Marketers create markets.
This is the heart of our work. When we really excel in our jobs, we create a demand where there is little or nothing at all.
Perhaps the best example is the Apple iPhone. Nobody knew they needed an iPhone in 2007, when Steve Jobs appeared on the scene and introduced the revolutionary device to a puzzled audience. In fact, Apple did not even understand the demand it created .
"We present today three revolutionary products," said Steve at the beginning of the iPhone. He then explained how the new widescreen iPod, the revolutionary mobile phone and the new "Internet communicator" were all contained in one device. The audience had no idea how to react. Apple managed to create a market where none existed.
But the creation of markets is not simply linked to the introduction of revolutionary new products. Leading marketers can differentiate themselves in a crowded market to create a competitive advantage and a niche for their brand. Think about the HubSpot software company. In 2006, the market for email marketing automation software was cluttered – and growing larger. HubSpot created the demand differently . He invented a new category of digital marketing – calling him "incoming" – and has carved out a prime spot on the enterprise software market.
Great marketing makes the markets.
Generation of demand or identification of demand
In many cases, businesses struggle to generate new demand. In today's noisy and fragmented digital world reaching out to potential customers is an overwhelming task. The pressure to achieve short-term goals and measure efforts to use valuable content to generate new demand seems harder than ever. The increasing complexity of the buyer's journey, combined with the highly competitive and noisy market of ideas, makes it difficult to differentiate your solutions, let alone educate prospects on new things.
However, the creation of demand is perhaps the most critical need for today's businesses. Marketers must continue to create more opportunities to support the growth strategies of their businesses. Is it any wonder that many marketers are redoubling their efforts to find people who are already asking for their products, services or solutions?
Most demand generation strategies are considered demand identification programs. Marketing teams are working hard to optimize the content experience based on search terms and questions, as well as being ever more different, persuasive and fast, if you raise your hand to say "I'm interested ".
Although this approach is important, the results inevitably lessen with time. The Total Addressable Market (TAM), aware of the nature of the challenge, will be exhausted. Any marketing effort focused solely on identifying existing demand will inevitably go from extraordinary to average to low.
From the point of view of content marketing, how do you go from poor to medium to extraordinary? How can you consider content marketing as something that can differentiate your approach from demand generation and produce more demonstrable results for your marketing efforts?
We sought to determine the current state of demand creation in content marketing and to determine how to improve it.
5 Ways Content Marketers Can Maximize Demand Generation Efforts
To explore this concept, the CMI research team conducted a survey to determine how marketers are using content marketing to generate demand. The Resulting Market Briefing, Using Content Marketing to Generate Demand, Creating a New Public Sponsored by ScribbleLive Urges Content Marketers to Establish Value their efforts in demand generation.
Here are five steps to take based on key findings.
1. Use content marketing at all stages of the funnel, not just at the top
Nearly all surveyed said they used content marketing to generate buyer demand at all stages of of purchase, but the activities at the top of the Funnel tend to be their main objective, as indicated by these questions and answers. Answers:
Main reason to use content marketing to generate demand? Generate prospects / potential customers at the top of the funnel (87%)
Buyer's travel stage where the organization makes the most of the marketing by the content used to generate demand? Early stage – awareness / interest (51%)
Half of marketers state that the early stage of the funnel is where org receives the most value via @CMIContent #research. Click to Tweet
Main metric used to measure the impact of content marketing on demand creation? Traffic on the website (67%)
Most effective type of content for the purpose of the application? Blog posts / articles at the beginning of the buyer's journey (notoriety / interest) (73%)
However, it is worth noting that half of the respondents also created content in 2018 for the deeper parts of the funnel. Many content marketers also focused on the center (29%) and the bottom of the funnel (21%), where the potential interest is converted into a customer.
To paraphrase the great comedian Jerry Seinfeld, it is not enough to attract the attention of a new perspective. You must hold it too. These results suggest that it is impossible to generate a successful application by simply creating content for the top of the funnel. The success stems from connecting content-driven experiences deeper into the funnel – the interest and education of the new perspective are maintained throughout the journey.
2. Experimenting with different types of content at different stages of the buyer's journey
Interviewees stated that blog articles were the most effective type of content used at an early stage, intermediate-level white papers, and advanced case studies. In-person events were the only type rated for equal effectiveness at all stages. Some types of content work well at the top of the funnel, although that does not stop them from working in the final stages.
Your mileage will vary depending on the type of content and the best success. Stop thinking that content types are only appropriate for one leg of the journey . Experiment with the very structure of these types of content. For example, a case study can work wonderfully at the top of the funnel if it is structured more like an element of awareness. A white paper can convince a client if it is more focused on the implications of the change. The key is not to start with the form and apply it to the funnel. Instead, start with the article (or the value of the content) and apply several outputs to that content. Then test like the dickens.
3. First Goals, then Appropriate Steps to Accurately Track the Effectiveness of Your Content Marketing at All Stages of Demand-Generated Funnel
In our study, the three main measures used by marketers to measure the impact of their content are mainly vanity measures associated with higher levels of the funnel ( traffic on the website [67%] public engagement [58%] and quantity of mines [57%]).
Profitability indicators such as traffic, engagement and number of leads are as important as indicators of how you will progress toward your goals. For example, if your overall goal is truly to generate new demand, a measurable goal might be to generate x% of leads from a new audience or in a new region. In this scenario, more traffic, engagement, and prospects may not be good news if they are not associated with your goals. Design your plan of action to help you achieve your goals in the short and long term.
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4. Make sure your personas are well documented to get the best results
Respondents were asked if they segmented their demand-creation activities per person and less than half (46%) said yes. However, another 35% said that they plan to do it.
Personas offer exceptional structure and knowledge to attract the most valuable visitors, prospects and customers to your business. Remember, however, the public figures and the personalities of the buyer are different.
Of course, buyers are the ones who have discovered that a solution like yours could be what they need. In short: the request has been generated. Audiences are those who ignore that they have a need or desire, or that a solution even exists. If you focus on demand generation, you may be better served by focusing on public figures.
Discover other ways to develop personalities targeted on an audience . The bottom line is that you need personalities to help you provide the most relevant and useful content to your audience.
And that brings us to …
5. Create audiences, not prospects
The majority (58%) of respondents reported using Content Marketing successfully to generate demand (consistent with our annual business-to-business marketing study of  ).
Marketers seeking to better use content marketing to generate demand should make the acquisition of the audience an essential goal of creating value for their business.
This approach requires marketers to look beyond simple indicators such as website visits, engagement and even the number of leads, and be willing to experiment with different types of content and their use. by the public.
The public can bring more value than prospects or buyers. These are assets that can offer many benefits to the business – and demand-driven programs powered by content marketing can be the solution to create these assets.
The public does marketing
In the end, if you want to be seen as an excellent marketer, your point of view will be in the context of the market you are leading. As my friend Joe Pulizzi so wisely declared: "Nobody ever claims to be the fifth best on his market."
The great promise of content marketing is to create an audience. And the public can bring more value than prospects or buyers. Yes, some of them will become an identified application. They become prospects, opportunities and buyers.
However, most of them will not – not in the short term. But that does not mean they are worthless. Audiences are not just potential buyers, they are useful for generating new demand and giving insight to be continually better.
In summary, audiences are not just potential buyers today, they are markets ready to be manufactured tomorrow. In the short term, audiences are business benefits because they allow you to share and recommend the value of your approach and be more effective in reaching their networks. In the long run, audiences are the demand you can create.
Marketers create markets. Not only do they identify the demand, but they generate it as well. That's exactly what content marketing that builds an audience can do.
Get more information and poll results; download Using content marketing to generate demand, create new audiences today.
Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute