September 29, 2015

The Secret to Attaining Quantifiable Lead Nurturing Results

As of the last year or two, advanced lead nurturing campaigns are now the purview of 70 percent of marketers. This is one of the main findings of DemandGen’s “2015 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study.” The sales and marketing advisory firm found that most marketers have now stepped outside the confining walls of simple email drip campaigns to engage potential and existing customers with a more personal and effective approach. And it’s working!

According to the report, 44 percent of the 235 B2B marketers polled reported experiencing significant improved campaign performance—from 10 to 30 percent—after they’d deployed more targeted and relevant messaging. This represents a remarkable increase to brands’ bottom lines. Moreover, nurtured leads continue to outperform non-nurtured leads by 10 to 30 percent, as reported by greater than half (59 percent) of respondents.

On the flip side, however, more than 41 percent of marketers surveyed were unsure of how to measure the success of their lead nurturing vs. non-nurturing campaigns. If you’re one of these marketers—unable to determine quantifiable results—then, most likely, the quality of your lead nurturing strategy could use a boost.

What are the building blocks for a lead nurturing strategy that will afford you proven outcomes? Let’s take a look:

Use effective social media channels: While email remains the workhorse for lead nurturing (used by 94 percent of survey respondents), social media channels, once primarily the darling of B2C marketing, are emerging as another key venue. As a matter of fact, DemandGen found that 38 percent of marketers are nurturing prospects by interacting with them on social media (such as via chat). Some 43 percent of marketers are also using retargeting as a lead nurturing channel. When retargeting code is entered on your website or into the HTML or signatures of your emails, visitors or recipients, respectively, will then be followed by pertinent reminder ads from your brand as they surf the Web. This enables marketers to keep their brands in front of their key targets.

Become a trusted industry advisor: You will draw consumers to your brand when your corporate executives gain credibility as industry thought leaders. In general, forget product data sheets and other documentation; instead, position your company as a source of overall industry knowledge. Do this by educating and informing consumers on ways to resolve their pain points. Create a reliable presence by continually posting relevant blogs to your website. Your brand will also generate traction by publishing longer-form content such as ebooks, white papers and case studies. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have your leaders speak at industry conferences and events as well. Be sure presentations are informative—not salesy. Also, share insights on social media—always avoiding any sign of brand promotion, as this will undermine your trustworthiness. Your integrity as an industry advisor will ultimately drive business to your brand.

Utilize a multichannel approach: Are you providing your prospective and existing customers with value-added content in a variety of compelling channels to pique their interest and keep them coming back for more? If you’re not sure, check on whether your strategy encompasses these top three most successful content avenues, according to the study: white papers (cited by 41 percent of respondents), thought leadership articles (35 percent) and webinars (33 percent). Getting the word out about your brand is imperative to its success. If you don’t have the staff capacity to produce relevant, targeted content on a consistent basis, turn to a third-party content strategy vendor.

Once you have built up your lead nurturing strategy using these three tactics, personalize your messaging by utilizing better data and analytics. A best practice for this is to leverage integrated technology with your marketing automation platform. By incorporating the latest technologies, such as predictive tools, you’ll be better able to track consumer behaviors to address the challenges of lead nurturing.

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