Demand Generation vs Lead Generation for B2B

To develop a long-term digital marketing strategy, demand generation and lead generation are both necessary. They feed off of one another. If there is no demand for your product or service, you won’t be able to create leads. Once you’ve generated interest, you may convert it into leads and contacts for your sales staff to follow up on.

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation: The Difference

It’s tempting to mix up demand generation and lead generation, but this isn’t a good idea.

Lead generation focuses on converting prospects into qualified leads who can be nurtured into paying customers, whereas demand generation focuses on brand recognition and product education.

Although lead generation falls under the demand generation umbrella, it is a distinct and distinct aspect of the process that entails converting the buzz and enthusiasm for your products and services into money.

But I’d want to delve a little deeper.

Let’s take a look at each one individually.

What is demand generation?

Demand Generation

At its most basic level, demand generation refers to all marketing actions that promote your company’s products or services. Demand generation activities can help your company enter new markets, introduce new product features, generate buzz, gain press coverage, and re-engage existing consumers.

If you take it literally, you could assume it’s only about generating some nebulous, unquantifiable curiosity.

In truth, demand generation entails a lot more. It’s more than a one-time fix, a banner ad, or an email blast.

Throughout the conversion optimization and sales processes, demand creation tactics are touchpoints.

It’s a long-term commitment.

Demand generation is a purposeful commitment to building long-term consumer connections. It might be an ebook, a newsletter, SEO-friendly material, thought leadership, or expert interviews.

Demand Generation Tactics Examples

B2B prospects, like B2C prospects, socialize and gather information on a variety of venues. It comes as no surprise. Every single one of us is a human.

You mustn’t limit your demand generation efforts to one or two channels.

Having a diverse selection of shops guarantees that you’ll be present wherever your ideal customer visits, either directly or indirectly via retargeting.

Let’s look at a few options.

SEO-driven content

A strong on-page and off-page SEO strategy integrated with your demand generation efforts will certainly enhance your rankings, attract more visits, and establish authority with prospects who are just starting their buyer’s journey ā€“ what we call top-of-funnel prospects.

Maintaining first-page search engine results for your most valuable keywords requires a lot of work and effort, but it can develop trust before a prospect even visits your website.

Trust, on the other hand, is priceless.

Customers that have faith in your company will find you trustworthy and desire to do business with you. As a result, there will be more advocacy, loyalty, and engagement. It establishes the tone for your company.

To keep your hard-won high search rankings, build your content strategy around your most critical keywords.

Free trials, freemium subscriptions, and demos

Consider offering your audience a sneak glimpse into your product or service once you’ve raised awareness and educated them.

Consider how many times you’ve taken advantage of a free trial, a freemium subscription, or a demo.

This method is especially vital if your product is valuable or if you’re a newcomer to the market.

Demand generation is difficult in both cases because prospects are unsure if the investment is worthwhile. Offering free trials and demos are excellent demand generation strategies in this regard.

In reality, major players like HubSpot still provide free trials. It’s a terrific way to nurture prospects with instructional emails during the trial period, making them feel appreciated while also informing them about your product’s best features.

Guest posts

If you want to create authority, guest posting is a fantastic method. It will allow you to get in front of more potential customers while also showcasing your expertise in their field of interest.

Remember how I stated that trust is priceless?

Building relationships with high-authority sites and publishing content on their platforms, on the other hand, aids readers in the awareness stage in becoming more familiar with and trusting your work, bringing them closer to becoming a lead and then a buyer.

But there’s one thing I’d like to be clear about.

The purpose of guest writing is to grow your brand, not to earn links. Google’s own John Mueller has stated as much. It leads to artificial links, which you don’t want.

Ad campaigns, retargeting, and lookalike audiences

I’d like to call attention to paid ad campaigns in particular.

Paid promotion is essential for attracting individuals of your target audience who are unfamiliar with you or do not follow you.

You’ve probably advertised on large platforms like Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn if you’ve been working on your marketing methods for a while. If not, it’s time to reconsider.

And what about remarketing? That’s a completely different ballgame.

When it comes to demand generation, remarketing is critical since it raises awareness and discreetly prompts prior customers and visitors to return.

You can upload your audience list to your ad platform, for example, and target folks who abandoned their basket before checking out.

With a smart targeting technique like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience, LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audience, or Google’s Similar Audiences, you can even go a step further.

It’s clever since it allows you to reach a larger audience, one that shares certain qualities with your current consumers and most engaged followers.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your company and piquing their interest through nurturing, with the ultimate goal of converting them into paying customers.

Consider job postings, blog entries, coupons, events, and a variety of other internet content. The results of your lead generation efforts.

Lead generation is a strategy for luring prospects in with enough freebies to pique their interest in your products or services and gradually warm up to the point where they want to hear from you.

There is a slew of options available to you.

In the end, the one that works best for you is determined by the overall goal of your campaign.

Lead Generation Tactics Examples

Lead generation content is frequently more in-depth and suited to the specific demands of the individual consumer than demand generation content. This is particularly true in B2B lead generation.

I prefer to think of it as content generated with the pain points of your ideal customer profile in mind.

Gated content

This content on your site is content that can only be accessed or downloaded when a user or visitor fills out a form with personal information.

Typically, your sales team receives this information. But that’s not what I’m interested in discussing here.

Gated content is an excellent approach to collect critical information about your site’s visitors, such as email addresses, titles, company names, and phone numbers.

A “lead magnet” is another term for this form of content marketing.

So, in exchange for giving up this extremely essential information, your lead now has access to your infographics, case studies, newsletters, videos, and whatever else you want.

I must emphasize the importance of keeping in mind that visitors will be looking for something specific and worthwhile.

Failure to do so is the fastest way to destroy the hard-won trust we discussed previously.

Ebooks, reports, and other downloadables

These resources are frequently included as gated content, but because of their relevance, I wanted to address them separately.

Downloadable resources such as ebooks, papers, and other educational information can be quite useful in conveying thought leadership and guiding readers through the deliberation stage.

These materials usually delve much deeper into a topic discussed in a piece of demand gen content.

Again, these resources should not be treated as elevator pitches.

You can’t get away with plastering it on anymore since today’s readers are too clever at sniffing out sales pitches. If people get the impression that the entire text is geared to sell them a service, they’ll be put off right away.

The finest materials strike a balance between being both informative and convincing.

Someone interested in your content isn’t always a lead. Make sure you address their concerns and utilize objective data to demonstrate that your brand is trustworthy and concerned about their well-being.


Webinars, podcasts, and other live events

There’s no getting around it: generating dynamic content is essential to the success of your lead generation strategy.

Think beyond copywriting when I say “dynamic.”

Audio and video material, such as webinars and podcasts, are not only accessible but also simply digested and enable you to use the power of human interaction.

It’s a great approach to strengthen your relationship with clients during the contemplation and decision stages of the funnel, and you can continue to nurture them after they sign up.

For example, you may create a webinar to address key aspects of a prospect’s problem, leading to more comprehensive support in the form of a paid resource, freemium feature, or sign up.

Demand Generation vs Lead Generation by metrics

You must track many data points to determine the ROI of your demand generation or lead generation operations.

This means that you need to look at more than just downloads. For example, how do you know if a certain ebook was read by the intended audience or if it prompted them to act?

You can use certain metrics and KPIs to track how well a certain campaign performed. They’ll assist you in deconstructing each of your acquisition and referral channels so you can obtain a complete picture of your inbound generation results.

Here’s a list of ways to track demand generation and lead generation campaign performance, albeit it’s by no means comprehensive.

Demand generation metrics:

  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): This is the measurement of the cost of acquiring a single paying customer via a certain campaign or channel.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): This is used to estimate how much money a single consumer will bring in throughout their lifetime.
  • Close rate per channel: This assists you to figure out how many of your prospects and leads from each channel convert into customers.

Lead generation metrics:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click your call to action (CTA) on an ad, link, email, landing page, or another medium.
  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of leads who take a certain action on an ad, email, landing page, or another marketing medium. Subscriptions, downloads, clicks, and purchases are all examples of goals you might set.
  • Time to conversion: This is the amount of time it takes for your buyer to complete critical conversion phases in their journey. This measure is quite useful for determining the length of your sales cycle.

How to Prepare Your Demand Generation and Lead Generation to Succeed

Demand generation and lead generation are critical marketing strategies, particularly in B2B.

You can’t generate leads effectively and sustainably unless you’re also generating demand, and demand has no value if it can’t be converted into leads.

Both must work together to provide a healthy pipeline and healthy conversion.

On top of that, Iā€™m glad we got a chance to make this distinction. Understanding the differences in your marketing plan can enable you to generate more qualified leads that convert to revenue at a lesser cost.

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