Content marketing: 5 ways to generate demand

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Content marketing: 5 ways to generate demand

The best marketers are the ones who create markets, and  content marketing  can help you do that. Many times we think of  marketing  as a way to identify potential users of our product or service and thus be able to “sell” our brand to them. But what really makes the difference is the ability to create a new audience where it did not exist before and thus expand the reach of our brand. According to the recent study  Using Content Marketing to Generate Demand, Create New Audiences  by the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing can help us achieve the goal of  expanding our horizons and creating new ones. public for our products.  Let’s see how!

The problem: identifying demand or creating demand

One of the best examples of demand creation is Apple’s iPhone. When Jobs introduced the product in 2007, no one was aware that he needed an iPhone, or the brutal change it would represent in the way we communicate. In fact, not even Apple expected this revolution: they had simply set out to design an iPod that could make calls. Another great example in our industry is  HubSpot . When the company was founded in 2006, the market for  marketing automation was already saturated . But instead of copying its competitors, HubSpot popularized a new category:  inbound marketing . Today, just over ten years later, this concept is an essential pillar of our strategies.

Against these two exceptional examples, the truth is that  today’s marketers have problems generating demand . We operate in a fragmented and noise-filled environment where potential customers are very difficult to reach. The  marketing areas  are under Taiwan Phone Number List great pressure to meet short – term goals. The  customer journey is increasingly omnichannel  and complicated, and it is difficult to differentiate our brands. But despite all these complications,  generating demand is one of the most important needs of today’s companies . Marketers must continue to seek opportunities to support their business growth strategies.

On many occasions,   demand generation strategies remain in demand identification plans. Marketers focus on finding users who are already asking for their products, services, and solutions, optimizing their content for search terms and related needs. The problem is that the market potentially interested in the specific products of a brand is always finite, and ends up being exhausted. Therefore, although initially great results can be achieved, this strategy is not feasible in the long term. Faced with this situation, the Content Marketing Institute study   has considered how to create a  content marketing strategy  whose results improve over time. Let’s see what your results say.

5 ways to create demand through content marketing

The Content Marketing Institute study was conducted in April 2018, based on an audience of 192 qualified responses from 25 different countries. All respondents claimed to use  content marketing  to generate demand in the different phases  of the conversion funnel . These are the practical recommendations that were arrived at after analyzing the responses.

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1) Use content marketing in all phases of the funnel

Almost all respondents reported using content marketing to generate demand in all phases of the conversion funnel, but they tended to focus primarily on the  TOFU (top of the funnel) phase  :

  • 87% indicated the main reason for using  content marketing  to create demand was to  generate leads or potential customers  at the top of the conversion funnel.
  • The phase in which companies obtain more value from the  content marketing  used to generate demand is the initial phase (attraction / interest) with 51%.
  • The main metric used to measure  the impact of content  on demand generation is web traffic, according to 67% of the marketers surveyed.
  • The most effective type of content according to the study are the blog posts and  articles in the TOFU phase , chosen in 73% of the responses.

But despite these data, it is also very interesting to note that half of the respondents created content for other phases of the funnel in 2018. 29% produced content for  the MOFU phase (middle of the funnel)  and 21%, for  the BOFU (bottom of the funnel) phase. What all this tells us is that it is not enough to attract the attention of a new potential customer, we also have to be able to maintain their interest throughout the customer journey. To be successful in creating demand, it is not enough to feed the top  of the conversion funnel , but we have to  create content-based experiences for all stages  in order to maintain interest and gradually train the new customer.

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2) Experiment with different types of content at different phases of the customer journey

Respondents said  blog posts are the most effective content type in the early stages of the conversion funnel , reports in the middle stages, and case studies in the final stages. In-person events worked well at all stages of the funnel. However, the answers to this question show great diversity. Some types of content continue to work in later phases, even if they are more effective in the first phase. Others have similar efficacy figures in the first and second phases, or the second and third.

The conclusion? Don’t shut yourself down to just one type of content in each phase  and experiment to find the best solutions for you. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Try to vary the structures and approaches of a particular type of content . For example, a case study that is thought of from an educational point of view can work well in the initial phases, or a personalized report can be used to give the last push towards the purchase.
  • Instead of taking a content outline and applying it to the funnel,  think about the story you want to tell  and the formats that are best suited to express those messages.
  • Run structured tests to determine what works best in each phase . For example, you can design an  A / B test  in which half of the users download a report and the other half a video case study, and see which of the options generates the most  lead conversions .
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Although, according to the study, there are contents that work better for each type of phase of the conversion funnel:

3) Think about goals first, then metrics

When we talk about metrics, it is necessary to distinguish between what English speakers call “vanity metrics” (those that serve to “feel good” about our results, but do not really indicate what is happening) and  KPIs or key performance indicators , this is, those that are directly linked to the business objectives that we have set out to achieve. According to the  Content Marketing Institute study , the most used metrics to measure the impact  of content marketing  belong more to the sphere of “vanity metrics”: web traffic (67% of respondents), interactions with the audience ( 58%) and the number of leads (57%).

The lesson to be learned from this is that these types of metrics are only important to the extent that they show us how we are progressing towards our goals: it is not much use to accumulate more visits, comments on social networks or leads if the final conversions are Phone Number List stagnant. If what we seek is to generate new demand for our products and services with our  content marketing , we have to consider what metrics really put us on the track of whether we are achieving it. For example, we can set the objective of generating a  certain number of qualified leads  for sales of a new audience sector or located in a certain region. In any case, think that  metrics should always be linked to a goal and not be the goal itself .

4) Thoroughly research your audience

According to this study, only 46% of respondents had segmented their audiences based on people, although 35% said they intended to do so. But it is also that we have to  distinguish between  buyer personas  and audience personas. In general, both types of user profiles can provide us with structure when designing our  marketing plans  and very valuable information to attract the visitors, leads and clients that interest us the most. The fundamental difference is that the buyer persona are users who already know that they are interested in a solution like the one you offer, while the audience persona members do not yet know that they have that need or that there is a solution to it. In conclusion, if you are looking to generate demand, you are interested in focusing more on audience people.

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When defining our  target audience , it’s important to look beyond demographics like age, location, income level, or location. As we have already explained, we cannot base ourselves directly on interest in our product or service. Therefore, what we have to look for is the challenges and interests that define them.

The more defined the audience we are targeting, the better opportunities we will have to create  content marketing  that really suits it. On the other hand, we have to balance this need with that of ensuring that the audience will be large enough to be viable. From a demand generation standpoint,  audiences can be more valuable than leads or customers . Some members of your audience persona will become part of your buyer persona, and will become leads, opportunities and customers.

However, in the short term most of them will not convert … but that does not mean that they do not add value. Audiences are not only potential buyers, they are also useful to generate demand and provide the information you need to improve your marketing. In short, audiences are not just the potential customers of today, but the potential markets of tomorrow. In the short term, audiences help us share and recommend our valuable content and be more efficient in reaching new users. In the long term, they are our source of demand creation among people who would not have identified their needs on their own.

5) Give demand generation a chance

The majority of respondents in the Content Marketing Institute study (58%) said they had moderate success using  content marketing  to generate demand. If we add to that the 18% who define themselves as “very successful” and the 3% who claim to be “extremely successful”, we see a  very positive outlook  for expanding our market niche thanks to  content marketing . To increase your chances of success, you need to focus on audience acquisition, focus on KPIs rather than vanity metrics like web visits, and be willing to experiment with different types of content and approaches.

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