Demand generation is the process of creating and nurturing potential customers so that they eventually buy your product or service. It involves creating content and strategies that will entice people to learn more about what you offer, and then taking the necessary steps to convert them into paying customers.
Demand generation is one of the biggest marketing challenges businesses face. Keeping the sales pipeline full can be tough if you’re not generating enough leads. Luckily, there are several things you can do to generate more demand for your product or service.
Here are seven demand generation strategies to get started:
1. Create several opt-in opportunities
An opt-in opportunity is a chance for a website visitor to sign up for your email list, download a white paper or e-book, or attend a webinar. The more opt-in opportunities you create, the more leads you’ll generate.
Depending on your business’s product or service, you’ll want to create opt-in opportunities that appeal to your target audience.
For example, if you’re a B2B company selling BI software, you might offer a white paper on “The Top 5 Elements of a Successful Business Intelligence Strategy.”
You may also want to release industry insights as a PDF or webinar. To do this, consult with subject matter experts and provide information that would be valuable to your target market.
Releasing this type of content will help you generate leads and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
2. Use lead scoring to qualify your leads
Lead scoring is a way to rank your leads so you can focus your sales and marketing efforts on the most promising ones. To do this, you’ll need to identify the characteristics of your ideal customer.
Then, you’ll score each lead based on how closely they match those characteristics. For example, if you’re looking for companies with at least 100 employees, you would give a lead a higher score if they work for a company with 500 employees than one with 50.
By qualifying your leads, you’ll be able to better focus your efforts on the ones that are most likely to convert into paying customers.
3. Give away free value
Whether it’s a new e-book, an instructional video, or a helpful blog post, giving away free value is a great way to generate leads. People are always looking for helpful information, and if you can provide it, they’ll be more likely to do business with you.
Free informational content can also help you build rapport with your target customers. When you use the information to position your company as the expert in your industry, people will be more likely to see you as such.
When creating free content, make sure it’s high quality and relevant to your target audience. That way, you can distribute it to the right people and generate leads that are more likely to convert.
4. Provide a free tool to users
There are plenty of free tools offered by paid services. Google, for example, offers a free keyword planner to help businesses with their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
By providing a free tool, you can generate leads while also helping people accomplish something they need to do. Not only will they be more likely to use your paid services in the future, but they’ll also be more likely to recommend you to others.
Other paid services that offer free tools include HubSpot and Hootsuite. HubSpot offers an entire suite of free marketing tools, including a CRM, while Hootsuite provides users with a free social media management platform.
New and emerging businesses use these tools to grow, and when their businesses scale, they’re likely to upgrade to paid versions to meet their growing needs.
5. Host a contest or giveaway
People love free stuff, which is why contests and giveaways are such popular demand generation strategies. By offering a prize, you can generate leads while also getting people’s attention. Many eCommerce brands do this to grow their social media following or email list.
When hosting a contest or giveaway, make sure the prize is relevant to your target audience. For example, if you sell skincare products, you might give away a free skincare set. Or if you sell software, you might give away a free year-long subscription.
More established brands can also do collaboration giveaways—where two or more brands team up to give away a prize. This is a great way to get exposure to a new audience while also generating leads.
The one thing to be wary of when hosting a giveaway is making sure that you aren’t only attracting people who are looking for free stuff. You want to attract people who are interested in your products or services and are more likely to be potential customers.
6. Partner with industry experts on webinars
Especially for B2B companies, webinars are an excellent way to generate leads. By partnering with industry experts, you can reach a new audience while also providing valuable information.
When planning a webinar, make sure the topic is relevant to your target audience and that the expert you partner with is someone they would be interested in hearing from. You should also promote the webinar well in advance so that you can generate as many leads as possible.
Webinars are a great way to generate leads, but they’re also a great way to nurture those leads and turn them into customers. After the webinar, you can send an email summary to your attendees with links to purchase your products or services.
7. Invest more in content creation
Above all, content is still king when it comes to demand generation. By creating high-quality content, you can attract new leads and nurture existing ones.
The key to creating successful content is understanding your audience and what they’re interested in. Once you know that, you can create the kind of content that will resonate with them.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider hiring a content marketing agency to help you with your content creation efforts. A good agency will be able to help you create a content strategy that’s tailored to your business and your audience.
Creating demand for your product or service can be a challenge, but it’s important to remember that there are several demand generation strategies you can use to attract new leads. By using some or all of the strategies on this list, you can generate more leads and grow your business.