By Susan Tucker
As we have witnessed, using social media is an excellent way to attract followers for your company. But, what about paying customers? All your social efforts are useless if your followers are not converted into leads. Building a lead nurturing program can convert your social media followers into valuable sales. Lead nurturing is the commitment to build stable relationship with your potential leads carefully and over a long period of time. This is a strategy that requires you to have patience.
Here are some tips on how you can build a lead nurturing program for your business.
Segmenting the Audience
The first thing you must do when creating a lead nurturing program is segment your audience. The prospect base must be segmented in order for you to have success with your program. This is because you need to use all of the distinct characteristics that each segment possesses in order to customize the messages that you send them. This will give you more visibility and better grasp of your marketing efforts.
You can segment your audience using a variety of classifications – based on location, age, sales volume, type of company, market share, buying cycle stage, type of ownership, financial condition or another characteristic. Some easy segments to get started with could be customers, vendors, partners, and buying frequency.
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Developing Your Plan
The next step in developing your program is to develop a plan. The easiest way to plan your prospect communications is by using a calendar. This calendar should document which segment will receive each message, which messages will be sent and when they will be sent. The calendar needs to be kept visible so that everyone in your company is reminded to support the ongoing communication flow with the prospective leads. You should use a separate calendar for each of your segments in order to keep things focused.
No hard rules have been set for the optimal frequency of communication in a successful lead nurturing campaign. However, most businesses try to reach their prospects at two and four week intervals. You should view the first months of this campaign as a kind of testing period. This is the time when you can fine tune your campaign parameters.
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Creating Content with Relevance
You need to develop a different content template for each segment you have targeted. These templates should include book reviews, press releases, articles, case studies and the like. You should check your content to ensure that it is readable and relevant. You need to reinforce each of your key points with graphics. You need to keep the content offering only enough detail to entice readers to read more on your landing page.
Some content formats are more effective than others when trying to reach businesses. Webinars are particularly effective. The interactivity of this format makes it perfect for passive prospects you want to get involved with your company. Whitepapers are another good idea. They allow the prospects to educate themselves on the particular problem you are solving. Demos are also effective at convincing leads. They satisfy the two goals of any piece of content you create for your lead nurturing program. They highlight the benefits your solution brings to meeting the needs of the particular segment and they explain how the product meets the expectations of the customer in relation to your competitors.
Crafting targeted calls-to-action alongside your content offers will help massage your prospects into leads and further segment them for down-the-funnel marketing.
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Evaluating and Adjusting
You need to build response mechanisms to monitor the effectiveness of your program. These should be included in every communication you send. Once you have collected enough data with these mechanisms, you can evaluate whether the campaign is having the intended effect and adjust your methods to achieve greater success.
Building a lead nurturing program to convert your passive social media followers into hot leads will, over time, grow your business.
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