Content Marketing: A Shift to Demand Generation from Leads Generation

While lead generation has been every marketer’s priority, things are changing thanks to the groundbreaking advancements in the front of content marketing. The king of marketing, i.e. content, is now generating demand beyond the obvious leads by foraying into unknown territories. The motive of creating content has always been revenue generation, directly or indirectly. But what marketers have realized is that the path to lead the customers down the conversion funnels unavoidably results in leads bouncing off the pipe.

So the question that remains is – what causes prospective leads to quitting the journey in the penultimate stage before reaching the point of conversion?

An evident reason has to be the limited focus on long term goals. Most marketers prefer to align their efforts with lead generation over the retention of long term prospects. What marketers need to understand is that leads are not just chances that can generate sales. To repeat sales, one needs to build customer loyalty and retain clients for an extended period. But how do you do that?

Your answer lies in a content marketing strategy that will give you ample scope to interact with your prospects while retraining your current customers at all stages. Your answer lies NOT in lead generation but in demand generation. This means that following an existing lead is an open option, but what is more important is to create demand from new potential customers who did not exist before.

That brings us to the question – 

How Can You Generate New Demand?

Yes, following up with loyal customers can seem too easy when compared to reaching out to new prospects. Customers today have complex needs, and you need to go through the layers to deliver exactly what they are searching for to create demand. Moreover, the market has become highly competitive than it was before, thus making things all the more complicated.

So, how do you align your content marketing strategy to generate new demand without it being so risky?

To get it right from the root, you need to keep in mind that demand does not depend solely on marketing, be it content or other mediums. Hence, your first step should be to alter your existing business model

Emily Reynolds (marketing head of an online assignment help brand

You need to focus on an aligned strategy along with measurement plans to expand your target base and give your existing customers new reasons to stay interested in your new products.  

Next, we come to the question in focus – 

Why are businesses using content marketing for demand generation?

According to the 2018 survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), more than 87% of companies used content marketing to generate leads, while 82% used the same strategy to create brand awareness. In stark contrast, 6-7% of brands reported that their goals of content marketing focus on generating short term lead for instant sales. 

This confirms that most brands are focusing on content marketing strategies that align with their long term goals. And thanks to the various channels of content marketing, marketers have a spread to choose from. The favourite strategy has to be posting blogs to build brand awareness and authority. Brands are also using informative blogs to offer education about the products and services they specialize in. While blogs form the quintessential chunk, businesses are also resorting to neo-alternatives like podcasts, eBooks, and webinars to keep prospects engaged at different stages of the funnel.

Here is more about the top channels that are preferred by marketers around the world.

Top Channels used for Content Distribution in 2019

There is no point in creating content if it does not reach the targeted (and untargeted) audience. Moreover, even when your content reaches the audience but fails to convert them towards the funnel, the goals remain unmet.

You need to remember that the essence of content marketing lies in appropriate distribution. This is why your focus should be on adopting better channels for distribution apart from creating content. As per the survey of MailMunch, here is a sneak peek of the best channels of distribution that have been used.

Content Distribution Channels 2017

While organic social media and influencer marketing are new in the field, it is email marketing that has still held its ground even after content marketing has gone through so many norm changes.

This gives us two lessons to learn from:

  1. Despite Email marketing falling prey to Spam filters, marketing emails still get a click-through rate beyond 40%.
  2. With push notification services or what is more colloquially known as Push Marketing among marketers being a prominent marketing channel in 2019, Localytics found out that push notifications tend to get a CTR of up to 8.8%.

Since demand generation is an updated objective, you need to use updated channels of distribution as well. So you need to vamp up the old tactic of sending across email newsletters with web push notifications to drive immediate traffic. 

Having said that, you need to understand that there is more that you have to cater to. Simply knowing the right medium for content distribution is not enough. The numero uno rule for content marketing is to keep track of the efforts and how they are doing. 

So how do companies measure content marketing efforts for demand generation?

The most important three metrics that you need to track in order to measure the success of your content marketing campaign for demand generation are 

  • Website traffic
  • Audience Engagement
  • Quality of leads

Better the results on top of the funnel, better are the chances of your content marketing campaign to generate more demand from other areas. This would also indicate that the content has reached a new audience and is being able to create new leads from the lot. 

Although more of a short term metric, as opposed to the above parameters that measure long term goals, you may also consider immediate growth in revenue since 38% of the companies do the same.

Parting words

In the end, you should consider the goal behind the campaigns you run. When it is demand generation via content marketing, you need to be careful about every aspect of it. Since lead generation is more like a subset of demand generation, you must use both to attract new people and then get them ready for the next step of the sales process. You don’t need to choose one over the other. You can use both effectively within your overall marketing strategy.

So what are you still waiting for? Call your marketing team for a meeting and get that content campaign outline running already. Let me know how did that works out for you. All the best!

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Author Info

Frank Kristopoulos has an MBA in Digital Marketing and serves as the content marketing strategist for the online brand He is also an active blogger. In his free time, Spencer likes to read books and travel around the world.