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Complete Guide on How Great Content Should Be at the Core of Your Demand Gen Strategy

Hi, I’m Cristina Rojas, account manager and content writer at dslx. I had the chance, nay pleasure, of sitting down on a Zoom call with demand gen expert Eduardo Cifre Sanchez. After working at Google and running several businesses, he decided to found DIGITADU, a digital marketing agency in London—so trust me when I say his advice will be what you want to hear. So, I’ve turned our chat into a complete and useful guide for you.

Demand generation makes potential users aware of their needs, and eventually aware of your solution to those needs. Without a strong demand gen strategy, it’d be pretty hard to make any sales in today’s overly-saturated market. Gaining the trust of your ICPs is crucial, and the best way to do that is through great content. 🚨Spoiler alert: we’ll show you exactly how to do that in this article!

Grab your favorite cup and fill it to the brim with your smooth blend of coffee or tea because this is a good one, let’s begin!

TL;DR

  • Great content is essential for gaining the trust of potential customers and should be at the core of your demand gen strategy.
  • Great content is informative, engaging, persuasive, relevant, and well-researched. It should provide value to the reader, capture their attention, persuade them to take action, address their specific needs, and be supported by thorough research.
  • Adding humor, personal experiences, and a human touch can make the content more relatable and memorable, as well as giving it the personality and authenticity that readers need in today’s AI-heavy world.
  • Content plays multiple roles in demand generation, including serving as a lead magnet, building trust and credibility, nurturing leads, and driving traffic and SEO.
  • According to expert Eduardo Cifre Sanchez, the three steps to creating great content for demand generation are: knowing and understanding your target audience, identifying content topics and formats based on audience preferences and keyword research, and developing a content strategy that aligns with the buyer's journey.

What exactly is demand generation?

Demand generation essentially creates demand for your product and pulls customers in. It gets them hungry for your solution, defeating the need for outbound marketing. You might be selling an amazing corporate travel management tool, but if customers don’t know that they need it, you’ll be unnecessarily breaking a sweat trying to sell it. 

Demand generation is not just a top-of-the-funnel strategy, it’s a strategy that will work across your entire sales funnel. Because let’s face it, there are many needs and problems that potential customers face, especially in B2B businesses. 

So, how do you make users aware of their needs? Three words: creating great content. Content is an umbrella term that can mean:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Ebooks
  • Podcasts
  • Landing pages
  • Social media posts
  • Infographics

And any other way you use to communicate your message to users. Through content that reaches your audience, sparks interest, and communicates clearly, you’ll have all the ingredients for effective demand generation. 

Let’s see what great content is and how you can create it. 

What is great content?

Well, put simply, great content is content that readers didn’t know they needed, but now can’t live without it. 

Basic content gets read. Good content gets shared. But great content is content that gets read, shared, talked about, sparks new ideas, and gains the trust of your readers. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It is. And the best part is that it doesn’t take a Nobel Prize writer to create content like that—although a few of us might be expecting that call!

What makes great content truly great?

What makes great content stand out and really impact your readers? What’s the delicious formula we mentioned to effortlessly create great content? Well, let’s get to the answers, enough pondering and imagining our grandma’s delicious cookies. 

🚨 Spoiler alert: you’ll learn why AI might be useful for good writers, but it will never replace great writers. 

Great content has a very specific list of qualities. Those are:

  • Informative: content that doesn’t teach something valuable to the reader will just be internet filler. You want your reader to come out having learned something from your content. Focus on providing value with every word, or second of video you publish. 
  • Engaging: with so much information and distraction out there, competition is fierce for users’ attention. Great content grasps and wins the reader's attention. It’s so engaging that the reader will be happy to invest their time consuming your content instead of switching to their mindless social media scrolling.
  • Persuasive: at the end of the day, you want your audience to take action. Great content needs to be persuasive—here’s a rundown on the five Cialdini’s principles of persuasion
  • Relevant: being relevant when communicating to your audience means speaking to them at their stage and to their needs. To do this you need to understand who the person consuming your content is. In the business world, this is done by creating user personas. These are created by thorough market research and ICP understanding. Here’s a useful guide on user personas we wrote for our client Maze.
  • Well-researched: last but not least, great content is well-researched. This means not blurting out the same information that everyone is putting out there, but actually informing your content through thorough research and expert interviews in order to bring unique-perspective and superior content to the table. After all, you want to win your audience’s trust–right?

You’ll also want to follow E-E-A-T Google guidelines. These are the guidelines that Google uses when ranking content on its search engine. This is crucial because if you’re not ranking on the first page of Google, you’ll have a hard time getting anyone to your content. After all, the first result on Google alone gets 34% of organic traffic.

The E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, all things you’ll be accomplishing by following the list described above. 

Lastly, there’s another aspect that people might forget, and that’s personality. You want to truly connect with your audience and to do that you have to be human—sorry, ChatGPT. When your content uses personality and authenticity, users will read your experiences, follow you, remember you—and hopefully, end up liking you.

When have you ever read a piece of content that had no humor, personality, or humanness and said: “damn, that was an amazing read”? Your users want something they can connect with—something that makes them imagine the person working behind the computer. 

This is something we have embraced here at dslx, by shifting content into first-person perspectives. We want to establish a real relationship with our audience and to do that we’ve put people at the center of our work, both as writers and readers. 

Here’s a guide on how you can use AI and ChatGPT to help you write articles in a smart way

Why is great content essential for demand generation?

You can use content in your demand generation strategy to work as a:

  • Lead magnet
  • Tool for building trust and credibility
  • A way to nurture leads
  • As a means of driving traffic and SEO

Here’s a sweet example of how dslx’s content helped Bonsai get 15K new site visits and 27% more leads in less than 6 months. This proves that great content does have an effect on your bottom line. 

The 3 steps to creating great content for demand gen: according to expert Eduardo Cifre Sanchez

Ok, let’s get to the sauce of the matter. Here are the insights from marketing expert, tried and tested entrepreneur, and demand generation wizard Eduardo Cifre Sanchez. When it comes to creating great content for demand gen he says you need to focus on the following things:

  1. Know and understand your target audience
  2. Identify content topics and formats
  3. Develop a content strategy that aligns with the buyer's journey

Let’s get into the details.

1. Know your target audience

“Always do audience research before you even set up your demand generation strategy. You really have to get to know your audience properly and then you can start the demand generation campaign or strategy. If you have a good business, you'll find the target audience.” — Eduardo

Knowing who you want to direct your content to is the first battle. You will never be writing for everyone. There will be a specific set of characteristics, habits, and problems that your ideal audience will have–and you need to identify and address these. 

For example, writing a teen love story will require certain language, attitudes, and characters—completely different than writing a horror for adults, or a children’s book. It’s exactly the same with every piece of content you create. Doing a webinar that targets CEOs of startups is completely different than a blog for B2B SEO experts. 

dslx's founder, Ray, knows a thing or two about writing for different audiences. Having released a fictional psychological thriller: Golden Boy, Ray also writes regularly for our B2B SaaS clients too! 

So, the first thing you need to do for your demand generation and content strategy is to define who your target audience is. This will make producing content that they want to consume easy, peasy. 

And, for Eduardo, the answer to how to do this comes in three parts: 

  • Sales teams
  • Review pages
  • Tools 

Eduardo explains: 

“Your target audience is that which has a specific need that you can fulfill in the best way for them, right? So how do we define this? 

First of all, I speak to one really important sector in the company and that’s the sales team. Why? Because in the end, the sales team is always in touch with leads and customers–they know them upside down. They know their weaknesses and their strengths more than anyone on the team. They know the problem they have and the solutions they already use–but might not completely love–and why they don’t love them.

In this puzzle of market research, your sales team is talking to customers every single day. So, start talking to them to understand: who you are talking to? What position do they hold? Where are they based? What are the issues they having? Are they using other tools? What do they like and dislike about those tools? What pain points do they want to solve? What age are they? What gender, religion, nationality, etc are they?

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check reviews. Because reviews give you a lot of information. 

I do use tools as well to understand:

  • What type of traffic my competitors are receiving?
  • Where is that traffic located?
  • What type of searchers around some of the keywords are people looking and finding them for?
  • What are the variations of these keywords?
  • What is the search volume of these keywords? By location?”

As Ray Berry, founder of dslx, shared on a LinkedIn post:

2. Identify content topics and formats

Once you have identified your audience, it is important to gain an understanding of the subjects they are interested in, the types of content they prefer, and the specific keywords that align with your expertise and address their needs and challenges. 

The first way you can do this is by conducting keyword research and identifying popular searches related to your area of expertise. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with this: SEMRush, Keyword Explorer, and Hubspot, for example. 

The second is by seeking input from your customer service and sales staff, who have close insights into customer challenges and questions. Ask them about the questions they most frequently get from customers and leads. 

Thirdly, you can look at external forums and review sites like Quora or Reddit to identify relevant topic ideas. This will also help you see the way potential customers talk about their needs, what language they use, and how they phrase their pain points. 

You can also rely on historical data to determine what topics have performed best in the past. If you’ve had a blog for more than six months, you’ll probably have enough data from tools like Google Search Console that tell you which content is ranking best—and with what kind of customer. This is a great place to start if you’ve had your website for a while. 

Finally, the best content comes from identifying something new and useful that has marketing applications and teaching others about it. Once you see how your competitors are doing, what topics they are covering, and what keywords they are using, aim to identify something that they might be missing. N content that offers more information than what people can find with a quick Google search is super valuable. 

Once you’ve done all of this, you’ll have a full checklist of key topics—and the related keywords—and content formats that you know your audience will love and need. 

3. Develop a content strategy that aligns with the buyer's journey

Demand generation is all about creating demand throughout your sales funnel. To do this effectively, you need to build great content for each stage of your buyer’s journey. After all, the star of your content is not your brand, or what you want to say, it’s your user and what they need. 

In order to map your content for your buyer’s journey, there are a few steps you need to follow:

a. Understand user intent

Eduardo explains that understanding your user’s search intent is what should guide your content. 

“Intent is something that characterizes Google. This is so important when it comes to creating content because the intent means people are ready for it.”

Focus on understanding the intent there is from the searches at each step of your buyer’s journey and you’ll be closer to creating the perfect match between your content and what someone needs. 

b. Analyze audience behavior and sentiment

Data always matters. Ensure you understand how your users are interacting with your content at each stage of the funnel. Additionally, never take your ear away from social channels. What are customers, and potential customers, saying on social media about your product and content? 

c. Develop focused buyer personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters you create based on your target audience research. By setting up focused and personalized personas with needs, pain points, jobs-to-be-done, weaknesses, and strengths, you’ll be able to clearly visualize what’s the content that each of your buyer personas needs through their buyer’s journey. 

d. Keep up with the competition

Competitor analysis is something that should not only be done at the start of a demand generation strategy but also throughout. Even once you’ve mapped out your content and created a content calendar for the year, you should always check to see what the competition is doing. 

This is not to copy what they do but to understand what you’re up against and how you can make your content even better for your users. 

e. Understand the B2B Buyer’s Journey Map Framework

You’ve probably already come across a visual like this. It shows the five stages in a buyer’s journey and what you’re trying to achieve with each. Additionally, this one shows the types of content that do best for each stage. Let’s dive a little deeper into each stage:

Awareness

This is the broadest stage with the most content and it’s where buyers are recognizing they have a need or a problem. 

In this stage, you want to show your expertise on the problems that they have and that you speak the same language as them. SEO matters a lot in this stage because most users will be heading to Google with all their questions.

Consideration

In this stage, the funnel is starting to narrow because now you’re left with the people that have the problem you’ve been addressing and talking about. You’ve also connected more with some potential buyers and those are the ones that stay. 

Here, you want to show your solution to your buyer’s pain points and problems. Case studies are a great example of content that starts to make sense now, but didn’t in the awareness stage. 

Decision

At this stage buyers understand the problem they have, and they know the solutions you offer. However, they are deciding whether to go for your solution or that of your competitors. This is the most important moment to show your persuasion skills–remember Cialdini’s principles? Here’s where you’ll be using them the most. 

Additionally, at this stage, you must prove to your potential buyers why your solution is better than the competition’s, so start addressing possible objections they might have or things that are making them unsure to choose you. Here, the information you’ve gathered from your sales team and customers is key. 

Lastly, here you’ll also want to use social proof, and peer recommendations, to back up the claims you’re making about your product and its value. 

Retention & Advocacy

Even after the sale has been finalized, your content efforts don’t stop. After all, you don’t want a bunch of new clients that could be gone the next month, you want to develop life-long relationships with these customers and make them loyal to your product and brand. 

The content during your onboarding process is super important to ensure that your users actually start to use your product right away and learn how it truly delivers everything you had promised during the decision stage. 

Here’s where some guides on how to make the most of your product or service can be useful, or also how to troubleshoot if problems crop up. 

Additionally, product learning never stops, so continue to build your customer's knowledge. If you continue supporting them on their journey you’ll be able to increase retention, upselling opportunities, and overall engagement. Keep building a connection with your customers–don’t abandon them once their money hits your bank account. 

4 Best practices for integrating great content into your demand gen strategy

Now that you know how to make great content and what it needs to do for your audience. Let’s look at some best practices for integrating the great content you’ve created into your demand strategy:

Create a content calendar

It will always be quality over quantity. However, this doesn’t eliminate the need to regularly create new content. Ensure you create a content calendar for each quarter (so you can routinely re-assess your needs and see how things are performing) and make sure you latch on to events and important calendar days. From St. Patrick's Day to SaaS conventions, ensure you’re posting something related to the occasion. 

Develop a distribution strategy

You need to decide how you will distribute your content across the channels you have identified your audience uses. For example, you might use social media to promote your blog posts, or you might use email newsletters to promote your podcast episodes.

Measure and analyze the performance of your content

Always measure how your content is doing, this will be the guide that will tell you if you’re on the right track. 

However, remember that sometimes content can take time to show the results you want. Don’t panic and change your strategy too quickly (especially if you’ve gone through all the steps mentioned above); instead understand the times in which your content KPIs work, and then change accordingly. 

Always optimize content for SEO

SEO is key when it comes to online content. Ensure your website, your posts, webinar write-ups, and any other type of content are SEO optimized. New content is not the only type of content that needs to be optimized, here are five quick SEO wins for optimizing old content

Freddie Chatt on LinkedIn shared a valuable lesson of why paying special attention to your website–and not just your social platforms–is tremendously important:

“Twitter can delete your content. 

TikTok can ban you. 

Facebook can remove your page.

Social platforms can do whatever they want with your content. 

But they cannot touch your website. 

Put much more effort into that.”

Create top-quality content with dslx and achieve your Demand Gen goals 

Great content should be at the core of your demand generation strategy if you want to truly connect with potential customers. Great content coupled with a top-quality demand generation strategy will help your bottom line—today and tomorrow.

Ready to educate your ICPs and make buying your product a no-brainer? At dslx, we’re experts in creating great content that your users want to read—and we have a wealth of knowledge on SEO consultancy to make it rank.

We’re ready when you are! 

guest writer
writer
Cristina Rojas Colloridi
Cristina Rojas Colloridi was the second full-time team member at dslx. She started as a part-time junior content writer and now works as a full-time Account Manager. Born and raised in sunny Colombia, Cris manages many of dslx’s US-time-zoned clients and freelance writers. Cris has achieved a Brazilian Jiujitsu silver medal, an open water swimming gold medal, and a half-marathon personal record—it’s hard to say which moves quicker: Cris’ legs or typing fingers!

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