What is lead nurturing, and why should it fit into your marketing mix? If you want higher conversion rates and customer loyalty, this strategy is for you!

Consumers today behave differently than they did in the past. The internet has given them the power to pick and choose between products and services – an option that wasn’t available in the days of door-to-door salespeople or small-agency startups. In turn, marketing professionals have adapted to longer-form “nurturing” strategies which guide leads toward a buying decision. But what is lead nurturing, and how does it work?

In the past, products and services were limited – making it easier to decide on purchases. Now there’s an overwhelming amount of choices, no matter what you want to buy. Buying a simple can opener on Amazon offers you hundreds of options, and they all come with reviews and ratings. If buying a simple can opener is such a big decision now, it’s even harder for consumers to pick say, an insurance company, a real estate agent to work with, or a commercial cleaning company. People take their time to compare, contrast, and research companies. The stages at which “leads” become “buyers,” and how brands interact with them is the “nurturing” process. Brands seek to build trust over time, constantly re-engaging leads to gain their business.

What is lead nurturing?

In simple terms, lead nurturing is the process of engaging your leads during their particular buying process. Depending on what products or services you sell, this process will differ. But, universally speaking, your leads will go through a number of stages before they decide to do business with your company.

The typical buying process is likely to follow these steps:

  • Awareness: the prospective customer becomes aware of his want (or need) of a product or service and tries to figure out what options exist.
  • Online search: he searches for information and compares different products or services to find the best solutions for his current problem or need.
  • Request for more info or pricing: he takes action, often contacting your company directly (whether by phone call, email, or filling out a form).
  • Decision to buy: this may be the last step in the process. He does further research on basic information and prices, comparing the vendors contacted during the previous step, and then he decides to buy.
  • Alternatives: going a step further, some customers might decide to do an in-depth analysis and comparison on features offered by you and your competition.
  • The final list: at this stage, the solutions have been fully considered, and the final contract or last step in the purchasing process are completed.

What is lead nurturing doing for you? How can you use it effectively?

Once you’ve considered the buying process for your audience, you can begin identifying strategies to engage them during these steps. The goal is to establish yourself as the best information source, an expert in the field, and a trusted brand.

But how do you engage leads at these levels? Employ a content marketing strategy. Engaging, insightful, and educational content (that’s better than your competition!) will nurture your leads and build their trust and confidence in your company.

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client-managerKeeping track of internet leads is an important aspect of every content marketing campaign. Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial of our lead management software and turn leads into customers with less work!

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The point is to keep them engaged and wanting to learn more.

Breaking down the list above, let’s show where you can implement content marketing strategies to engage your leads and nurture them toward a buying decision.

Awareness stage

At this point, the prospect has become aware of his problem and is trying to figure out the solution. How can you grab his attention?

  • Traditional and digital advertising: TV commercials, radio spots, pay-per-click ads, etc.
  • Promoted content via social media: a blog post, video, or e-book promoted over social channels he is likely to follow.

Online search stage

The prospect is searching with a set of words that correspond with your products or services. Research what these keywords are and target the potential customer with educational and informative content related to these results. A blog post is a great way to catch attention and rank your page higher on search engine results.

  • Search engine optimized blog posts: research keywords relevant to your company’s products or services. Hire a writer to target these keywords with blog posts and write informative content for audiences at this stage.
  • Video content on your website: create a short video to show to web visitors. Give them video content that will highlight your expertise and showcase what sets you apart from the competition.

Request for more info or pricing

The prospect is ready to take it a further step in gaining more information about the company and its services. What “higher quality” or more nuanced info can you offer that will encourage them to take action? Now it’s time to build your email lists.

  • Downloadable content: in exchange for an email address, you can offer e-books, white papers, and video presentations.
  • Subscriptions: sign up for a newsletter, weekly promotions, webinars, podcasts, and print or digital magazines.

Decision to buy

Now that he has taken the step to request more information—and became a qualified lead—you can start to send direct messaging about your products.

  • Testimonials: show him why your customers are happy and satisfied. Video testimonials can be sent out via email with a link to the product page.
  • Offer a free walkthrough or demo: give him the ultimate educational experience with a free demonstration. Be sure to utilize video for this content as well.

Alternatives and the final steps

If the prospect decides to conduct extra research and compare features with competitors, be sure that your content explaining these features is A-grade.

  • Video highlights and demos: show the product or service in action and give specific details to the features available.
  • Product/service reviews: display reviews of customer experiences on your website.

So, what is lead nurturing? It’s an effective marketing strategy!

If you’ve been limiting yourself to interruption-based ads only, your company will greatly benefit from adding a lead-nurturing strategy into the marketing mix. Instead of “screaming” at your customer to buy your products, this system provides an illusory sense of complete control. Your prospect chooses you after you’ve guided him in the right direction with great, accurately targeted content.

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client-managerKeeping track of internet leads is an important aspect of every content marketing campaign. Sign up with Blitz today for a 30-day free trial of our lead management software and turn leads into customers with less work!

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What is lead nurturing doing for your business? Share your experiences and keep the conversation going!