Anything that gets attention grows – the art of nurturing in B2B marketing

According to research by MarketingSherpa, companies that nurture leads have an ROI that is higher than 45% compared to organizations without a nurture campaign. But what does nurturing actually mean?

In short, lead nurturing is taking a potential B2B buyer by the hand (in other words lead) and taking it to the next phase of the buying process in a natural way. Only how do you take a client by the hand? By consistently offering relevant content at the right time. With a nurture campaign you reach several marketing goals:

  • You are ‘on top of the mind’ with the buyer, both at knowledge level and product content.
  • You can profile your buyer better: in exchange of content you can map your wishes and preferences.
  • You can contact and stay in contact with your potential buyer.

Are you curious about ‘lead nurturing’? In this blog I will give you a few handles and a 5-step action plan to understand the art of nurturing better.

The art of knowing your buyer

The buyer behavior of B2B is changing. More and more information is available and thus a buyer can prepare a purchase without needing a supplier in principle. Being a B2B marketer you can use this opportunity and make sure that you have a view on the questions and painful areas of your buyer. This means that you have to put yourself in their shoes and understand which daily worries he has and which challenges he sees during a buying process. For instance, what could be a motive to look for a solution? The best way to get a structured idea of your buyer is by creating a buyers profile, a buyer persona.

The art of seductive content

As soon as you know which questions your buyer has, you can start content marketing. The strength of a good B2B content marketing strategy is tempting potential buyers to contact your company directly: inbound marketing. Tempt your buyer with relevant and consistent content in every phase of his buying process. Tempt him to leave personal data like name and email address and approval of sending future content, so called OPT-IN.

The art of nurturing

Anything that gets attention grows. This principle of nurturing also goes in marketing. But how do you nurture potential buyers who are interested in your product or service? How do you create a good nurture program?

  1. Create a clear campaign target and make it SMART. For instance, think about ‘this many leads are ready to be handed over to sales’ or ‘improving quality of leads’ so sales will accept it without a problem.
  2. Make sure you know your buyer and know which content is relevant for him during the buying process. It gives you an advantage to your competitor and it shows that you don’t put your buyer in a demographic box but that you understand him and sees him as an individual with specific wishes and demands and that you respond to his information needs.
  3. Make sure you have a relevant amount of ‘touch points’. A good campaign has 3 to 4 meetings. Furthermore, it is important to determine the right timing. Messages should not come too close together but you also shouldn’t wait too long after the first meeting. Also, the content has to match. Your goal is to start a dialogue rather than just spreading content everywhere.
  4. Make sure you buy sales. Eventually leads are meant for sales to follow up. It is important to set up a nurture campaign together with sales so that they are aware of the content, when to expect leads and what the needed follow-up is.
  5. Make sure that you can measure your SMART campaign targets and improve your campaign in the future based on the results.

Used sources: the Web, Eloqua, HubSpot. Act-on

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