Social media engagement and email marketing are at the heart of lead gen and nurturing for B2B/SMB.
If you have a business, then you need customers. Lead generation is all about finding those customers. Once you have identified a qualified (legitimate) lead, then it’s time to nurture that lead. Lead nurturing is developing and strengthening your relationship with a lead so they become a customer.
What is a lead? A lead is someone who has indicated they need what you are selling. A lead is a person who you hope to turn into a customer. It can also be a dormant customer who you hope to win back or upsell.
Generating leads begins when you create and promote content to attract customers. It is the first part of your inbound marketing strategy. Once you have successfully received contact information, you can nurture the lead at multiple stages of the buyer’s journey until they make a purchase.
Lead Nurturing Benefits
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost, according to Forrester Research. A good lead nurturing campaign has prospects receiving targeted communications based on their own activities, interests, and more.
Lead nurturing is a powerful tool for sales and marketing, ensuring leads are as educated as possible by the time they’re ready to talk to a sales rep. Some of the benefits of lead nurturing are reactivating dormant leads, increasing sales via personalization, and successful lifecycle sales campaigns.
Wake Up Dormant Leads
When you nurture dormant leads, sending them emails with your educational content will encourage them to re-engage and remember you as a resource. Personalized email messages make leads know you are there for them. Personalizing web experiences sees a 19% increase in sales, according to eConsultancy.
Nurturing leads across the entire lifecycle (from awareness to consideration to action) is key to making the most out of your sales funnel. Use nurturing campaigns to welcome new clients, distribute helpful training information, and send important best practices information. You can even use nurturing tracks to upsell current clients, promote new or different packages, or run campaigns focused on renewals.
There are several tactics marketers use to generate leads, but email marketing and social media marketing are the top two most effective. Let’s explore why and how to make the most out of these two channels.
Social Media Lead Generation & Nurturing
There are an estimated 3.6 billion people who use social media worldwide. Social media lead generation is the process of collecting new leads using social media. Social media lead generation can establish your business as an invaluable resource to potential customers. It works by targeting followers with relevant content and offers in order to convert them into paying customers.
Social media amplifies your lead generation efforts by helping you raise brand awareness, drive website traffic, and improve community engagement. It is a way for you to identify qualified leads based on direct engagement with your brand instead of buying lists of leads or cold calling. “I recommend you focus on organic lead generation rather than spending valuable marketing funds on ineffective tactics like paying for leads,” says Neil Patel.
While paying for leads may not be a valuable marketing spend, a paid social media advertising strategy is highly effective for generating leads on social media. According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2021, “CMOs spend nearly one-quarter (22%) of the marketing budget on digital advertising—including display, video or ads on social media or platforms like Amazon—and paid search.” One example of a paid social strategy is Lead Gen Forms on LinkedIn. They have a 13% average conversion rate while landing pages see about 2.35% conversions on average.
Retarget Ads on Social
Some other social media lead generating and nurturing tactics to try are ad retargeting, YouTube show and/or channel sponsorships, and hosting virtual meetings or conferences on social platforms. Retarget ads (10X better click-through rate than regular display ads) to follow around leads on social media in order to visually keep your brand top of mind. Identify YouTube channels that are popular with your target audience and get involved with them. Host a virtual conference on topics that would intrigue your target audience and that relate to your brand’s area of expertise.
Effective social listening is key to identifying lead generation opportunities on social media. Monitoring social media conversations to see what people are saying about your industry, competitors, and/or your brand helps you to identify what is important to your leads and how you can insert your brand into the conversation.
Email Marketing, Lead Gen and Nurturing
Email marketing, while not the newest marketing tactic, is still one of the most effective in moving leads efficiently through the sales funnel. Building an opt-in list of leads is most effective if you deliver them high-quality content they anticipate. Consistent and highly relevant emails help you build credibility and trust with leads. Additionally it keeps your brand top-of-mind for when decision makers are ready to select a solution.
If you manage a large database of leads at all different stages of the buying cycle, implementing a marketing automation software application for your business is a must. It will help you build out marketing tracks and start engaging in relevant conversations at scale. A marketing track, or drip campaign, is a collection of emails delivered over time for a specific type of buyer, or a distinct area of interest.
When creating email marketing campaigns, use the basics of creating a great email: engaging subject line, concise, relevant images, integrated social links, and providing a next step for readers. Implementing these tactics will result in higher lead engagement.
Ready to Launch
When you’re ready to start up an email marketing campaign, here is a checklist of what you will need:
- Know your audience: Who are you talking to? What do you know about them? What can help them the most? Focus on them.
- Plan with your sales cycle in mind: Know the stages and segment and personalize accordingly.
- Create great content: Content is key and king. Create a lot of it for the different needs your audience has. Let them know the value of the content you send them.
- Measure KPIs: Define success at the onset and keep track of it.
- Roles and responsibilities: Who’s doing what and when? Create a roles and responsibilities task list and calendar.
- Test, test, test: Look at what’s working and refine.
Here are some other lead nurturing campaign ideas for the different parts of the sales funnel:
- Welcome campaign: delight your newest leads with a welcome that informs, educates, and inspires them and keeps them wanting more.
- Top-of-mind campaign: know when your leads are in the market for what you are selling and be sure to remind them of your product or service and how it is exactly what they need.
- Re-engagement campaign: reestablish a lost connection with a lead by sending a personalized email checking in and offering them something new you have (content or product).
- Product-focused campaign: share every reason why your product is what it is. Give behind the scenes glimpses, stories of the people behind the products, testimonials, case studies, and every reason why your product is the best.
- Competitive drips: highlight why your product is the top dog in the market. Share information about how it stacks up against your competitors.
- Industry Expertise drips: tell your leads why your team is the industry expert on what you do. Establish authority by letting your team members share their insight.
- Promotional drips: create product promotions or special discounts for your subscribers. Empower them to share your product promotions with their networks.
- Onboarding campaign: give new customers all of the tools they need to be successful with your product. Send follow up emails with where they can go to find what they need and inspire them to do more than they imagined.
- Upsell drip: incentivize customers to try different or additional products you sell. Show them the benefits of purchasing more of what you have to offer.
- Renewal campaign: remind customers of their renewal options in advance of their renewal date. Share with them new offers, additional incentives, and new content that reminds them of how great your products are.
Source: American Marketing Association
If you have a business, then you need customers. Lead generation and nurturing is all about taking customers through the sales funnel in a way that focuses on their needs. Social media marketing and email marketing are two of the most effective ways brands can do just that.
Feature image by Timon Studler on Unsplash
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