Content is the fuel that drives successful lead nurturing. Prospects aren’t necessarily interested in doing business with a specific brand, but rather, are looking for the best, most efficient solutions to their problems. Each stage of the sales lifecycle represents a different set of problems to overcome.
The content delivered in a lead nurturing campaign should reflect this reality. Content can include both online and offline assets and can range from ebooks, downloadable guides, infographics, coupons, FAQs and videos to executive summaries, brochures, demos and product spec sheets. However, content isn’t the only consideration. The following four steps are critical for deploying strategic lead nurturing campaigns.
Identify the ideal lead or leads based on personas, form qualifications, web activity, interests (topic of content consumed) or any other appropriate, measurable attribute. Also, quantify the length of the sales lifecycle for the ideal lead or leads identified. This is critical for determining how long the lead nurturing process should be. Lastly, identify all online and offline content assets already developed.
Use content mapping to categorize existing content assets based on persona, interest (topic), segment or product/service. After the content is organized by one or more of the attributes above, classify the sales funnel stage that each asset resides in and identify where content is missing in the funnel.
Once missing funnel content is identified, the development process should begin. This can happen concurrently with the creation of email copy, subject lines and landing page copy and design.
For each lead nurturing campaign, track metrics like active leads, unique clicks, percent clicked, unsubscribes, conversions and conversion rates when appropriate. Track this data over time, identify trends and experiment in order to optimize the performance of each campaign.
The four steps above should represent a continuous process. After a lead nurturing campaign is deployed and has properly matured, revisit the ideal lead or lead definition, length of the nurturing process, content assets, content map and workflows, email copy, etc. Continuous improvement will result in adopting the above as a process while concurrently developing new content assets over time.
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