Easy Steps To Build a Demand Generation Strategy That Works
Although lead generation is essential for conversion, you cannot reach this point without demand generation. It brings your business to the forefront of a broad audience whose interest might encourage them to consider your brand.
However, what does it take to launch and sustain such a strategy? This article outlines easy starter steps:
- Know your target audience well.
- Develop a compelling value proposition.
- Write user-focused content.
- Make the transition to lead generation seamless.
- Track and refine the plan.
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1. Know Your Target Audience Well
Demand generation caters to a wider audience than lead generation, which works with sales-ready or qualified prospects. Think of it as marketing your products and services at a trade show, networking event, or webinar.
Even then, you cannot sell your site, lead pages, or content to just anyone. Otherwise, you spend limited resources on those who might take a long time to convince you or never patronize your business.
Knowing your audience well this early optimizes lead generation, increasing conversions and returns.
You can use many techniques to identify your leads. At the top of the list is analytics:
- Gather quantitative and qualitative data about your present audience. Many artificial intelligence (AI) tools can curate this information and generate visual reports for easy understanding.
- Break down the data into segments. Begin with demographics, such as age, income, and marital status. Get more specific with job titles and roles, location, and customer behavior.
- Draw data from multiple varied sources. Your priority is first-party information, which provides a clear idea of who you attract. However, to give yourself a more accurate picture, include third-party data, such as that of your competitors.
2. Develop a Compelling Value Proposition
Content is a powerful tool for demand generation. From short-form videos to infographics, podcasts, and blog posts, what you publish helps drive awareness and interest in your brand.
The problem is that you are not the only one with content. You can encourage people to read about your product’s features and benefits. However, unless you can persuade them to even consider yours as one of their options, you cannot convert.
Make yourself stand out with a compelling value proposition and a concise statement communicating the distinct benefits you offer your leads and customers. It should have the following features:
- Clear and concise, so that it is easily understood;
- Customer-focused, addressing the specific needs, desires, or pain points of your target audience;
- Persuasive, creating a sense of urgency or excitement for customers to engage with your business;
- Credible, which means evidence backs up claims.
Because a value proposition should be customer-centric, analyzing audience data is often the first step. Based on the information you have, you can position yourself as a business with products and services to solve their problems or improve their lives.
You can also develop a plan by assessing your competition. Use tools such as five-force analysis to learn more about your brand, how you fare against others in the industry, and opportunities others have missed but can exploit.
3. Write User-Focused Content
Almost everything online revolves around content, but not all content is created equal. To generate demand, you need copy that speaks to your users.
How do you do it? Fortunately, many guidelines are available, especially on Google. First, you can follow the E-E-A-T principles. This is especially necessary if you are maintaining “your money, your life” (YMYL) pages, so your site contains information that can do good (or at least not harm) a person’s well-being.
You can also use these questions to help you write helpful content:
- What problem or challenge does my target audience face?
- How can I provide a solution or valuable information to address their needs?
- What are the common misconceptions or questions related to the topic?
- What step-by-step instructions or processes can help them achieve a specific outcome?
- What best practices or tips can enhance their knowledge or skills in a particular area?
- What are the latest trends, developments, or insights that can benefit my audience?
- Are there any case studies or real-life examples that illustrate the application or effectiveness of the information?
- How can I make the content engaging and easy to understand?
- Are any relevant statistics, data, or research findings supporting the content?
- What additional resources, tools, or references can I provide to further assist the audience?
With the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI), you might ask if you can use it to create good content. The answer is yes if you are asking Google. It does not differentiate between human- and AI-generated content as long as it is helpful.
4. Make the Transition to Lead Generation Seamless
Demand and lead generation are not the same, but they are intertwined. Together, they form the sales funnel, a visual representation of a customer’s journey. The differences are these:
- Demand generation focuses on the top of the funnel: awareness and interest.
- Lead generation involves the bottom of the funnel: consideration and purchase. If it is B2B, it also includes evaluation and proposal.
To make demand generation effective, remove any barrier that prevents prospects from getting into the lead-generation stage. Here are some strategies to achieve it:
- Have marketers and sales teams collaborate with each other. The roles of marketers and sales vary, but they are interrelated. For instance, the data used to create an ideal customer profile (ICP) for demand generation is valuable in qualifying and scoring leads as customers get deeper into the sales funnel.
- Always include a lead-capture form. Do you have a website? Add a contact-us page. Are you running a blog? Make sure you invite the readers to sign up to the mailing list. Registration, download, and free trial forms help collect first-party data for nurturing or sales follow-up.
- Avoid gatekeeping content. Demand generation is the best time to be generous with your knowledge and expertise, which means do not make content exclusive. Instead, offer free e-books, case studies, and other white papers in exchange for an email address and a name.
5. Track and Refine the Plan
Nothing is constant except taxes and change. Building a demand-generation plan, therefore, means designing it to be flexible and scalable. It should always adapt to shifts in consumer behavior and trends to remain engaging and relevant.
For the last step, track your metrics, which can be qualitative or quantitative, such as:
- Number of website visitors
- Average session duration
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Social media reach (likes, followers, comments, and shares)
- Bounce rate
- Customer reviews and testimonials
One of the challenges of analytics is "dark social,” which refers to social media content shared outside the normal attribution models or tracking systems. These include links sent via messaging apps, such as Slack, or emails.
This type of engagement is fast-growing, so your data might be skewed if you cannot measure dark social traffic.
You have two great strategies for doing it. First, use URL shorteners, which you can track. Second, find a way to “quantify” the data. For example, you can send surveys asking readers how they discovered the content.
Demand generation plays a key role in lead conversion and customer retention. With it, your brand remains relevant, important, necessary, and engaging to your target audience.
This five-step guide helps you develop a plan from scratch. It is ideal for beginners who have little knowledge about demand generation.
However, work with the experts to be competitive and maximize this strategy’s full potential. Digital Authority Partners (DAP) creates a custom program that aligns with your brand and business goals. Contact us to learn more.
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