While generating loyalty among current customers is undoubtedly an important part of any digital marketing strategy, it is also essential to consider how your business will attract new customers in order to grow. One way to accomplish this growth is through demand generation.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation refers to marketing efforts that target one specific group of potential customers as a way of creating demand for certain products and services. It is distinct in its use of technology to accomplish this goal. Demand generation relates to lead generation in that they are different steps in the process of moving someone from potential client to closed deal. It is about the initial step of attracting customers to your business’s brand and services. Lead generation is about turning prospects into qualified leads and then customers.
Demand generation and lead generation are important to any digital strategy and are the fuel for every business. When using the internet for reference, demand generation involves monitoring platforms for potential customers and the use of strategic content. So, how do you begin getting people excited about your services? There are a few different methods.
Before You Begin
The first step in any demand generation effort is to know exactly what type of people you are targeting. A helpful method of discovery can be to create buyer personas. These are the distinct personalities that embody members of your target audience. It can be useful to ask yourself:
- What is important to my buyer persona?
- What do they do in their free time?
- How old are they, and what is their socioeconomic status?
- What do they spend their money on?
Answering questions like this will bring you one step closer to aligning with the actual people you want to connect with. You may be able to refer to your business plan for a reminder of what you set out thinking your target audience would be. See if that still lines up with your current thinking, and adjust as necessary.
Giving prospective customers a taste of what you offer can be an effective method for catching their interest. This could include free downloadable templates or a digital coupon for liking and sharing a post. The key is to ensure that what you are giving away is something your audience wants and can derive value from, while also remaining economically viable for your business. After enjoying the taste of your brand that they got for free, patrons may be much more likely to come back to interact with your business, as well as your products.
Free Trials and Services
Along the same vein as giveaways, free trials are a great way to showcase the services your business provides. It also gives you the opportunity to show why these services are necessary for your potential customers’ use cases. Plus, the perceived risk for these leads is low since you are giving them access to your products for free – on a limited basis. It’s important to prove the benefits that come from paying for your products. What better way to achieve this than to have the customer use these products?
Invest in Content
Great content is an excellent way to build rapport with potential clients. In demand generation, it is especially important to target the audience you are trying to reach. The goal is to leave people with a strong understanding of your business and its values, as well as an inclination to interact with you in the future. Therefore, tactics such as blog posts and social media updates should build trust, as well as highlight the aspects of your business that potential customers will find most interesting. The content should also err on the side of informational over being pushy or overly sales oriented, emphasizing credibility. As people start becoming familiar with your brand, you want to be able to anticipate and stay attentive to answering any questions they may have.
Consider Lead Scoring
In its essence, lead scoring is a way of sorting through potential clients to determine which ones would be most beneficial to pursue further. For example, you can look into these leads and consider questions like:
- What is the strength of the current product or service that they use?
- What is their occupation or industry? Does it align with your intended markets?
- How did they find your content?
- Who do they interact with the most on social media?
Next, take note of what they did when interacting with your brand – what links did they click on? How long did they spend on certain pages of your website? How have they expressed interest in products? Finding out what your potential clients have in common will allow you to strengthen your marketing efforts, as well as give insight into what may or may not work in your digital strategy. It may also make it easier to turn these leads into loyal customers and increase your confidence while selling, since you will know how to address common issues.
Lead scoring is a tactic that is especially useful when you have a solid, strong brand to build on. You may already have many loyal customers and a high return on investment for your marketing efforts. While you're just starting out, however, it may be more beneficial to focus specifically on content and other interactions. Then, you can focus on lead scoring later.
Demand generation may seem superfluous when your brand has so many loyal customers, but it's key for your digital efforts. Growing and building your community will only strengthen your brand and public perception.