Targeted marketing programmes to drive awareness and interest in a company, product or service – ending in tangible results.
Before you begin your demand generation journey, it’s essential that all involved understand and agree upon the whos, whats, whys and wherefores and move forward together.
A persona should create a reliable and realistic representation of a key customer. With all personas defined, it will help to focus decisions by adding a layer of real-world consideration to the conversation.
Identify customer journeys
Personas alone are not enough. We also need to map their journey through to your product so it’s as fast and simple and possible.
Identify skills and knowledge
Implementing any marketing strategy today requires a wide range of skills and knowledge, all working in tandem. At this stage it doesn’t matter who does what as long as we know what the key skills available are.
OK, once you have identified who you are, who your customers are and what they want, you can start defining the shape your demand generation will take.
Define your goals
Don’t start thinking about how to generate demand until you have identified what your goals are and how you’ll measure your success. With this enshrined at the beginning, you’ll know what to deliver and how.
Create a channel plan
Before you start creating the content, images, messages or campaigns that will generate demand, define the necessary distribution channels and create a plan for each. This should be pretty simple given that we now know who we need to talk to, the stages of their journey and what we want out of each stage.
So you have defined your channel plan and goals, but are you truly ready? It pays dividends to prepare mechanisms that will funnel the demand.
Prepare your emails
Email is a dying channel? Don’t you believe it. Whether it’s transactional or marketing emails, they can often be the king pin. Prepare all your emails ready for launch.
Clear conversion process
70% of small businesses aren’t using their calls-to-actions correctly. Create a clear, easy flow through your website to get the conversions you need and the outcomes your customers want.
We don’t need to tell you how many there are and most businesses usually have a few obvious ones. Get the branding and tone of voice working consistently and do any structural reworking prior to launch.
The mechanics are in place… you know who you are targeting, with what messages, on what channels and the goals are clear and measurable. Now you’re ready to start generating demand.
Create the best possible experience for your customers with unique, good quality content. If people find your offering interesting and stimulating, they are more likely to return and send others your way.
Quality not quantity
The aim is to put really useful content in place at each stage of your sales flow. It should inform, educate, inspire and persuade your audience to move forward with you and keep coming back for more.
Select from: articles and blog posts, infographics, webinars, white papers, presentations, guides, calculators, demos, games, podcasts.
Talk to humans; keep an eye on the robots. In other words always create content for people… but ensure that it is optimised for search. Create proper value added content, then repurpose, reuse and recycle it for different places.
Successful ‘owned media’ isn’t just a well-written piece of content. Behind the scenes of any high ranking online page is the research, analysis and implementation of good keyword query information.
Relevant, high quality content will be linked to by other websites (backlinks). The more authoritative your backlinks, the better and more likely those referrals will be accredited by search engines.
Before you start the difficult process of creating new content, make sure you have fully exploited what you already have. Proper value-added content can be repurposed in all sorts of ways.
Think of ‘owned media’ content as the destination and ‘earned media’ as the prime vehicle to get people to it.
You are trying to leverage the credibility, reach and authority of someone else to draw attention to your own messages and lend them weight.
This is content that you control, typically distributed over the social channels. Owned media content is used to draw buyers into the sales funnel and start conversations.
Traditionally covering the likes of TV and press advertising but also includes a growing collection of online channels, it’s another integrated tactic used to generate demand.
You are now engaged in conversation with your audience. So be engaging. Take care to instigate, respond to and nurture connections and conversations.
People are already talking about you, your products, or at the very least your type of product. These are conversations you need to be part of, so to begin, set up and monitor some form of listening station – there are plenty of options.
Then join the conversation
A simple thanks to someone who shares content or mentions you is a great way to extend the reach of a conversation. Ask questions and encourage comments wherever you can. It’s amazing how many people tweet or post about a subject and forget to link back to their content – which is to miss an important way of starting a conversation.
Goals are the ultimate measure of success, but keep an eye on the other factors. Too much data can confuse the issue so pick a few fundamentals and focus on measurements you can act on.
Don’t class numbers alone as a measure of success. It’s quality, not quantity we are after, so new users and followers should be filtered for valid contribution towards your goal.
Once the tools are in place you can start testing individual elements of user experience, such as button colour and size, for performance. Test smaller areas against each other to gain better results.
Things can and should be improved upon all the time. Measuring and testing allows us to refine to gain better results.