads into customers and eliminate any chance of losing them.

8. Track And Tweak
Once you define the KPIs, you just need to track and tweak them accordingly. Tracking your Key Performance Indicators will help you understand the performance of your demand generation campaigns.

If your campaigns are lacking somewhere, the data will help you identify the bottlenecks you need to cover.

Related: 9 Ecommerce Metrics To Track On Google Analytics In 2020
9. Use 80/20 Rule For Your Content
If you don’t know about the 80/20 content rule, it says, you should do 20% content generation and 80% promotion. Using this method in your demand generation marketing strategy will spread your content to more eyes.

When more people see your content, the number of clicks goes up. More clicks mean more traffic which leads us to the very first stage of demand generation, driving traffic to the site.

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