Savvy demand generation strategies keep you at the forefront of prospects’ minds.
It seems to us that a lot of non-marketing folks love to throw around buzzwords like, “brand awareness,” “hype,” and “momentum.” But what do all of these words have in common? That’s right: they’re really talking about inbound demand generation marketing strategies.
Demand generation refers to a particular strategy for generating leads, directing them into your pipeline, and raising general brand awareness. Do you want the industry or marketplace to be buzzing about your brand or product? Do you want to expand your audience, organically attract quality leads, and generally make life easier for your sales team? That’s what demand generation is all about.
Inbound marketing is made up of tactics that draw the audience in, such as a high-quality blog and an active social media presence. The many benefits of inbound marketing include:
Low cost/high ROI
Driving traffic, which generates conversation and leads
Building brand loyalty and long-term relationships
Stick to these ten commandments for all of your inbound marketing demand generation, and watch your brand awareness rise and more of your leads convert.
The Ten Commandments
1. Define your goals
Figure out what your definition of “success” is. Determine what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are. Be clear and specific. Stick to things you can measure, like number of leads generated, or rate of conversion.
This is also the time to decide what distinguishes a “marketing qualified lead” (MQL) from a “sales qualified lead,” (SQL). Your MQLs are promising but need more nurturing. Your SQLs are the leads that your sales representatives can swoop in and close.
2. Know your audience
Who is the target audience for this campaign? Are you trying to branch out to new demographics or continue to solidify brand awareness for your core audience? Build out those buyer profiles and tailor your tactics to those personas. Your message to the CEO of a third-party logistics company will sound different than it will to a developer at a software company.
3. Identify their pain points
What are the recurring problems your customers always mention? How will you solve those problems for them? Address those solutions in your messaging — but keep it customer-centric.
It’s not about how great your product is; it’s about how your product helps them.
4. Develop your content
This is the bit where you get to be creative. Is your content a little informal or is it more instructional? If website content and blog posts are a feature, determine the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices to make sure you rank higher on search results. If you’re posting to social media, do your homework on the individual platforms to see how you can rank higher on their algorithms to be seen by more users.
Whatever your style, stick to the Storybrand Framework. Make your customers see themselves as the lead character in your marketing’s stories. And you are the sidekick that they desperately need to help them out of jam. They’re Simba. You’re Timon and Pumba.
5. Distribute your message
The time has come. Get your message out there. Based on your target audience and where they tend to be in the sales funnel, make some choices about where and when to distribute your content. Which marketing channels will most effectively reach your target audience? You want to stay in the conversation, but you also don’t want to flood the market with your content and risk getting buried by the algorithm, or worse, becoming a nuisance to your audience.
You may choose to email, release blog content, or post on social media. But once your content is live, engage with it! Reply to emails promptly. Respond to comments on your blog posts. React to people who share your posts. On social media platforms that allow it, consider “boosting” your social media posts to get them seen by more users.
6. Nurture and convert leads
Your campaign is working, demand generation is up, and you’re getting tons of qualified leads every day! For some, determining when your leads move from MQL to SQL can sometimes be more art than science. But because you followed commandment number one diligently, your marketing team knows exactly when MQLs become SQLs. This is the time to let your professionals do what they do best.
7. Don’t stop once you’ve made the sale
Once you close the deal and that lead becomes a customer, your customer experience team is tasked with keeping them and making them a repeat customer or a subscriber. Without communication and collaboration among all departments, you may find leads fall through the cracks, or you’re stuck with lots of one-time customers. The whole point of demand generation is to stay in the conversation, so make sure your whole organization is on board with your inbound marketing campaigns and your overall marketing strategy.
8. Measure your results
You’ve crafted your message and deployed it. You finally have some results. Go back to commandment number one again — remember those KPIs? Now it’s their time to shine. Were you tracking likes? Shares? Leads generated? Sales converted? Gross sales? Whatever your metrics are, make sure you have a system in place to measure and compile that data.
9. Review your effectiveness
This one is really simple. You’ve got your data. You’ve got your KPIs. How did you do?
Be honest with yourself. If you fell short, what could the reasons for that be? If you hit every single one of your goals, that’s amazing! But there’s always room for improvement. In which categories did you perform better or worse than expected?
10. Try again
If at first you do succeed, try, try again. Demand generation and inbound marketing are a never-ending game. No matter how successful (or not) your inbound marketing campaign is, you will always be trying to keep up, raise more brand awareness, and attract more leads. Keep in mind the lessons you learned from your last campaign and adjust accordingly.
Design your dream campaign with Vye.
The best time to start an inbound marketing campaign is last week. But the next best time is right now. We can help. Consult with our expert team today and learn how to generate the buzz that can take your company to the next level.
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