By Andrew Angus on May 26, 2015

Video to Nurture Leads, Switch VideoWith spring upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the freshness and newness of everything. Flowers are blooming, eggs are hatching and generally, life is emerging. But one thing that anyone with a green thumb knows is that you can’t just plant seeds and expect something to grow without giving it some TLC – that’s right, some tender loving care.

Marketers can take a lesson from nature, especially when they’re embarking on a lead generation campaign. Gaining new customers will always be one of the top priorities for companies. But once you planted the seed in a customer’s mind that your product or service is the exact solution he or she needs, you have to keep watering that thought. Otherwise, any intent or excitement will whither away. In other words, you need to nurture leads to help them move through the sales funnel and jumpstart your conversions.

Nature vs. Nurture

It’s almost instinctive for marketers to try to generate as many leads as possible. It’s been driven into our brains that a business won’t survive without new customers, which is true up to a point. There’s often an enormous gap between high- and low-quality leads, and your sales team will probably be the first to volunteer to help point out the difference. Without a nurturing campaign, it’s very difficult to qualify your leads and separate those with the greatest intent to subscribe or make a purchase from someone who had a passing interest in your brand.

This supports the data drawn from the “2014 Demand Gen Lead Nurturing Benchmarking Study,” which indicated 71 percent of B2B marketers currently integrate lead nurturing tactics as part of their demand generation projects. However, more than one-third of these marketers have invested in lead nurturing for a year or less. With such a short timeframe for lead nurturing campaigns to evolve, B2B marketers may not understand the nuances of making this strategy work.

Why nurturing leads is so important

In many ways, lead nurturing is like helping a plant grow. Think about it: The first time you put some seeds into the ground, you don’t know exactly what the best way is to make sure it stays healthy and grows up strong. There’s an experimental phase where you have to give the seeds a certain amount of water and time in the sun, while also moderating the temperature.

Once you do this with a variety of plants, you get a sense how each one will respond to your nurturing. This is similar to the way you’re able to segment prospects based on the way you nurture them, allowing you to create more targeted campaigns and personalize the messages you send. And this happens to be the greatest challenge among the marketers surveyed in the Demand Gen report. But it doesn’t have to be, with the right content and delivery.

In marketing, you have to take the time to gather information about your audience to figure out what types of content they want – for video this includs length, animation vs. whiteboards, music, and voice – what channels they prefer, and where the content leads them. What videos do they click on? How long do they watch? What are the next digital steps they take? These actions help you distinguish their primary concerns. Smart marketers uncover this information through split testing and analyzing how buyers respond to the various adjustments you make to your marketing campaigns. By matching new insights with data you’ve captured about your existing buyers in your CRM, you can develop personas that frame your understanding of what new customers are likely to want.

Marketers with a green thumb are able to visualize the customer lifecycle and match different pieces of content to the different stages that buyers are at. There’s a logical progression that moves through discovery, research and education to engagement and conversion.

How video sows the seeds of success

Similar to tending to your garden, nurturing leads requires care.

Forrester explained how buyers are anywhere between 65 and 90 percent of the way through the end of the sales funnel before they reach out to a business to make a purchase. In other words, customers are taking a lot more control over their journeys, and that should give you reason for optimism. This is especially true if video marketing is part of your lead nurturing strategy.

Explainer videos, for instance, deliver a powerful punch of information when buyers want to dig a bit deeper to understand what exactly your brand offers and what they can gain from your products and services – all of this ideally in under 60 seconds. At the same time, videos are incredibly versatile; you can post them to the social networks your leads used to find you, integrate them into blog posts, or insert them into emails. In each case, you can customize the video to provide leads and prospects with insight into different aspects of your brand, products, or services.

The right videos delivered at the right time show your leads that you care about their needs and understand their pain points. You’ve taken the time to figure out what their specific priorities are and how you can help them improve as a business. Video marketing fosters that growth with powerful lead nurturing.

 

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