In an increasingly competitive online world, developing relationships with customers at every stage of their journey is key to converting leads into B2B sales. How can inbound marketing help achieve this?
Today’s buyers educate themselves about products and businesses online and a key aspect of any successful inbound marketing strategy will be to provide content that helps potential customers make a purchase decision.
This blog post looks at the main things to bear in mind when creating content designed to inform and nurture leads as they pass through the sales funnel.
If, like half of all leads, the customer is just not ready to buy, there’s no point wasting your efforts trying to convince them. A company that has just revamped its website, for example, is not going to immediately purchase a new one no matter how slick your sales pitch is. Time wasted chasing hopeless prospects like these is perhaps the biggest reason why inbound marketing generates 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
By pursuing a more content-based approach to your marketing, you’re likely to attract prospects who have already recognised a need that your B2B is able to fulfil. After all, people don’t generally research the technical details or cost of a new website unless they have at least some interest in purchasing one!
However, not everyone who explores your content will be at the same stage in the buying cycle and this is where lead nurturing comes in. If the prospect has only just become aware of the need for a purchase and is relatively unfamiliar with the industry, a highly technical product spec full of statistics and jargon is likely to put them off. Instead, a high level overview that explains the most important points will be highly appreciated. Now, when the potential buyer is ready to get a bit more technical, your content will be their first port of call.
Continuing to provide valuable content that speaks to the specific pain points of your audience as they advance through the buying cycle establishes trust between potential buyers and your B2B. At the end of the day, purchase decisions have to be made by people, and people are subject to emotional influence. The asymmetry between the upside and downside of making a decision – a good purchase may not be rewarded but a bad one will almost certainly damage reputation – means a buyer is far more likely to choose a provider whom they trust.
Long form copy might be relevant and valuable but if your intended audience is pressed for time or at an early stage of the sales funnel, they’re unlikely to read it. Breaking content down into more manageable chunks (blog posts, infographics, videos) communicates key points in a more varied and engaging way. You can always link to the longer stuff and if they’re interested, they’ll take a look.
Today’s buyers access content on multiple devices and through many different channels and the most effective lead nurturing strategies will reflect this. As the buyer switches from email to your company website to social media the story you tell needs to be consistent and seamless throughout.
For example, if you send an email to announce a new product make sure your website is updated to reflect this! If a buyer visits your Facebook or LinkedIn page to find out more about a products he saw on your website two days ago, ensure the information can be found there too.
An inbound marketing strategy with effective lead nurturing will make closing sales quicker and simpler. Having provided quality content to your sales prospect you’ve already earned their trust and shown that you understand and can solve their specific challenges. Your sales staff will never have had it so easy!
Wondering how to generate those initial leads to nurture? Download the 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas.
If you’re looking to generate more sales ready leads through inbound marketing or are looking to produce content to nurture your sales leads, please get in touch on 01202 788333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.