Starting at the bottom of the marketing funnel is the most logical place to dive into digital marketing. Many industry professionals, however, will come to realize that the buyer journey is non-linear and, over time, the existing demand won’t be enough.
In a competitive market, businesses will inevitably have to rethink their tactics once they’ve satisfied the existing search demand. Moving up the funnel could be your best bet for expanding your audience and finding a sustainable way to generate leads.
Demand Fulfillment vs. Demand Generation
Demand fulfillment has one simple goal – meet customers’ needs in the form of a product or service. Demand can be the buyer’s desire to solve a problem, realize a goal, or alleviate a concern. The key factor here is that the audience already knows they have a problem and actively explores and compares solutions.
When it comes to fulfilling these demands, paid search delivers the fastest return on investment. While PPC can sustain your brand for years, if you operate in an industry with low entry barriers, it’s more than likely that competitors will eventually undercut your margins, and your CPCs will get higher.
If you feel like you may be facing a race to zero margins soon, it might be time to consider going higher up the marketing funnel. After demand fulfillment is met with your search ads, the next growth frontier is demand generation.
Demand generation strives to create new demand for a business’ products or services. Paired with a strong growth marketing strategy, it can help expand your market up the funnel while engaging, educating, and nurturing new prospects.
How to Create Demand
A solid demand generation marketing strategy should educate prospects along their journey to becoming customers. It should point out a challenge that the audience is facing and show them how to assess the available solutions.
Often, the first step to generating demand is to identify people in your addressable audience who may not be looking for solutions yet but are likely to be receptive to your marketing messaging.
Here are a few tactics to consider when building demand generation strategies:
- Target users with adjacent intent and educate users on how your solution is complementary to what they are looking for.
- Target users with qualifying intent. If your solution works on specific platforms only or on specific software, you can address audiences that are already using these platforms/software and start the journey from there.
- Provide a free go-to tool or resource that solves a problem for them.
- Invest in top-of-the-funnel informational content and guest blogging
- Offer a free report or statistic about your industry.
- Use a lead magnet (e.g. exclusive access to content, e-book, or checklist)
Generating Demand for New Products
Demand generation campaigns can be especially challenging for SaaS trailblazers or new category creators. If your business offers something nobody else does, chances are that – while you have limited competition – your product’s keyword volume is low as well.
To get started with generating demand for products with low keyword search volume, consider this SaaS growth marketing formula. An impressive example of what it can achieve for the bottom line is Arcade – a cutting-edge music software developed by Output.
In just 2 years, Arcade has scaled from 0 to 100 000 SaaS customers by targeting mid-funnel audiences with adjacent search intent, educating and generating demand through video advertising, and capturing leads down-funnel with branded terms.
Getting Started With Demand Generation Strategies
Essentially, demand fulfillment and demand generation should both be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy. To successfully create demand, it’s crucial to learn how your business can efficiently create and distribute content to your target audience.
For more tips on what to do when you hit the ceiling and satisfy the search demand, check out Nathan Latka’s podcast featuring Hop Online’s founder Paris Childress.