It’s both interesting and misleading to hear that lead generation is the goal of inbound marketing. Increasing the volume of your leads is good, but what does it matter if they never actually result in sales? Without lead nurturing, you’ll never complete the buying process in your marketing campaign.
Leads vary in terms of value
Generating a lead tells you so little about your marketing campaign. To know if you’re doing a good job, you have to answer a few questions, like:
- Is the lead relevant to your business?
- Does the lead represent a persona of your target audience?
- How did you generate the lead?
- How will you respond to it?
- How will you finally convert the lead?
You see, there are some businesses that generate hundreds of leads, but convert next to none. On the other hand, there are companies that understand their niche and generate relatively few leads, but convert a high percentage of them. Your job is to be like the second description.
Strike while the iron’s hot
Assuming the new leads are relevant to your business — and that depends on your marketing efforts — you know that they’re interested in your company. It’s important to act on that interest immediately.
A recent Business 2 Community article talks about the impact of lead nurturing programs. According to the article, you only have a short period of time to convert leads before they effectively expire:
“Your nurturing program will have both a short-term and long-term component. When leads start coming in, it’s important to start lead nurturing right away. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. When prospects respond, you are on their radar at least for a short period of time. Don’t miss this opportunity. Several months later, you’ll still have many leads that haven’t converted – but you still want to stay in touch.”
This isn’t the time to let your content marinate with consumers. Instead, you want them to take the next critical step in the sales funnel. This either happens as soon as you get their contact information, or not at all.
Complement your efforts with social media
Email is usually the best platform for lead nurturing. It’s a great opportunity to send personalized emails with answers that a specific user is looking for.
Still, there’s no reason to exclude other marketing mediums from your lead nurturing program. This Customer Think article explains how you can progress users through the sales funnel on social media:
“All three leading B2B social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) offer variations on “custom audience” programs that enable you to upload lists of customers, prospects, or target accounts and deliver ads exclusively to that audience, or so-called “lookalike” prospects that meet the same criteria. By leveraging the same offers, message, and creative assets that you already have in place, paid social media can be a natural and cost-effective complement to your lead nurturing campaign.”
In this context, “lookalike” prospects represent leads because they’re likely in your target audience and you have a means to contact them. With that in mind, your job is to get them to look at your products and services, even if you do so in a roundabout fashion.
You have two tools in this respect: content and paid advertisements. It’s best to integrate both in your marketing campaign since they have different applications.
Lead nurturing is an important phase in your marketing campaign. It moves customers through the sales process and validates your lead generation efforts. Email is typically the best platform for nurturing leads, but you can also use social media. The important thing is that you’re quick to act. To talk more about lead nurturing, or anything else, contact us today.