According to HubSpot research, businesses whose sales and marketing teams are aligned achieve 208% higher marketing revenue when compared to misaligned teams. Synergy always seems to drive better results than disparate teams working in silos.
When marketing, sales and customer support all work towards shared success metrics, the resulting synergy of efforts can yield big returns. And the benefits are not limited only to teams, marketing specialties can also work in tandem to drive greater holistic results.
Perhaps the best example of where such teams must work together to generate demand is in the development and distribution of content.
Demand Generation and Content Marketing
What is Demand Generation?
In the words of Integrate Director of Business & Customer Operations William Anthony, demand gen “supports the entire marketing and sales cycle, from initial prospect interest…to first sale and cross-sell. Demand generation is in fact key to providing the full-funnel education needed to ensure loyal, profitable customer relationships.”
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Institute (CMI), defines content marketing as a “marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
What’s the Difference?
Demand generation is not just a strategy, but an approach to marketing that involves a comprehensive, full-funnel strategy of many tactics and methods. Content marketing is such a subset. Demand marketers use content marketing to attract the right leads, nurture prospects, close deals and upsell existing customers.
The difference between the two concepts is that a holistic demand generation strategy requires many additional activities that are not strictly content marketing, such as lead processing, nurturing and scoring, event marketing, campaign reporting and program optimization just to name a few.
An effective demand generation strategy may also expand content marketing to include types of content and modes of distribution that aren’t strictly inbound, digital or permission-based. Demand marketers may use paid content syndication to spear-target leads, or promote in-person events with direct mail.
Combining Content Marketing With Other Demand Generation Methods
Using content to support other demand gen activities can create full-funnel demand marketing synergy:
- Expand Audiences With Targeted Content: Invest in the best content syndication partnerships to ensure your cost-per-click is optimized and that the right audiences are getting your content.
- Repurpose Content: One research report has the potential to be repurposed into several different highly-targeted data fact sheets for buyer personas in different professions or industries. Maximize the impact of every piece of content you produce by repurposing it for different channels.
- Retarget Your Prospects With Content: Webinars, case studies and whitepapers are a few strong options for middle-of-funnel (MOFU) prospects. Retargeting the right prospects at the right time and with the right content, keeps them engaged and enhances (it doesn’t replace) lead nurturing efforts.
- Integrate Face-to-Face Insights: Marketers should work closely with sales and customer success pros to gain insights from face-to-face prospect interactions to develop a 360-degree understanding of who they’re targeting. Use those insights to create better, more targeted content prospects care about.
- Segment Precisely: Instead of doing direct mail blasts to an entire industry list, make the shift toward more precise content distribution. Send personalized print case studies or event invitations through direct mail only to those prospect who would directly benefit from the content.
- Support Sales Success: Sales teams want to use your content, but they may need help understanding which of your resources are the best option for prospects at each stage of the funnel. Marketing needs to make it easy for sales to access content – and identify which content to apply with which prospects at specific stages in the sales cycle using sales enablement tools or other helpful technologies.
Amplifying Your Full-Funnel Results
While you can’t do demand generation without quality content, it is technically possible to do content marketing without engaging other aspects of demand generation. When you combine those aspects and make them work together, it dramatically improves the ROI of every content asset you produce.