How to Target a Demand Generation Audience vs. a Nurturing Series
A basic marketing funnel includes three phases: demand generation, lead nurturing and sales. It's like a person who decides to go skydiving. They initially have an interest in extreme sports and dangerous activities; followed by generating an interest in potentially going themselves; finally they choose the company that suits them best and jump out of the plan. Just like in this skydiving example, you wouldn't use the same type of advertising message in each of these phases. Moving customers through the funnel represents the challenging part–marketers need to alter their content in order to specifically target the correct audience and guide them through the entire funnel.
The first step in this process is to develop content geared towards the demand generation audience—a broad audience composed of people who have expressed some type of interest in your content. That being said, hammering your specific product and all the precise details of it isn’t the ideal tactic for this group of people. Instead, slowly guide them into understanding your company and your product. Back to the skydiving example, you wouldn't want to jump out of a plane without a parachute or any preparation, would you? This phase is like prepping the prospect by providing general information about skydiving and finding a way for them to trust you enough to jump out of a plane with you.
When designing a webinar targeted towards the demand generation, it is important to focus on thought leadership and best practices for whatever topic you are presenting on. If you say your webinar is about how to promote a webinar, then your webinar should be about ways to promote a webinar. Of course mention your company and offer a place at the end for customers to learn more about your company, but absolutely do not change the topic when the audience is not expecting it. You will lose an audience twice as fast as it took you to gain it. It is important to create a trust factor with your audience. If they like your content, even though it is not about your product, they will continue to come back to watch more of your webinars. Overtime they will trust you, and when they are ready to learn more about your specific product, they will make that move themselves. That trust factor will lead them to believe that you are an actual expert on the topic and not just another sales person. Without honing your product down their throats and actually focusing on other topics that interest them, you will not only seem trustworthy, but also like an expert on the topic. Believe me, if they trust your information and find your content worth their while, they will keep coming back to listen to different webinars.
The goal of content designed specifically for a demand generation audience is to stimulate conversation among people and to set up awareness for your product. Through this process, you will position yourself as the subject matter expert. You have the knowledge that others need, so why not use this opportunity to address common challenges people deal with and give them advice? Consider this: if a random person on the street asked you to jump out of a plane with them, would you do it? How about if a skydiving professional befriended you and answered any questions you have about skydiving without forcing their company on you? This example may be a little extreme, but seriously who would you rather jump out of the plane with?
Once prospects trust you and develop a need for your product, they will progress on to the next stage of the marketing funnel—the nurturing series. This audience is much more segmented and narrow, which gives you the opportunity to advertise your product in a more obvious way. Patience really is a virtue. Now is the time to show off your company’s accomplishments through customer examples, case studies, etc. Your webinar language can become more sophisticated with a diction that relates directly to your products and services. At this point in the process, you are seated at the skydiving office of your newly found friend who previously helped you with all of your challenges. They are currently explaining their specific skydiving equipment and sharing previous customer experiences with you.
Keeping your company top of mind for your prospects since they are now interested in the type of product you sell represents a prominent goal for a nurture series. A good trick to help prospects keep your company at the top of their minds is to create multiple recording clips and separately distribute them over a long period of time to a nurture series. This is the time for you to look at detailed attributes of your webinar registrants and compose tracks specifically marketed for them. Potential customers now not only know you, but are interested in your product. Absolutely do not let them forget about you. They may come to the conclusion that another company’s product suits their needs more proficiently, but that’s okay, it will happen. However, you have all the power to stay in their evoked set—whatever you do, do not be forgotten.
Following the lead nurturing series, sales will take the reins and try to close the deal. In order for sales to close a deal, they need qualified leads—those leads come from you and your marketing team. Give them customers they can work with—give them the people who want to jump out of the plane, potentially with your company, not the person who is terrified of heights.
Always remember, that webinars are not one size fits all. There are different phases of a marketing funnel that prospects pass through, and those phases should be treated and advertised to accordingly. Keep in mind which phase of the buying cycle your listeners are in and target them appropriately with content that is relevant for them.
To learn more about the differences in targeting demand gen compared to a nurturing series check out our webinar clip: “Demand Gen vs. Nurturing Series.”
For the full webinar, check out our slide deck: From Demand Generation to Making the Sale.
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