Generating demand for your business's products or services is an essential function of your marketing and sales departments. While demand generation often gets confused, and even overlaps, with lead generation, it is more focused on building brand awareness and driving interest than generating leads. In the long run, the hope is to generate potential prospects and customers, but demand generation is a bit broader and more comprehensive than lead gen.
With 2016 upon us, finding ways to generate more demand for your business should be an integral part of your marketing (and sales) strategy for the New Year. These 7 tips will help improve your demand generation strategy, and start 2016 off right.
1. Identify Your Ideal Customers
The purpose of a demand generation strategy is to do just that: generate demand. But you want to be generating demand among the right group of people. This requires complete clarity on who this target audience actually is.
Creating a semi-fictional buyer persona helps focus all of your activities on methods that will effectively reach your target audience. This means doing in depth research to better understand the major pain points your ideal customers have, how they prefer to consume information, the types of language they use, and so forth.
With this information you are armed to improve every aspect of your demand generation strategy. Simply reviewing and optimizing each activity to focus on this core audience will help you gain more fruitful results.
2. Create Content
The more content you create, the more opportunities there are for potential customers to find you. But you don't want to be found for just any old content.
Once you've identified your ideal customer, you need to create blog posts they will actually find interesting and useful. Using your knowledge of their pain points, topics they care about, and the language they are likely to use, research keywords that are relevant to them and create pages and blogs surrounding these topics and keywords.
3. Experiment with Paid Ads
If you want to raise awareness and demand by broadening your audience, paid advertising is the way to go. Whether you choose to use Google Adwords or a social media platform depends on your ideal customers, plus a lot of testing.
Figure out where your audience likes to spend their time, and what keywords they are searching for and target them. This will yield quicker results than organic search.
4. Offer Your Best Content...For Free!
A great way to generate demand is by creating useful guides, ebooks, templates, calendars, or some other form of downloadable content. This is a powerful way to start building trust and interest. Offering complimentary offers on social media, paid ads, and in your best blog posts can capture the attention (and the information) of prospects who match your ideal customer profile.
5. Host Webinars
A different form of content, webinars are a great way to generate demand for your services without having to go through the hassle of planning and organizing an in-person event. While hosting a webinar on your own can prove valuable, teaming up with an influencer in your industry or a complimentary business is another way to take it to the next level and generate more interest in your company.
6. Nurture with Email
Remember that information you captured when a person downloaded one of your offers? Email is one of the most important things you can possess. While you want to be careful not to be spammy or annoying, a powerful method to stay front of mind is by sending useful, relevant emails to your list based on previous downloads.
Use an automation software to make this process simpler, but be sure to always send the best and most relevant emails you can to your lists.
7. Build Social Relationships
Using social media to connect with your audience is increasingly important. Identify a few relevant accounts that speak to a similar audience as yours, and start building a meaningful relationship. Try to choose accounts that are around the same size as yours, and they will be more likely to help you out. Host chats or giveaways together or simply share each others content to help expand both of your reach and audience on your most important platforms.
Driving demand is about raising awareness and interest for your offerings. Using these tips will help you not only expand your audience, but also build trust and interest in what you have to offer. With the right strategy in place, your business will be well on its way to growing its revenue in 2016.