Marketing is a broad term that encompasses every detail of how you run your business and the path you take to meet your goals. When we dive into these paths, all approaches lead to the same desired result: Success.
But how do you become successful? It consistently begins with the same basic premise: The NEED (or the demand) for your products or services. Without this demand, your leads fall short.
Demand generation: defined and explained
As defined by Forbes, "...demand generation encompasses activities that help potential buyers discover your offerings online and interact with content that could influence a purchasing decision or initiate a sales conversation."
These activities may include social media posts, e-mail marketing, webinars and search engine optimization, as well as many other content specific strategies that invite potential customers into your virtual storefront to eventually become targeted leads.
Imagine your business as a baseball field, and your products and services as the baseball. You can throw the ball as much as you'd like - but if customers don't exist to catch it, your repeated efforts go unrewarded. Producing content that is irrelevant and pushing out disconnected campaigns for the sake of hoping you'll target a customer is a thing of the past. Demand generation creates these customers, and nurtures them to form long term relationships.
The method of demand generation that is most effective begins with inbound marketing techniques. Inbound marketing drives customers to your business by way of offering content and information that pertains to them. Beautiful web pages and sleek logos mean nothing if you do not have the audience to see them. By delivering content that draws your customers in, you are able to relate on a more personal level, and in turn earn their business.
Ingredients for demand generation:
The idea of demand generation is to pinpoint who your audience is and where they are looking for information, and then become their information source. Here are a few key ingredients to making the most of your strategies.
- A GOOD, USER-FRIENDLY WEBSITE: The first part of any marketing strategy is having a home base; a place you want people to arrive where you can engage them in a personal one-on-one experience, devoid of outside influence and competing noise.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: This includes not only Facebook, but Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, among others. Consistent posts on a variety of channels that are relevant to your target audience will increase interaction with your business. The best posts have unique content that encourages sharing, as well as a personal touch to relate to your customers. In addition to what you put out, you should also focus on what is coming in. By utilizing Social Listening, you can better understand your business' global perception.
- BLOGS: Writing blogs for your web site that contain pertinent information helps you to become the source for that particular topic. This creates a sense of relevancy, and in turn affects your branding, which we will discuss later.
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: You've got the information they need. Now you need to let them know. Optimizing the search results for your business helps you get the traffic you've worked hard to create content for.
How does demand generation relate to and affect my branding?
Your branding defines your business. It tells potential customers who you are and how you can help them, while giving you a fluid and consistent reputation - the complete personality package of your business. This can come simply from logos or color schemes, but more importantly, it comes from how you represent yourself through communication with your customers through various platforms.
Since demand generation utilizes targeted content to bring your customers to you through different channels such as your social media, your website, or e-mail communications, it becomes your duty to continue to provide them useful content and helpful information to maintain relevancy.
Once you've successfully created content that others find useful, this becomes a part of your branding package, and a representation of you as a business.