What is demand generation and how can it bring you high-quality leads? Improve your demand generation strategy and generate more awareness for your sales campaigns by recognizing false assumptions and correcting them.
In this article:
- How To Distribute Your Content to Your Intended Customers
- The Dangers of False Assumptions
- False Assumption No. 1: Content Is Viral
- Marketing Principle No. 1: Divert a River
- False Assumption No. 2: Our Buyers Aren’t Online
- Marketing Principle No. 2: Swim With the Sharks
- Time to Start Doing
Making Demand Generation Marketing Effective
How To Distribute Your Content to Your Intended Customers
In the early ‘80s, John Saltas was a bartender with a journalism degree and an intriguing perspective on Salt Lake City’s local culture.
So, it came as no surprise when he decided to start his own alternative newspaper, now known as “City Weekly.”
But Saltas soon learned that cranking out high-quality journalism wasn’t enough. Compelling content didn’t matter unless somebody read it.
His free weekly newspaper didn’t have any subscribers. He didn’t enjoy the luxury of delivering each new edition straight to his readers’ porches, as his competitors at the big dailies did.
So, like other scrappy alternative publications, Saltas had to rely on a more creative distribution strategy.
He had to find local business owners who were willing to give him shelf space in their restaurants, coffee shops, pool halls, pubs, tattoo parlors, and nail salons.
Without their cooperation, his award-winning journalism would never have reached its audience – and his prized newspaper would have failed.
Your demand generation team faces the exact same challenge Saltas embraced at his alternative newsweekly 30 years ago:
How can you get your content in front of enough people without overpaying for distribution?
It’s the one crucial question that will make or break you, that will mean the difference between success and failure.
The Dangers of False Assumptions
Everybody’s creating content these days – including Jimmy Buffett, Warren Buffett, and whoever wrote the original lyrics to “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop.”
Heck, you’re probably creating content, too. If you’re like most modern marketing teams, you spend a significant amount of money, time, and effort on developing content that will matter to your buyers.
But after you create it, where do you put it?
Most marketers either fail to deliver their content to their target audience or overspend on promotion.
It’s not their fault really; they’ve just built their content marketing efforts on false assumptions.
False Assumption No. 1: Content Is Viral
Content is viral, right? It spreads on its own, doesn’t it? All we have to do is publish something on our blog, and tweet out a link, and it will instantly travel to all corners of the Internet.
Life would be so much simpler if this were true.
You should strive to create content that is so compelling and valuable that your audience will want to share it. But if you don’t have a strong distribution strategy in place, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Base your distribution strategy on sound marketing principles and improve your demand generation tactics.
Marketing Principle No. 1: Divert a River
Ken Krogue, XANT president and founder, loves to share his favorite marketing principle:
Divert a river, don’t dig a well.
Simply put, it means that you should tap into existing sources of traffic rather than attempting to develop a new source.
Here’s how it works:
XANT performed keyword research, using the Google Keyword Planner, and discovered that “predictive dialer” generates 1,000 U.S. searches on Google every month.
We also noticed that the suggested Google bid on the “predictive dialer” keyword phrase was $97.91, which means people who search for that term are often looking to buy dialer software.
So, we started using the phrase “Predictive 2.0” and bought Google ads, even though we don’t sell an old-school predictive dialer.
Once we tapped into this existing river of traffic and directed people searching for predictive dialers to our website, we explained why our cloud-based XANT is actually more effective than a traditional predictive dialer.
This move paid off handsomely, as many of these visitors converted into happy XANT customers. But they never would have found us if we hadn’t diverted the “predictive dialer” traffic to our site with some creative content marketing.
We’ve applied this same principle to “cold calling” by strategically placing this popular keyword phrase in the titles of our webinars and ebooks and in our email subject lines.
In fact, we tested two email subject lines for the same webinar:
- Social Selling Strategies in 2014
- Cold Calling Using LinkedIn
Feast your eyeballs on the results:
Another powerful way to divert a river is to place your content on popular blogs, social media pages, and websites that already command a lot of relevant traffic. Some of these sites will allow you to link back to your own site, which is an excellent way to attract new visitors to your blog posts.
This is your chance to steal a page from John Saltas’ book, where he drops off big stacks of newspapers at busy bus stops and coffee shops. You just have to find the digital equivalents.
Which rivers of traffic already exist in your niche? How can you tap into them to deliver your content to your target audience in a cost-effective way?
False Assumption No. 2: Our Buyers Aren’t Online
Many marketers delude themselves into believing that their content is not successful because they are cursed to work in an industry full of old fogies who refuse to use the Internet, or social media, for that matter. I hate to break it to you, but my dad is on Facebook. Sometimes, he will actually call me to discuss one of my Facebook updates.
“Dad, you don’t call about Facebook,” I have to remind him.
He doesn’t quite get it, but he is still using the Internet. And so are your buyers.
If you’re having trouble finding them, refocus your efforts on proven marketing principles.
Marketing Principle No. 2: Swim With the Sharks
Another technique Ken Krogue likes to use is called “swimming with the sharks.” The concept is simple: You find a big brand or influencer – a shark – that generates a lot of interest, and you swim alongside it.
Just by associating your content and your brand with a bigger, more well-known shark, you earn trust and exposure with new audiences you would never reach on your own.
I like to call this marketing strategy the Ronald McDonald principle because you will always have a friend wearing big, red shoes. Never forget that.
Here’s how it works:
XANT identified more than 80 of the world’s top influencers in sales and marketing and brought them all together in one huge virtual event. They all shared their best content on a single day in the world’s largest virtual summit for sales leaders.
Aside from being highly educational – and a lot of fun – it cemented XANT’s status as the industry leader in sales acceleration technology. All of the influencers’ brands boosted our brand by association.
We also brought in more than 33,700 registrations for our appointment-setting team in business development to generate leads. In your organization, you might call this team sales development, but it serves the same function.
How can you collaborate with big brands and influencers in your space to improve your content distribution?
Time to Start Doing
This article isn’t designed to give you all the answers. Its purpose is to teach you proven marketing principles and get you thinking about how you can use these principles in your own content and demand generation programs.
Now, it’s your turn to put these ideas into action. Remember, content without distribution is useless.
John Saltas had to persuade a lot of local business owners to display his content before his business model made sense. But once he did, he established a cost-effective way to share his ideas with the world.
A well-executed demand generation strategy can help you achieve short and long-term success in your business. We hope this guide on demand generation marketing has helped you understand more on how this can help you bring in qualified leads and raise awareness for your company.
Discover how to convert more of your leads into sales. Read the free ebook below.
Free eBook: The Art of Cold Calling and the Science of Contact Ratios
Gain access to cold calling best practices from industry experts Ken Krogue and Kraig Kleeman.
How can you improve your content distribution to meet your demand generation goals?
Up Next: How to Align Sales and Marketing
Feature Image Photo by Steve Jurvetson
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 13, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.