Tag Archive for content marketing

Lead Generation: 10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

10 Tips For Getting More Subscribers

More subscribers are almost as good as money in the bank, so here you go…

1. Include a call-to-action at the end of your blog posts.

Let your visitors know that if they like your blog posts, they’ll love your newsletter content.

That’s because you save some of your best niche tips, tricks and secrets for subscribers.

To get more subscribers, include a link to your landing page at the bottom of your posts, along with a reason to click on that link.

Example: Discover 101 more weight loss tricks for free—click here!

2. Encourage a viral effect.

You can get more subscribers simply by including a note at the bottom of every newsletter where you encourage your existing subscribers to forward your email to their friends, family and colleagues who could benefit from the information.

Example: “Do you know someone else who could benefit from these dog training secrets? Please forward this e-mail to them—they’ll thank you for it!”

3. Use your forum signature file to get new subscribers.

If you’re visiting busy niche forums, include an ad and a call-to-action in your forum signature.

Example: “Free report reveals the health secrets your doctor doesn’t want you to know! Click here to claim your copy now…”

4. Point your social followers to a free report.

Make full use of social media sites—Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest—to grow your list.

Simply point your fans and followers towards your squeeze page to pick up a free report. Include this link on your profile page as well as in some of your posts.

5. Embed your links in your products.

Include links in your free reports too and encourage your readers to share what they have read with their friends.

6. Drive traffic to your landing page using videos.

You can create YouTube.com videos for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your newsletter sign-up page.

To get the best results, include a call-to-action at the end of your video where you promise viewers they can get the second part of the video—for free—when they join your list.

7. Tap into Hubpages to get new subscribers.

Create Hubpages.com pages around niche topics with the purpose of driving visitors and point as many links as possible to your landing page.

8. Co-promote with others in your niche.

Here you can swap endorsements with your partners. You can post your endorsements on your respective blogs as well as in your newsletters. I’ve also very successfully done ad swaps where I swap ads with other marketers.

9. Unleash the power of content marketing.

First create a multi-part article series around a niche topic.

Then upload Part 1 to the article directories (such as: EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com) and upload the rest of the series to your autoresponder.

Use your article byline to encourage people to get the rest of the series (starting with Part 2) by clicking through to your squeeze page.

10. Form a newsletter co-op.

Do a co-registration deal with one or more people in your niche, that is, when a prospect joins your partners newsletter, they also get the option of joining your newsletter at the same time (simply by checking a checkbox).

Summary…

You can use each of these 10 lead generation methods to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new subscribers. Test them out, track performance and do it over and over again. Just imagine how big your list will be once you apply all these methods.

Can you outperform these Inbound Marketing statistics?

Can you outperform these statistics?

The statistics can’t lie. As the marketplace shifts online, Inbound marketing is poised to take over traditional marketing methods in terms of lead generation performance. Consider these numbers:

54% more leads are generated by inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing.

More marketers say inbound delivers cheaper cost per lead than outbound methods.

68% of B2B businesses use landing pages to garner new sales leads. (MarketingSherpa)

Business websites of 401-1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages.

Content marketing generates 3 times more leads and costs 62% less than traditional.

You can discover more interesting marketing statistics and trends on this page. Be inspired to reach these benchmarks in your own digital marketing activities.

Click the blue bird and share a tweet. Thanks!

SEO Tip: The Importance Of Header Tags

SEO Tip: The Importance Of Header Tags

Most of us who have been doing content marketing for any length of time understand that to receive any amount of search engine traffic there are some basic search engine optimization (SEO) rules that need to be followed to be successful. Today, I like to touch on header tags.

Header tags are one tip used to pinpoint important information in your web page or blog post. The header tag should be placed in your page or blog post where the most important information starts. The HTML for this header would have a h1 enclosed in < > placed before a key phrase and enclosed with a /h1 in < > after it. Example:

You can also use varying levels of header tags throughout your post, changing the number from 1-5, like using <h2>…</h2> to single out an important paragraph in an article but more often used for sub-headlines. In a decreasing manner, h1 tags carry the most SEO weightage, h2 tags carry lesser, then comes h3 tags and so on. However, it is wrong thinking that we can start stuffing keywords in header tags.

The latest Google algorithm updates have come a long way from measuring search ranking success in a purely mathematical manner to evaluating the overall authoritative degree and x-factor of a website, and that is why keyword research and optimization has to take a “less hack-and-slash, more intelligent” approach that does not raise any red flags upon detection and review.

Therefore, the best way to use h1 tags is to think along the line of what your potential website visitors would type in the Google search box in order to reach your content page, and frame that likely keyword-filled question within the h1 tags. In this way, the text in header tags gives readers a clear idea what the whole web page is about, thereby enriching their user experience on your website.

Not only do header tags improve readability of your content by introducing sub-headlines as “visual breaks” for quick scanning and referencing, they can also improve the search ranking of the web page or blog post. They have not lost their importance in SEO; it’s that their importance takes on a whole new meaning.

The Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2016

The Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Dominating 2015

The screenshot you see above is captured from Google Trends. “Content Marketing” as a key phrase has been on an upward trend since 2011. Today, it is widely practiced around the world and is gaining popularity. We expect B2B marketers will continuously and actively adopt content marketing in 2016.

According to Demand Metric, 90% of organizations, by marketing with content, are spending 62% less than what they do with traditional marketing, and that’s certainly good news. Here are several other encouraging content marketing trends:

1. Personalized content play a bigger role.

Publishing and distribution tools now theoretically make anyone a mass publisher. And in a world where content multiplies exponentially and time remains finite, it’s harder to be remarkable. Marketers want users to interact with their content, and what better way to achieve that than through providing something relevant?

That’s why many companies are designing personalized content. Content personalization takes a variety of forms, all of which come down to audience segmentation. Typically, marketers can pare down how they segment the audience through categories like Location, Interest, Behavior, Referral. Segmentation provides the opportunity to gain an extremely granular understanding of customers, then to anticipate their needs, wants, affinities, and expectations and develop unique insights to power better marketing across all devices, channels, localities, and brand experiences.

Your customers’ data will be instrumental to how you can begin to publish and deliver more personalized content to them at the right time.

2. Increase engagement impact of content marketing with visual storytelling.

Due to the increase in marketing noise, marketers will need to find a medium that will help their message stand out from the crowd and that could be visual storytelling. Visual storytelling is best used to communicate a brand’s philosophy and aesthetics. In April 2014, Starbucks had a contest asking patrons to draw on their Starbucks cups, take a photo, and then enter the contest with #WhiteCupContest on social media. 4,300 entries later, Starbucks had created a nice buzz that played out on social media, all while connecting personally to their audience.

According to TheVerge.com, 8 of the top 10 most shared posts on Facebook incorporate video. Also, 93% of the most engaging Facebook posts include images. This shows that visual stories crafted for marketing purposes can spark a movement or inspire emotions, sending a clear message about the brand to its consumers and helping to define it against the surrounding surge of noise.

3. LinkedIn dominates industry and marketing news.

According 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends, 91% of B2B Marketers used LinkedIn to distribute content, and 62% of them rate LinkedIn as an effective social media platform. As Business Insider reported, LinkedIn plans to be a $1 billion business by 2017, by becoming “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.” LinkedIn is set to become a dominant social channel for content distribution.

4. Location-Based Content Marketing will provide huge ROI.

With more people owning smartphones and checking in to location-based services, the possibility of reaching a meaningful swath of consumers and more importantly, knowing where they are during the day is becoming a reality. Location-based couponing and promotions are continuing to drive in-store visits and sales.

One example of how brick-and-mortar businesses are using location-based marketing to increase ROI is the use of geo-aware marketing in a campaign launched earlier this year by Meguiar’s (an auto-care products company). By showing relevant ads in areas that showed a high volume of car and car-accessory buyers, the company was able to achieve a $1.31 ROI and a 118% increase in sales in exposed markets. The main aim of native ads is to entertain and enlighten the viewers without explicitly promoting a particular product or service. These ads often talk about topics that are in some way related to the product or service the company is offering.

According to Cisco, location-based mobile advertising accounts for $4.5 billion this year; and this number is expected to rise to over $10 billion by 2017. We can see more and more firms will increasingly conduct location-based content marketing.

5. Businesses will look for ways to automate their content marketing, and these efforts will fail.

With businesses creating and promoting more content than ever, it’s no surprise they would be looking for ways to streamline and automate the process. The popularity of marketing automation would rise in order to keep pace.

However, many argue that automating content isn’t without its problems; unrealistic expectations of what marketing automation can accomplish may be one of the biggest hurdles.

According to HubSpot, a leading content marketing automation provider, content marketing is not a “once and done” proposition: “Marketing automation needs constant care and awareness for it to work effectively. Too many companies skimp on these details and think they can let their automation do all the work—not exactly the best way of accomplishing your goals.”

It is easy to be remarkable once. The trick is being remarkable consistently. The one-size-fits-all approach will not work in the world of marketing. Use these trends to your advantage to develop the best strategies that work for you.

3 Steps To Inbound Marketing For The Education Business

Anyone working in the education industry in Singapore knows the lifeblood of the education business are the students, and it is a very lucrative and highly regarded business too. Considering a student enrolling in a 4-year course that cost $20,000/year in tuition fees, his “customer value” is a whopping $80,000 and that is not surprising! It is why education institutions in Singapore always have the budget to run their yearly marketing campaigns in mass media, talks and Open House events.

Fortunately, such outbound marketing approaches are here to stay as generations of young prospective students want to be on an institution’s premise itself to get a good feel of the academic environment. However, the cost of outbound marketing remains high due to these factors:

* the printing and publication of brochures and prospectus
* high-level manpower usage
* food catering
* advertising, administrative and logistics costs

Moreover, an Open House experience may end up dampened for visitors because the event is too crowded so they do not managed to canvass all the information they need and may have to come back another day…if it does not rain. Face-to-face interactions are beneficial especially for young visitors to get a good impression but for an institution to recall “it’s that time of the year” for annual marketing is not really strategically optimal and is very expensive.

When institutions can appreciate that young people are most active online, they will realize that they are best placed to complement their current marketing efforts with Inbound Marketing by generating leads through their websites at much cheaper cost.

The no. 1 goal of education institutions is to enrol students, and the schools that succeed today are leveraging on content marketing, blogs, SEO and social media to promote their courses, attract the relevant website visitors or leads and engage them effectively.

3 Steps To Inbound Marketing

There are 3 steps to Inbound Marketing for the education business in Singapore:

1) Get Found
2) Convert
3) Analyze

Step 1: Get Found

seoplan

Getting found online starts with publishing remarkable content. Institutions most likely have done the basics of publishing their course details on web pages or convert their prospectus into downloadable PDF files, but going Inbound entails year-round marketing consistency. Content can also reflect up-to-date industrial development news about a subject, internal events and programs, exam preparation tips or even accommodation matters. In fact, content should be written not just to target students but also their parents, alumni and other types of stakeholders. The tremendous amount of content will keep the website busy and fresh, engage as many interested parties as possible and help boost the number of indexed and ranked pages in the search engines.

Content can take many forms like blog posts, articles, videos, ebooks, guides, whitepapers, social media posts, emails, infographics, checklists, newsletters and surveys. Content publishing should be a campus-wide collective effort. Besides the full-time administrator, writers and bloggers can include academic staff, student bodies and other volunteers based on an open contribution policy. To reach out to prospective students, think about what makes your school special, and make sure the content tells a story about why they should take an interest in your school. Here’s a hint: It is because they can be safe on campus, be well educated and ultimately land a job. If your content consistently focuses on these concerns, you will win over them. What your contributors write reflects on their wealth of knowledge and expertise and shows that the institution as a whole is staying relevant with the times.

Your prospective students are online using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You need to get involved in these existing communities and build relationships and share content and information.

Step 2: Convert

lead conversion

Lead conversion is a thing that some academic websites I had come across do not perform very well, which betrays a certain lack of digital marketing experience on the part of web designers or IT staff. PDF files like prospectuses are left “in the open” without visitors having to fill in their names and e-mail addresses in a form to access them. Publishing subscription or opt-in pages within the website would be a huge inbound marketing improvement, because such pages allows you to convert anonymous traffic into leads with names, contact info, and interests.

From this point onwards, lead nurturing through email automation helps to inform the leads of all the details they need to make a better enrolment decision. Wouldn’t that be the same information they could get at Open House, except that they are now receiving it through email at any time they subscribe for it? The process is automated, cheaper and helps prospects to digest the information better at their own pace. The emails can state a ready hotline number that prospects can call to make inquiries about academic matters. Finding new pathways of engagement channels fosters relationship building with prospects over time and brings them closer to the enrolment phase.

Step 3: Analyze

Analytics

One of the most integral component of Inbound Marketing is analytics, and it is crucial for measuring the overall effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and understanding where the majority of the traffic is coming from and going to. Statistics to track include daily opt-ins, social media connections, blog subscription, page views, time on site, traffic sources etc. and more importantly, the percentage of leads that ultimately enrols as students after going through the whole lead nurturing process.

Knowing the hard numbers will enable you, the education Inbound marketer, to better decide which non-performing marketing strategies to filter out, the best traffic sources and the most popular downloads and courses viewed online, then you will be able to streamline your marketing efforts for better conversion at lesser cost.

This is just one example of Inbound marketing, and there are many ways and countless reasons to plan an inbound marketing strategy, and hopefully, I’ve helped you understand a little more about how it works. If you have an education site which you like us to review and discover room for Inbound improvement, click the graphic below to start your FREE website evaluation offer!

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

Discover How Healthcare Professionals Can Apply Inbound Marketing

Discover How Healthcare Professionals Can Apply Inbound Marketing

The healthcare industry in Singapore remains highly regulated not only for medical practices, but also for the promotion of medical businesses. This I have learned, first-hand, from my visit to a doctor last week.

As an Inbound marketer, I am surprised to know that information like “before and after” results and testimonials are prohibited from publishing. Doctors also can’t creatively apply pricing offers like discounts either, or show illustrations or publish wordings in manners that are persuasive (e.g. benefit points).

Despite these obstacles, should healthcare professionals in Singapore adopt and apply Inbound Marketing strategies in their businesses? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’! Non-promotional content published on a website need not be academic or dry. Still, Inbound marketing demands that content is written to cater for the interest of website visitors first and foremost—it must be understandable to the layman. This in itself is already a big benefit when doctors can demonstrate their perfect understanding of clients’ needs and pain points through content marketing in the proper context.

A survey conducted by The Pew Internet Project states that “looking for health information is the third most popular online activity” following email and using a search engine. In other words, health information is actually the most sought-after online content! As more Internet users do research to gain better understanding of ailments, treatments and medical services, I believe most of us have searched for health information before and commend Mayo Clinic’s official website as an excellent example of content marketing.

By using Inbound Marketing*, doctors can connect with their online visitors without sacrificing compliance to medical and ethical guidelines. As I wrote previously, going Inbound is not just closing the sale—it is an end-to-end lead generation and conversion process. Every web element must come together in a website to form a buyer’s journey that leads a prospect to sit on the patient’s chair.

The buyer’s journey consists of 3 stages: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. At the Awareness stage, a medical website can start by introducing more details about the medical conditions a doctor specializes in, like:

* how the conditions arise and why
* properties, characteristics or symptoms of conditions
* the consequences of conditions if left untreated
* the dominant demographic of patients which the conditions target
* prevention measures and self-medication tips if available

Content can come in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, blog posts, infographics or some combination of these medium where appropriate or strategic. Other types of content include transcription of public talks, educational videos and journal papers or articles. If the content comes in downloadable files like ebooks, it is perfectly all right to set up subscription pages so visitors can opt in freely to access them. Thereafter doctors can still email their prospects regularly to stay on top of their minds, reminding them that they are a source of solutions and expertise.

Once the prospects have all the information they need to fully understand the medical conditions, next, they will want to know all the options for professional treatment. Considering that medical treatments are a serious matter, they will want to weigh all possibilities to find out what is most favorable to their needs. Give them all the details they need, including methods/procedures involved, typical costings, drawbacks, duration, expected results and other implications—again, written in a most neutral and non-promotional style.

This style of writing probably gets a little more difficult when it comes to the Decision stage. Here, doctors will inform their prospects why they are the authority whom they should seek help or treatment from. Instead of saying what past results they had achieved or how successful their patients had completed treatment, doctors can bank on their qualifications, years of experience and the content they had earlier sent out. Or they can privately invite questions from subscribers through email and give answers back, and if face-to-face discussions are warranted, may invite subscribers into their office. Yes, such ‘funneling’ can be done without the slightest hint of hard-selling. As online communication channels mature, even the use of Skype and Google Hangouts are very effective at building proper doctor-patient relationships.

Marketing in the healthcare industry of Singapore is no laughing matter. Guidelines or not, doctors still have an obligation to inform their patients and prospects as much and as accurately as possible. Showing off their credentials in this manner beats out any commercial gimmicks any day. Inbound marketing gives meaning to a marketing process, just as doctors need to publish meaningful, engaging and educational content for the benefit of their readers, and make themselves stand out. It may be the only reason healthcare professionals in Singapore need to commit themselves to establishing a long-term online presence.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing in Singapore and Asia that involves SEO, social media marketing, blogging and creating landing pages to generate sales leads.

Inbound Marketing In Singapore Needs A Serious Jolt!

Google Trends

The screenshot you see above is captured from Google Trends. “Inbound Marketing” as a key phrase first appeared in 2007 and has been on an upward trend. Today, it is widely practiced around the world and is gaining popularity in Japan. We expect tremendous growth in South-East Asia for the adoption of Inbound marketing in 2015.

I used to hear that South-East Asia is behind the United States in technological trends by 10 years. We at iSmart seriously hope that Inbound Marketing catch on fast in Singapore, not just because we are in the business, but because outbound marketing is getting less viable by the day as the marketplace evolves. Many local marketers are not highly aware of new development in digital marketing methodologies, yet the potential for going Inbound is huge when Singapore is considered the most connected country in the region, with broadband Internet penetration close to 100%! Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines also boast a sizeable Internet user base.

It’s up to us to evangelize the long-term benefits of Inbound Marketing. With ECommerce getting more prominent of late, we are confident that Inbound Marketing is sure to follow next.

Singapore marketers must be thinking, “What’s so special about Inbound if it’s any different from digital marketing?” When I first got in touch with the Inbound philosophy, I could not tell it apart from my earlier Internet marketing experience either, but the subtle difference is there. In fact, you’d never realize email marketing can take an outbound approach as much as an Inbound one.

For example, every time you blast out an eDM mail and hoping and praying someone will click it, that’s outbound. On the other hand, a website visitor arrives at one of your landing pages and download an interesting ebook offer. Thereafter, a series of scheduled email messages is sent out to him on a 3-day interval to nurture his interest until he becomes sales-ready: that’s Inbound.

Outbound: First, you execute a marketing action, then prospects react within their choice.

Inbound: First, prospects signal their interest by their top-of-the-funnel action, then you follow up on them.

Which marketing approach is easier…much easier? There is no debate: Inbound is the way to go because it builds on prospects’ interest that is already there; they come to you on their own initiative. At any point in time—not even in the closing stage—there is no hard selling. Even traditional business owners would have a few good ‘Inbound’ moments, like when you pick up a call and someone whom you have never prospected asked about your products and services. Would you be happy to receive random leads like this at no extra advertising cost? Sure you would. Inbound Marketing is touted to lower lead generation costs by 60%!

I think one of the strongest component of Inbound that sets it apart from digital marketing in general is its follow-up process. Many corporations in Singapore may have an email database here and a blog there, but they’d never know how various digital marketing elements can gel together to become comprehensive. Inbound Marketing, through the use of HubSpot, the world’s no. 1 Inbound Marketing software, is a holistic approach to converting a cold lead into a warm Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) which ultimately becomes a customer, and throughout the process, the marketing execution is timely (saves time) and cost-effective (saves money).

Inbound Marketing Is Hard

Inbound is not just list building: landing pages are strategically positioned along the buyer’s journey to frame a lead’s problems or challenges and offer corresponding solutions.

Inbound is not just content marketing: articles are written not generically, but with a sharp focus that is relevant to the readers depending on their buyer persona and where they are along the buyer’s journey.

Inbound is not just email marketing: emails are written to be helpful, informative and conversational and sent to the appropriate segmented subscriber list to engage subscribers and build closer relationships. The dialogue and nurturing process breaks down leads’ defenses so they can be more open to speaking to your sales team later.

Inbound is not just search engine optimization (SEO): selected keywords lay the foundation for remarkable content to be written for searchers first, then the search engines. This paves the way towards better understanding of your buyer personas’ queries.

Inbound is not just closing the sale: Too much money, time and effort had been spent to acquire customers only for businesses to neglect them. It is a grave mistake and a huge let-down to customers. According to the White House Office Of Consumer Affairs, “It is 6, 7 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.” Inbound customer service goes above and beyond to build trust and lasting relationships as a critical priority to creating the Inbound experience. When customers become promoters of your business, you gain 3 very powerful intangible benefits: social proof, marketing leverage and competitive advantage.

It is clear to us that Inbound requires a higher marketing school of thought in order to provide a fuller customer experience in relation to our businesses. Singapore companies have always been ahead of neighboring countries in terms of business practices, so it is high time that we must uphold our leading position by continually updating our marketing strategies to meet business growth goals.

Inbound is the next wave of marketing to maximizing your growth potential. If you are not sure how to get started, do not hesitate to call us or drop us a mail, or you can apply for a FREE website evaluation. We relish a challenge that helps us on both sides to grow in knowledge and expertise in 2015 and beyond.

Discover The 5 Major Aspects Of A Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign

As the marketplace moves online, the majority of leads are not going to do business with you in the first instances. Lead nurturing becomes a key component of one-to-many marketing automation. The whole experience of the way leads interact with marketers and receive input from them becomes more process-based and systematic. Marketers can now collate a complete set of data based on the leads’ history of interaction to qualify them further down the marketing funnel.

This ‘input’ that marketers offer to leads is valuable content that educates, keeps them engaged and warms them up. A consistent and automated dissemination of content establishes a strong brand presence at the top of prospects’ minds even as leads and marketers do not meet, until the leads send a strong signal like filling in a telephone number in a form or agreeing to a product demonstration. When online lead nurturing can produce such revealing data, that’s how powerful and effective the marketing process can become.

Consider the following factors in setting up a proper lead nurturing campaign:

1) Set your goals.

funnel

In popular understanding, there are 3 parts to a marketing funnel:

a) ToFU (Top Of The Funnel or Awareness stage): The prospect is experiencing a problem and requires knowledge to better understand what he is going through and why.

b) MoFU (Middle Of The Funnel or Consideration stage): Having understood and defined the problem, the prospect is considering the various options to solving it.

c) BoFU (Bottom of The Funnel or Decision stage): The prospect has shortlisted possible solutions to his/her problem and will finalize his purchase decision.

The goals of each part of your funnel is to prepare your leads with the necessary information and usher them to the next part. They always have a choice to opt out, thereby disqualifying themselves out of the funnel, but you want to focus on the leads that remain in the funnel.

2) Define your market persona.

interview

Before the marketing process begins, you must first define the type of prospects to target. Instead of spending important advertising dollars on drawing in the wrong set of prospects, construct a market persona based on the majority of your customers and concentrated around their needs and wants. By creating a buyer persona and nailing down your clients’ needs, lifestyles and even apprehensions, you will have the capacity to think of a ready answer to address your clients’ challenges. By placing ourselves in the shoes of our prospects, we can better pre-empt their purchasing decision. It’s so much more effective to zero in on the right leads this way because it is very difficult to measure the degree of favorable response to mass marketing.

To give you a hint, you can start by asking current customers or prospects the following questions:

Role:

  • What is your job role? Your job title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What is a typical day?
  • What skills are required?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?

Goals:

  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?

Challenges:

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you overcome these challenges?

Company:

  • What industry or industries does your company work in?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?

Watering Holes:

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you belong to?

Personal Background:

  • Age
  • Family (single, married, children)
  • Education

Shopping Preferences:

  • How to you prefer to interact with vendors (email, phone, in person?)
  • Do you use the Internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information? What types of websites do you use?

As your leads answer these questions, you will find it easy to segment them in order to present to them the most appropriate content in their context. It also demonstrates your perfect understanding of their needs and challenges at any particular point in time, thereby maximizing the impact of your marketing messages.

3) Design your content

contentdesign

As you are already aware, the content in your emails plays a major part in lead nurturing by influencing the thinking process of your readers to be in line with your goals. The mindset behind your writing is to identify a problem and the need to solve it, impart knowledge and benefits, and emphasize action and accompanying results on the readers’ part. The regularity of messages queued and released on schedule within a workflow enables you to build ongoing relationships with your prospects/clients while keeping them engaged.

Although the content may be carried within emails, the content itself can take many forms, like a whitepaper, blog post, video, webinar, infographic etc. You could start with offering general advice that reflects the depth of expertise your company has. Instead of mentioning your products or services straight away, write some tips that your readers can easily apply themselves to solve low-level problems when they are in the ToFU or BoFU stage.

Overdeliver in this aspect of content marketing to the point when you have no choice but to propose a commercial solution to a larger or high-level problem. By then, your leads should also feel comfortable and find you trustworthy as a solutions provider. Even so, there is yet another way to qualify different types of buyers according to low-ticket, mid-ticket and high-ticket purchases. It is not very often that prospects will buy big-ticket items if they can’t perceive such a value. You can “whet their appetite” for future purchase by offering a cheap product like a more exclusive e-book, a recorded video tutorial, a 2-hour solutions-based coaching session etc. And only when they are ready that you can invite them for a free demonstration or trial use to orientate them for your flagship product.

Therefore consider how your emails are designed to deliver content that guide your leads along a well-defined buyer’s journey.

4) Set a timeline for your marketing funnel

timeline

This correlates with point 3 regarding the length of time by which you can afford to overdeliver on free content to nurture your leads. Although there is no fixed rule of thumb to how long the time could be, it is said that 75% of your leads buy within 18-24 months. It also depends on the degree of sophistication of the product or service you are selling. How you come to settle down on a definite timeline depends on how much content you have come up with and how you space them out at regular intervals. Be free to experiment with the way you sequence your content delivery, but it is of utmost importance that you must trust yourself that you did all you can to win over your prospects with your selling proposition, and thereafter you must discard the leads whom you perceive as remaining disinterested.

5) Define metrics for marketing campaign performance

metrics

Testing and tracking for results remains to be an integral business practice for all forms of marketing, therefore you must define the result metrics of your lead nurturing campaign or sales cycle, such as email open and click-through rates, social media reach (retweets, Facebook likes, fan/follower growth rates, impressions, shares etc.) and lead conversion rate. Metrics are the details that tie in with the goals mentioned in point 1.

As time goes, you will begin to discern and separate the non-performing marketing strategies from the good ones, and you want to improve or filter out the non-performers and concentrate more energy on the ones that work. Results will influence your future decisions on how to tweak the offers you send, the email subject lines, calls-to-action, content, landing page design etc. As the saying goes, “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”

There you have it: the 5 major aspects of a successful lead nurturing campaign. In summary, you first determine your goals and metrics and how long you expect to reach them, know who you are targeting and identify what content to disseminate. The setup process can be time-consuming, but in the spirit of Inbound Marketing*, ultimately it will be beneficial to improving your lead quality at lower cost and your bottom line.

Are you generating enough leads for your business? Not satisfied with the quality of your leads as you hoped for? If you like us to examine your lead nurturing process, call us or write to us for a free consultation so we can give you a FREE website assessment and take your business to the next level!

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.