Part two of the follow up from our Reaching the Social Customer webinar features our very own Jon Miller, VP of Marketing and co-founder of Marketo. Jon shares his thoughts on content marketing, lead nurturing, social media, and lead generation responding to your questions that were unanswered during the live webinar. For a quick refresher, the webinar recording is now available to view on demand.
Q: From a B2B standpoint, how important is it to give information/content “free” (ie, without registering to get it) before you ask for contact info.
Content plays a tremendous role in lead nurturing as it often acts as a sales rep’s stand-in when a person is not yet sales ready. Early stage content should be wide and broad. It needs to be easy to share and contain targeted keywords that get indexed and show up in search engine page results. You shouldn’t necessarily ask for contact info in this “discovery” stage unless you are running pay per click advertising or have your early stage content bundled together, ie a success kit or tool kit. As you guide your prospects into the later stages of your content cycle you will want to begin to ask them for more information and follow up accordingly.
Download the Guide to Creating Content Marketing for Demand Generation and start creating content that sells.
Q: Do you believe lead nurturing is applicable across all industry sectors or does it work/not work particularly well in certain industries?
Every business needs lead generation in one form or another, and a good lead generation program includes effective lead nurturing . A recent survey from the Marketing Sherpa found that marketing to a lengthening sales cycle is a growing concern and the third-most-pressing challenge for B2B marketers today.
The idea of lead/seed nurturing addresses this concern and works well when there is a non- negligible buying cycle and especially well if there is a long buying cycle that includes complex decision making. The goal is to stay top-of-mind with your prospects during a buying cycle and the best way to do this is to implement a “Stay in Touch” campaign. These campaigns reach out to your prospects at defined intervals, keeping your brand in front of them so they will think of you first when they need your products or services.
Q: In the presentation you mentioned lead nurturing can generate 50% more leads, what do you base that number on?
Stay-in-touch nurturing campaigns can significantly increase the total number of leads that will eventually buy from you. Marketo’s own tests have shown that lead nurturing can help generate 50% more sales-ready leads with the same budget. For example, in the chart shown below fast leads (Marketing Qualified Leads less than a month old) convert at 20%, while slow leads (Marketing Qualified Leads more than a month old) convert at just under 7%. With the addition of a lead nurturing program such as Marketo, slow leads convert at a much higher rate of 20%. Combining both fast and slow leads together results in a 50% increase in total leads.
Q: In seed nurturing, how do you personalize the information if the customer is anonymous?
Even if your customers are anonymous you can still find out a lot of information about them including: how they got to your site, where they came from, and in many cases what company they are from and which industry they are in. Tracking these metrics provides insight into your website visitors’ behavior and allows you to personalize the content and create a series of communications to display based on behavior.
Q: We have a lot of social media friends but really need to turn interest in us into sales. Should I be checking into what their interests are or connecting with them on what we do to turn them into sales?
Nurturing is not checking in every three months; however it is about keeping in touch and developing a relationship over time. Regardless, the most important thing is to be helpful, relevant, and have your content visible in the communities where your target market is spending time. Yesterday’s mantra of “always be closing” is no longer relevant. Real time sales and marketing teams should instead be chanting “always be helping.” Try launching a campaign to your social following offering a white paper or free demo in exchange for their email address. In this early stage it’s a good idea to keep the lead form simple the sales pitch on the backburner. Offering your social following something useful can be the catalyst to nudge them to move further into your sales funnel and continue the nurturing process.
A special thanks to all of our speakers who participated in The Social Customer webinar, and everyone who attended and submitted questions. Check out our events tab to stay on top of upcoming webinars, and we invite you to leave a comment below with ideas and suggestions for future events.