Lead nurturing is the process of engaging with your prospects and encouraging them towards becoming a customer. For marketers, it means connecting with your leads in a timely, efficient and targeted manner in order to build relationships and establish trust.
Where traditional outbound marketing approaches bombard leads with interruptive messages such as broadcast emails and cold calling, inbound marketing emphasises the importance of taking a more human approach to B2B marketing. In turn, this benefits businesses in the long-term.
The basis of inbound marketing is therefore about providing value to your clients and leads with interactions that are beneficial for them. For your lead nurturing campaign, this means your focus must be reaching out to prospects with content that resonates with them.
So, where should you begin?
At its core, there are five main steps to any successful lead nurturing strategy.
- Set a goal
Firstly, it’s important to realise exactly what you want to achieve with your lead nurturing campaign and set specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals so that you can measure your progress.
- Select personas
Determine who the ideal contacts are that you will be trying to reach. Use your buyer personas to understand more about this audience, including what their pain points are and how you can tailor your messaging for them.
- Create content
Brainstorm what kinds of focussed content you can create that will be specific to these personas. Check if you can re-purpose any of your existing assets for this campaign, such as free content like ebooks, webinars and blog posts.
- Identify a timeline
The best way to keep your leads engaged is by reaching them with the right content at the right time. Target your leads with content that will resonate with them based on their previous interactions with your company, and their stage in the buyer’s journey. Marketing platforms like HubSpot enable you to set up triggered processes, such as sending a relevant follow-up email after they download a resource on your website, or after they’ve interacted with your ChatBot for the first time.
- Measure and improve
Finally, select metrics that tie into your SMART goals, keep track of these, and work out where you can improve. Keep experimenting with your material, from reaching out with different email subject lines, to different types of call to actions in your blogs. There is always something you could be improving on as a marketer!
Combining these five core steps, a winning lead nurture strategy is also timely, efficient and targeted. Here’s what that means…
Being timely means reaching out to leads appropriate to where they are in the buyer’s journey. In the vast majority of cases, a first-time visitor to your website is not ready to commit to the product or service you offer. Instead, they’re looking for content you can provide to help them in their initial research about their problem. Keeping up the conversation with your prospects throughout the buyer’s journey and letting leads take their natural course is key, rather than forcing the sale before they are ready.
When thinking about the efficiency of your team, the benefit of having a good CRM platform on hand cannot be underestimated. Platforms like HubSpot can automate processes to ensure a timely follow up, and be used to store all of the information about your contact, such as their name, contact history, email information etc.
Finally, being targeted in your lead nurturing efforts is essential. You must consider your different types of contacts in your CRM (whether they’re a lead, a new or existing customer), and target them with engaging content that is relevant to their point in the buyer’s journey. There’s no use in sending out broadcast emails to the same list over and over again, without ascertaining who it would resonate with, and alienating certain prospects as a result. The buyers of today want to be educated, supported and guided through the buying process, instead of being sold to, and so being targeted in your approach is now more important than ever.
Following the five steps we have outlined above, as well as making sure your lead nurturing strategy is timely, efficient and targeted, is sure to help you provide a helpful, human and holistic experience to anyone who interacts with your company, bringing you success time and time again.
You can learn more about optimising your inbound marketing here!
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