Posted by Bethany Handy ● March 6, 2014
Using Remarkable Content to Nurture Qualified Leads
Remarkable content can generate qualified leads if you drop the sales pitch and seek to educate, entertain and inspire your audience. However, if this is where your lead generation efforts end, then you are making a huge marketing mistake. You also must use your content to nurture those qualified leads and increase the likelihood that they become customers. In other words, you still have some work to do. Listed below are the steps that you must take in order to nurture leads through remarkable content.
Continue to Educate
As a part of their buying process, consumers will determine which company is the most competent in your industry. As far as they are concerned, the entity that holds the most expertise is the most likely to have the highest quality products or services. Although that "ten best" blog post generated initial interest, qualified leads may want more in-depth proof that your company is a competent industry leader. As their interest in your company develops, so should the educational aspect of your content.
Know Where Qualified Leads are in the Buying Cycle
Understanding where consumers are in the buying cycle is the most critical element for nurturing qualified sales leads. That is because this determines your approach. Here is how you approach them at each stage of the process:
Much of your content is likely targeting buyers at this stage, because the majority of content marketing efforts are centered around generating leads. How-to, top "x" and other generally informative articles and blogs should comprise the majority of the content in this category.
Consideration and evaluation stage
Although it is the point where attracted sales leads will determine whether or not your company warrants further consideration, this critical stage is the most overlooked in content marketing. Content targeting qualified leads at the evaluation stage should include detailed articles, case studies, research, and product or service information. This should be presented without hard selling your company's offerings.
Decision and buying stage
This is where you get to include a soft sales pitch in your content. When a qualified lead is at the buying stage, you should focus on bundling into your content offers to contact your "team of experts" about your products, offers for free trials, discount codes, deals, ect. This is still not the time to hard sell, so be careful with your language here.
Continue to Entertain
No matter what stage a qualified sales lead is at in the buying cycle, they are not robots. People will always gravitate towards content that is both entertaining and professional. If you do not engage consumers in this way, they are more likely to gravitate towards another company that does.
Always Include Calls to Action
If your qualified sales lead nurturing content does not include a call to action, then you are missing the point of the entire content marketing process. For sales leads at the awareness stage, you should be telling them to learn more general information (through your content); at the evaluation stage, you should make an offer to provide more concise facts; and at the buying stage, you should suggest that they contact you for the best product or service deals.
Offer to Directly Provide Qualified Leads with More Information
You should not just tell the qualified leads that they can explore your content for more information about your industry, products, services or special deals. Although the content itself it great, qualified leads can feel as though your content platform is a maze if they are unable to find the exact information that they want to know.
When you make it ostensibly clear that your company is readily available to answer any questions that a qualified sales lead might have, he or she becomes more amicable and will refer back to your company more often. This will greatly enhance the relationship created by your lead nurturing efforts.
Give the Qualified Leads an Option to Subscribe
You want to give yourself as many opportunities to stay connected with your qualified leads as possible. One of the best ways to do this is with content subscription. Once a consumer finds some useful content, they will like more, but their time is limited, so they will only put a limited amount of effort into browsing your web page for more. By having them subscribe, you can deliver the content directly to them so that you guarantee they see it.