What is demand generation? Demand Gen Vs Lead Gen

Summary

What is Demand Generation?

The function of B2B demand gen is to optimize strategies and content to create interest and awareness of products and services that result in lead generation and future opportunities. Demand gen is crucial for boosting a company’s growth within the B2B marketplace and moving leads through the buyer’s journey.

The most successful demand gen strategies go beyond the top of the sales funnel (TOFU stage) and awareness stage. This tactic, known as a deep funnel focus, centers around providing prospects with a personalised experience across an extended time period with the right content, at the right time.

Prospects may come and go as the account they represent progresses through the buyer’s journey. As a result, adjusting demand gen strategies depending on the stage of the funnel an account is in and their needs is crucial for ensuring prospects develop a positive impression of a brand.

After all, as prospects within a target account communicate with each other, any time invested in providing accounts with individual attention can positively influence a buying decision and potentially result in a relationship with an account forever.

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Why is Demand Generation Important?

Both the marketing and sales team within an organization can see incredible results from an effective demand generation strategy and the intent-based marketing, larger audience, and increase in revenue that it helps create.

 

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Increased brand awareness

Effective demand generation leads potential customers consistently to your brand via various techniques such as email marketing, content syndication, social media, or paid media.

This helps solidify trust in your brand and its identity through the content and expertise you provide, and the solutions you are able to offer.

Not only will your demand generation campaign instantly bring more traffic your way, but it also encourages a ripple effect that boosts brand awareness and results in businesses developing a need for your product.

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Generate more quality leads

Although the primary goal of B2B demand generation is not lead generation, successful demand generation will result in a natural increase in leads.

Demand generation is a slower process than lead generation but can still effectively drive more leads at the top of the sales funnel.

Many of these leads have the potential of becoming high-quality, loyal clients since they already know how they can benefit from your product/services because of your effective demand generation.

 

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Increase your revenue

Demand Generation Funnel

As demand generation is both a short and long-term strategy, you are more likely to see consistent revenue growth both from increased interaction, and the quality leads you will generate afterward.

As B2B marketers, it is crucial to understand the fundamentals of demand generation and how to develop interest and awareness of your brand.

In our Definitive Guide to B2B Demand Generation we explain in depth how to design and implement successful demand generation campaigns.

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We’ve helped our clients with thousands of demand generation funnels that generated unmatched engagement. Let’s build successful strategies for your business together.

Examples of B2B Demand Generation Strategies

1. Create A Variety of Free Content

Successful B2B demand generation requires high-quality content that addresses customer’s problems and frequently asked questions while engaging them with advice and solutions.

Types of effective content:

Guest posts
Podcasts
Articles on trends
Video
Array
Social media
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Guest posts:

Guest posts are a fantastic demand generation marketing tool that can boost SEO efforts via backlinks. Posting on a third-party platform allows marketers to take advantage of the platform’s pre-established audience and reach to boost their own.

However, due to the symbiotic nature of partnerships, thorough research into how each platform stands to benefit your demand generation marketing strategies is essential for making the right choice.

Each platform has its own policies and guidelines on content creation and features such as the number of backlinks allowed per syndicated piece.

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Articles on trends with expert interviews:

Another demand generation strategy that focuses on content and thought leadership is featuring interviews with subject matter experts on trending topics.

As many companies continue to leverage executives as subject matter experts, collaboration boosts traffic, adds credibility, and encourages discussions on social media that increase awareness.

This B2B demand gen marketing tactic can also be implemented with content such as webinars or shorter videos on social media platforms.

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Free tools:

Providing your audience with a free online tool is a solid way to drive demand generation, and extend your reach as people use your tool and share it with others.

Here are some examples of free tools:

  • SiteChecker’s SEO Checker: allows you to check your website’s SEO for free.
  • Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator: develops free content ideas based on keywords input by users.
  • INFUSEmedia’s Lead Quality Grader: this tool analyzes and scores leads for free, providing insights that help to avoid investing in bad leads.
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Podcasts:

Podcasts are part of a growing industry of long-form entertainment that provides another format of distributing information in a digestible way that encourages discussion.

In this way, podcasts help develop thought leadership and a relationship with their audience, while also benefiting from their appeal to listeners with busy lifestyles.

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Videos:

Videos are rich media that can capture an audience’s attention in an effective way that can help drive demand generation.

Not only does the video format allow for more creative freedom but visual content is also proven to be recalled at a higher rate than text-based content. This makes videos an efficient and memorable way of increasing brand awareness.

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Social media:

Identify social media platforms that your target audience uses and create a campaign that focuses on keywords related to issues that your company can resolve.

This can drive engagement with your audience by showcasing your content, as well as allowing you to gain valuable reviews that will encourage future quality leads.

Social media is a part of our lives more than ever before and can therefore offer many opportunities for demand gen marketing with a consistent and regular engagement schedule.

While content marketing creation is integral to demand generation, the most successful campaigns are multi-faceted and optimised for developing long-lasting relationships with prospects and key accounts.

Need help building out your content marketing strategy?

INFUSEmedia’s team of creatives and content specialists craft content for some of the world’s businesses.

Our team will analyze your strategic needs and develop content marketing assets that deliver results for your demand generation campaigns. There is no limit to the formats and asset types that we can create, including articles, whitepapers, e-books, videos, and infographics.

Next, we will explore a variety of strategies that can be implemented to boost content alongside other aspects of demand generation to ensure campaigns yield the desired results.

2. Foster Strategic Partnerships

Pursuing a partnership with a brand appealing to a similar audience can be an effective demand generation strategy for increasing your reach.

With social and co-networking content syndication, both you and your syndicate partner can benefit from boosting collaborative projects and existing content on your site and theirs in return.

Partnering to co-host events or creating joint content such as podcasts are other great demand gen marketing strategies for increasing awareness in a way that benefits both parties.

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Influencer outreach and partnerships can also successfully drive demand generation, by taking advantage of their network and influence.

That being said, follower count is not everything, and often smaller “micro-influencers” have a closer relationship with their followers.

This means that focusing on the engagement rate and the quality of posts over the quantity of the follow base will ensure that your sponsored content with an influencer will have more of an impact.

3. Reach Out to Your Future Customers

B2B demand generation strategies are all about creating and developing relationships that can be beneficial for your company in the future.

That is why it’s important to develop a variety of account-based marketing (ABM) tactics that can be tailored for contacting specific businesses directly:

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Direct mail

Direct mail that is well-tailored for your target audience can still be an effective way of getting your brand name in front of people.

It’s crucial to take the time to craft something which stands out and has been optimized with ABM in mind. Capturing personal addresses for key accounts is a challenge in itself and often relies on the right offer or reward being crafted with a specific account in mind.

However, once an address is secured packages and boxes are also a good tactic for appealing to curiosity and guaranteeing that your mail will be opened.

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Sweepstakes and contests

Apart from encouraging greater outreach, contests are an effective way of driving engagement and can be customized to collect valuable data for future efforts.

Offering the chance to win a prize, free product or rewarding customers for their purchase can be a very powerful way of motivating interaction with your brand that will leave a lasting impression.

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Paid advertising

Another great inbound marketing tactic for demand generation, is paid advertising. Content can be promoted with pay-per-click ads (PPC) on search engine results pages (SERPs) such as Google and social media platforms like Facebook. These ads can be triggered with specific keywords of your choice and tracked with analytics.

Programmatic display advertising is another method of paid advertising that utilizes algorithms and machine learning to carry out automatic bidding on display ads that engage audiences that are the right fit. With the correct strategy, programmatic advertising can result in a better on-page experience that efficiently aids demand generation.

Overall, paid advertising is an effective way to boost your demand generation campaigns as it can expand your reach and complement SEO strategies by helping to increase organic traffic and enhance the effect of content.

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Deep media

INFUSEmedia’s Deep Media Nurturing takes lead nurturing and follow-up efforts beyond the inbox by employing an omnichannel approach, to target your leads with the right message at the right time across multiple channels. These channels span across social media, email, programmatic display and phone outreach.

4. Optimise Your B2B SEO Strategy

Effectual SEO is integral to a B2B demand generation strategy and needs to be regularly evaluated and adapted to ensure the best results.

The more time you invest in keyword research and optimising your content and site, the more in tune you will be with your audience’s way of thinking and therefore you will have greater exposure.

Make sure to also include relevant links on all of your content to help drive traffic and therefore interest in your brand and product.

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SEO-focused content:

SEO-focused content is an excellent demand gen marketing opportunity to provide valuable information on common issues and topics that will effectively generate long-term awareness of your company. The better content ranks on SERPs, the greater its reach as demand gen marketing.

Keyword optimization can boost traffic and engagement with downloadable content and signups, as well as serving as the first step in learning more about your brand.

5. Evaluate and Adjust Your Sales Strategy

It’s essential to give your future clients plenty of space and work flexibility by knowing when to step back and avoiding pushing too much.

B2B sales are often multi-faceted and complex so it’s important to work with your potential client’s timetable.

As the customer journey is often lengthy, the content distributed to leads should regularly be adjusted depending on where they sit in the sales funnel and how their needs continue to change.

For example, at the bottom-funnel stage (BOFU), long-form content such as whitepapers, case studies, and e-books tend to be most effective in nurturing leads and reducing drop-off rates.

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Long-form content works better deeper into the funnel as it provides leads with valuable information and credibility that can help to address any remaining concerns they may have and move them down the funnel.

When formulating sales strategies, be sure to map out and adjust the content for each stage of the funnel at an account level. For example, content consumption may vary for each account, making it important to define the parameters for success.

Depending on the goals of a campaign, ten prospects from the same account consuming one piece of content may have vastly different implications than one prospect consuming 10 pieces of content.

Set your team milestones aligned with campaign goals, so that they can continuously measure, adapt, and improve their strategies.

Lead scoring

A lead scoring system is integral to the success of a demand generation strategy as it aligns sales and marketing teams by setting a definition for qualified leads.

By scoring and distinguishing the origin of valuable leads, and by drawing conclusions from patterns in data, marketers can determine the right demand generation strategy for creating awareness that results in lead generation.

This includes the most successful forms of content, when content is being downloaded, and how leads discover a brand. From these insights, demand generation marketing can be adjusted and targeted for specific audiences.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of converting visitors and users interacting with content into leads. Lead generation strategies tend to center on an exchange of information in return for a useful resource such as articles, whitepapers, a free tool, or a trial of a product.

Effective lead generation creates and nurtures interest to encourage leads to purchase a company’s product or service. Nurturing is an essential process for both lead and demand generation that ensures that leads are less likely to be pushed away by sales outreach.

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Examples of Lead Generation Strategies

While many of the tactics below are similar to those used in a demand generation strategy, there are key differences in the role they play and the benefits they bring to demand gen vis-a-vis lead gen.

1. Content Marketing

Creating a variety of free content including articles, whitepapers, case studies, and infographics is key for lead generation strategies.

To Gate or Not to Gate?

Content can be gated or left open at the discretion of each company, with gated content requiring readers to complete a lead form to gain access.

Whether or not to gate content is an ongoing and widely debated topic among demand generation marketers with many arguing against gating content on proprietary websites.

 

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Let’s break down both sides of the argument:

For gated content: not gating content risks removing sales teams from the process of encouraging leads down the funnel. As a result, this creates a heavy workload for analytics platforms tracking which accounts are visiting sites.

Against gated content: by not gating content marketers are able to create a frictionless experience that gives the power back to inbound leads and encourages lead generation in an organic manner.

Conclusion: Both approaches can yield significant results and have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the success of content marketing strategies is determined by the philosophy, skill, resources, and alignment of the marketing and sales teams.

In addition, there is an important distinction to be made between gating on proprietary websites and gating content that has been redistributed on third party websites.

It is also impossible to avoid gating entirely as lead generation content such as demo requests and sales call back requests require visitors to complete lead forms due to their nature.

Content Features

Content that provides insights and value on topics of interest aids lead nurturing and can often be shared with others, boosting lead generation even further.

Content can also feature multiple Calls-to-Action (CTAs) to link to additional content and landing pages when appropriate.

With a large library of quality content, marketers can maximize the amount of time visitors spend on company websites and encourage lead generation.

2. Direct Mail and Email Marketing

Cold email is a great way of reaching out to audiences and spreading awareness of a company and its services. However, cold emails should be carefully constructed with target segments in mind to effectively encourage interaction and lead generation.

Take the time to develop detailed cadences that are personalized and stand out in a crowded inbox with intriguing subject lines and content.

Prospects who are already opted-in to an emailing list, such as for email newsletters, may already be much more aware of your company and easier to motivate to take action with email marketing.

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However, in both cases, it is essential to make an appealing offer to the recipient before any requests can be made by the sender.

Email marketing is a fantastic vehicle for distributing content that can be useful, inform, and nurture prospects.

As mentioned previously, despite the challenge of obtaining physical addresses, direct mail is another personalized approach for encouraging interaction and can also drive lead generation.

3. Webinars

Webinars are an efficient format for achieving both accessible and informative content.

Complex subjects can be broken down by subject experts within a company, or with a guest. Webinars can support other published content by featuring and creating interesting discussions that expand upon a topic and encourage interaction.

As the number of virtual meetings and remote workers increases, webinars can be published in an on-demand format to avoid screen fatigue and the loss of attendees.

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Webinars tackling broader subjects can also be repurposed into smaller, digestible chunks as content marketing that can be shared via social channels and sales teams when appropriate.

4. Social media

Social media can boost lead generation because you interact with an already interested audience of followers. With the right posts, followers can be guided to interact with CTAs and posts in multiple ways across different platforms.

As each social media platform may have slightly different audiences, posts and their offers can be tailored to appeal to different groups. Of course, the main benefit of social media is the networking opportunities it presents such as discussions and post sharing.

With this in mind, executives within a company with a strong social presence, particularly on LinkedIn, can be leveraged to boost lead generation by sharing thought leadership content and promoting content being published.

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In the interest of consistency and becoming established as a thought leader in a specific area, the type of content posted should be specific to each executive’s job role and their unique industry expertise.

This helps to promote a company’s knowledge and ability to provide a valuable service and can also help with hiring processes as brand awareness is also consequently amplified.

As such, investing time in creating successful social media posts can be another powerful lead generation tool.

5. Retargeting Campaigns

To Gate or Not to Gate?

Investing in targeted, programmatic advertising is an effective method of lead generation, although potentially expensive compared to other PPC campaigns without the right systems in place.

Programmatic advertising uses automatic bidding to display targeted advertisements at the right frequency and across valuable ad spaces. This form of advertising is often guided by retargeting cookies set when visitors arrive on a website that collects valuable information. Data can be used to determine the right ad to display and the most valuable placements.

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CRM retargeting is another process for delivering programmatic advertisements. However, it leverages information already collected in your customer relationship management system to deliver personalized remarketing content in the form of highly-targeted ads.

These programmatic ads can be applied without cookies being set via cookies on a website and are instead guided with other information such as email addresses.

Landing Pages

To encourage conversion, landing pages are another solid retargeting option but require some refining. Firstly, it is important to make sure that the landing page of an advertisement is well-crafted with an attractive offer and clear action for visitors to take.

With that in mind, landing pages should be created with an audience in mind. Depending on the function and goals of a landing page, it could be ABM based or could feature multiple CTAs to appeal to a wider audience.

When implemented correctly, retargeting can serve as an efficient reminder of important offers that can drive lead generation.

B2B Demand Generation vs Lead Generation: What is the Difference?

Demand generation and lead generation are often conflicted due to their similarities; however, some key differences distinguish them from each other:

B2B Demand Gen vs Lead Gen

demand generation vs. lead generation comparison
Demand Generation VS. Lead Generation – What’s the difference?
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Demand Generation:

  • Guest posts
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars
  • Social media posts
  • Free tools
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Articles on trending topics
  • Direct mail
  • Sweepstakes and contests
  • SEO-focused content
  • Deep media
  • Paid advertising
Lead Generation
Attract 1 Campaigns
Interact 2 Leads
Track/Manage 3 Opportunities
Close 4 Sales
Loyalty 5 Clients
Retention
  • Demand generation: Aims to grow an audience by creating interest and awareness that will lead to future business.
  • Lead generation: Develops an engaged audience into quality leads through tactics such as an exchange of details, in return for a product or information.

In this way, all lead generation techniques are demand generation. However, in contrast not all demand generation methods need to generate leads to be considered successful.

 

lead generation vs demand generation
what is demand gen
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Instead, the focus is on increasing and tracking awareness through interactions with content and free resources that will lead to an increase in opportunities.

How Do Demand Generation and Lead Generation Work Together?

When implemented correctly, both methods can work harmoniously to produce impressive results.

As demand generation serves to develop organic interest and awareness in a company, its products, and services, it also acts as the foundation for future lead generation.

Any content produced with demand generation in mind helps to establish a company and its brand in its marketplace, as well as build its reputation.

Demand generation across multiple channels provides marketers with the opportunity to field insights from early interactions with potential prospects that can be used to better qualify leads.

As a result, the more successful demand generation is, the more it benefits and facilitates lead generation, so here are some useful tactics:

  • Lead qualification is essential: With demand generation strategies such as crafting quality SEO content, companies can gain useful insights from user interactions. This can be used to qualify leads, develop nurturing tactics, and prioritize leads who are more ready to buy.
  • Content marketing is key: Fueled by a detailed understanding of key market segments, content marketing can be effectively leveraged for each stage of the funnel as prospects make their way towards making a purchase. As such, content is key for developing successful and complementary demand and lead generation strategies.
  • Take advantage of automation: Both lead and demand generation marketing can be enhanced with automation, especially with outbound marketing methods. This helps to streamline processes and also frees up companies to reach out to larger audiences and map out demand gen and lead gen timelines together.
Demand vs. Lead Gen: 4 Key Differences
Long-term:
Campaigns build and nurture brand awareness and interest by promoting content, events, and thought leadership over a long period of time (usually over 6 months).
Short-term:
Targeted campaigns focus on generating leads, that is, collecting data from prospects. Goals are typically measured per quarter.
Increase revenue:
Strategies to foster brand interest and stronger relationships with prospects, which in turn, result in consistent sales.
Increase sales opportunities:
Lead nurturing helps teams select the best opportunities for the sales team, with the highest chance of conversion.
Free content and partnerships:
Content can be promoted to educate prospects. Partnerships, such as content syndication, aim to promote the reach of your assets.
Landing pages:
With lead gen landing pages, the goal is to boost the number of prospects filling in forms by using a strong hook or leveraging content.
Grow a brand audience:
Develop future business opportunities by promoting your brand, its solutions, and benefits.
Engage a brand audience:
Convert prospects into leads with campaigns that engage and encourage them to fill in forms.
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Final Thoughts

While demand generation and lead generation are complementary and may contain similar strategies, they are fundamentally different processes that require individual focus and attention for marketers to yield the best results.

As both successful strategies are often multi-faceted and complex in detail, finding the right partner to guide you and help boost your demand and lead generation campaigns is essential.

INFUSEmedia has helped clients with thousands of funnels that generated unmatched engagement. With a myriad of lead generation and demand generation tools and services at our disposal, we can help you get the result you are looking for.

Let’s build successful strategies for your business together.

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