So, as promised here is the second part of our top tips on how you can generate more leads by creating engaging content to convert visitors into qualified leads at every stage of the buying cycle. For those who haven’t seen it, Part 1 is here. For those of you committed enough to get to this page, it’s important to remember where we are in the buyers journey. We have gone from visitor to lead, and are at lead to MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) in terms of the Marketing funnel.
Let’s go into more detail, at this stage, where informative, educative and detailed content can make all the difference to helping someone make their decision to engage and buy!
Step #2 : Lead => MQL (continued….)
13. Create White Papers
The white paper is editorial content with high added value. This is an opportunity to show your expertise on a subject.
The format is especially useful in B2B when you want to convince a specific target group.
Once more, it is important to clearly understand the needs of your target audience and the problems that they want addressing. A White Paper should provide specific answers to key themes for the reader.
You can also benefit from creating a cluster of content in different formats around a certain theme, thereby creating a larger campaign.
For example, if you are reading this to learn how to generate more leads from your marketing strategy – there’s a good chance you are interested in our whitepaper on how a Marketing Automation platform is essential to your strategy.
Newsletters are often underestimated but can be a great way to stay in touch with during a long term project.
A good newsletter will normally deal with subjects that reflect the customers’ issues. It means leads will understand how knowledgeable you are on a subject and keep them informed on new offers and features.
It also means that you are never far from that lead’s mind, once they are ready to make a decision.
15. Lead nurturing with a marketing automation platform
Most new leads aren’t mature, so it is necessary to try to collect more information to enrich and feed that profile with content, to guide them through the buying cycle.
Lead nurturing makes it possible to process leads with different levels of maturity in parallel. Mature leads are sent to salespeople. Others receive personalized content based on their profile, behavior and where they are within the buyers’ journey.
In the grand scheme of things, a marketing automation tool that practices intelligent lead nurturing and accelerates purchasing cycles means you can understand and target this better and faster.
It will allow you to track and collect data. It will be able to understand the prospect’s behavior to see automated content that engages and guides the prospect through the funnel.
Step #3 : MQL => SQL
16. Product brochures
Once a lead has been qualified by Marketing, the Sales Team will then qualify that lead based on their interest.
What you want to do is to prioritize the most mature leads.
At this stage – product brochures which highlight the key benefits of your product will generate conversions from the hottest leads.
17. Decision orientated white papers
At this point we have hit the bottom of the funnel – and white papers can be just as helpful. The prospect is aware of the issues and challenges, now it is time for decision-based content.
Content that helps potential customers assess your product and develop an affinity with your brand will help spur that lead to make a decision.
Kits and practical tools are also a good technique to reinforce the decision-making process.
Benchmarking tools, for example, which make it possible to evaluate alternatives can help differentiate your offer.
19. Freemium access
Depending on your product, it can be useful to offer prospects the chance to familiarise themselves with a free trial.
This technique is often used by SaaS vendors, who give their leads restricted access to a number of service features or limited in time.
This means the lead can get an idea of the value of the solution and familiarize themselves with it before buying.
Step #4 : SQL => client
20. Case studies
At this point, the sales team has already taken on the lead in an effort to close the sale. Marketing is there as tactical support.
As the Salespeople guide that prospect, marketing can still offer automated content that reinforces the value of the product.
A case study of a successful client will highlight specific figures, testimonials and reassure the prospect as to the products effectiveness.
21. Ambassador programs
We have a lot of customers who love our product. What if these customers could help convert leads?
To do this, we can set up ambassador programs to encourage our existing customers to offer our solution to their contacts.
In practice, this encourages loyal customers to convince their network to join us in exchange for rewards: product previews, additional features, price reduction …
22. Highlight testimonials
The customer is close, but people can often back out at the last moment. Are we making the right choice? Have we thought of everything?
In this phase, reassurance will always increase customer conversion. Peer group and social proof, proof that it works elsewhere, will help the prospect in their decision.
Can conversion rates also be increased when a client has already signed-up?
Yes of course. Not only can we transform existing customers into ambassadors for our brand. But, in the short term, it’s essential to convince our new customers to stay with us.
How do we avoid a delay or an early break-down in the commercial relationship?
By making sure the onboarding is well done.
The marketers’ role at this stage is to encourage the proper use of the tool, to support the customers’ development of skills and to convey our brand culture.
We can create different steps to start the relationship off well and help the transition with a nurturing program.
24. Organise Events
How to demonstrate expertise and generate business opportunities?
We’ve seen how we can convert customers through different actions we can take online, however, it is important to consider ‘real’ events that give us actual contact with our clients.
It could be meeting at an exhibition or meetup, an event or meeting. It means making a real contact with a client
When you have a high level of expertise on a subject, you can even create your own events: breakfasts, meetings to discuss different issues in a friendly setting. Or if you want to think bigger, why not initiate a thematic event. With this in mind, we launched Plezi Day, our event around inbound marketing.
Improving conversion rates is a major challenge for all B2B marketers. But we are too often confined to web conversion rates and lead generation. However, to hit our targets, we must separate each step of the funnel marketing and be creative therein. Lead nurturing, supported by a marketing automation tool, shortens sales cycles and improves the quality of leads and sales performance.