Lead nurturing and inbound marketing: an inseparable duo?

Marketing is a science that includes many techniques designed to understand the needs of consumers, offer them products that meet them and retain them later. The road is therefore long to build a relationship of trust with your customers. Lead nurturing and inbound marketing are two tools to use together to achieve your goals.

In order to understand the need to combine these two techniques, it will be necessary to dissect them separately.

Lead nurturing or how to retain a potential customer

To fully understand what lead nurturing is, let’s see the roots of each expression that composes it. First of all, you have to differentiate between suspect, lead, prospect and customer.

Each of these players is classified in the different phases of the purchase process of Engel, Kollat and Blackwell (1968):

  • The suspect is in the recognition phase of need. It is an individual who presents criteria consistent with your targeting, but who has not taken any steps so far;
  • The lead is in the information search phase. He wishes to satisfy the feeling of lack he feels;
  • The prospect is already focusing on evaluating alternatives. Thus, it is quite possible that he has approached you to get details about your product. This will allow him to compare the solutions available to him;
  • The customer is a person who has already made the purchase. Subsequently, he will go through the post-purchase evaluation phase to determine whether the product has actually met his expectations. Depending on any discrepancies, he will decide if he will still use your services.

The line between lead and prospect is so fine that some books no longer differentiate. Thus, we can also talk about ” prospect culture “. This approach consists of maintaining, or even strengthening, a relationship with a prospect who is still hesitant. It is mainly used in B to B where the customer is a seasoned professional, whose purchase decision can have colossal repercussions on the future of his business. Not surprisingly, the buying process is extremely long.

Inbound marketing: the internet at the service of your business

As announced in the title, inbound marketing is the approach that consists of using digital channels to manage the relationship with prospects/customers. Yes! It is currently unthinkable to do without the internet if you remain competitive in a fierce market.

As a result, the inbound marketing team is responsible for creating quality content (text, images and videos) in order to best present your company’s offers. To do this, there are several instruments, such as:

  • SEO or “search engine optimization“, also called natural referencing. In simple terms, you have to produce content where the right keywords (those related to your field of activity) are highlighted. An adequate choice of keywords and a natural insertion in your articles will allow you to appear at the top of the list on search engine results;
  • SEA or “search engine advertsing“, also called sponsored referencing. As the name suggests, your company will have to pay for your brand to appear first on the news feed of web platforms and on advertising spaces.

In addition to traditional websites, social networks are the ideal target to optimize the visibility of your business. We must not forget the e-mails, essential especially in B to B.

Two tools to use simultaneously for optimal results

In the end, it should be noted that inbound marketing is an improvement on the lead nurturing techniques of yesteryear. Indeed, the goal remains the same: retain prospects. Only, in addition to the classic marketing tools, the internet has appeared.

Earlier, we mentioned that lead nurturing is mostly used in B to B, since professionals are difficult prospects. They have a deep knowledge of their needs and carefully consider the alternatives that come before them, unlike the more impulsive end customers. It will then be necessary to use specialized channels to present your products to them.

Social networks, such as Facebook, are not suitable for this. These are mainstream platforms, with news feeds already congested. Here, we prefer more emails. In recent years, we have often talked about e-mailings and newsletters. Very simply, in order to stand out from your competitors, you will need to create original and attractive content. That is why long texts are no longer enough. It is essential to highlight visuals related to your offer to “catch the eye” more easily. Including a link to your website in your email can also be interesting, as it will increase your traffic.

The e-mailing is intended for prospects who are still hesitant. As a result, the content is more detailed and adopts a commercial tone. The newsletter focuses on actual customers (those who have already purchased at least once). This time, it will be more synthetic and informative content. A newsletter is only used to inform about the arrival of new products or promotions.

But the reach of digital doesn’t stop there. You also have the possibility to analyze the performance of your commercial actions thanks to dedicated programs. To find out if you have chosen the right strategies, refer to the number of visitors to your website, the number of emails opened among those you have sent, the reactions to your publications, etc. The idea is to put concrete figures on your actions.

Based on these statistics, you will be able to make changes to your marketing strategy. Even in the event of failure, lead nurturing, combined with inbound marketing innovations, can be continuously improved. Once the corrective actions are in place, you will be able to recover your disappointed prospects or strengthen the relationship you have already established with them.







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