Does anyone else get annoyed at the word ‘lead’? I know I do. Yet, ‘lead nurturing’ is a very well-known term for ‘staying in touch with people’. That’s why it’s up there in the title; it’s a highly-searched keyword, doncha know?
What is lead nurturing? In short, it is a program of email messages, in addition to your regular newsletters, sent to people who once visited your website or some other web property and gave you their name and email address. By following best practices, you’ve verified that they knew what they were getting into, so it’s not spam as far as you’re concerned (email recipients tend to use a broader definition of what they consider ‘spam’). You send email on a regular schedule that reminds people you exist and do something they were once interested in.
All cynicism aside, the reason lead nurturing exists is that it works. Usually by the third or fourth email, a truly interested reader decides whether he or she is interested in your company, and will follow up with you. A majority of people will simply continue getting your nurturing emails until they run their course or they unsubscribe. By providing you with metrics, the emails help you determine which readers are actually interested and which were just kicking tires.
How can you spike the numbers of people who respond to lead nurturing programs?
The simplest rule of thumb is to provide great content. Better yet, rich content. Video presentations can improve clickthroughs, and also provide a different type of engaging content for people who are sick of getting sales emails all day.
Here are a few ways to use online video presentations to greatly improve the response you get from lead nurturing:
- Insider Tips: You have people in your company who can offer detailed ‘insider’ tips for using your product, applying principles to help customers, provide an inside view of your company (without giving too much away). Marketo’s Jon Miller uses this approach to reveal the “secret sauce” of Marketo’s marketing success. The effect is that viewers feel like they are being given rich, helpful information that comes from people who truly use these techniques every day.
- Executive Talks: There is no better way to get insight into a company than to hear from the people who lead it. The Marketo example above covers this ground as well, because it comes from someone who is high up in the company’s chain of management. An interview with a CEO, like KnowledgeVision’s Michael Kolowich, can provide insight into why a company was founded, what the company does best, and what the company will do in the future. Viewers want to know that the companies they do business with are sensible, devoted, and are planning for the long-term.
- Factory Tours: This is another window into the inner workings of a company. Customers are looking for assurance that the company is dedicated to building high-quality products, and this kind of ‘tour’ can show them that. It doesn’t have to be a hardware or tangible product either. A software design firm can show how the development team operates and approaches its work. A consulting firm can show how ideas are generated and how the process works when serving clients. Viewers are allowed into the factory, or the process, through video, clarifying why they would want to do business with you.
- How-To Clinics: Sometimes a product is complex enough, or the principles required to use it well are somewhat technical. That’s when a how-to video can really come in handy. Customers will learn several things: That you know they face a challenge; that you have created ways to approach the challenge, and; that you will communicate with them how to solve problems using your products. Videos that show how to apply your products are valuable because they reach beyond the buying cycle and show how well you will support customers.
- Industry News: Not everybody can keep up with what is going on in an industry. Customers may not be privy to everything that happens that may affect their buying decision. That’s why anything that happens in your industry that affects your customers should be presented as a video alert. This is especially true if it is something that your product will help with. Law firms and financial consultants can create video updates to let customers know about changes in the law. Customers will trust and respect the firms that keep them apprised of things they need to know.
- Funny Stories: There is nothing wrong with being entertaining. A lot of great viral videos have come from a company showing a funny use case or a parody music video. An extreme example of this is the serial internet production Leap Year, which is a branded program featuring a small business, and was created by a business insurance company. Customers are willing to be entertained, which drives an even deeper level of engagement with your brand.
- Product Demos: You can certainly show off your own products in your lead nurturing emails, can’t you? It’s possible to do so without taking the hard-sell approach by showing an internal expert (or better yet, a client) demonstrating how it’s used. These videos are also great for proposing new ideas for using the product and covering new feature releases. People want to know the best ways to meet their everyday challenges, and it might as well be with your product.
This list could easily be a lot longer, but I’ll leave that to you. I hope some of these ideas jog some crafty tricks you can add to your nurturing campaigns. Video is a proven generator of higher interest and engagement for any marketing, sales, or training programs, and a lead nurturing campaign is where you can easily segment and manage regular communications with your recipients. Rich content will kick your lead nurturing up a notch.