Blog

Lead Generation and Nurturing

Aug 2022

Lead Generation

We’ve talked about attracting more potential ‘right customers’ to your website but how do you separate the leads from the visitors?

Using content offers or gated content will help you distinguish the people who are really interested in your services from casual browsers.

B2B sales cycles can be long, from a few months or even years. Why not make sure you are talking to the right people now by creating irresistible content for the early stage of their buying journeys?

A content offer is a foundational piece of content – typically a guide, whitepaper, free audit, or tool - you would promote with the aim of encouraging people to cross the anonymity threshold to reveal their name and disclose contact information such as their email address.

Nobody likes to hand over their email address if they believe that their inbox will be full of spammy, promotional rubbish for weeks afterward.

For this reason, it pays to build trust by providing real value, before asking for an email address.

Handing over your email address is something nobody does lightly. It has to be a win/win for both parties. In order to feel safe crossing the anonymity threshold your prospect must feel that the value your content offer contains is significant and trust that you will not become a pest as a result.

Creating high-quality content for your content offer is time-consuming.

Once this investment is made, promoting your content offer is critical.

It's an Investment

Once this investment is made, promoting your content offer is critical.
If your content offer is a whitepaper that can be downloaded from a landing page, then the whitepaper can be advertised, promoted by email or broken down into several smaller blog posts (samples that lead to a landing page for the opportunity to download more).
These blog posts can in turn be promoted by social media posts in LinkedIn, Facebook Twitter, or any other relevant platform.

 

Lead Nuturing

You are extremely unlikely to find a prospect who wants to buy the first time that they speak to you.

We have already identified that we must work to separate leads from random website visitors, but every lead will be in a different place when they contact you. Some will be further along their buying journey than others.

You may employ people to follow up leads manually but how do they know how close to becoming a customer each lead really is?

Unless they have modern technology at their disposal, the answer is almost certainly “They don’t”. The adverts people respond to, the social media posts they read, how they behave on your website, the blogs they read, the emails they open (and the emails they don’t), the links they click on all give you clues about how far through their journey they are and what information they might find useful next.

If your salespeople don’t have this information they can’t know what each lead needs to move closer to becoming a customer.

They are selling blind.

Legacy CRM systems are often completely disconnected from all of this information. They rely on a human to interrogate a customer and record the information they get back – something salespeople are notoriously bad at.

This kind of thinking comes from an old-fashioned paradigm – a time before buyers used the internet to research as heavily as they do now.

As a result, it is fairly typical to have a huge array of marketing tools, each providing a small part of the information required and no single system being able to take advantage of all of the information.

With marketing automation, you can use automated systems and strategic follow-up to nurture the leads without the fear of losing touch. You can also do it without having to rely on a salesperson to remember to follow up.

A marketing automation system will know if a prospect opened an email, if they visited a landing page, if they downloaded a whitepaper (and if they didn’t).

Customised strategies can be triggered automatically by these actions. If someone’s behaviour makes it clear they are interested in a specific product, you can deliver a follow-up campaign tailored to that product without requiring an employee to remember to do it.

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Once the automation is set up, lead nurturing systems can run unattended while you can focus on other aspects of your business or marketing. When your lead shows signs that their interest is deepening or that they have self-educated to the point where a conversation would be appropriate, your lead nurturing system can identify that behaviour and schedule a call for a salesperson to follow up this warm, educated lead in person.

 

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