According to Hinge Research Institute, businesses that generate 60% of their leads online are two times profitable compared to those generating less than 20% of their leads online.
I've been reading extensively about B2B Lead Nurturing best practices. The more I read, the more I realized that the topic is so broad but every aspect of it is extremely significant. That's why I created this comprehensive guide to be an invaluable resource for B2B marketers who are beginners, intermediate or advanced players in the ever-exciting "convert leads to sales" game.
Step 1: Nail Your Target Market Definition
Precisely defining your ideal customer criteria (buyer persona) is the foundation for a successful marketing campaign. For outbound marketers, it will help them fish where the fish are. Inbound marketers, on the other hand, will be able to create compelling content tailored to their target market needs and aspirations.
That's why; it's very important that marketers take their time at this step and nail it as it can make (or break) the entire campaign.
- Persona Definition: 10 Essential Marketing Persona Attributes
- 3 Steps to Creating Effective Buyer Personas
Step 2: Create Lead-Driven Content Marketing Strategy
According to SocialMediaB2B, 83% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead generation. However, a much fewer percentage take the time to document their content marketing strategy!
Be one of those "elites" who document their content marketing plan and keep tweaking it in order to maximize conversions. Needless to say, your content marketing strategy must be tailored to your predefined buyer persona.
- How to Master the 4Ps of Content Marketing in 2015
- Create a Content Marketing Strategy Your Customers Will Love in 7 Steps [SlideShare]
Step 3: Design A Compelling, Prospect-Capturing Website
When visitors check out your website, they are considered prospects (not leads) until they take action that reflect interest in your products and/or services by:
- Filling a registration form for your webinar
- Requesting a product demo
- Subscribing to your mailing list
- Requesting a free quote or consultation call and so forth
Once any of these user-initiated interest signals are triggered, the prospect will become a lead that you should be ready to nurture with your wholesome content.
In other words, attracting the RIGHT prospects to your website is an essential prerequisite for lead generation.
You can attract prospects to your website by taking the following steps:
- Turn your website and business blog into a lead generation machine
- Create impeccable seo-friendly landing page(s) with irresistible offer(s)
- Create a powerful social media presence in order to attract targeted traffic to your website (using social media for lead generation will be discussed in details below)
- The Essential How to Guide on Generating Leads with Business Blogging - Part 1
- The Essential How To Guide on Generating Leads with Business Blogging - Part 2
- The Essential How To Guide on Generating Leads with Business Blogging - Part 3
- How to Make a Landing Page That C.O.N.V.E.R.T.S.
- 36 Creative Landing Page Design Examples A Showcase and Conversion Critique
- 25 Tips to Optimize Landing Page Conversions
- How to Create Marketing Offers That Don't Fall Flat
- Landing Page Builders - Reviews and Comparisons
- The Ultimate List of Free Landing Page Templates From LeadPages
Step 4: Leverage Social Media to Enhance B2B Lead Nurturing
When you create a powerful social media presence in order to attract targeted traffic to your landing page(s), social media will be mainly used for prospect capturing.
On top of that, social media platforms, with their real-time capabilities, can be effectively used as direct lead nurturing channels. For example, a fan on your Facebook page may express interest in your product or request a demo. In this scenario, the lead qualification cycle will begin at Facebook.
That's why; you need to make sure that you implement an integrated lead management process in order to keep track of lead interactions across different channels.
- Social Media for Lead Generation [Free eBook]
- Yes, Social Media Works for B2B Lead Generation
- Forbes: 4 Best Practices For Generating More Leads On LinkedIn
- LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation: Growth Hack or Core Practice?
- What We Learned After Using Twitter for B2B Lead Generation
- How to Use Twitter's Lead Generation Cards Like a Pro
- How to Generate Leads Using Facebook - Intermediate Level [Free eBook]
- How to Become a Lead Generation Machine Using Facebook Marketing
- Using YouTube for Lead Generation
- Free Ebook: 6 Ways to Generate Leads with Google+
- Best Practices For Instagram Marketing And Lead Generation
- Pinterest Lead Generation: The Definitive Guide
Step 5: Launch Lead Nurturing Campaigns Using Email Marketing
Email marketing is still a big player in the online marketing scene. In order to make the most out of your email marketing efforts, you need to:
- Segment your mailing list according to their initial lead qualification interaction. For example, a visitor who joined your mailing list after downloading an eBook should receive subsequent emails that build on the eBook topic. On the other hand, if someone requested a product demo, they should receive email series that highlights the product value and so forth
- Your first emails should focus on offering valuable, low commitment content. Half way through the lead generation funnel, start to gradually add call-to-action to the mix. Again, make sure your CTA is closely tied to the lead's initial point of contact
- Constantly monitor your email marketing campaigns performance metrics, such as open rate and click through rate (CTR), in order to maximize conversions.
- Lead Generation with Email Marketing Tips for 2015
- B2B Email Marketing Best Practices FAQs
- How to Keep Your Email Subscribers
- Best Email Marketing Software - 2015 Reviews
- 25 Tips: Email Lead Generation from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram
- How to Improve Your Email Marketing Lead Gen With Social Media
Effective Lead Management = Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign
Online marketing has expanded into a diverse array of lead generation channels. As I mentioned earlier, it's critical to establish a highly integrated lead management process in order to effectively track lead behavior across the various channels.
A good Lead management software enables marketers to measure very important indicators, including Lead intelligence and lead scoring. Effectively measuring these components will help the marketing team in filtering the most qualified leads to the sales team for optimal results.
- How Are B2B Marketers Scoring Leads? [Infographic]
- The Big List of Lead Scoring Rules [Checklist]
- What is Lead Intelligence and How it Can Help Close More Sales
- Playing for Keeps: Expert Ideas for Effective Lead Scoring
- 5 Tips for Lead Management Success
- Top 10 Lead Management Software - 2015 Reviews & Pricing
- Three Essential Steps to B2B Lead Gen Success in 2015
- Marketingsherpa Top 5 Lead Gen Case Studies [SlideShare]
- Lead Generation Metrics Every Marketer Must Know [PDF]
- 5 Lead-Generating B2B Trends For 2015
- Lead Nurturing Glossary of Terms
It's important to note that steps 1 and 2 must be effectively completed prior to the remaining steps which can be implemented in parallel.
However, I don't like the idea of sending targeted traffic to mediocre content because it's an invitation for bounce rate!
In other words, I recommend focusing on creating compelling content on your website and blog before linking to it via social media.
Still, you can use social media as a direct lead generation channel at any stage. Leverage social media real-time capabilities to build rapport with your leads and take them downwards through the lead-generation-funnel.
For the third time in this article, I'm stressing on the importance of integrating all the various lead generation channels. That's a critical factor to consider when choosing a lead management software.
I did my best to cover all the aspects of B2B lead nurturing but the topic is so broad. You may think of this guide as a work-in-progress as I will keep adding more valuable resources in the future.
If you have relevant resources that can enhance the quality of this guide, please share them in the comments.
Thanks in advance for your valuable contribution. To our success.