Selecting the Right Content for Lead Nurturing
What’s Your Buyer’s Journey?
By now you’ve probably read at least several articles and watched many presentations on the virtues of creating a buyer’s journey. I have good news and bad news. This article isn’t going to expound on the obvious reasons to create your buyer’s journey. The bad news: if you haven’t already mapped yours, you need to immediately document at least a crude map. Below is an example to help you get started.
Building a lead nurturing program without a buyer’s journey map is like driving a car without tires. It’s slow going, treacherous and will cost you a lot of money and time in the long run. However, if you take the time to map typical buyer steps you’ll see natural places for aligning content to interest.
The Critical First Touch
A potential buyer has attended an event, watched your video, maybe even downloaded some content. The bait you created successfully engaged the audience, but what’s next? The very next touch can either secure you another virtual date, or permanently put you in the spam “let’s not even be friends” filter.
- Pick an asset that is unrelated to what they just consumed
- Assume they internalized the message of the content previously accessed—I promise they aren’t as deeply wedded to your material as you
- Start pushing meetings or aggressive next steps that leap frog their indicated stage
- Reference the content they already consumed
- Make a reasonable guess about what they might want to read as follow up from their first engagement
- Select content that helps them implement an idea you shared in the previous content
- Invite conversation by sharing contact details and communicating on behalf of real people at your company
Mix it Up: Content Marketing Is About Learning
There is a plethora of research that shows people learn in different ways. Some are more visual, some auditory, some hands-on and others absorb best by reading. In fact, most of us retain information best when a combination of approaches are combined. Lead nurturing is not about making a single, transient impression. It’s about using content to help our buyer’s explore, evaluate and learn to trust our brand. The most effective programs don’t do this via one “learning channel.” Instead, they offer content across a variety of formats.
For example, instead of just sending out a PDF, drive your visitors to a landing page where that PDF resides, but also includes a video Q&A with the author and an interactive poll.
It takes more work to offer content across many mediums but the extra work pays off in more qualified conversions and a more engaged audience.
It’s all about me…whoops, no it’s not
Sorry marketers, it’s not all about you even in the solution evaluation stage. Those of us with complex offerings are very good at talking about our solution. The problem arises when we forget our buyers’ need more than just information about what we do. They need information that helps them compare what we do to the alternative. And they need information that helps them build a justification for parting with their hard earned budget.
Comparison documents, reviews, evaluation checklists, and ROI calculators for example are much more valuable than product data sheets and specifications alone.
Nurture on marketers. Nurture on!
Samantha is a fast growth, B2B marketing junkie, mother of four high energy boys and wannabe gourmet chef. Throughout her career she has launched go-to-market initiatives and lead marketing strategies for award-winning, high growth technology companies including Netezza, SAP, Ascential Software and Powersoft. In 2012 she founded The Marketing Advisory Network to help enterprises unleash the possible within their organizations. You can read more about her marketing philosophy and get practical advice by visiting her blog.