Blog

From the Trenches

Getting Started With Demand Generation: Content Required

Will Davis | 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.

Related Posts:

  • Right Source | January 3, 2011

    Guest Post: Practical 2011 Marketing Predictions

    The following is a guest post from Jeremy Victor, CEO and Founder of Make Good Media and Editor In Chief of B2Bbloggers.com. Predictions are always difficult. Most of the time our mind drifts toward the impractical and  tries to find the next Facebook, Twitter, or Apple innovation. But as most of you know finding these […] read more

  • Mike Sweeney | May 6, 2010

    Choose Your Marketing Firm like a Venture Capitalist Chooses Investments

    “I understand your situation and empathize with you. Comparing outsourced marketing options is not an apples to apples game, at least not based on something as simple as a proposal.” Those were my words (or something close to that), spoken to two separate prospective clients this week. Each company is dealing with the same challenge […] read more

  • Will Davis | June 8, 2012

    Is Your Content Ignoring Half of Your Buyers ?

    In a recent marketing assessment we performed for a technology client, we learned the company’s blog hasn’t been as strong a business driver as they would like it to be. Reviewing the past two years of blogging, we found that nearly all of the posts were highly technical—great for CIOs and IT staffers, but what […] read more