As an Inbound Writer for Lean Labs, Melissa writes about high-converting websites and customer-centric marketing. She's an avid traveler, with trips to Iceland, Ukraine, and Portugal under her belt. She currently resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with her dog, Morrie.
Your leads don’t like your content.
One overly salesy blog post, or email with an aggressive promotion, can alienate a lead. As a result, they may become disinterested and you might lose them for good. And, when you’re dealing with marketing automation, it’s possible to alienate leads in bulk.
And that, my friend, is a nightmare too many companies live through every day. Then, they wonder why lead nurturing doesn’t work.
Lead Nurturing Content Your Leads Want Most
Intentional, impactful content is key.
A content strategy that focuses on where leads are in the buyer’s journey, and provides them with the educational content they want, results in a positive user experience and more consistent, predictable conversions.
Lead Nurturing at the Awareness Stage
This is the extreme top of the funnel, or TOFU. Lead nurturing starts here.
TOFU leads are currently experiencing issues, problems, and are in search of a solution, cause, or resolution to their problems.
Since they aren’t in buying mode, TOFU content should address their specific questions.
Content you should create, including blog, video, and premium content, must focus on educating a prospect while addressing that specific question.
For instance, if a person is considering a new house, they might question if they should rent, buy, or build. They turn to Google to evaluate their options, using searches such as "how much does it cost to build a house?"
Naturally, during that time frame, they aren't ready to hire a contractor.
They’re not ready to start looking at available land.
This kind of content and messaging is too aggressive. Since they are in the beginning stages of cobbling together information to consider different outcomes, their end goal is only to gain relevant knowledge.
Content that addresses the cost of building a house wins at this point. Every. Single. Time.
Here are a few examples of TOFU content:
- Content that answers a specific question. In the home building instance, a good piece of TOFU content might be a blog post titled "How Much Does It Cost To Build A House". It should answer the question and while naturally, you can't answer definitively, you can explain the factors. Include resources, the best options available, even the services you do not have or products you don’t sell.
- Premium content with actionable steps. Put action oriented content such as video, case studies, and e-books, in hotspots of your funnel. With an article such as X Ways To Make Building A House Cheaper Than Buying, you’re providing options and ideas for prospects that are closer to make a decision, but still in the awareness stage.
Lead Nurturing at the Interest Stage
After the awareness stage in our house building scenario, the lead will learn that building a house is a viable option. After that, we need to identify and craft content around the next logical question.
It’s still not time to try and sell blueprints.
Although the lead is interested in building, we now need to sell them on the idea that building is right for them. We need to show how building a house fits into their story.
The next appropriate content to present the lead would around the benefits of building. We’re not trying to talk them into our solution yet, we’re trying to talk them into a solution like we offer.
This content should include:
- The why. Present the reasons about why a prospect should build, including information about money, convenience, the long-term value of their investment, etc.
- The who. Feature stories of other people who have built and had great experiences. Create diverse pieces of content that could apply to your specific personas.
- The what. A possible premium offer could be a list of blueprints, compared to final products, and the different sizes of houses.
Content at the interest phase is about potential. This content should educate the prospect about the details of home-building, while showing them how they will benefit from building a home.
Lead Nurturing at the Consideration Stage
Once a lead converts on an interest-level offer, we need to move them from "I need a solution like this" into "I need this particular solution."
The consideration phase is all about them considering not only if they should build, but who they should hire to build.
Content for this stage could include informative comparisons, such as us vs. them.
This is the best kind of content at this stage, and is effective because:
- It provides specifics. Comparisons equip the customer with decision making specifics about cost, features, and benefits, and gives them insights into how your company can resolve their pain points.
- It does the homework. This content does a bulk of the research for the customer, when executed well. By giving the customer accurate, helpful information, you also have an advantage over your competition.
Comparison content can be the deal breaker when not executed well. Overly negative content against competitors could (and often does) backfire. Trust is a key component at every stage, and of utmost importance at this stage. So, it’s important to get your message right.
In this stage, your content needs to directly answer why they should want to do business with your company.
Lead Nurturing at the Decision Stage
Once you’ve convinced a customer to choose your company, it’s time to drive the final conversion. They’ve pretty much decided they’re going to buy, so this content needs to address"why buy right now?”
Just because a customer reaches the decision phase, doesn’t mean they’ll stay there, or convert. In fact, 7-out-of-10 customers back out of purchasing products in their shopping cart.
You don't want them to back out, and you don't want them to drift back into consideration mode either.
Persuasive content that makes a difference in the decision phase includes:
- Reviews. About 63% of customers use product reviews and ratings to decide whether or not to make a purchase.
- Customer testimonials and feedback. Social proof works.
- Special deals, flash sales, etc. Just make them limited in some way, the easiest is time-bound (24-hour sale).
Full-Funnel Lead Nurturing
Creating content for the buyer’s journey goes beyond fulfilling marketing best practices. By focusing talent and time on truly engaging, effective content, you’ll improve the morale of your team and credibility of your brand.
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