Getting Started With Demand Generation: Content Required

May 8, 2015 •

Getting Started With Demand Generation Content Required

How much content do we need to produce before we can just get started? What pieces do I have to create to make this work? And when will I start to see traction on all of this content?

These are some of the most common questions I hear when speaking with folks about planning a demand generation-focused marketing approach that is anchored by content.

Quick definition — Wikipedia says that demand generation is the stimulation and nurturing of awareness and interest in your company’s products (or services), with the goal of generating a strong (and qualified) sales pipeline. And while the stimulation and nurturing part of the definition implies that demand generation is a combination of inbound and outbound activities, those activities will not produce the desired results without a heavy dose of content.

But how do you know exactly which content pieces would work best, how many you need, and how you should use them?

Let’s pretend your company is starting out fresh, or starting with a new offering, and you haven’t created or published much, if any, buyer-focused content. You have a bit of work to do if you want the whole process to succeed. Here is some insight on what types of content you’ll need to get started with a new demand gen program.

Anchor content

With anchor content (and really all types of content), your needs will vary based on a variety of factors, including the number of campaigns/messages, types of products/services, and how many buyer types you are trying to address. If you’re just starting out, though, I would recommend you begin by considering a couple buyer types and their challenges, this way you can address more than one segment of the market right out of the gates.

Once you’ve identified those buyer types and their challenges, settle on at least one key topic, and create a main piece of content to anchor that topic (guide, eBook, white paper, etc.). These larger educational pieces can serve as the focus of your campaigns, and as the call to action for your other surrounding pieces of content. Additionally, in many cases, you might want to gate these larger resources behind a form in order to capture some information on unknown suspects.

Current content tally:

  • 1 large anchor piece

Base-level content — bottom up or top down?

With your key topic now in mind, I recommend going one of two ways to create your next content pieces:

Bottom up — Create a number of smaller pieces of content like blog posts or checklists to then weave together into that larger piece of content referenced above.

Top down — Create the larger piece of content and then “break it apart” into sub-topics as blog posts, checklists, infographics, etc.

You now have a foundation of content to get you close to a launch.

Current content tally:

  • 1 large anchor piece
  • 4-6 blog posts/checklists/other small content pieces

Nurture content

We talked a bit about nurture programs in our previous blog post as a way to help your sales team keep prospects warm utilizing marketing automation. To form the core of your email drip/nurture, you’ll want a series of emails leveraging your best content from the list above, as well as content from outside sources. Likely, you’ll have a series of unique drip programs over time, but in this case let’s start with at least one.

Additionally, you’ll want to take the content you are already creating (blog posts/checklists/etc.) and wrap it into a regular email newsletter to stay in front of your audience. Because you will have already produced the content for this newsletter, your primary challenges are ensuring that you build a polished (and mobile friendly) design template and setting up and delivering the email through a reputable email service provider.

Current content tally:

  • 1 large anchor piece
  • 4-6 blog posts/checklists/other small content pieces
  • 1 drip email program of 5-7 touches
  • 1 monthly email newsletter leveraging your best content

Hit the ground running

Outlined above is merely the starting point for the content you need to launch an effective demand generation program. Combine this content production effort with a comprehensive demand generation plan and the appropriate marketing automation tool, and you’ll be off to a solid start.

Remember, though: effective marketing is not a one-time event, but rather a series of events — like the best musicians, athletes, or artists, effective marketers commit to ongoing practice, testing, training, and tweaking with marketing campaigns.

Want some help with the creation of your demand generation plan or all of that required content? We can help.

About the Author

As Right Source’s chief marketing technology officer, Will Davis oversees the intersection of marketing strategy, consulting, execution and technology for our clients. He focuses first on business objectives and then on helping clients leverage marketing and technology to deliver against those objectives. A recognized leader in content marketing, Will has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in government and politics and broad experience developing marketing strategies that help organizations reach milestones and grow. You can find Will on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn, or read his other posts.

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