If you are going to spend time, resources and money on a campaign, brand awareness isn’t a goal (unless you’ve got super bowl budgets and you can make obscure ads like fragrance brands that I just don’t get). What campaigns should be about is demand generation and driving interest for your service.
When I talk about my ‘Path To Profit’ method with clients in my Growth Code® program, there’s a mix of content marketing and outbound reach. It’s when a few things come together to create a predictable, repeatable and scalable pipeline of leads. And that’s when I get really excited for business owners who can hop off that boom and bust rollercoaster.
I like to think about demand generation as a long-term play, intentionally designed so that your audience goes on a journey from getting to know you, like you, trusting you and eventually becoming a loyal client. There aren’t any shortcuts to that journey, there’s no silver bullet, hack or trickery hence why this is not going to give you a quick growth hack promised to short circuit your sales growth and success).
Why demand generation as a strategy is a good idea
By thinking about your aligned client and putting them at the centre of your marketing strategy with education-based marketing, they’ll want to learn more. The more of your content that is consumed the higher your conversion.
Content Consumption = Conversion
I believe the days of separate marketing and sales functions are numbered. And thinking about your audience and potential clients on this journey brings alignment to marketing and sales. A brand awareness campaign over there with a sales team trying to generate leads over here isn’t aligned and isn’t efficient. Bring your educational content and sales effort together, now you’ll see traction.
High-Value Content Offers = Trust
You know what it’s like when people slide into your DMs with cold pitches. No one enjoys that. By taking the time to become client-centric and sharing high-value content offers that add value, educate and inform you become the trusted go-to.
Over time, your demand generation strategy should keep your audience engaged. Your competitors are all fighting for the 3% portion of your audience who are ready to buy right now so stay focused on the larger market. (I have more on this 3% rule in another post that I highly recommend you hop on back to it as it’s going to transform your sales approach).
Demand generation = quality
In my ‘Get Sales’ training, I talk about meeting your clients where they are and joining them in the conversation they are already having in their heads. By getting specific and sharing content that solves your client’s problems or pains, you are attracting aligned clients (and repelling the wrong clients). It’s so important to have defined your niche and your aligned client so you can really focus on being there for that person and ultimately attracting quality leads.
Implementing demand generation strategies
Here are three of my favourite demand generation strategies.
I am a big fan of Chet Holmes’ ‘Ultimate Sales Machine’ and you could say that he is the founding father of education-based content strategies. The good news is that you don’t need a super-bowl budget to get started and leverage demand generation. (In fact, content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing methods and generates about three times the leads according to Demand Metric).
Yes, you will need time and resources to create content consistently. To help you out, I have a strategy to generate eight weeks of content in eight minutes, definitely one to bookmark when you’ve got the blank page blues. Content marketing is great for SEO as well as all the other benefits. Let’s make this actionable for you.
Update your blog regularly with high-value content, incorporate lead magnets and useful downloads for your audience to help them solve problems or pains.
Start a podcast! Shareable content that’s consumed regularly will help expand your reach. If you don’t want to start your own podcast, get featured on someone else’s!
Focus on the social media platforms where you know your aligned clients hang out. Post regularly, like, comment and share to be visible and build authority in your space.
Never, ever underestimate the power of email marketing. If you don’t have email in your business right now, and you’re not building this into your business as an asset, it’s a huge mistake. For every marketing dollar you put in, you can get 40 out according to research by McKinsey & Co. Just in case you weren’t convinced. (DM me or email me if you need resources to help get you started or expert advice to help you leverage email). Here are some tips for email marketing:
Create exciting opportunities and reasons for your audience to opt-in to your email list (sign up to my newsletter is not a compelling reason for people to hand over their email address).
Leverage welcome sequences so that you can introduce your company, brand or you to your leads.
Develop content that your audience will want, that will build trust and add value.
Make email marketing a consistent part of your strategy.
Leveraging platforms and having fun
The whole idea of generating demand revolves around creating content that shares value but also gets out far and wide to as many people as possible. Get into your stadium of aligned clients if you like. When other people talk about your brand, your message can go even further. Here are ideas to leverage platforms and where your audiences hang out.
Find partners who share your audience and contribute to their content or appear as a guest on podcasts, YouTube channels or lives.
Creating giveaways for some of your low ticket items and asking people to share and tag for brownie points is fun. People enjoy taking part in winning prizes!
Generate a referral strategy that really works for your business! It amazes me that most businesses I speak to get business from referrals yet they don’t have a formal referral strategy in place, that’s lunacy.
Get featured on websites, publications, the press. This can help to tell your story and get it out to reach new audiences.
There you have it, three demand generation strategies with ideas for you to take back to your business.
Creating content, sharing it, building email marketing into your business are all great things that I highly recommend. They are but just the front end of the story. Get specific about your goals with these endeavours AND make sure you are tracking the numbers. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
The data will help you to know what’s working so you can do more of that. Not sure where to start on what things to measure? Here are a few ideas.
Engagement - web visits, time on your site, podcast downloads
Leads - the number of people coming into your funnel and moving through your funnel
Sales - the number of leads turning into clients, conversion rates
Client attrition - the number of clients who buy and don’t return
Subscriber list - how many people are on your email list, follow you on social
Building your path to profit and creating a pantheon of demand generation strategies isn’t easy and it’s not an overnight success story. (Just ask Marcus Sheridan, author of ‘They Ask Your Answer’ which I highly recommend). With some hard work, you can create a repeatable process and a consistent pipeline of revenue for the long term.
If you’d like help to strategise and create a growth plan for your business, DM me on social media the word GROWTH or email me email@example.com and let’s have a chat.