Demand generation strategy is a vital part of building your brand. It’s how you build interest in your new products or services. Demand generation strategy is a blanket term that describes every point in a buyer’s journey.
It’s how you guide interested website visitors to become satisfied customers. In other words, you guide your audience through all the touch points in your sales funnel. Every company needs a data-driven marketing strategy to build qualified leads and eventually conversions.
This guide will go through everything you need to know about demand generation strategy. With a great strategy, your business can reach the right audience and have the best chance of making sales.
What is demand gen marketing?
Demand generation marketing encompasses every point in a company’s sales initiative. It starts when a customer shows interest in your product and goes all the way to when you offer them upsells.
However, not everyone will be an ideal customer for your products or services. Before you can start creating demand for your business, you have to discover who your customers are. Solid demand generation marketing will ensure that your business has a target audience to sell to.
If you’re looking for marketers to assist in demand generation marketing, Upwork can make your search a lot easier. We have the largest pool of proven, remote marketers, guaranteeing you find the right independent professional for your business needs.
What is demand generation vs. lead generation?
While lead generation is demand generation, demand generation isn’t necessarily lead generation. Lead generation is targeted toward making conversions at the end of a sales cycle. Generating leads is about getting a customer to do something, such as filling out a form with their personal information in exchange for content about your product or service.
Demand generation campaigns are broader than lead generation. In addition to pushing a visitor through the sales funnel, demand generation includes introducing people to your product or service and making them interested in it.
What are demand generation strategies?
There are several demand generation strategies that you can use to build awareness of your business. Over the next few sections, we’ll go over some of the best ways to build demand for your product.
Use target audiences to generate awareness
Demand generation isn’t just about generating awareness, it’s also about generating awareness for demographics most likely to become customers. To build demand for your targeted audience, you’ll have to know who your target audience is and which of their issues your product or service solves.
Create a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your company’s ideal target customer. You’ll create one by collecting the data you have from your current customers and analyzing it to look for commonalities. This will help you find things like your customer’s average:
- Family status
Use this information to identify your average customer. For example, if your company sells writing software, you might find that your typical customer is a 33-year-old, single, male copywriter who makes $45,000 a year and lives in California.
Send emails to customers who most resemble your average customer using customer relationship management (CRM) software like HubSpot and set up interviews with them. You’ll want to ask questions like:
- What is your business like? (size, location, function, etc.)
- What are your company goals, and how do you know you’ve reached them? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)?
- What do you do in the company?
- Why do you use our product? What problems or pain points does our product solve?
- What made you search for our product?
- What reservations did you have about purchasing our product?
- How does your company agree to purchase a product like ours?
- What sources do you use to learn about a company’s products? (trade shows, websites, social media, print, etc.)
Compiling answers to these questions will show you the common interests, needs, and practices of your average customer. Use this insight to create a fictionalized character based on your target customer and a plan to best market to them.
Your buyer persona could be something like: “Dave is a senior copywriter at a small California marketing agency. He networks with other writers on LinkedIn and reads Writer’s Digest. He uses our product to eliminate grammar mistakes in his writing. He almost didn’t purchase it because the price point was low compared to our competitors, which he thought might reflect our value. To make a purchase, Dave had to pitch the product to his CEO.”
Use inbound (content) marketing and SEO
The point of inbound marketing (or content marketing) is to nurture your audience through a sales funnel. Blog posts, ads, videos, guides, and emails are all examples of content that can move people closer to buying from you. As opposed to outbound marketing programs (which try to reach anyone), inbound marketing programs are highly targeted.
Search engine optimization (SEO) means creating content that ranks highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes it easier for potential customers to find it on platforms like Google. Some ways you can improve your content’s SEO include adding specific keywords and providing useful information related to a user’s query. Some SEO tools include:
Different types of content work best for customers at each stage of the funnel. Here’s a breakdown of each stage:
- Awareness: Introduction to the product
- Interest: Gives customers more information on what the product does
- Desire: Builds desire for the product and shows what it will do for the customer
- Action: Calls the customer to buy the product
To reach the largest audience possible, you should create content for every level of a sales funnel. You might make online ads to build brand awareness in your company, create tutorials and white papers to build interest in your product, and make a webinar of the benefits of your product to build desire. At the end of your webinar, you could include a call to action asking customers to buy your product and letting them know how.
Utilize public relations (PR)
Public relations is a cost-effective way to increase your company’s reach. Good PR is about your brand’s messaging. It involves promoting a story about your brand to your target audience. You can use press releases, social media, and in-person events to create a positive image of your business.
Several PR strategies and tools can help. Here are a few ways to communicate with your audience:
- Contribute to popular podcasts, websites, and blogs in your industry. These can give you access to a wider audience and help build your credibility. You can search Apple Podcasts or do a Google search for popular blogs and websites in your field.
- Get interviewed. Approach online or print publications in your industry to see if they’ll do a story on your business.
- Get cited. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a site where journalists look for experts to cite. When you sign up, reporters will contact you and ask for your input on various topics. If they use you as a source, they’ll give you credit, which helps your credibility. If it’s an online publication, they’ll link to your business website, which can help you build targeted traffic.
- Build a good social media presence. Consistently posting content directed at your target audience on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter is vital to your company’s success. Services like Social Jukebox and Hootsuite can help you automate and manage the process.
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Create a demand generation website tool
Offer a free tool related to your product and the problem your product fixes. Offering something of value (for free) to potential customers can help you build trust with them and increase the odds that they’ll buy from you in the future.
For example, Skynova—a company that offers accounting services—provides website visitors with free templates that help them create invoices, bids, and other accounting documents. The idea is that after people see how helpful the templates are, they’ll trust that the company’s paid tools will benefit them.
If you’re not a developer, it can be difficult to create website tools. You can hire independent developers from all over the world using Upwork.
Use qualified lead scoring
Qualified lead scoring means evaluating your company’s leads to see which are most likely to do business with you. When you find which leads have the best chance of purchasing your product, you can focus on marketing and selling to them. Software like ActiveCampaign and Infer can help with your lead scoring.
This strategy is great when you don’t have the resources to engage with every lead. Lead scoring helps you consolidate your demand generation efforts. To rank your leads, you’ll assign a number value to the biggest indicators that will affect a customer’s decision-making. Here are some example factors you could use:
- Lead visited company website: 5 points
- Lead watched a webinar: 10 points
- Lead opened your sales email: 4 points
- Lead visited the sales page on your website: 20 points
Offer downloadable resources
This strategy is similar to offering free online tools. The more value you can give potential customers for free, the more likely they’ll purchase your products or services.
Offering a potential customer something like a free guide related to your service can help them see you as credible and trustworthy. For example, if your small business offers home improvement services, you might offer a free guide on doing minor home repairs in exchange for a website visitor’s information.
Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising lets you pay for traffic to your website. A common form of PPC advertising is called search engine advertising. It allows businesses to bid to have their ads show up as sponsored links whenever a particular keyword is searched. Each time a user clicks on the sponsored link, the company makes a payment to the search engine.
For example, if you run a computer company, you might make a bid to Google so that your ad shows up for the keyword “hard drive.” Whenever someone searches for “hard drive” and clicks your link, you have to pay $5 to Google. However, if someone buys a computer from your site, you could end up making over $1,000.
For PPC to work, you have to have a solid strategy for pushing customers through your sales funnel. There’s no point in paying for traffic to your site unless your ads have decent conversion rates. Here are some options for purchasing PPC ads:
Work with your sales team
When you’re trying to create a successful demand generation strategy, it’s crucial that you maintain effective communication with your company’s sales team. They can let you know whether you’re on the right track and provide insight into things like:
- How your company defines quality leads like marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs)
- The sales process within your company
- How well your strategy is producing leads that convert to sales
- What can be improved in your process
The sales reps will help you tweak and improve your strategy over time. Make sure you make yourself available to them so that you can benefit from their feedback.
Earn and display customer testimonials
Customer testimonials are fantastic for building your credibility. Few things influence potential customers to buy from you more than reading reviews from satisfied customers. Whenever a customer purchases your services or products, you should always try to get a testimonial from them.
Because testimonials are so important, you should make it as easy as possible for your customer to leave you a good one. One option is to make a form on your website for business testimonials with boxes for a customer’s relevant information. Still, many customers might need a little push before they review you.
You can create an automated system for gathering testimonials using a method called “email drip.” Create a series of three or four emails to send to your customers requesting testimonials. You can use a service like Mailchimp or AWeber. You can then use testimonial-gathering software to automatically post reviews to your website, social media, or wherever you need them to be. Some examples of testimonial software are:
Learn website optimization
Ensuring your company website is optimized for a seamless user experience is essential for building demand for your product or service. Your website needs to be optimized for various users on various devices to build traffic and increase sales. Here are some things to consider when evaluating your website’s optimization and tools that can help you:
- Does your website work well on mobile devices (easy-to-read text, no pop-ups, or ads blocking content)? Google Mobile-Friendly Test
- Are your landing pages fast enough? Google PageSpeed Insights
- Do the pages on your site use SEO effectively? SEMrush Site Audit
You can A/B test things like how well pages on your website convert. A/B testing involves creating two almost identical versions of a webpage, with one key difference (color, wording, or anything else). Half of a website’s visitors see the first version, and half of them see the second version. You use whichever version converts best. Some testing tools include:
Don’t forget social media
Social media marketing is huge. If you’re not using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to market to your intended audience, you’re missing out. For example, Facebook Ads allows you to market directly to users in various interest groups.
If your company sells cameras, one of the demographics you’d want to market to would be YouTube creators. When creating your ad, you could select for it to be marketed to people who are in groups that mention YouTube.
Let Upwork help you find skilled marketers
When it comes to building marketing campaigns for your business, you have many options to choose from. The important thing to remember is that generating demand isn’t just about bringing visitors to your website. It’s about targeting the users most likely to do business with your company.
By using all the tools at your disposal to generate demand, you’ll build a great relationship with your target audience, make your sales team’s job a lot easier, and increase your company’s revenue. A quality demand generation strategy can be a huge contributor to your business’s success.
Creating and maintaining a demand generation program can be pretty complicated. If you’re not used to managing marketing tactics, it can be wise to hire an expert. Upwork lets you hire the best remote marketing teams and independent professionals from anywhere in the world.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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