What Is Demand Generation?
Buyers typically start their purchasing journey with online research. They start by gathering information about the options in the market to decide for themselves which solution is right for their company’s needs.
As they research online, buyers have a wealth of options and information at their fingertips—so how can you, as a marketer, make sure that buyers find your company as they’re researching? Demand generation (demand gen) is the answer. The goal of demand gen is to increase the visibility of your brand and to drive prospects to sites where they can read more.
To achieve this goal, demand gen content has to be easily shareable and discoverable. Next, we’ll discuss how to create this type of content for your demand gen engine.
The Five Essential Content Types for Your Demand Gen Engine
Your demand gen content is like a gateway to your company for new prospects. You want to distribute it as widely as possible across your website and social media to make sure it reaches your target market. It should be as low-barrier as possible—at this point, your prospects aren’t seriously considering making a purchase. You don’t want to scare them away with a long contact information form.
With that said, we’ve compiled a list of the most important types of content to fuel your demand gen engine. These are essential to any demand gen campaign.
Blogs should provide readers with fresh and interesting information in an entertaining way. They should be fun to read but also informative and substantive. To do this, you should conduct thorough research on the topic at hand and package that information in a fun and accessible way. The goal is to keep readers engaged—they should want to see more of your content after reading a blog. Include links to your other content to keep readers’ attention on your brand.
Infographics are visual storytellers. With charts, graphs, and other visual elements to display data, this type of content shows readers something they didn’t already know. Infographics should pack a lot of useful and interesting information into one space without overwhelming the viewer. The goal is to make complex and valuable information easily understandable and visually appealing. Effective infographics often display the “old vs. new” way of doing things, leading your readers to think, “Wow. I didn’t know that.”
Checklists are a form of content that asks readers thought-provoking questions that will help improve their businesses. These questions should ask the reader if she is aware of, knows, or has done something specific. Limit each checklist to one major topic, but group the questions by sections to make them more digestible—once again, you don’t want to overwhelm your reader. By the end of the checklist, readers should walk away having learned something they didn’t already know.
Videos are easy to consume. They don’t require as much active engagement on the user’s part compared to other content on this list, but they are highly effective at communicating information. Users can sit back, watch a video, and learn everything they need to know about a given subject. Videos should be highly informative and highly engaging at the same time, like blogs. To create a video, start with a carefully researched and well-written script. Longer videos should feature voice narration to complement the visual elements. This will maximize the amount of information you can pack into a single 90-second video. For shorter videos, however, there’s no need to record voice narration to communicate your idea.
Newsletters are like your content catalog. They’re a useful resource for subscribers who want to catch up on the content you’ve published during that month, all in one succinct email. If done well, this can be a well-anticipated piece of content—similar to waiting for the next issue of your favorite magazine. This is more of an editorial process than a totally new content creation process. To create a newsletter, your task is to determine what to include and how to organize the content.
Why Is This Important?
Now that we’ve laid out the five types of content that you need for your demand gen engine, let’s take a step back. What are we accomplishing with all of this well-written, easily accessible content?
The short-term goal of your demand gen engine is to spread the word about your company and its products. That’s why we’ve emphasized low barriers to access, readability, and usefulness in each of these individual content types—they should be optimized to catch the attention of new prospects in your target demographic.
The long-term goal of your demand gen engine is to establish your organization as a thought leader in the ecosystem. You want your content to be so valuable and informative that your prospects will return to your website again and again. From there, you’ve already started developing brand loyalty in your customers—they know that when they click on your content, they will learn something new and useful. This makes them more likely to share their contact information with you and to include your company on the long list of vendors they will contact when they start seriously considering making a purchase, which will help you deliver revenue growth in the long run. The next step? Lead generation.