We’re halfway through 2022, and according to Gartner, digital marketing budgets have increased to 9.5% of company revenue. That’s up from 6.8% in 2019.
The reason for this dramatic increase? The pandemic.
As businesses were forced to shutter their physical locations and move online, they quickly realized they needed to step up their digital marketing game to survive. And demand generation marketing is a crucial part of that.
What is demand generation marketing?
It’s the process of creating awareness and interest in a product or service to generate leads for the sales team. It’s a broad term encompassing many marketing activities, from content marketing and SEO to lead nurturing and conversion. And it’s more important than ever in today’s digital-first world.
Demand-gen marketing requires a strategic, long-term approach. It’s not a quick fix or a one-time campaign. And it’s more than just generating leads – it’s about building relationships and creating a pipeline of high-quality, sales-ready prospects.
So what does a demand gen marketing strategy look like?
It starts with understanding your audience and what they need. What are their pain points? What are their goals? What type of content do they consume? Once you deeply understand your audience, you can start creating targeted content that speaks to their needs.
Demand generation marketing is just one piece of an integrated marketing strategy. It should work hand-in-hand with other marketing initiatives, such as brand awareness, product launches, and customer retention.
An integrated digital marketing strategy will help you reach your business goals and grow your brand in today’s competitive landscape. So if you’re not already investing in demand generation marketing, now is the time to start. What are you waiting for?
Here are four tips that you can use to help build your demand strategy.
(1) Build Smart Lead Capture Forms
The first step in demand generation is to capture leads. The best way to do that is with lead capture forms. Many marketers refer to this “gating content”, which means that content is available for users to download but it’s gated behind a form.
There are several things to keep in mind when creating lead capture forms:
- Keep the forms short and sweet. The longer the form, the less likely people are to fill it out. Just ask for the essentials, such as name, email, and company size.
- Make the forms visually appealing. Use images and whitespace to break up the text and make the form easy on the eyes.
- Place the forms prominently on your website. Don’t hide them on a back page or bury them in your blog posts. Instead, put them front and center so people can’t miss them.
- Use lead magnets to incentive people to fill out the form. Offer something valuable, such as an eBook or webinar, in exchange for their contact information.
(2) SEO and Content Marketing
SEO and content marketing are two of the most critical components of demand generation. SEO helps you ensure your content is seen by your target audience when they are searching for relevant keywords in Google. Content marketing helps you educate and build relationships with prospects by providing the with value-add content.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your SEO and content marketing:
- Do keyword research to understand what terms people are searching for related to your product or service.
- Optimize your website for search engines so you can rank higher in search results.
- Create targeted content that speaks to the needs of your target audience.
- Distribute your content through social media, email, and other digital channels.
- Measure your results, and optimize your program.
(3) Lead Nurturing is Critical
Once you’ve captured leads, it’s time to start nurturing them through the buyer’s journey. This is where lead nurturing becomes a critical component of your digital marketing program. Lead nurturing uses content to move buyers through the funnel by providing them with valuable resources.
The key to successful lead nurturing is marketing technology. You need an integrated CRM to manage your leads and a marketing automation tool to help you nurture them through the sales funnel process.
Here are some things to keep in mind when nurturing your leads:
- Personalize all of your marketing. Send relevant emails to where they are in the buyer’s journey.
- Provide valuable resources, like reports, whitepapers and eBooks.
- Build relationships through ongoing content activations.
- Score your leads, so you know who’s ready to buy.
- Nurture your leads until you achieve the desired result.
(4) Don’t forget about Your Marketing Budget
When creating your demand generation budget, you need to consider three things:
- Your goals
- Your target audience
- Your digital channels
Your goals will determine how much you need to spend on demand generation. If your goal is to generate 100 new leads per month, you’ll need a different budget than if your goal is to generate 1,000 new leads per month.
Your target audience will also impact your budget. If you’re targeting a small group of high-value prospects, you’ll need to spend more to reach them than targeting a large group of low-value prospects.
Finally, the channels you use to reach your target audience will also impact your budget. If you’re planning on using paid advertising, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
Demand generation is essential for any business that wants to generate leads and sales. By creating a demand generation strategy, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are focused and effective. And by investing in technology and budgeting correctly, you can set yourself up for success.