Increasingly, marketers look at the sales process as a set of stages. Each stage of the process requiring different types of content to move prospects from one stage to the next. This process is called lead nurturing.
One of the most important tools for lead nurturing is content marketing. According to BPM Online, which offers a platform for process driven CRM, B2B marketers overall allocate 28% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing. However, companies with the best return from this channel allocate up to 46% of their budgets for content marketing. Content marketing is a great investment!
According to BPM, there are three stages to lead nurturing:
Early Stage (Awareness): During this stage, provide free access to content. This includes white papers, research papers, curated content, infographics, and webinars.
Middle Stage: (Consideration): At this stage, you want to start qualifying prospects as warm and hot leads so your sales team can stay in contact with them and funnel these leads appropriate content at the right time. Content at this stage should be gated so you can identify and qualify these leads. Content might include RFP templates, calculators, guides, and analyst reports.
Late Stage (Evaluation): At this stage, you will be communicating only with the most qualified leads, so you want to make their purchase decision as easy as possible. Content should once again be free and ungated, including product demonstrations, success stories, and video testimonials.
According to BMP Online, 79% of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) never convert into sales because of the lack of lead nurturing. This is not a process you want to overlook!
Need help with your lead nurturing process? Give one of our business development experts a call!