Demand generation v lead generation

What is the difference between demand generation and lead generation?

Demand generation and lead generation are both vital in creating a long-term digital marketing strategy. They essentially feed off each other. You can’t generate leads if you don’t have demand for your product or service.  Once you generate the demand, you can turn that interest into leads and contacts for your sales team to take action with.

Demand generation (demand gen) takes your potential audience on the buyer’s journey. It creates awareness of your product or service by introducing them to your website, social profiles, and content. It gets them comfortable with who you are and what you have to offer. Demand gen allows the buyer to interact with you without you even knowing about it. 

Potential customers can read your blog posts, scour your social content, and interact with other potential buyers based on the awareness that you are creating and the interest you are generating.

Lead Generation (lead gen) converts that interest into action and activity. In other words, lead-gen is a process that takes your target audience through the funnel on the buyer journey. 

Lead generation campaigns usually kick off with some kind of lead magnet such as:

  • Webinars or virtual event
  • E-Books or Guide-books
  • Complimentary consultation or evaluation
  • Checklist
  • Step by Step instructions

An email address is exchanged for the lead magnet and the potential buyer has now opted into your ecosystem. This is where you get to feed them through your funnel and hand them over to your sales team to convert them into paying customers.

Demand Generation Content is considered Top of Funnel Marketing (TOFU).  This occurs when potential customers are beginning to research a solution to their problem. According to research, 90% of buyers have not made a decision on where to purchase their product/service when they begin their buyer’s journey. 

Creating a robust marketing plan that encompasses all levels of the marketing funnel should be outlined and discussed prior to creating Demand Gen or Lead Gen campaigns. 

Once you have mapped out your campaign, you will want to pre-purpose your content. Thinking ahead of how you will use your content and what platforms it will sit on. If you are creating blogs or videos that are tagged for demand gen, you want to make sure they are free to download and share without asking for any contact information. You can add a CTA to demand gen content but it should say something like: click here to learn more. 

Lead gen content will have a gated asset that can only be accessed by filling out a form. The potential buyer is saying, “I will give you my contact information in exchange for some valuable content.” 

Once in your ecosystem, you can start to nurture these leads via marketing automation. 

Ideas to Create Demand Generation

Creating content that your audience is already searching for is vital for SEO purposes. You can start by typing keywords into Google. When I type in “running shoes near me” and scroll to the bottom of the page, I see the related keywords displayed. You can learn more about improving your SEO here.

Improve your SEO

Demand Gen content would include:

  • Blogs – native or guest posts
  • Podcasts – host or guest host
  • Boosting blogs on social media to your target audience
  • Creating polls on social media
  • Organic social content 

When creating and posting content, you want to think through the purpose of the content. Is it to boost brand awareness and interest in your product or service or is it to generate leads, collect contact information, and convert those potential leads into sales.

Key Takeaways 

  • A Roadmap to a successful lead funnel includes both demand generation and lead generation marketing. 
  • Keyword research is vital in knowing what type of content to create.
  • Pre-planning is essential in knowing what your ultimate goal is.

How Can We Help

Do you need help developing a Demand Generation or Lead Generation Campaign for your business?  We offer marketing automation, training, and execution support for companies wanting to take their digital marketing to the next level.  If you are interested in learning more, sign up for a complimentary initial consultation/discovery meeting. Schedule yours today, and let’s see if we can help.