What is lead nurturing?

, 5 June 2018

Lead nurturing is the phase that comes after the obtention of your first prospects: lead generation. It’s associated with any good content marketing strategy and remains a core component of inbound marketing. Leads don’t become clients automatically and so easily. Indeed, the conversion of a prospect into a client is often only feasible through an effective lead nurturing strategy. But what does this term cover?

Definition and objectives of lead nurturing

The main role of lead nurturing is to develop relationships with prospects. The goal is to cultivate and build trust with them so that they ultimately become customers. Maintaining the link is essential, and for that, what better than to bring content adapted to the lead’s buying journey and category? Indeed, having all your new leads handled directly by your sales teams is not the best idea. It’s best to wait and strengthen engagement with them until they become “ripe” and reach the last stage of the buying funnel: the purchase.

Lead nurturing must bring the prospect to make a purchase. For this purpose, cooperation between the marketing department and sales people is essential. (Photo credit: Moose Photos, Pexels)

Therefore, the other objective is to create a shorter, faster purchasing process, but not only that as it also covers a higher conversion rate and a better return on investment (ROI). With the Internet and social networks, most of the process now happens without even having contact with a rep. Indeed, the lead is much more autonomous than before. Lead nurturing can be associated with maintaining the customer relationship and reinforcing it.

Influencer marketing is already essential for lead generation campaigns. But it can be equally useful for the next step: lead nurturing. Carrying out lead nurturing involves owning content or creating some that is dedicated to the technique. Indeed, it’s important to design content that can meet the expectations and questions of your target: it’s with the content that the prospect will be able to form an opinion.

The content must be adapted to your target and conveyed well at each stage of lead management. (Photo credit: Rawpixel, Pexels)

Strategies and techniques of lead nurturing

It’s often futile to want to cover and deal with all profiles. It’s better to concentrate the maximum effort on your target group. Therefore it’s necessary to use segmentation and selection: this is what’s called lead scoring. To do this, you must first define your persona, that is your ideal fictional client. From there, you can categorize all leads using as much data as you were able to collect.

You then need to diversify your content and distribution channels (emailing, newsletters, social networks, sponsored articles, videos, native advertising and display, etc.). Owning a company blog helps inform the lead and position yourself as an expert in a field which increases credibility. It may be necessary to involve influencers and your brand ambassadors to persuade your prospects. In addition, storytelling is also proving to be an effective technique for creating engagement and building trust with leads while promoting understanding of your offerings.

Storytelling is a good technique to better understand your services and products while strengthening the commitment of leads. (Photo credit: Rawpixel, Unsplash)

Lastly, we must find a balanced publication schedule. An email should not be considered intrusive, which therefore requires the definition of the number of messages and the sending frequency for both emailing and other channels (social media). Don’t forget to communicate your content according to the phases and stages where the leads are at and to personalize your approach. To maximize your lead nurturing campaign, you can use marketing automation tools. These software tools are useful to better customize and facilitate the management of your prospects by automating, in particular, simple tasks such as sending emails.

Earned media must fully play its role in this process. Indeed, opinions, customer comments and testimonials cannot be neglected on the Internet, especially in the last phase which is that of the prospect’s decision. Lastly, it’s primarily the quality of your content that will determine the success of your lead nurturing strategy as well as effective teamwork with your company’s sales department.

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