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Lead Generation

Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation

Our guess is, you’ve probably come across Demand generation vs. Lead generation before now. 

Either way, these terms sound alike, and you’re probably trying to convince yourself they’re the same thing. Or just some sales jargon that doesn’t matter- except on paper. Right?

The truth is, they share certain similarities but they are distinct in particular ways. While lead generation is a more common term in prospecting, demand generation is the forerunner that goes forth to wet the soil and attract the audience before the sales process can occur.

Now that we have your attention let’s take you through the definitions, strategies, and differences in demand and lead generation.


Let’s dive right in.

What is Demand Generation?

People at a table having a meeting

Like we said earlier, demand generation is the first step of prospecting. And it involves introducing your business or company’s goods and services to the public; to create awareness and demand, draw your target audience, establish trust, and become a thought leader in your niche.

Demand generation requires you to go forth and preach your good works through effective and consistent content marketing. Through the following channels:

  • Blog posts or articles
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasts
  • Viral contents
  • Videos
  • Resource pages
  • Infographics
  • Press releases
  • Free tools

At this point, there’s no need to ask for their contact information because these contents are all provided for free, and as such, they require free access. The ultimate goal is to create a relationship between you and your target audience to attract potential buyers. Demand generates creates an opportunity to get feedback from customers and learn how they react to your products and services. 

Next on the plate is demand generation strategies, and our guess is, you’ve been doing them, right?

Well, let’s find out if you’ve been doing them the right way.

Six Most Effective Demand Generation Strategies

Hands pointing out data.

These are simple ways to bring your marketing skills to life and get your audience to trust you. And these strategies include:

  • Engaging on social media
  • Creating SEO-driven blog posts
  • Creating guest posts on leading blogs in your niche
  • Advertising on similar blogs/websites
  • Running viral contests
  • Creating industry expert roundups

Leverage social media

Social media has proven to be a modern market place for all and sundry. And if you wish to create brand awareness, Social media platforms should be your first port of call. 

You can share valuable posts, video contents, and viral content on platforms like; Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Instagram, etc. 

Create a brand page, share posts and insights around the products and services you offer, follow other thought leaders in your niche, attract prospects, build trust and relationships, and you’d be surprised how easy it would be to sell to them when you’re ready.

Create SEO-Driven Blog Posts.

After social media, it is time to create blog posts that rank for valuable search phrases that generate leads. This is the best way to boost organic traffic and your website’s search ranking. Most people trust businesses that rank high on google.

Create Guest Posts on Top Blogs In Your Niche.

Connect with other brands in your niche, and offer to create blog posts for them. For example, write valuable posts on B2B marketing and share them on Sales Hacker, Forbes, Business to Community, and their likes. 

This is a fast and easy way to reach your target audience and establish domain expertise. Just make sure to leave a link to your website on the posts to drive traffic and improve search engine ranking.

Advertise on similar Blogs/Websites.

Purchase ad slots, or invest in sponsored posts and email slots from popular brands in your niche. Popular brands already have a large viewership from your target audience. You can leverage that to generate traffic to your website as well.

Run Viral Contests. 

Create viral contests that involve completing challenges to win a prize. An excellent way to start is on social media platforms. 

Get the contestants to share your link and invite more people to follow your page. Ultimately, the contestant with the highest likes or referrals gets the prize, which would help you generate traffic and attract more prospects with little or no efforts.

Create Industry Expert Roundups.

Creating posts on quotes and interviews with famous experts in your industry can help your brand gain trust and credibility as fast as possible. 

Here are actionable tips on how to drive traffic through expert roundups.

In other words, you can liken demand generation to the steps taken by a farmer to get his farm ready for cultivation. You know, clear the bushes, wet the soil, dig the ridges, and all that? 

All these strategies are ways to warm up your audience before the actual sales process. So, if you’ve been doing all of that, it’s time to get down to cultivation; Lead generation.

What is Lead Generation?

Child covering his face with question marks.

Continuing with the farming analogy, lead generation is the cultivation process. It is the part of prospecting that has to do with planting the seeds and eventually fuelling them to germination.

Lead generation has to do with qualifying your prospects to leads. That is, converting your audience to potential buyers. 

Lead generation also involves effective content marketing, but this time around, the content is usually gated. This means leads have to provide their contact details before they can access the contents. 

Types of lead generation contents include;

  • Upgraded contents like (eBooks, PDF articles, newsletters, cheat sheets, whitepaper, etc.)
  • Email Subscriptions.
  • Courses.
  • Product Demos.
  • Free-Trials.

Seven Proven Lead Generation Strategies to Grow Your Business.

Lead generation can be easier than you think if done right. The following strategies could help you generate leads and move your prospects up your sales funnel as fast as possible. And they Include:

  • Leveraging AI
  • Creating Content Upgrades
  • Online surveys 
  • Hosting webinars with experts in the industry
  • Viral contests
  • Creating courses
  • Run paid ads

Leveraging AI For Lead Generation.

If you’re not making use of Artificial Intelligence for lead generation, you’re fighting an uphill battle. Before you can generate leads from your target audience, you need to find them. And one way to do that is with SalesFinder.

SalesFinder is a SaaS tool used by a team of industry experts to help you build a targeted lead list without scraping websites or Linkedin. With SalesFinder, there would be no need to worry about how to find qualified leads anymore.

Creating Upgraded Contents.

Instead of just writing a blog post, you can add links for your audience to access a content upgrade of articles around your products and services or articles that address their pain areas. These can be in the form of an eBook, a PDF file of similar blog posts, a checklist, a step-by-step guide, or a cheat sheet in exchange for their emails or contact information.

Most prospects will readily share their contact information once you’ve captured their attention by giving them options to access a piece of juicier and more in-depth information on their areas of interest.

Run an online survey

One easy way to gain access to your audience’s contact details and prospects is by running online surveys. Ask them for feedback on your product, services, and areas they want to improve.

That way, they can share their thoughts and also leave their contact details. You can use this information to create profiles for your qualified prospects.

Host a Webinar With Industry Experts

Hosting webinars with experts in your niche can be another way to cut to the lead generation’s chase. Like we said earlier, emotions and sentiments mostly influence people’s buying decisions.

Hosting a webinar with notable industry experts is an excellent way to gather contact details from your audience. They would be excited to attend those webinars and hear from the mouths of the giants. Signing up with their details is nothing compared to that excitement.

Run Viral Contests 

Unlike the viral contests used in demand generation, which does not need collecting contact information, in lead generation, you can create viral contests and social media challenges to get the contestant’s referrals to sign up with their details to vote their favorites.

You can use the information gathered for effective email marketing and generate traffic to your website and social media pages. 

Creating Courses 

As an industry expert, you can channel your skills and experience into creating courses on areas that seem like an uphill task for your target audience. The courses could be free or paid, online or offline. Which could also serve as a way to generate leads for your products and services. 

The truth is, your audience will be willing to part with their details and also pay for those courses, especially if they trust your judgment. This would be easy to achieve if you’ve been consistently sharing actionable insights and updates on the appropriate channels.

Run Paid Ads

Ads are a way to generate massive traffic to your website. It’s a more convenient means to generate leads by creating awareness of your business or its products and services that promise to address the target audience’s needs. Ads are effective at sparking their interest and getting leads who want to know more about your offer.

Ads can run on search engines, social media platforms, and websites, and reach a wider audience. They also contain links to point your audience to your website landing page or social media profile, and you can use the details they would provide to reach out to them and convince them to buy from you. 

Phew! Finally! 

What next?         

Similarities and Differences of Demand Generation and Lead Generation?

 Two winding snowy paths, one more twisted than the other, ultimately going to the same place.

You’ve seen the definition and strategies of demand and lead generation, but you can’t stop asking:

  • Are they different?
  • But, I’ve been implementing all these strategies. Do I have to bother about the terms?

While they share similar characteristics, you will also agree that they have different peculiarities as well. And it’s good you know how they differ and implement them effectively for a more successful sales process.

Demand generation uses marketing strategies, social media marketing, content marketing (mostly free content), etc. to create brand awareness and establish trust between your business and your audience. Lead generation uses gated content and other marketing strategies to gather contact information to help you move your prospects from potential customers to actual buyers. 

Furthermore, demand generation strategies can be classified under inbound lead generation tactics, while lead generation relies on outbound lead generation tactics.  

In summary

We are sure you are ready to get the ball rolling by now that you have the strategies to put in place to build your pipeline and fuel your sales funnel.

However, always remember that demand generation and lead generation work hand in hand. And for your marketing and sales strategy to be effective, you have to do that with the combined efforts of your demand and lead generation strategies. 

You can go through our article on prospecting to get your hands on other tactics that you could use to improve your sales process. Here are several other demand and lead generation strategies that can help boost your marketing strategy. 

Always remember that you can depend on us to help you build targeted lead lists at SalesFinder.

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