5 Key Steps for B2B Lead Nurturing

b2b lead nurture

According to MarketingSherpa, only 27% of B2B leads are qualified leads when first generated.

That’s a pretty low number! This is where lead nurturing comes into play, and conversion rates can be expected to plummet if not done correctly. Don’t worry – we’ve got the answer to setting up the best digital marketing lead nurturing campaign to get you quality leads right off the bad.

The challenges marketers face with a B2B lead nurture

While the pressure is on to produce leads, many marketers fall into the trap of only running acquisition prospective marketing campaigns to generate hot B2B leads via LinkedIn or Google Ads. This is typically very costly if you expect them to convert to paying active clients the day you convert them to a lead.

Why?

Businesses usually have a longer decision process than people. Companies need to do their due diligence on whom they work with (supplier, product, service) before committing to any. Additionally companies don’t trust you on day one, and they also don’t always have budget availability. That’s why its smart to set up a lead nurturing strategy that can truly boost your marketing efforts. You may find more leads find their way down your sales cycle with this new lead nurturing process.

What is lead nurturing, and why does it matter?

Effective B2B lead nurturing not only keeps qualified leads in the pipeline but also serves to keep their attention and interest until they’re ready to buy.

Why is this important?

Because B2B conversions take time. Strong lead nurture campaigns will improve the quality of your leads and result in more hot leads that are willing to buy when they’re ready and educated. An engaged customer is a happier customer, resulting in improved closing times and increased customer retention. It also allows you to reuse the improved audience to create look-alike campaigns on Google Ads and LinkedIn for your always-on online marketing strategy!

Later down the line, you could get fancy and set up lead scoring. Lead scoring is essentially a model that grades each lead based on a variety of factors, including engagement and their fit within your ideal customer profile. Even later, you could set up a dedicated nurture program that sends specific messages to those that the lead scoring model has deemed are the most likely to buy.

How to do effective B2B lead nurturing

You’ve spent a lot of money and effort generating your leads and prospects. Nurturing those leads from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom takes care, a skilled cross-functional team, great content, and technology.

Marketing and Sales funnel

CRM

Different leads require their strategy for nurturing. There is no one-size-fits-all. Using the sales funnel as a guide, you can use the data captured in your CRM to categorize your leads. If you only have an email address to work with, you will need to put in a little more legwork to understand this lead better and populate your CRM to understand how they can move down the funnel.

Group B2B leads by the action they took when engaging your business. For example, if the lead came through because they downloaded an ebook (top of funnel), you might need to send them two or three nurture emails over the next few weeks, introducing them to other content that they can engage with. This will bring them further down the funnel, giving them many access points to opt out or engage further.

Those who have opened every mail, clicked on your content, and engaged with it are then moved on to the sales portion of the user journey – and your nurture program. However, for leads that came because they requested a pricing guide or free demo (bottom of funnel), they can be brought directly into the sales portion, as they are more ready to purchase. This is how you can use the data on your CRM to guide you on lead readiness.

Email Lead Nurturing campaign

Automatically generated emails in a drip nurture pool are a great way to prevent leads from going cold, educate leads, and offer value. Let it be said that all B2B leads require a human element, but until your sales team can contact the lead, email marketing is a great way to keep them feeling nurtured. For example, someone has subscribed to your newsletter.

What happens to this lead other than receiving the monthly newsletter? Add them to a 3 – 5 mail drip campaign over 6 – 8 weeks. These drip mails are short, very personalized, customer-focused and conversational. You are not selling your products or services in these emails (not yet), you are ‘selling’ trust.

The best way to achieve this is to demonstrate genuine concern for their challenges, position your brand as their trusted guide, and add value to help resolve their issue (such as thought leadership pieces, how-tos, and infographics). Over the span of a few weeks, your mails should carefully bring them closer to the bottom of the funnel. This will help them along the sales process, and they should become a sales qualified lead with a great lead score. This is the key to B2B lead nurturing.

Content Creation for a lead nurturing strategy

Providing simplified content that seeks to solve your lead’s problems is another excellent way of nurturing your leads within your nurturing campaign. This could be through case studies, ebooks, infographics, newsletters, and more. The content you provide must be “outcome-based” in that it focuses on the problems clients are facing rather than hard-selling your products and services.

When your company is global, it is also vital to include regional stakeholders in the content creation process. For example, if you are a business software company, your content can be on optimizing business processes, the latest trends in business technology, and how to improve productivity in a dispersed workforce.

All of these topics will have a section on business software, but it is more focused on solving the prospective customers’ overarching pain points and partnering with them in the solution. Lead nurturing is always thought of as a way to nurture leads via marketing automation, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add in a killer content marketing strategy that offers a new leads a better insight into what your company does, and why you are a great option to consider.

Paid media

Using Google Ads and LinkedIn for remarketing and retargeting, your brand and offering can stay uppermost in your prospect’s mind until they are ready to take the next step.

You can ensure your ads follow people who have visited your website, as well as your competitors, with retargeted Google display ads. This is important, as it helps to capture leads while they are still interested leads. You can also ensure your hyper-targeted audience selected in your LinkedIn campaign is reached with your Google Ads by linking your Google display ad to your LinkedIn audience.

Landing pages

Your lead nurturing campaign doesn’t need to be limited to only email. Modern techniques could include links to landing pages that offer content related to your emails. Your nurtured leads might enjoy learning precisely what you’re all about. You may want to include quotes from past customers to highlight your customer loyalty and why potential buyers should considered your business.

Landing pages are great, because even non nurtured leads or existing customers may enjoy this information. You never know when website visitors may stumble upon an amazing page and be convinced to start the buying process. If they end up being an ideal customer, that’s another marketing qualified lead in your pipeline that could helpfully become one of your paying customers very soon.

Measuring lead nurturing campaigns’ results

Marketing automation can only get you so far. If content or sales tactics are not producing results, these need to be reworked or removed and those doing well are to be replicated. Data analysis is essential for any digital marketing campaign. You need to ensure that your B2B lead nurturing campaign is actually converting into paying customers. Otherwise, it’s not very useful as a lead generation exercise – and you can throw your marketing automation software in the bin!

This is only possible through maximizing performance metrics, and this will ensure the content library, lead nurture strategy, and sales teams deliver value to the business and customers. We make use of UTMs to track every marketing asset we deploy in the digital hemisphere. This way we know precisely which pieces of content, which campaigns, and which platforms brought in the lead, and how to respond accordingly.

Conclusion

If you follow these guidelines, I am positive your hard-earned and paid leads will be carefully nurtured.

Using a combination of technology, talent, and targeting, you will ensure your leads stay warm until they are ready to convert, thus improving conversion rates from now on. Remember to consider different buyer personas, and the buyer’s journey, when considering different lead nurturing strategies for your business.

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