Obtaining relevant traffic and engaging potential customers are among the top challenges facing marketers today. More than 96% of visitors to a business website do not intend to buy. They stick around for no longer than eight seconds. Hence, amidst rising competition and abundance of information, marketers find it rather difficult to attract qualified leads, let alone engage and convert them. This is where demand generation can help.
What is a qualified lead?
A qualified lead is someone who can benefit from the products or services your business offer. They will likely show interest in your offerings by filling out surveys and opt-in forms or receiving lead nurturing email communication including updates and promotions. They will also notice blogs, videos, and other insight-driven content to gain more information about your business.
To attract qualified leads based on their fit as a customer and readiness to buy, marketers usually start by placing them in two categories. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) has the potential to buy based on a need. On the other hand, a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) already has an intent to buy and provides you with an opportunity to ultimately convert them to customers. With the help of demand generation, marketers can capture a marketing qualified lead’s interest even before they become prospects.
What is demand generation and how is it different from lead generation?
Traditionally, marketers have used the terms demand generation and lead generation interchangeably. However, there is a remarkable difference in how they approach each method today. Lead generation is used to qualify potential buyers with contact information into leads. These leads can be sent further down the sales pipeline.
Whereas, demand generation is a comprehensive marketing method that delivers leads at every point in the lead conversion journey. It helps marketers create demand for a business offering and build brand awareness. Furthermore, it helps forge long-term relationships with consumers at all levels of the conversion funnel.
A demand generation approach can not only attract qualified leads but engage them even after they turn into conversion-worthy potential buyers. Here’s how you can harness the power of demand generation.
4 ways to attract qualified leads with the help of demand generation
1. Create accurate customer personas based on in-depth research
The most essential part of any marketing strategy is the ability to offer solutions that speak to your prospect’s unique pain points. To do so effectively, marketers need to create well-defined personas.
We’ve all seen personas like this: John, VP-Technology, is in his late thirties, married, and has a staff of 15 that reports to him. Would this information alone be helpful for you to attract the qualified lead and create meaningful communication with him? Probably not. Marketers need to go a step further and consider aspects such as the lead’s readiness to buy, what kind of communication they prefer, and where they are located in the purchase funnel.
A well-defined persona can help you know your potential customers inside out by addressing the following questions:
- What are the key problems and challenges of your desired customers?
- What influences their decision to buy or take action?
- Where do they go for information?
- What questions do they typically have at each stage in the purchase funnel?
By analyzing customers through primary or secondary research, marketers can gain relevant insights into their pain points, triggers, needs, and goals for effective demand generation.
2. Create and optimize marketing content that adds value to customers
Once you’ve understood the needs and goals of qualified leads, focus on creating content that speaks to them on the right channel at the right time. This is essential to kickstart your demand generation strategy.
The potential buyers you are targeting exist at the top of the funnel and are at an early stage of your sales pipeline. Marketers need to be being cognizant of the kind of content that can help bring them one step further in the purchase cycle.
Relevant marketing content includes but is not limited to blog posts, infographics, cheat sheets, webinars, eBooks, podcasts, and training courses. A few things should be kept in mind while creating and distributing valuable content that can attract qualified leads.
Demand generation best practices for content marketers:
- When creating top-of-the-funnel content, the goal is not to sell but to answer your potential customer’s questions. Consider creating content that is more informative than promotional.
- In a mobile-first world, marketers need to focus on snackable content that is accessible across multiple devices. Optimizing short-form content such as social media posts, videos, or infographics is key to driving relevant traffic.
- Today, almost every company wants to be a thought leader in its industry. Consider collaborating with industry experts to create thought leadership content like interactive webinars and podcast sessions. This way, you can offer unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge that consumers can’t find anywhere else.
- When it comes to distribution, marketers need to consistently post high-quality content across various social media platforms so that they can gather timely insights and up their demand generation game.
- After you’ve built a strong foundation with original content, you can repackage and repurpose the product or service-specific content, playbooks, and sales decks to reach different audiences on different platforms.
Our comprehensive marketing communications solution enables businesses to consistently roll out insight-driven marketing collateral that helps marketers to meaningfully engage with qualified leads.
3. Provide free trials, resources, or tools to gain prospect’s trust
When introducing qualified leads to solutions that your business has to offer, having concrete and quantitative data to back up the claims can help. What’s more important? Accessibility to high-quality insights can help these leads make a decision – to stay and engage further, or leave the purchase funnel.
Sharing free resources such as long-form blog posts, problem-focused reports, or infographics that depict significant trends can attract qualified leads. This also helps them view your business as a trustworthy source and potentially as an industry thought leader. Free access to certain resources, evaluation or measurement tools, or free trials of service will create visibility for your brand.
Moreover, it will provide the leads with information that they can use to make future purchasing decisions. Offering relevant resources to them at no cost can be the start of a valuable brand-customer relationship.
4. Make the most of email marketing campaigns with contact segmentation
Demand generation is all about delivering the right message. If the message doesn’t resonate with the qualified leads, they are unlikely to convert. Depending on where the buyer is in the purchase funnel, marketers can engage them via email communication. Here’s how:
- With contact segmentation, marketers can organize qualified leads into relevant groups and target email campaigns that they are likely to find valuable.
- You can kickstart an email marketing campaign by introducing your brand, and then move on to different phases of providing in-depth resources which are informative and personalized.
- Keeping in mind that ‘less is more’ and applying A/B testing best practices are integral to effective email marketing.
- 81% of people read emails on mobile apps, so it is important to test for responsiveness and thorough optimization.
- Share data and insights that directly address specific groups, speaking to their concerns, and answering their questions.
The goal of demand generation is not an overnight success, but a strategic shift in the target audience’s perception. And content is key to effective demand generation that can, in turn, attract qualified leads and convert them over time. The comprehensive nature of this approach can be time-consuming. However, if done right, it can yield long-term relationships with loyal, high-value customers.
Have you harnessed the true potential of content to achieve your business goals?
Netscribes supports leading organizations by providing reliable account data and insights and creating research-driven content tailored to their prospective customers’ needs. As a result, marketers can focus their effort on identifying new opportunities and earn better ROI. Contact us to learn more.