Content Marketing 101: How to Start Nurturing Leads with Content
It feels great to capture a lead, but you still have to stick the landing. Learn why nurturing leads with content is effective and helps you create brand promoters.
- Automation helps you follow up with and nurture leads at the right time while saving time.
- Email is still a super effective outlet, especially for lead nurturing campaigns.
- Drip emails help you engage leads repeatedly and follow up with welcome and thank you notes.
- Nurturing beyond the prospect helps you create true brand promoters.
Capturing a lead is only the beginning. Once you’ve got them hooked, you still have to stick the landing.
This requires knowing exactly what attracted them in the first place. Were they looking for answers? A solution to a problem? A reliable product? What steps have they taken thus far?
You can’t answer these questions without considering the entire buyer’s journey. Understanding where they are in that journey is key to both attracting and nurturing your leads. You can then pair amazing content with your outreach plan to keep delighting and inspiring your audiences.
This guide will walk through how to harness automation for lead nurturing, use email to your advantage, and nurture leads with content beyond the prospect stage.
How to harness lead nurturing automation
- Automation helps you reach out to leads at the right time and personalizes messages.
- Steps for the right automation strategy include:
- Mastering segmentation
- Nailing your lead magnets
- Handling your leads with the right process
You no longer have to manually follow up with leads in the nurturing stage. That’s great, because doing so takes tons of time and resources that could be spent focusing on other aspects of your strategy. Instead, take advantage of available lead nurturing automation tools that can do it for you.
Automation can help you identify and segment leads, target certain people, and send more personal emails. You can use automation across channels, too, so leads see consistent messaging from you.
You can use automation for lead nurturing to:
- Initiate contact with a lead based on a behavior trigger
- Warm up leads that have gone cold
- Personalize experiences by automating certain messages to appear for specific actions
- Be reliable and regular with contact
- Respond faster when a lead inquires
- Track how long a lead is staying with your content
- Come up with better marketing plans based on data
You’ll want to use an automation platform, like HubSpot, that takes care of a lot of the tedious work. You still have to know how to get everything moving in the right direction, though.
Here are a few steps to help:
1. Master segmentation
You must be able to segment your leads by the facts that you know, such as their purchase history, online browsing behavior, or the country they’re from. These facts are set up in the platform for you, so it will automatically funnel your new leads into your segmented lists. This is automation at its finest: organization without you having to manually maintain anything.
2. Nail your lead magnets
Make sure you set the right lead magnets for each touchpoint. Lead magnets are the incentives that bring leads into your contact list. You can use marketing automation to create multiple lead magnets for each of your segmented audiences.
Think about each stage of your buyer’s journey. Leads looking for educational information would enjoy content such as white papers, webinars, and workbooks, for example. Those needing solutions to problems may respond well to a case study showcasing your brand. Those getting closer to a purchase will want to view information about a free trial or demo.
3. Handle your leads with the right process
You also need the right practices behind you to both understand and manage your leads. Make sure you put these handling strategies in place:
- Identify your leads: You need to know who your leads are, including personas, demographics, behaviors, and sources. Collecting data about them will help you identify their wants and needs.
- Score your leads: Then, you can score your leads based on their personas and where they came from. This will also tell you where they are in the buyer’s journey, or their readiness to buy.
- Sort your leads: Your leads’ score will tell you where they go in your lead nurturing campaign.
- Track performance: Track KPIs to see how your campaigns are doing and to measure ROI.
Marketing automation helps you nurture those leads with minimal maintenance. Once you have your workflows down, you can rest assured that your leads are being contacted at the right time with the right messages.
Is email still important?
- 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning.
- Email works in conjunction with social to turn leads into customers.
You may think that social media is taking over digital marketing and that email just isn’t as important anymore, but email is a very personal way to reach someone. People get everything from personal messages to news to receipts in their email inboxes, so they are often on top of checking it regularly throughout the day.
That means email is still a super effective way to reach your leads! A few facts:
- 58% percent of consumers check their email first thing in the morning.
- Just 14% check social media first.
- 60% of users prefer to get promotions via email.
Your social media campaigns need to work in conjunction with email. Posting on social helps generate awareness and build brand recognition so you reach the right communities. These channels also help drive traffic back to your website and landing pages, which sign people up for your emails.
Social media may often be a first touchpoint, but email is crucial in your lead nurturing strategy. Once you have a lead’s email address, you can communicate with them directly and deliver even more customized content. This is how you convert a qualified lead into a customer, then a repeat customer. Email helps you start that one-on-one conversation they need to take the next step.
How to use email drip campaigns
- Drip emails help you create engagement campaigns.
- They can also enable you to follow up with abandoned shopping carts and thank you emails.
Drip email campaigns are one of your best tools for nurturing leads. These strategies help you stay in contact with leads over several emails sent at specific times or dates, so you can set them up to automatically go out at the right times. Everything can be written and planned in advance, too.
How do you get strategic with your drip campaigns? Here are a few scenarios when they work:
- Engagement email campaigns: One of the most common drips is creating a campaign to follow up with people who visited your website and didn’t make a purchase, or with cold leads that need to be warmed up. These emails simply check in to try to inspire leads to take another step.
- Abandoned shopping cart items: Customers may start shopping and leave stuff in their carts. You can set up campaigns to check in with these leads, whether it’s a reminder that they left something behind or offering them a discount to encourage that next step.
- Welcome and thank you emails: If someone downloads your content or signs up for your newsletter, you can send them a string of strategic emails that thank and/or welcome them.
You can do a lot with drip email campaigns. They should be added to your list of marketing automation techniques that will keep leads engaged and converting.
Always remember that the content of your emails matters as much as any other outlet. Keep them fairly short and to the point, and include lots of enticing links back to your site. Drip emails allow you to focus your messaging around specific groups of people, so focus on personalization. Think about what these segmented leads would really want to see in their email inbox.
Nurturing beyond the prospect
- 73% of customers believe the customer experience is important when making a buying decision.
- Nurturing leads beyond the prospect stage helps you turn customers into brand promoters.
You need to have a nurturing perspective throughout the entire buyer’s journey. The entire journey should be seamless. A study from PwC found 73% of consumers think the customer experience is an important factor when they make purchasing decisions. They want to feel understood and recognized for their wants and needs, and they want to feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Lead nurturing is all about making people feel a sense of delight throughout their journey. Information needs to be relevant, and they need to feel supported with your content. Focusing your content around the buyer’s journey helps you provide that experience. You can create more personalized messaging when you consider each phase and are tuned into which stage the lead is in – whether they’re looking to learn something, for a solution, or to buy.
For example, put automated triggers in place that will follow up with a lead right away when they convert, and then again later on. You nurture leads by showing them that you prioritize them and staying in touch with new information or by giving them the option to ask questions.
You also need to track data, which you can do with your automation platforms. Find out which campaigns resonated with people most. What did your readers open and click on? Which headlines caught their attention? Gathering this information helps you continue to improve your approach and create even more seamless experiences for your customers. Customers who have that become brand promoters who want to shout your name from the rooftops.
Get great lead nurturing content from the experts
Content is key to unlocking all the ways lead nurturing grows your business. When you need a better content strategy, turn to the team at ContentBacon.
We are a team of experts who will get to know your brand and help you create better content marketing goals. An important part of those goals is knowing how and when to reach out to people who you know are already interested in you. We help you leverage channels like blogs, social media, and email to provide the most value to your customers.
Start nurturing leads with expert content crafted by the ContentBacon team. Check out our subscription services today.
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