Lead management strategy is nothing without great content
At least 50% of leads generated are qualified but not yet ready to buy. (Source: Gleanster Research) Enter lead management strategy…
I’ve had the good fortune to work at Mediative on both, client-facing and internal projects. And one major theme that permeates through all digital marketing activity and strategies is relevance! Especially for B2B marketers, this is a critical element when optimizing lead management strategy. This is why content marketing is so important to lead nurturing initiatives.
I’m going to ‘open the kimono’, so to speak, and give you a snapshot of Mediative’s lead management strategy and how this can help other B2B companies who need to improve lead conversions.
There are two key drivers to our approach:
1) Convert more subscribers into qualified leads
This isn’t exactly an a-ha moment – it’s the ultimate goal for all direct marketers. But defining a lead vs. a subscriber is very important to understand the quality of your database of contacts and how to build the right roadmap for converting more leads into sales.
A lead is not defined by a name and email address alone. Visitor’s who submit their contact details through a form are subscribers. It’s only once a subscriber begins to increase engagement and activity with our content and online properties, and fit within our audience criteria, that they begin to evolve into lead status.
2) Maximize thought leadership through content marketing
B2B marketers involved in higher risk purchasing can take much longer to be ready to have a sales conversation – this is why relevant content marketing is critical to lead management strategy.
Our focus is on creating content that is valuable to our audience and communicating through the right channels at the right time.
Three areas to consider that are important influencers to becoming successful
Defining target audience is nothing new for marketers and should be integral to all marketing strategies. Yet it can be very easy to lose sight of this when implementing marketing initiatives as we become influenced by our own internal product jargon. You can ask all the basic demographic questions that give a sense of the general audience segments to target, but the key question marketers need to be asking themselves when looking at their audience is: What do they value most and what triggers risk vs. reward within their world?
This is the second piece of Mediative’s approach – developing and mapping content to intent. We use our extensive network of thought leadership to create digital assets that align to the complex buying cycle – addressing multiple audiences, multiple buying stages, multiple needs and testing multiple offers.
From quick win nuggets of information to comprehensive research and custom website analysis, we develop a portfolio of digital assets regularly that will appeal to our audience no matter what stage of the funnel they are in.
To execute this, we have a content editorial committee who helps to pull in subject matter experts and other resources to help us develop a multitude of content on a monthly basis and implement a framework that supports lead management as well as brand engagement metrics.
This is the third and most critical part of our strategy. Creating lots of content can be time consuming and involve many variables and it must be communicated properly and through the right channels. Marketing automation is the only way to do this efficiently and effectively. A marketing automation tool can cover all aspects of promotional and nurturing campaigns to make sure your message is received and measured effectively.
Three areas that work well to generate leads, especially on limited budgets are Social Media Strategy, Digital Media, and Search Engine Optimization. But once you’ve got these leads (or subscribers as we call them), it can take some time to nurture them to the point that a sales conversation is received favorably. This is why nurturing communications are so important. There are many things you can do including drip nurturing, dynamically triggered content, and newsletters. Creating a quality, no sales-pressure newsletter is a great place to get started; it’s the perfect format to get more engagement from your database contacts and find out what content your audience likes the most.
The last thing I will mention is measuring success. We mirror reporting of KPIs in terms of our funnel structure. It’s important to look at all the milestones along the buyer’s journey that enable the final sale. Key performance indicators at the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel tell a story about your audience and the influencers involved in reaching your end goal.
For more information on getting started with lead management and marketing automation,watch the webinar presentation with Jon Miller of Marketo and myself, where we explore the elements necessary to evolving past acquiring a lead, including social media as a major influencer, and more learnings to help you build lead nurturing strategies for your business.