As an entrepreneur, some realities set in rather fast. The first is how demanding running a business can be. You may have the best quality products and services, yet there is no traction. Customers are not flocking in through your doors as you thought they would. One of the biggest contributors to this would be that they do not know about your brand.
Yet your marketing efforts have been about generating and converting leads. Interestingly, you fall in the majority when it comes to marketing strategies.
Research shows that up to 70% of businesses make lead conversion a top marketing priority. That means most businesses focus on the middle of the sales funnel and not the top. Only 2% of B2B organizations take time to put in place awareness strategies that target customers who are at the top of the funnel.
Such organizations have a greater opportunity to create greater awareness. So much so that customers are not even aware that competitors exist.
It may be time to take a step back and rethink what you’re doing. The solution to your problem is in demand generation marketing. This article explores some demand generation practices to boost brand awareness. But first, let us define what this effective marketing strategy is.
Exploring Demand Generation Marketing
Think about your typical purchasing behavior for a minute. When you go to the supermarket, you tend to go straight to the products you know best. It could be a brand that you have used for a long time. You might even have grown up seeing your parents use the very same.
Brand awareness is a critical deciding factor in your choices. That is what brands hope to achieve with demand marketing. Demand generation is any effort to create product or service demand through brand awareness creation.
It would be easy to think that demand generation marketing is not that difficult. After all, there are so many platforms you can use to reach audiences. The online space has opened up many marketing avenues. It is unlike the days gone by when analog media ruled. If the company did not have money to spend on print or electronic advertising, it would lose out.
Nowadays, even without a significant budget, you can still reach audiences. Social media and websites mean even startups have a chance to create brand awareness. But the truth is demand marketing requires proper planning and strategizing.
Remember, even the competitors have the same advertising and marketing opportunities you do. Indeed, with the internet, the playing field has evened out. That is why every step in your demand generation marketing needs careful planning.
B2B demand generation also has its challenges. In the case of B2C, you only need to create interest in one person, which is the customer. In B2B, you need to get the buy-in of entire teams who may be part of the decision-makers. That means longer deliberations and approval levels within the organization.
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation
So, is demand generation the same as lead generation? The answer is not at all. Demand generation is all about getting people interested in your brand. That means focusing your efforts on the top of the sales funnel.
Lead generation moves into the middle of the sales funnel. It is about acquiring, nurturing, and converting leads into customers.
Demand Generation Best Practices
With a clear understanding of demand generation, let’s now move to the main topic of this article. We will share some practical demand generation best practices to boost brand awareness.
Explore the Power of Social Media
It is easy to see the advantages of social media to any brand. The truth is modern customers are most likely using the platforms. That gives you access to a broad audience base. All you need to do is optimize the platforms to unleash their power.
There is a basic method of posting content. But, you must ensure that whatever you put up is relevant and interesting. People on social media platforms do not want hard-sell marketing language. You can capture their interest better with engaging content. It increases the likelihood of them interacting and sharing your content on their platforms.
Also, don’t forget to build relationships by networking. These include commenting, responding to feedback, sharing, retweeting, etc.
The rule of harnessing the power of social media is quite simple. Maintain an active presence, or you will sink into oblivion. As of 2017, a staggering 79% of Fortune 500 companies used social media as a marketing tool.
Why would such established companies turn to such platforms? The answer does not need much thinking. It is as simple as social media works!
Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tactics on Your Website
Search engine optimization has one goal in mind. That is to bring organic traffic to your website. You take strategic steps to increase your rankings on search engines.
What you may also not know is that SEO is a fantastic demand generation marketing strategy. If your brand consistently appears in the top search results, it will significantly boost your brand visibility. Some workable demand generation SEO strategies include:-
Content generation provides a solution to push and pull marketing. Use blogs to talk about your business, special events, or products/services. It is also a fantastic way to build the brand’s authority within a specific niche.
The same applies to pull marketing where you use relevant and engaging content to get people to come to you. If you become the solution provider, audiences will seek you out to get information.
The trick is to find out what is relevant or popular. Be consistent with posting. Audiences need to know that they can always get good information from your brand.
Videos are effective because they are easier to interact with than text. A good trick is to translate the content you have into video content. But keep it short because online audiences have a short attention span. The videos must be high resolution and have good sound.
Think about your browsing behavior for a minute. Do you have time to watch grainy, low-resolution videos? If not, why would you expect your audiences to? You can achieve up to 50 times more likelihood of organic Google rankings with videos than text.
You have an 11,000.1 probability of first-page Google rankings with videos. With text, the chances are 500,000.1. Videos will, on average, add 2 minutes to the time a website visitor stays on your site.
High-Page Speeds And Easy Navigation
The online user has a lot of content to interact with. Thus, page loading speed and easy navigation are critical factors. No one has time to be on a website that is not user-friendly and takes forever to load.
High bounce rates signal to Google and other search engines that there’s a problem with your site. The result will be a poor ranking that affects your brand awareness campaigns.
As of 2021, there were over 4.32 billion unique mobile internet users. That translates into about 90% of the global population who browse on mobile.
The ability to access information on such devices is convenient for customers. You could lose out on a large audience base if you do not optimize your website for mobile. Furthermore, it is a critical Google ranking factor.
Email marketing continues to remain a relevant and practical tool for reaching audiences. The strongest point in its favor is that it allows for better targeting. All the brand needs to ensure is that it has a proper audience segmentation. You can tailor-make and personalize communication depending on what you want to communicate.
Yet, marketers struggle with how to make email marketing an effective pull strategy. Well, what you need to do is to give customers the option of opt-in or opt-out. What you’re allowing them to do is to voluntarily sign in to receive communication.
Once they do, it is up to you as a brand to keep them interested in what you offer. And that means coming up with relevant, targeted, and personalized communication.
Remember, people will only open emails that are of interest to them. That is why we go back to the point of proper segmentation to make your email marketing more effective.
Influencer Marketing and Strategic Partnerships
Leverage the power of influencer marketing to get your brand to the target audiences. Don’t just look at the number of followers when choosing an influencer. They should be people with relevance to your niche.
Further, look at the quality of the engagement with their audiences. Celebrities may have the numbers. But, they do not have close relationships with their followers. Indeed many of them do not even have a good grasp of what they are selling.
You can get better traction with micro-influencers. They may not have large numbers. But they have more authentic relationships with their audiences.
Micro-influencers can also spend a little more time knowing more about your brand. It makes it easier to communicate the offering to audiences.
Another option is to seek out strategic partnerships. These could be in the form of:-
- Podcasting sessions.
- Guest blogging.
- Co-hosting events, etc.
It becomes a win-win situation for everyone involved in the partnership.
Correct use of demand generation marketing can make a huge difference to your business. It is especially important for a company that is launching into the market.
Instead of prioritizing lead generation, focus on the top of the funnel. Once people know your brand, they are more likely to convert into customers.
Name: Daniel Martin
Bio: Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.