The primary goal of an inbound marketing strategy is to promote business growth by implementing the right digital marketing strategies to increase lead generation. But what happens once you have successfully generated these qualified leads? How do you keep your target audience interested, invested, and engaged with your brand?
You must utilize all the tools at your disposal to lead them down the path to becoming paying customers. This is done through lead nurturing, the final step in an inbound marketing strategy, and a crucial process for B2B companies.
What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is the strategic engagement of potential leads. But it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Roughly 65% of companies list lead nurturing as a major challenge.
It is important to remember that producing quality, relevant content is the heart of a B2B lead nurturing strategy. This is what attracts potential leads and keeps them engaged with your website, social channels, and overall brand. To achieve an increased level of engagement, you must continue to provide the content your leads want, at exactly the right time, to influence their conversion from marketing lead to sales lead.
Why is lead nurturing important?
If only generating sales were as simple as driving traffic to your website. In reality, the process is much more complex. In fact, 96% of visitors to your website are not ready to make an immediate purchase.
Even if they leave their contact information, 73% of these visitors are still not ready to buy. These jaw-dropping statistics aren’t meant to disway you. It’s meant to inspire you to implement the right B2B lead nurturing strategy. This strategy is how you build brand loyalty and distribute content that educates leads on the benefits of engaging with your brand. It is how you establish trust, which will encourage these leads to choose you.
Now that you understand why lead nurturing is important, it’s time to explore the best ways to turn potential leads into loyal customers.
4 Steps to Implement a Lead Nurturing Strategy that Engages your Leads and Fills Your Sales Pipeline
These 5 steps will ensure that your B2B lead nurturing strategy will continuously engage your marketing leads and prepare them for conversations with your eager sales team.
1. Understand Your Audiences
The best way to engage your new leads is to understand what pain points they are looking to alleviate through utilizing your product or service. Ask yourself these questions to help determine their motivation:
- What is their buyer persona?
- How engaged are they with your brand?
- What challenges are they trying to overcome?
- When are they looking to make a final decision
This information will not only help you determine motivation, but will give you insight into where each lead is in their buyer journey. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can create segmented lists to ensure you are implementing the right brand engagement strategy for the right lead.
2. Produce and Distribute Quality Content
Producing quality content goes hand-in-hand with understanding your audience. This is how you offer your leads content that speaks directly to their situations and challenges. And it is well worth the time. Providing relevant content to users through their buyer’s journey can result in over 70% higher rates of conversion.
Once you’ve completed the list segmentation process, take inventory of your existing content to determine what is most relevant to each audience per their pain points. Through this process you will determine your content caps, allowing you to develop an enhanced content strategy. This strategy should include consistent production of relevant content for each target audience.
Remember, producing quality content is not a stagnant process. It needs to be a fluid system, ebbing and flowing to each potential lead’s needs. And you must produce content that provides solutions to the challenges these leads are experiencing today. This will position you as both a trusted resource for potential customers, and an innovative thought-leader in your industry.
3. Engage Across Various Marketing Channels
Gone are the days when email was the sole tool utilized to nurture leads. Now, B2B marketers have an array of options when it comes to lead nurturing. Consistency is key when it comes to multi-channel engagement, so make sure your messaging translates across each platform.
- Marketing Automation: Who has the time to manually distribute content to thousands of qualified leads? Marketing automation is a fantastic tool that can reduce the time and resources you need to distribute content. In fact, marketing automation can increase qualified leads by a whopping 451%.
- Email marketing: Email is a highly effective way to engage your target audience. Which is why it is no surprise that this is one of the most popular ways to nurture leads. In fact, 89% of marketers use email as their primary lead nurturing ch
- Social media marketing: Connecting your lead nurturing efforts on social media is a great way to continue engagement efforts outside of your website. With 4.62 billion people around the world utilizing social media, it’s safe to say you will find your leads there. The key to utilizing social media for lead nurturing is to ensure that you are placing your messaging on the right social platforms.
- Paid retargeting: In recent years, paid retargeting campaigns have become a popular and extremely effective way to nurture leads. You can utilize this marketing channel to distribute specific messaging to leads that have already engaged with your brand, via your website or social.
4. Embrace Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a strategy that encourages B2B marketing and sales teams to combine forces. To effectively implement this strategy, you want to determine which audience the lead belongs to, where they are in the buyer’s journey and their level of engagement with your brand. Once you have defined these specific criteria, you can assign numerical values to leads based on their interaction throughout the lead nurturing process.
Once your lead scoring strategy is developed and implemented, be sure to set an engagement threshold that determines when each lead is ready to be converted. Remember, the goal of your lead nurturing strategy is to move leads through the marketing funnel and deliver them to your sales team. Lead scoring allows you to do this when the lead is at their peak level of engagement.