Whom do you nurture? It’s a simple question really yet the answer to that can change the entire outcome of your lead nurturing process. Many companies think, the more the merrier. No. You have to think about quality, not quantity.
So how does lead nurturing work? Here’s the basic process in a nutshell:
Your leads are obtained through various lead sources: Events, direct mail, websites, advertisements etc.
Define and understand your ideal customer profile: who are they, what do they value, what channels of interaction do they prefer and when are they most likely to see your message?
Segment your leads: Exclude unqualified leads, handover sales-ready leads to your sales department and start nurturing qualified leads
Message development: The only way to build and maintain your relationship with your qualified leads is to provide interactive and relevant information to them at appropriate intervals. And match the type of profile to the preferable channels for distributing your messages.
Different messages at different stages of buying cycles:
Early stage (Capture) – Stay-in-touch campaigns that provide regular relevant content to educate and build trust for your company
Middle stage (Strengthen) – Lead lifecycle campaigns that ensure movement and interaction with your prospects
Later stage (Sales-focused) – Campaigns that provide relevant nudges based on specific lead characteristics or sales updates
When your leads are ready for the sale, they are pushed to the sales team. A way to decide this is through lead scoring. It measures the level of interest and sales readiness of a lead and once the score reaches a certain threshold, it would be transferred to the sales team.
Evaluation: Sometimes if leads are still not ready for sales, they are recycled back to the relevant stage after evaluation. Find out why they are not sales-ready and adjust your approach.
Increasingly, many companies are jumping onto the social media bandwagon; however, it is not a ‘sure-win’ tactic. Here’s what you should prepare before undertaking any social media campaign or endeavour:
Establish your objectives clearly before starting.
Know your customers: Where are they? What kind of interaction platforms should you use to interact with them?
Map your influences: determine and isolate who are the significant voices in social media. (Not only should they have a huge amount of followers, they are most certainly thought leaders of the industry they are in)
Listen to your prospects: There are lots of great ‘listening’ tools available, some are even free. Choose what works best for your needs and objectives and start tuning in to your prospects.
Set up an Engagement Framework: How should you respond when your customer says this or this? It is better to have a ‘to-do’ list rather than have the usual run-of-the-mill social media policy that is just focused on what not-to-do scenarios.
The way of marketing has changed and has adapted with the times. Prospects are now attracted to companies who regularly provide information to them. Content marketing is the crucial element of B2B marketing. It provides the context in social media and engages your prospects even when they are not buying your product, especially in an arena like B2B that has an extended buying cycle.
As mentioned above, content also matters when it comes to Lead Nurturing. You need to ensure that the right content is given to the right people at the right time i.e. mapping your content.
Marketers have always been aware that handling B2B Enterprise Marketing does not exactly entail applying the same methods as for B2C. But if we understand these three pillars better and learn to capitalize on them, then your B2B marketing campaigns could be just as successful.
Do you feel the same way about lead nurturing, social media and content marketing? Tell us now what you think!