Leads are the lifeblood of your business. Your lead nurturing strategy should incorporate ways to attract their attention and pique their interest, then nurture those leads over time into paying customers.
Prospective buyers are all in various stages of the buyer’s journey. On average, 50% of the leads you garner are not ready to buy. However, generating quality leads and maintaining their interest is critical for savvy marketing personnel. While the majority of leads will never become sales, research shows that companies see an average 20% increase in sales from nurtured versus non-nurtured leads. Nurtured leads also generate larger purchases.
Here are some of the best ways you can nurture your B2B leads.
Create targeted content
Your potential customers are not homogenous, so their needs and interests are not likely to be satisfied with a “one size fits all” product. You need to differentiate your marketing content to indicate that you understand their interests and marketing triggers. Using targeted content to attract and nurture leads helps you reach a variety of markets and tailor your follow-up to meet their particular interests.
Develop different content for different channels to reach different markets
Your website is home base for content. It is where most prospects will go to find out about your firm. Experts suggest marketers use strong landing pages tied to your various markets and a resource center with a blog or other educational material for those wanting to learn more. However, you need to drive them to the website in the first place.
Content marketing that targets different demographics via different social networks can also effectively generate leads. The trick is nurturing their interest with repeated postings featuring information they are likely to be seeking.
This also involves creating content that guides your leads through the buyer journey. They should be able to search and find information that keeps your firm or services top of mind as they move down the funnel. Your content should take them from awareness to consideration to becoming a customer. That could mean articles on addressing a particular problem, best ways to solve it, how to decide on a vendor or which product to buy. Each stage requires different content that speaks to the concerns of your prospective customers.
Conduct timely follow-up
Determining when and how often to follow up with prospects is not easy. In today’s 24/7 society timing is critical. In 2011, a Harvard Business Review study showed that only 37% of companies responded to inquiries within one hour, most within minutes. The study also showed that average response time for B2B firms was 42 hours.
Following up on the HBR study, the founder of an inbound marketing and sales firm tested the value of a five-minute response time for inbound leads. He reported that sales increased six times as a result and their sales lifecycle dropped significantly.
Use personalized email marketing
Email marketing debuted more than two decades ago, before the proliferation of social networks, yet it is still one of the most effective push communications tools for lead and sales generation. It is in use by 82% of B2B companies and reportedly generates an ROI over 4,000%.
The most effective email campaigns today use marketing automation to send highly targeted and personalized emails to leads. Personalized emails generate up to six times more revenue than non-personalized emails. There are numerous ways you can personalize your lead nurturing emails based on how someone accessed your information, what content they clicked on, and more.
Score your leads
While all leads require follow up, differentiating your best leads and prioritizing them for follow-up allows your staff to make more efficient use of their time. Using a quantitative approach to rank inbound contacts is an effective tactic for improving lead nurturing and subsequent conversions. Recently, some marketers shifted from traditional lead scoring to more predictive methodologies. In traditional lead scoring, leads are ranked using explicit data, like industry, location and revenue, as well as implicit ones, such as content interaction. Predictive lead scoring mines other data and uses algorithms to determine the most qualified leads. There are challenges in the new approach, but it is proving to be effective for some.
Make sure your sales and marketing goals are aligned
Misalignment between your sales and marketing personnel can hamper lead nurturing. Successful partnerships have been shown to generate 32% more revenue. The marketing campaign piques the prospect’s interest, but sales needs to nurture that lead and convert it. Both are critical parts of the customer journey.Nurturing leads takes effort and a well-thought-out content strategy. Demand Works Media helps companies syndicate content to the relevant target audience and generate leads. Their advance personalization, predictive targeting and other tools for lead generation. For more information on using content for B2B lead nurturing, contact us, email [email protected] or call (312) 204-7275.