Thanks to lead nurturing, you can turn your leads into customers. There is nothing magical about this promise – it’s just method and a good dose of inventiveness. Lead nurturing is about identifying and growing your prospects to encourage them to buy when they’re ready.
It’s a strategy that can take time and it requires a totally personalized and high-level user experience. This is because most people who visit your website are far from ready to buy.
In B2B, the decision to purchase can take weeks – or even months. Not to mention that many people are involved in the purchasing process. Lead nurturing allows you to intervene at the right time, with the right content, to stay connected with your prospects. And if all goes well, when they’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll be the first on their list.
Step one of Lead Nurturing: Prepare the Ground
Like any strategy, lead generation requires preparation. Before you begin, it’s important to know who to talk to. Who are your targets? Have you created your buyer personas? Do you know what your prospects’ expectations are? Why would they be interested in your offer or your products?
This preliminary work of documentation and research allows you to build solid foundations. This work is based on three levers:
- Share your strategic objectives and your values, and make sure they’re clearly understood.
- Clearly define your key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to measure your return on investment.
- Have the right (internal or external) resources and make sure that everyone is well trained and aligned with the strategy you want to implement.
Then, all you have to do is identify all your contact points. There can be hundreds of ways to access your brand. Social networks, your website, messaging applications, customer support, Google, Yelp or TripAdvisor reviews, Google Play marketplace, Amazon and the AppStore. Listing them is a way of making sure they’re under control and included in your lead generation strategy.
Step Two: Search for and Collect Leads
To get customers who visit your website to spend their money, they first have to go through a whole series of successive steps. The first step, lead gathering, is the most important.
The more leads you have, the higher the chances are that these leads will turn into customers in the days, weeks or months to come according to your schedule.
As part of a good inbound marketing strategy, leads must be able to come directly to you at the moment they decide. Marketers have several online levers for this purpose, including:
- A good natural presence: effective referencing, relevant content, a network of influencers to relay your message…
- A targeted advertising approach: native advertising and display advertising, sponsored research results, advertising on social networks…
- Personalized content: landing pages that are adapted to visitors’ paths, targeted email campaigns, tested and optimized web pages…
Step three: work your leads
Your prospects are sensitive, young, inconsistent, have short attention spans and are surfing from one thing to another on the Internet. They don’t know you very well and may abandon you on the spur of the moment, or because they think one of your actions was inappropriate. So, you need to take care of them. Lead nurturing is like gardening. Your leads are like young shoots that need to be nurtured with care, firmly attached to a stake and planted in fertile soil. In order to do this, you must teach them and educate them, but also inspire them to dream, entertain them and inform them.
You need to find a balanced rhythm of publication. too much information, and you’ll come across as a stalker, not enough information, and you’ll end up being forgotten. The content must be adapted and above all, customized according to the expectations of your segments and according to their places in the conversion funnel. You can’t talk to a young prospect in the same way as you would to someone you’ve been «working» for weeks.
Finally, don’t forget to diversify your content and to adapt your storytelling. There’s a wide choice of communication channels available: emailing, social networks, advertisements, telephone contacts, informal meetings, online demonstrations, videos…
Lead nurturing can occasionally be done manually with some very high-value leads in VIP mode, but most of the time, marketing automation tools will be your greatest allies. By automating basic tasks such as sending emails, these tools let you focus on what you do best – creating value. Also, consider setting up automation scenarios that match the steps in your sales funnel.
Lead nurturing is essential for boosting your online marketing strategy. It’s a customized approach that relies heavily on the relevance of your content and the scripts you’ve written in advance. A winning approach that turns prospects into customers!