What a successful demand generation strategy looks like

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Every time I meet someone who works in demand generation, I ask them, “What tactic works best for you?” Or do you have to do everything before it works? They almost always laugh and say, “You kinda have to do it all.”

“Demand Generation” is a general term used to cover any marketing tactic that creates awareness and interest in purchasing your product or service. Rarely does a tactic bring the results you want, but “everything” can feel overwhelming.

Your demand generation strategy doesn’t have to cover everything, yet. He just needs something for every step of the buying journey. Here’s what it looks like:

Related: 6 questions to create your first marketing strategy

1. Answer the top 5 questions about your website

Prop up the bottom of your funnel first. Otherwise, whatever you pour into the top will leak. That means answering these five questions every buyer asks:

Tell people exactly what you offer, who you typically work with, and how much it costs (or at least what questions you ask to determine the price). Show them what it looks like and share reviews or customer testimonials. Then take the next step to buy – fill out a form, create an account or schedule an appointment – super easy and straightforward. Take care of this before moving on to the rest of your strategy.

2. Create blog content for informational intent searches

“Informational intent” searches tend to be “what”, “how”, and “why” questions that are relevant to your industry or target customer. Create content on a branded platform — your website blog, YouTube channel, or a community forum — answering these questions and offering a next point to shoppers. Over time, this will bring you potential buyers organically.

For instance, “that’s how it works, and we can do it for you if you’re interested.“It helps you build brand awareness by answering their questions and gives you a chance to build interest in what you offer by showing what life can be like if they work with you.

3. Show search ads for purchase intent searches

Searches for “purchase intent” typically include keywords such as “best”, “top”, “price”, “review”, “near me”, and the category you are in: ” HVAC companies” or “corporate SMS service”, for example. These people are looking to compare services and probably buy one.

You should try to rank for these terms organically, but there will be at least one ad at the top of those search results, and you want it to be yours, not a competitor’s.

Related: This Business Thrived When It Made Blog Content The Cornerstone Of Its Marketing Strategy

4. Earn reviews on third-party platforms

Buyers are looking for reviews from existing customers before they buy, and they’re looking for unfiltered reviews. So ask customers to share their experiences on third-party platforms like G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business.

It’s okay if there are negative reviews in the mix. This gives you a more authentic appearance and gives you the ability to address issues publicly, which scores points in your favor and helps with conversions.

5. Post organically on social media to educate and entertain your target audience

Find the platform where your ideal customers spend their time and be there. The goal here is to build relationships and educate your audience. By doing so, you can retain and also turn your customers and subscribers into people who spread your message. Every like, comment, and share introduces your brand to new people.

A simple option is to take content from your blog and reuse it to make it suitable for this platform. Turn an article into a series of posts (one for each point raised in the article), or turn it into a quick video or graphic. Building here takes time, but it becomes a powerful, self-sustaining machine.

Related: 5 Content Marketing Tips to Achieve All Your Goals

6. Sponsor social media posts to stay with that audience

Not all your connections will see all the messages you post. That’s why it can be useful to retarget your followers (and your “lookalike audiences”) with ads on this platform. Promote your best content and create a mix of relevant ads to sprinkle. As you increase engagement, you’ll reach new people — and you’ll get the added bonus of social proof, as those posts will show who else has liked and commented. It will also keep you in mind for your ideal clients.

7. Use email and text to nurture people who have interacted with you before

A buyer can – and often does – express interest in your brand without buying. It is very good. But you want to stay top of mind, and the occasional relevant email and text message will help you share valuable information while being available at all times.

For example, if someone downloads an ebook and hasn’t had any other interaction with you in a week, you can text them to ask if they have any questions you can answer. It’s personal, it keeps the conversation going and intentionally not by being pushy, you actually open up room for more sales conversations.

Related: 5 ways to use texting to grow your sales and marketing

Bonus: use automation to create human interactions

Everyone prefers to hear from a person rather than a brand, and we all prefer to have a personalized (friendly) experience rather than being treated like any other number. Throughout your demand generation efforts, look for opportunities to create these personal interactions. This is the piece that separates decent demand generation strategies from those that take off.

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