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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

3 Successful Demand Generation Strategies Your Startup Should Utilize

Updated: Jan 28

Here’s a dare, if you ever want to give yourself a good laugh, ask a few people on the street in a casual conversation what are some of the things they think happens on a daily basis at the average startup. I’m sure you’ll find some of their answers quite comical.

Mostly due in part to the wildly popular HBO hit series, Silicon Valley, many people have a total misconception of what actually occurs on a daily basis at the vast majority of startups.

Here, in the real Silicon Valley, what really takes place at startups is far more chaotic than even the fictional series could dramatize. And while some of the most innovative business ideas are conceived within the chaotic confines of a startup, many founders and managers of startups often tend to overlook many of the salient issues that contribute towards the growth of their business—especially when it comes to marketing.

But regardless of just how innovative, disruptive, or forward-thinking your startup may be, you’re doing your business a huge disservice if you’re not utilizing the following three demand generation strategies.

Adhering to a content marketing calendar

Speaking of Silicon Valley, by far, one of the most beloved books of all-time amongst startup founders in the region, is The Lean Startup, written by author Eric Ries. In the book, Ries details what is known as the “Three A’s of Metrics.”

To meet the criteria, all metrics observed by your startup should be: Actionable (demonstrate a clear cause and effect). Accessible (understanding the information and having access to all relevant data. And audible (ensuring the data is credible to employees).

When it comes to the growth and success of your startup, you’ll have a tough time finding a marketing tool that meets the three A’s of metrics better than compelling content does.

Thanks to the prevalence of the internet and social media apps, consumers are now more distracted than they have ever been. A great way to combat some of the noise that is currently demanding the attention of your target audience is by creating compelling content that is relevant to their needs.

To make sure that happens on a consistent basis, start by creating a content marketing calendar for your startup. A content marketing calendar will help direct and ensure that your startup will publish compelling, consistent, and relevant content for your audience on a regular basis.

“Good content marketing makes a person stop, read, think, and behave differently.” Writes author and content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi in his book, Epic Content Marketing. “What makes content marketing different from simple content is that content marketing must do something for the business. It must inform, engage, or amuse with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

If driving profitable customer action is one of your startup’s objectives, one of the most cost-effective and measurable ways to do so is by creating and adhering to a compelling content marketing calendar.

Conduct Free trials

As marketing professionals, many of us love debating different marketing philosophies and topics amongst each other. Especially topics pertaining to consumer preferences. However, one thing that has never been open for debate when it comes to consumer preferences is the fact that consumers love a good freebie.

Instead of thinking that providing free trials of your products or services as though it’s a bad thing, think of free trials along the lines of being an interactive advertisement for your startup.

The reason why free trials often lead to purchases is because people miss things they once had—after it’s taken away. But in order for something to be taken away from someone, they must experience having it in the first place. Therefore, to avoid losing something that they have come to enjoy, consumers are more prone to purchase it rather than suffer from losing it.

For example, according to the S&P Global Mobility survey, when offered free trials or existing subscriptions, 82% of the survey’s respondents expressed that they would consider purchasing subscription-based services for future new-vehicle purchases.

What ways could your startup provide consumers free trials of its products or services?

Throw events

Demand generation is all about directing attention towards your products or services. One of the best ways to do that is by throwing events for the sole purpose of promoting what your startup sells. This may surprise you, but some of the most popular products in the world today became so thanks to the buzz created from events.

Case in point, today, we all know Apple’s iPhone as being one of the most in-demand products in the world. If you do not own an iPhone yourself, you certainly know someone that does.

A big reason why the iPhone became so popular is because on January 9th, 2007, Apple’s co-founder and late CEO Steve Jobs, introduced the product to the world in grand fashion at one of the most memorable events in tech history. At the Macworld conference in San Francisco, CA, Jobs' presentation made the iPhone the talk of not just the tech world, but the whole world, when he showcased the iPhone’s design and features.

Needless to say, Jobs’ game changing unveiling at the event created the buzz Apple needed to make consumers go absolutely gaga over the iPhone. Like Apple, you can also earn the attention of your startup’s target audience by throwing a swaggy event of your own to introduce your products or services to the world.

Secure a nice event space (preferably in a desirable location) and send personalized press releases inviting media, early adopters, and influencers in your startup’s respective industry to attend your event. The sole purpose of this event is to generate as much attention as possible for your products or services.

Also, be sure to give away as much as possible to those in attendance at your event. Remember, people love bragging to others about the cool things they received for free. Lastly, don’t hesitate to send an invite my way (I’ll even promise to brag to others about it).


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