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What is Lead Nurturing?

Say you have hundreds of thousands of visitors and a huge list of leads, but your conversion rates are still alarmingly low or your sales are fluctuating month to month. What’s missing from your content marketing strategy? The answer is lead nurturing, which is crucial to develop sustainable customer and business relationships.

To be successful in converting leads into customers, marketers should focus on lead nurturing in their content marketing strategy to avoid spending money to grow their visitors and leads and then having them ultimately fail to convert.

What is Lead Nurturing?

This content marketing technique involves building relationships with potential customers during every stage of the inbound marketing and sales process. HubSpot breaks down the buyer’s journey into the following:

  • Awareness Stage

  • Consideration Stage

  • Decision Stage

These stages are where strangers become visitors to your site who then turn into leads and next convert into customers. Finally, if marketers are able to engage their customers enough, they also become promoters of your products and services.

Use lead nurturing to first educate prospects on your brand and ensure prospects continue to move to the next steps in the sales funnel: the Consideration and Decision stages. Lead nurturing is key in the Consideration stage so prospects will have your company in mind when researching their purchasing options. In the Decision stage, when making their purchase decisions, prospects will compare their buyer-customer relationships and which brands’ products and services are the best solutions to their problems before closing the sale.

Why Invest in Lead Nurturing?

Without lead nurturing, prospects are likely not ready to take meaningful action to convert and marketers will fail to close the sale. A MarketingSherpa report found 73 percent of business to business leads are not ready to become customers. Marketers understand that there are many barriers preventing leads from converting, including when leads do not realize exactly what their problems are and how your products serve as solutions.

This is where lead nurturing breaks those barriers so brands can continue to earn the trust of visitors and prospects can perform actions that make them closer to becoming customers.

Start with Customer Personas

To better understand their prospects and the lead nurturing process, marketers often turn to personas. These profiles are a representative of ideal customers, allowing marketers to determine whether leads are likely to convert based on their demographics, pain points and more.

Create customer personas and collect lists of quality leads who will most likely buy your products or services by gathering information like:

  • Geographic location

  • Gender

  • Job title and role

  • Industry/company

  • Income

  • Commonly listed challenges or problems

This information will help marketers strategize and develop content that is targeted not only to potential customers overall, but tailored for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Create Content with a Lead-Nurturing Focus

As a tool for lead nurturing, content should be designed to push prospects through the sales funnel, starting by gaining the attention of strangers and visitors. Marketers use specific forms of content to attract prospects to their sites, including:

  • Search engine optimized pages and keywords

  • Social media and blog posts

  • Infographics and videos

  • Non-organic content like pay per click ads

A big role of content marketing is educating prospects about their problems and how your products and services serve as solutions. Types of content that focus on education include:

  • Landing pages

  • Email newsletters

  • Case studies

  • Research reports

  • Whitepapers

  • Webinars

In addition to making prospects more aware of their challenges, marketers use content marketing to make content offers so visitors will give out their contact information and become leads. These kinds of content offers are effective because they quickly show that your company provides value and gives them an intriguing look at what your brand has to offer in the long run.

Use Personalized Content for Leads to Grow with You

After becoming leads, marketers craft personalized content that is essential for building closer business-customer relationships. Examples of personalized content include:

  • Greeting customers with their names in emails

  • Offering exclusive deals and coupons

  • Sending personal responses to customer questions or social media posts

These interactions should show prospects that they are acknowledged and valued. Prospects want to feel like they are special so stay away from one-size-fits-all responses like prepared statements to customer complaints on social media because they’ll likely do the opposite.

After knowing about your customer personas and making personalized content, it’s important to track the outcomes of your content marketing strategies through analytics so you can improve on your plan, invest in the right marketing resources and increase conversion rates.

With lead nurturing, marketers can more efficiently build relationships that are personable and sustainable -- the goal of any company that wants to make a long-lasting impact in their industry and their customer base.

Effective Inbound Marketing Campign

Rob Steffens

Rob Steffens

I am the Director of Sales & Marketing here at Bluleadz. I'm a recent newlywed who enjoys spending time with my wife vegging out and binging our favorite shows or getting some exercise on the Racquetball court.