Everybody is familiar with social media and social media is driven by content. The types of content you would share will influence not only your success on social media networks but on how social media helps with your business goals in general. Different types of content serve different purposes and audiences. Every business should be choosing the right content towards their organizational goals. It is within this principle that makes the distinction between demand and lead generation. Two widely confused marketing that are ever so important.

The difference of both is not totally defined, but in all actuality, it is really simple as the words themselves. Demand generation is marketing operation that creates a demand for or interest in your product or service. Lead generation in the other hand, is utilized to get specific information about potential consumes and turning them into sales leads.

“These terms are often used interchangeably by B2B marketers,” according to Eric Witt lake. “The result is a single content marketing program that is expected to both deliver leads and drive demand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.”

With distinct purposes, these two marketing operations need to be done in different ways. Specific approaches to content are much better suited to each function.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation in general is mostly dependant on gated content. Content is promoted and advertised to a very wide network of people often on social media networks. Anybody who shows interest is driven to a targeted landing page, registration or fills out a form in order to gain access to your content. Those who show casual interest in your offering will not even bother. The small portion of the people that were reached will be willing to exchange their information for the content offered with them knowing that they will make them a target of your own sales campaigns. These interested audiences will likely to believe the content will or might help them somehow, or are otherwise passionate about the subject matter. As a result, this gate helps taking out unlikely buyers while providing your sales teams with more qualified leads.

Lead generation is then more suitable to very detailed content. Often people would expect a little more if they areforced to fill out a form, which is why e-books, white papers, and other forms of long-form content are commonly used for lead generation. Webinars and panels are also common forms of lead generation content, as people expect to register for these types of events.

Content for Demand Generation

Demand generation tends to focus more on brand positioning and brand awareness. In order to raise awareness,you would want to remove all barriers between people and your content – the total opposite of gated content.Content that suites this model will have a very wide appeal to the masses. Content like, videos, lists, blog posts and accessible resources are all forms that suit demand generation. These types of content are often known as inbound marketing activities. This type of content generally performs better than their lead generation counterparts on social media.

The goal of demand generation is not immediate but is focused more on the long term shift of perception. Search engine optimization can also serve a big role in this process. Blogs posts and websites that rank high will give an immediate place your business on top of the minds of anyone who is actively seeking out a specific subject matter related to your business.

It is clear that lead generation and demand generation requires a totally different different approach to content but they are not mutually exclusive. There can be an overlap depending on your approach and there should not be a choice in which to utilize between the two.