Many marketing teams try to attract new leads with a content strategy, creating different types of content that speaks to their prospective clients on subjects relevant to them. What they often forget to do, once this content is online, is to create a lead nurturing strategy in order to have a conversation with those prospects and convert them into customers.
You still have to build a relationship with your leads that is strong enough to support them until their purchase. By practising lead nurturing, you can feed your leads with personalised content to guide them towards the desired action.
1. Create premium content to qualify your leads
High-level content is always going to be an important draw for your prospects. It allows them to engage with your site, rather than viewing and simply leaving without saying who they are, and it means that they are beginning their conversation with you.
Create content that can be downloaded, whether it is a whitepaper, webinars, kits and so on. At Plezi, we then give different content scores, so that as leads consume more content, their scoring increases until our sales team are alerted that there is an marketing-qualified lead (MQL) that is ready to be contacted.
2. Understand your lead’s journey
It is important to understand which content you have that will be relevant to your prospects at each stage of the lead’s journey on your site. You need to create the right conditions for your leads to engage with you. By educating your cold leads, you start to build trust and show you are listening to them, then you can move onto identifying hot leads and what their interest is.
Once you get to the stage of qualification, you need to make sure your sales and marketing teams are closely aligned. But nurturing doesn’t stop there – even when they are a customer you need to keep them engaged, often with content that helps them get the most benefit from your product or service.
3. Set targets for your campaigns
The idea of lead nurturing is to capture your prospect’s interest and guide them to the point of sale. Right? But don’t forget that it also serves to do several other things:
- Start a relationship with your new leads
- Advance leads to a sale
- Re-engage disengaged leads
- Reinforce your brand message
- Create trust with your prospective customers
What is essential in each case is to have a detailed understanding of the sales funnel and the kind of statistics you can expect. Lead nurturing will help increase that conversion rate.
4. Define which content to include in your lead nurturing
“Lead nurturing is scary. It’s complicated to implement and to maintain. I don’t have enough content.” False.
This is the case if you start to get into creating complicated workflows. But you can do it without. With Plezi, for example, our Smart Campaigns mean that with only a few pieces of content, you can drip-feed your leads personalised messages based on their interests and where they are in the buying funnel, and the software will choose what to send for you.
It will also give you an insight into what types of content you may be missing or need to improve, as you start to see what kind of engagement you get throughout the funnel.
5. Create specific workflows
It is very complicated to predict the buying cycle. That’s why we created Smart Campaigns so that you can let the automation do the hard work while you concentrate on other things. However, part of marketing’s job is to speed up the buying cycle and convert more cold leads to hot leads.
In those instances, workflows can be useful in helping a prospect make their decision.
An example? A prospect’s visit to a customer review page can trigger a workflow that will email a video of a similar customer, depending on the information gathered about them. If they watch this video, it will send a notification to the sales rep asking them to call the prospect back.
6. Create lead nurturing emails
At a certain point in a lead’s journey, we also send specific emails based on their prior behaviour within our Smart Campaigns. For example, after a lead has attained a certain score (20 points), we send them an email inviting them to download a whitepaper.
The aim of this is to identify leads that are likely to progress to the next stage.
- If the contact downloads the white paper, they enter a new workflow: ‘qualify’.
- If they don’t download the content, a follow-up email is planned one week later with a different trigger.
- If they still don’t download the white paper, they are returned to the previous stage: ‘Educate’.
And step 7? Well, it’s impossible to go through everything in detail here. In order to really understand how best to put in place a lead nurturing strategy, download our white paper and discover all the best practices.
John Hughes is a business developer at Plezi for the UK.