Billy Joel didn’t know it when he sang “Matter of Trust”, but he was singing about B2B lead nurturing.
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In a nutshell, this means building relationships of trust and cultivating them over time, and it is the essence of doing business.
Forward-thinking companies focus on building trust with the end customer, and you should, too.
Why is trust so important? Because the end-user needs to trust you before deciding to buy your product or service.
No trust, no buy.
In this article, we will analyze the most effective B2B lead nurturing strategies that build the deepest trust. Let’s get started!
What is B2B Lead Nurturing?
B2B lead nurturing is about converting a prospect into a customer. To do this professionally, focus on creating specific content that builds trust with that prospect. Content is at the heart of a successful B2B lead nurturing strategy because that’s what prospects consume before they become customers.
Image Source: Hubspot
The journey from prospect to customer is through your content. Here’s what your content can do:
- Create an educational process based on ad hoc content. Potential customers need to know your brand, the products, and their benefits.
- Eliminate all objections and minimize “purchase frictions” (hesitations). You can build trust in prospects and reduce their hesitancy by showing them successful case studies and testimonials.
- Raise awareness with prospects. Creating ebooks, white papers, and blog articles will reach as many prospects in as many ways as possible.
- Let the customer help you. If you build awareness in the prospects, they will buy from you more often. In fact, they will recommend you to their acquaintances and they will generate referrals at no cost. Make it easy for them to do so.
The result? A personalized and professional customer experience.
Practical examples of B2B Lead Nurturing
Targeted content is the key to bringing new customers into the company. In other words, follow a content strategy that focuses on what the target wants to know. Each customer will get the proper nourishment to trust you and buy your products.
To build a B2B lead nurturing strategy, consider creating:
- Lead magnets. Offer freebies such as ebooks, checklists, or templates that prospects can download from your site in exchange for their email address. This helps them develop an interest in your company and gives you a way to follow up with them.
- Landing pages. Promote your product by eliminating distractions, arousing interest and curiosity, and focusing on the call to action (CTA). An example of valid CTA would be to fill out a query form to be contacted or request a free quote. Use a time-tested formula to increase conversions from your content.
- Segmentation. This is the first step in personalizing content. Once you have the customer’s email address, you can add them to a list in your customer relationship (CRM) software or app. A carefully crafted email series helps nurture and strengthen the bond with the prospect. It increases awareness and builds a desire to buy your product or service.
- Web content. Research and understand what content your audience wants to receive and discover. Then, write it.
- Reports and case studies. These increase your brand’s authority by demonstrating expertise and instilling trust in potential customers.
These strategies position your brand as “good” and “valuable”, reduce customer hesitancy and make them eager to buy from you.
Image Source: Hubspot
Inbound Marketing and B2B Lead Nurturing
Inbound marketing is the first step to building trust and converting the prospect. It refers to all your efforts to pull potential buyers to your website. Once again, content that shows concrete results without using annoying persuasive techniques is key.
With inbound marketing, you can:
- Introduce new customers (who actively are seeking information online);
- Educate new inbound leads; and
- Retain those who are already customers.
So, how can you develop an inbound marketing strategy for a company in the B2B sector?
Think like the customer.
First, pay attention to keywords that are most relevant, so you can rank higher in search engines for the words they use when searching. Create all your content from an SEO perspective, thus facilitating mutual interaction between the brand and its customer both when they search and when they land on your page. Use the technical terms of the sector, keeping in mind the questions that customers would ask themselves, the language they would use, and the answers you want to provide.
Second, pay attention to timing. People need different content at different points in the sales funnel. Aim more informative content at people who are still far from ready to buy. Provide more product-related content to contacts who are weighing a purchase.
Once the customer (the company in the B2B sector) has learned to recognize how your product can solve their problem, everything else will follow.
8 Steps to create lead nurturing Content
Winning content should be personalized and designed to generate feedback.
Here’s how to create professional, lead nurturing-focused content for B2B:
Step 1. Pay attention to personalizing your content. Create targeted messages that respond to the real needs of the target. Analyze at which point in the customer journey you should send them the content.
Step 2. Videos are dominating the internet. They are a fresh form of content and can show the human face of the company. Plus, they increase engagement and become a must-watch for customers. Live shows induce people to interact with the host. Would you like to engage prospects? Open a channel on YouTube to offer targeted content. You can collect questions, food for thought, and feedback.
Step 3. Test which version of email works best. Do A/B testing between text and video, between long copy and short, between technical talk and plain English.
Step 4. Build trust and increase desire through a calibrated email sequence. Provide any helpful information and anticipate any objections. Each email is an arrow in your bow to win the prospect’s mind and convert them into a customer.
Step 5. Capture the big idea in the email headline before feeding your sequence to the email automation software. Think carefully about what emotion you want to trigger in the prospect – the big idea is always an emotion packaged in logic.
Step 6. Nurture relationships with old customers. Provide an exclusive and genuine value promotion. An inactive (presumably satisfied) customer could become a repeat customer or even recommend you to a friend or colleague.
Step 7. Don’t neglect commercial phone calls to establish a relationship with the prospect as soon as possible. Give them helpful information by showing competence, understanding, and trustworthiness. Calls personalize the customer experience and increase the authority of the brand.
Step 8. Create a real presence on social media. To take your first steps safely, try LinkedIn, especially for B2B. Consider an outreach strategy to attract influencers to share your content. Social media is the ideal way to engage prospects and pull them into your website.
Image Source: MarketingCharts
B2B Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Try these types of lead nurturing campaigns.
- Educational. You educate prospects with your vision and your entrepreneurial approach. The goal is to get them to accept your expertise and desire your solution. Helpful tools are emails, social networks, blog posts, and industry interviews. Looking for a gem? Try setting up a private Facebook group.
- Product. It would help if you showed the product benefits by creating explainer videos and tutorials to increase customer awareness. Display how to use it, or even better, show how actual companies are using it. Storytelling almost always works, even in B2B sales. Helpful tools are reviews, social media testimonials, blog posts, and in-depth emails.
- Promotional. Provide an economic incentive such as discounts, bulk pricing and time-limited offers. Email marketing is a powerful tool to drive promotions.
- Focus on a specific event. Create a need in the customer by instilling some FOMO (fear of missing out) into the customer. The goal is to jump into a more advanced segment in CRM and shorten the sales process Tools suggested are social media, webinars, email marketing, and private corporate groups.
- Reactivation. Entice dormant users to enter – or re-enter – your sales machine. This campaign is beneficial also for generating referrals. Examples of tools that you can use are email marketing and a phone call from the sales department.
- Authority perception campaigns. Becoming an expert in the eyes of prospects is useful in the sales phase to increase the authority of the brand. For instance, you can use YouTube videos, blog articles, advertorials or interviews in sector publications.
Content is the beating heart of B2B lead nurturing. Content increases prospect awareness. Content educates. Content engages. And content sells. In fact, content fuels your inbound marketing, introduces new customers, and can help you reactivate former and dormant customers.
Follow the eight steps above to create compelling content. From personalization to landing on social networks, the goal of these eight steps is to generate trust by showing your company’s expertise.
Guest author: Erik Emanuelli is a pro blogger and internet marketer. He’s been dabbling in online marketing since 2010, and he loves it. In his spare time, Erik enjoys exploring new places and cultures. He’s a man of many interests, and he loves learning new languages, including Japanese.