For businesses to thrive in this cut-throat environment, they must get the word out about their offerings to anyone willing to hear.  

Some brands start with lead generation marketing to gather the contact information of their prospects so they can be contacted later. In comparison, many other businesses take the demand generation approach to build brand awareness, create meaningful relationships with customers, and maintain an online presence. 

These days, businesses need demand generation marketing, an amalgamation of techniques that create a bona fide desire for your products in your market. From a robust online presence to improved customer experience, you must put your intended audience at the core of your demand generation strategy. 

What is demand generation marketing?

Demand generation marketing refers to the process that helps you create awareness and generate demand for your brand’s products and services. It expands your audience base and drives relevant traffic to transform your viewer’s interest into action.

Furthermore, the demand generation approach is about creating an anticipated sales pipeline for your sales force. The ultimate goal is to transfer the qualified leads through the sales funnel until they convert into a new customer.

Eventually, it’s essential to let your target market recognize the value that you bring to the table. This gets them interested in your brand so that you can nurture leads and convert them into long-term customers

All in all, the prime goal of demand generation marketing is to create a need for your offerings in the target audience’s mind. It helps you boost brand awareness, build trust, and foster deeper connections with your prospective clients.

How to create a demand generation marketing plan (step by step)?

Implementing successful and robust demand generation marketing requires more than merely creating digital ads, developing creative content and analytics. You need a foolproof plan. 

A comprehensive approach can deliver remarkable results while accelerating customer relationship management, acquisition, and customer retention when done correctly. 

If you aim to achieve long-term profitability and similar results, here are some of the steps for laying the groundwork for your demand generation plan.

Step 1: Set realistic goals. 

Every demand generation marketing plan starts with setting quantitative, clear, and realistic goals and objectives. You need to know the purpose of your campaigns and activities. Also, set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.

Your approaches and plan will constantly evolve with the changing needs of your customers, and you may also need to adjust and align your objectives accordingly.

Step 2: define your audience. 

Developing your ideal customer profile (ICP) and defining your audience helps you get a clear understanding of your market, precisely your intended audience. This strategic document details all the essential information you can refer to when developing content messaging, campaigns, etc. 

The more you understand your customer profile, the more effectively you can plan and execute. Buyer personas are comprehensive profiles based on factual details of your potential accounts within your current audience base.

When you know a person’s job title, education level, job position, company details, etc., you can better understand their pain points, goals, and purchase influences. Simultaneously validate your finding with the sales team to know that you are on the right path.

Step 2: Map your buyer’s journey.

You need to consider the purchasing process of your customers. Mapping your buyer’s journey helps you outline the essentials that you need to incorporate in your demand generation marketing plan. It documents each customer persona’s typical actions and needs through research, consideration, awareness, decision stages, and overall sales funnel.

This helps you identify gaps in engagement or content where you might lose your potential buyer’s interest. A buyer journey helps you with targeted and innovative content to bridge these gaps and enhance your lead generation efforts.

Also, it helps you ramp up your SEO, increase your PPC spend, and align your content with the demand generation plan to build brand awareness. You can create eBooks, infographics, and webinars appropriate according to the buyer’s stage in the sales funnel.

Step 3: Generate high-quality content. 

An effective demand generation plan requires you to generate customized content for your targeted buyer personas that addresses their pain points. Build high-performing campaigns by incorporating buyer personas and their purchasing stages into your content plan. 

When you have your ideal customer profile, you can focus your marketing efforts on the clients who can provide the most value to your business. 

The ideal customer profile or buyer personas help you create compelling and targeted campaigns that reach potential clients and generate optimal business revenue. It also enables you to deploy resources more efficiently.

5 powerful demand generation strategies for local businesses.

Incorporating demand generation strategies is a unique process for every local business. While there are no definite tactics to get the desired result, a few of them can indeed provide you with a blueprint that you can follow through.

You can also leverage free tools like Signaturely’s signature maker to personalize correspondence with potential customers, drive leads and ultimately enhance your demand generation efforts.

Screenshot of online signature maker

So, now that you have a better idea of what demand generation is and how you can devise a well-rounded plan for it, here are some potent tactics to use:

Create engaging and interactive content

Content marketing or inbound marketing is omnipresent, be it a local brand or an international brand. But if you want to ace your demand generation efforts locally, interactive and engaging content is the most effective means to drive relevant traffic and generate qualified leads.  

When you develop an interactive content strategy for demand generation, its primary goal should be to educate your potential customers. Your content collateral should strategically address their concerns instead of merely aiming to sell. 

Furthermore, creating content that hooks the audience like quizzes helps you effectively capture, engage, and retain your audience’s attention as it provides real value to your prospective clients. Over 87% of marketers use content marketing, but only 3% do it correctly. 

You can also build short online courses or make video content that allows you to interact with your audience through webinars. Golf Avenue, a leading online retailer in Canada, is one of the best examples of how they attract the local market by creating interactive content.

The brand built an online quiz called “Guess Your Golf Handicap!” to recommend the right equipment for golf to their potential customers. Instead of directly selling, the quiz initiates a challenge and helps the audience find the answers through personalized recommendations.

screenshot of GolfAvenue screenshot of goldavenue quiz

Rethink your promotional offers strategy.

You have likely offered various promotions and sales to incentivize your existing as well as new customers to induce a purchase. However, if people don’t know about your local business and the discounted deals you are offering, all your efforts will go in vain.

Therefore, to get creative with your promotional and discount strategy, it is beneficial to work with sites solely dedicated to discounts and deals and leverage them as your demand generation strategy.

Although the profit margins on promotional sites might not be significant, it is an effective demand generation tactic, especially for startups and local businesses, who need to get their brand name out there.

And by offering excellent offers, you can convert new customers into repeat buyers and ultimately into a loyal customer base over time.

For example, Groupon is an excellent platform for local businesses to list and promote their products or services with a discounted offer. You can also organize your specific deals and discount offers based on location.

Moreover, the platform helps you reach a unique and broader audience base and better leverage advertising and marketing tactics.

screenshot from Groupon Website
Source: Groupon

Filter lookalike and similar audiences to set up campaigns locally.

Look for other acing demand generation marketing brands to reap the rewards of excellent reputation and loyal customers.

Setting up targeted campaigns for the local market is a demand generation strategy that enables you to double your user base and generate demand.

Here, the focus is on filtering your “similar audiences” on Google and “lookalike audiences” on Facebook to reach your intended customers locally and get the desired demand generation outcomes. Moreover, you can also set the location to target the audience of a specific region.

Usually, local consumers trust your brand when you develop a meaningful relationship with them, provide them convenience, maintain transparency and keep them well-informed about your products and services.

When customers place adequate trust in your business, they become loyal, and they are even willing to spend more on your products/services.

To achieve this successfully, you can develop paid ad campaigns locally on Google and Facebook to drive the local traffic to these platforms. This way, you can draw your follower’s attention to your business.

This advanced functionality builds a broader base of custom audiences specifically on Google and Facebook, targeting users who have expressed interest in your brand’s content that in turn helps your business prosper locally.

It is also imperative to advertise and promote your offerings on social platforms that your local market spends more time on. For instance, if your target audience engages more with your brand on Facebook, it makes sense to direct your digital marketing efforts towards that platform.

Screenshot of Lookalike Audience

Introduce a company newsletter.

Similar to social and content demand generation strategies, you can also leverage email marketing as an effective technique for your local business.

Think of your email marketing tactic as an approach to reach your customers. You can devise a foolproof plan that can help you deliver a stream of alerts/updates from your industry or business to the right audience. They can receive updates straight away in their inbox, and you don’t need to struggle to get their attention, unlike social media updates.

That being said, to derive maximum results from your newsletter demand generation strategies, it is vital to provide compelling reasons to your customers to sign up for that.  Promise and commit to them to offer exclusive experience, knowledge, offerings etc.

If you’re uncertain about how to get started with your newsletter marketing initiative, there are various email marketing platforms out there that can help you get off the ground. You can also purchase lead lists from specific platforms that offer authentic contact details of your potential customers and help you connect with them.

One of the most relevant and good examples of introducing a company newsletter is the Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company, a local cheese shop in Connecticut that sends email newsletters to inform their customers of the availability of new cheese and advertise other recipes and products.

While you devise a strong email marketing strategy to provide value to your audience and drive conversions, it’s also a potent way to increase your brand’s visibility and awareness locally.

Screenshot of Fairfield Cheese Company Website
Source: Fairfield Cheese Company

Inculcate strategic collaborations and partnerships.

Collaborations and partnerships are tried and tested methods for brands to generate demand for their offerings. You can partner with other local complementary businesses that can help you better inform your target audience about your products and services. 

Any type of partnership can be created with the use of PRM software. When you make strategic alliances that offer complementary products/services, it’s possible to achieve your collective goals and grow your audience base. 

This helps both the parties involved by fostering word of mouth. Consequently, it also reduces customer acquisition costs. This co-marketing technique is a brilliant demand generation tactic. Partner and engage with well-known local influencers to promote your products and increase your brand’s standing by providing meaningful blog posts and content pieces.

Some organizations and coalitions even support locally owned brands. You can collaborate with them and make the most of this opportunity to increase the authority and influence of your business.

For example, when retailers in Almonte, Ontario, wanted to increase foot traffic, they collaborated with other local stores to promote their offerings and build brand awareness.

Since they did not have an adequate budget to invest in traditional advertising like magazines, they designed a collaboration plan with ten other local merchants. All contributed and paid a monthly amount for a collective page in a regional food magazine.

It’s not necessarily an individual store ad but includes all the shops in the locality of Almonte that benefits all the participating businesses in the district.

Screenshot of Almonte Ontario Website
Source: Almonte

Wrapping up

The success of any demand generation strategy relies on how well you are able to connect with and engage your audience. And so much of it depends on how successfully you develop and distribute content across multiple channels. 

Hopefully, leveraging the demand generation tactics mentioned above can help you grow your customer base and, ultimately, your business.

Will Cannon
Will Cannon Entrepreneur

Will Cannon, the founder of UpLead, is a renowned entrepreneur who offers actionable insights and tips into lead and demand generation, customer acquisition, email marketing, and customer relationship management. He believes these areas require attention as they can have a considerable impact on business ROI.

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