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Strong Content Is Essential To Successful Lead Nurture Programs

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Hear Mary share more expert advice at the Road to Revenue: How Modern Marketers Connect virtual event!  The web-based event takes place on August 1 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET.  For more information, click here.

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The Value of Lead Nurture Programs

B2B companies need to build relationships with the 65-70% of website visitors who are not ready to buy, but will eventually purchase a product from them or their competitors.  Lead nurturing helps to change these visitors into customers by building a relationship through the exchange of valuable information over a period of time.

So, what is lead nurturing? Lead nurture is the process of using valuable and relevant content to build a relationship with prospects as they move through the buyer’s journey.  This process has rapidly moved to the digital arena as more and more of the buying process takes place online.

The good news is that lead nurturing – when done right – results in a highly successful ROI.  Researchers like Forrester, CSO Insights, and others report that businesses that proactively use lead nurturing:

  • lead nurture_$Decrease the percent of marketing-generated leads that are ignored by sales (from as high as 80% to as low as 25%)
  • Raise win rates on marketing-generated leads (7% points higher) and reduce “no decisions” (6% lower)
  • Have more sales representatives that make quota (9% higher)
  • Reduce sales cycle by up to 23% for nurtured leads

The Role of Content in Nurture Programs

Content that's shared with leads in a nurture program is meant to inform the buyer and help them make intelligent buying decisions. Good content must take into account individual buyer preferences and deliver relevant messaging within the context of the buying cycle.  Content should not be about pitching the product or solution or even the company.  It should not waste the lead's time. Rather content should be interesting, arresting, and clearly provide the audience with What’s In It For Me (WIFM).

Aligning content to the appropriate stage of the buying cycle provides optimal results for converting a lead to a customer.  Good content that piques the lead’s interest and meets their needs provides the bridge to “listen” and “respond to” what leads are saying.  By watching clicks, opens, downloads, and website activity around the content, businesses can gain insight into the:

  • Buyer’s persona of the lead
  • Lead’s buying cycle
  • Needs of the lead

Select the Right Nurture Content

Some assets types are appropriate for the early stages of the buying cycle while others are more appropriate for latter stages.  What’s key is the alignment of the content with what the lead needs at that time - not the medium in which it is delivered. The right alignment ensures a continued bi-directional communication between the company and lead, and a greater chance of converting a lead to a customer. Below is a sample of asset types that produce strong results in nurture programs.

  • Content MagnetBuyer’s Guide
  • Case Study
  • Communities
  • Custom Magazine
  • Demo Video
  • eBook
  • FAQ
  • Impact Assessment
  • Q&A
  • Research Report
  • Technology Brief/Primer
  • Video
  • White Paper

Hide from Weak Assets

Heavy content (i.e. an asset that takes too long to read, is too technical, detailed, or has limited value to their needs) does not perform well. It can deter leads who have little or no interest in the material from interacting with your brand, and the conversation will stop as a result.  Content is critical to engagement, so it’s important to understand not only the value of the content in the asset but also which asset types do not perform well in a nurture program.

  • Are older than 18 months (security content must not be older than 12 months)
  • Do not align with the target audience (e.g. industry specific assets used to target a horizontal audience)
  • Do not provide educational value (e.g. sales brochures)
  • Product heavy “white papers”
  • Webinars/webcasts
  • Gated tools (unless the gate can be removed for the nurture program)

Conclusion

Putting the customer first by respecting their time and needs with good content is critical to the success of a nurture program.  Selecting assets that educates the lead throughout the buying cycle will result in a successful lead nurture program that converts the 65-70% of visitor website traffic into customers.

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Hear Mary share more expert advice at the Road to Revenue: How Modern Marketers Connect virtual event!  The web-based event takes place on August 1 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET.  For more information, click here.

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Tags:
aligning content, content marketing, content mraketing, lead nurture, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog