9 Demand generation marketing strategies that work for startups

One of the main challenges for most companies, in particular new brands/startups and even well-established businesses, is demand generation. As marketing teams grow, they start to realise that as much as SEO strategies help in marketing, they can only take them so far. Eventually, you’ll need to expand your company and increase traffic, and the best way is through demand generation.

Demand generation is an effective strategy to build brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, and secure potential leads. It’s basically the antidote for silos between sales and marketing teams, but it differs slightly from lead generation. So, if you want your audience to be engaged and generate more clients, demand generation is your solution.

In our guide, we will cover everything about demand generation, starting with what demand generation is and how it differs from lead generation. Read on for more insight:

What Is Demand Generation Marketing?

Demand generation is a marketing strategy that helps in increasing awareness and interest in a company’s products or services, with the main objective of establishing long-term relationships with your clients. This can be achieved through a moderate, thorough, and holistic process that normally covers the company’s marketing departments.

Similar to conversion paths, demand generation is often regarded as a funnel. The process begins by knowing and understanding audiences that are more likely to be responsive to your brand’s marketing messages before guiding your potential clients through a funnel that addresses all conversion stages of the process.

Simply put, the goal is moving prospects through the buyer’s journey while transforming them into qualified leads, which you may convert into new clients with your ideal sales pitch.

How Does Demand Generation Differ from Lead Generation?

Demand generation and lead generation are somewhat similar, but there’s a significant distinction between them. Most companies are indiscriminate about leads and factors that qualify a prospect as a lead. For instance, a person who simply visits a website can be considered a lead by some businesses.

In contrast, demand generation recognizes potential customers based on their activity and actions and then nurtures them to ensure their sales teams secure high-quality and genuine leads. This enhances communication between sales representatives and prospects, and as a result, you increase conversion rates and sales.

Generally, the main difference between the two is that demand generation is a more thorough process that requires more time to secure leads than lead generation and is said to be more effective.

Demand Generation Strategies for New Brands/Startups

Now that we all have an idea of what demand generation is and its basics, how can your new brand or startup company implement it? We’ve taken the liberty to highlight nine demand gen strategies you should take into account and utilize:

1. Create and Issue a Free Tool or App

One way to establish a sound and promising demand generation campaign for startups is to provide a free tool or app. For instance, you can design a tool that helps advertisers assess their PPC accounts, which reinforce their campaign.

But every good deal comes with a price: so developing an app and issuing it for free won’t be cheap, and there will be aspects you need to consider, like the development budget. 

2. Utilize Facebook Lookalike Audiences

For this step, we will assume you’ve already used Facebook for advertising; if you haven’t, it’s time to reconsider it. As the name implies, a lookalike audience resembles the behaviours and patterns of your current customers and similar users who have expressed interest in your brand.

Facebook allows you to use the data you’ve collected from your current audience and create a lookalike audience that shares similar characteristics and upload it. The best thing about lookalike audiences is that it increases the possibility of reaching a larger audience.

3. Give Away the Best Merchandise

Whether you plan to provide content downloads or any promotional materials, ensure you only give out the best products. Even though it seems counterintuitive, frequently offering giveaways of good quality has many advantages.

First off, it establishes trust between your company and your audience, meaning there’s a high probability they will return to your website. It also reflects a positive image of your brand – so much that some of your prospects can take things further by advocating for your company on your behalf.

4. Establish and Partner With the Best Industries on Webinars

Most brands, specifically startups, phone it with industry superstars on webinars. Of course, it’s not hard to develop, but if you neglect webinars, will anyone find a reason to pay attention to them? If you decide to include webinars in your strategy, you’ll need to be all in and only partner with the best industries on webinars.

This enhances your brand’s name in your industry, establishes valuable connections, and increases awareness, which are vital elements in the ongoing demand generation strategy.

5. Utilize Managed Placements in Your Display Network Campaigns

Nowadays, display advertising can get a bad rap, and it surely has its limits and benefits. But most advertisers tend to overlook the capabilities of managed placements in their campaigns. For those unfamiliar with this term, Managed Placements allows marketers to take control and specify where their ads will be shown, limiting their audience by targeting prospects who are likely to give positive feedback.

6. Use Direct Mail

Direct mail is one of the most straightforward strategies for demand generation because it boosts your brand’s name and targets the right audience – especially for startups. To ensure none of your mailers are immediately recycled, identify your target and design your offers specifically for them. Also, don’t underestimate the capabilities of a physical box. When have you never opened a FedEx package?

7. B2B SEO

Leverage B2B SEO to optimize your digital assets and increase traffic to your website. When you invest heavily in SEO for your marketing strategies, your company will sync with your audience’s thinking by using the appropriate keywords and considering the searcher’s intent. Additionally, you enhance your brand’s visibility, which extends your reach and builds awareness.

Research the right keywords for each content you create, conduct on-page optimization, and include internal links relevant to your content.

8. Blogging

Blog posts that provide valuable and thoughtful content that addresses your audience’s pain points and also considers their interests are the foundation of long-term relationships and affinity building. Blogging is a great way to boost visibility, attract a larger and more relevant audience, and encourage them to sign up for your webinars or take the next step. You can also target your audience through the entire buying journey, so that’s a plus.

9. Implement a Lead Scoring System

Demand generation is not all about boosting the number of leads for your company, but also increasing the quality of the leads you generate. Lead scoring is a great way to know whether you have the quality leads you need to close your deals or not.

The system assesses your prospect clients’ previous behaviours and actions when interacting with your company to ascertain if they demonstrate enough interest to be converted into a lead.

Bottom Line

Frequently generating demand is a key aspect of any successful business. Through engaging and creating thoughtful content for your prospects, you can effectively reach them and prove to them how your company stands out and how it’s the best option to cater to their needs. And by partnering with industries that understand and resemble your potential clients, you can have a direct chance to increase sales and build awareness.

At WordSeed, we help brands connect with creators in their industry and manage their campaigns on a single platform. For more information on demand generation, contact us today and talk to one of our experts on how we can set your company up for a successful campaign.

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