Lead Generation has become a content marketer’s game. Drumming up business through old-school techniques like cold calling, print ads and direct mail are ineffective and hard to quantify. These strategies have given way to far more cost effective and efficient methods of demand generation, like email and social media marketing.

With over 70% of respondents to a Marketing Sherpa survey claiming they prefer to receive promotional email from their favorite brands, and over 1.6 billion and 322,000 users on Facebook and Twitter respectively, it’s a no-brainer for any organization to focus their marketing efforts on these channels, given the low cost and broad reach of both email and social media.

Creating content and launching it via email and social can be fun, but it can only be so effective without a solid plan backing up these efforts. Not everyone is ready to buy the first time they have contact with your organization, in fact most aren’t. So what are you doing to get them ready, and make sure you’re the provider they choose when they are? The process of keeping in contact without being annoying, providing information of need, and building trust with that individual until they are ready to buy is the modern art of lead nurturing.

Here are a few quick and easy lead nurturing tips that can help you stop spinning the wheels on your content marketing efforts and start driving more qualified leads to your sales team.

1. Use Forms on Social Content to Expand Your Reach
Posting your content on social media is great, but how do you know who is consuming your content? And, how do you turn them into prospects? Just because they see and click your content once, doesn’t mean they’ll do so again.  If you have a particularly popular or high-level piece of content, consider driving your social followers to a landing page before they access the piece. Ask them to fill in their email address and name in exchange for the content, this way you can add them to your email campaigns and keep in touch moving forward.

2. Develop Content to Meet Your Audience’s Needs
Not everyone who consumes your content is ready to buy. In order to keep everyone engaged, it’s important to develop content that will be of interest to readers at the various stages throughout the buyer’s cycle. Those who are just learning about your industry and organization have vastly different information needs than those who are evaluating vendors and are ready to buy. To truly provide information of value to your audience, carefully consider what kind of information they need in order to move forward.

● Top of the Funnel. To cast the widest net and educate those who are new to your industry, develop engaging content that is general, interesting and appeals to a wide audience.

● Mid Funnel. For those who have just realized that they have a need, it’s important to offer content that showcases your expertise and the traits and experts who make your company unique.

● Bottom of the Funnel. Finally, the individuals who are evaluating vendors and are ready to buy will need content that specifically highlights your product, pricing and features.

By developing content that speaks to your audience’s needs, you’ll become a trusted source of information and allow your readers to self identify where they are along your sales funnel.

3. Implement Automation to Create Personal Content Experiences
The days of batch-and-blast email marketing are over. Recipients and followers today expect content that is relevant and tailored to their interests and needs. Automation-based email programs generate twice as many leads and 152% more click-throughs than traditional email blasts.

With easy-to-use automation systems like Real Magnet, marketing automation is no longer just for the Fortune 500. Organizations of any size can quickly set up email campaigns that trigger recipient actions like link clicks, form submissions or disengagement and set up specific rules to send the right content at the right time, creating the personalized content experiences that recipients have come to expect.

With tools like social posting and monitoring, landing pages, website tracking and lead scoring, automation systems allow marketers to expand their avenues for attracting new prospects and turn one-way outbound emails into timely and relevant digital “conversations” with potential buyers.

Interested in learning more lead generation strategies? Check out Real Magnet’s Lead Scoring Guide and find out why marketers need to keep score.

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