Knowing that the vast majority of visitors are not ready to convert means we have to approach this marketing problem like that of a gardener. A visitor might opt-in for a newsletter or Like us on Facebook. They’ve given us their permission (a truly sacred thing) for us to reach out and communicate.
We have planted seeds and now we must water them and be patient for them to sprout.
The responsibility at this point is to return value. Again, if you’ve been following along with this text this comes at no surprise.
If we lose sight of the awesome responsibility of attention being the true currency online, we’ll slowly cannibalize all our work to date. Pushing sales in an overtly way will land us in the spam bucket and slowly eat away at our list of people willing to engage with us. Remember everybody loves to buy but nobody likes to be sold.
Instead, we must bring our new friends along in a consistent way that respects where they are in the buying process. For B2B companies this might take months or even years depending on the purchase decisions. Here our outreach efforts help with top of mind awareness. We might share a customer story of how they solved a particularly difficult problem or an interview with an industry leader sharing insights and tips on how they solved a relevant problem.
What tools exist for nurturing online marketing?
- Email marketing – by far one of the most effective ways to reach consumers despite being around forever. KPIs like open rates (how many of your opt-in list are opening your email) and click-thru rates (how many are clicking the links in the email itself) show you engagement at a high level. Various platforms exist for making this a turn-key exercise.
- RSS feeds – This technology allows a website to push updates out whenever a site has fresh content usually coming from a blog. For tablet apps like Flipboard or Google Current, readers automatically have fresh content without visiting your site directly. KPIs like the number of subscribers to your feed show a rough level of engagement.
- Social media – Reference your Social Technographics and User Persona to make sure you pick the right tool. However, tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Foursquare allow you to interact directly and almost instantly with your users.
Key Takeaway: Not all our acquisitions will be ready to convert. A solid nurturing program through tools like email marketing and social media help us earn the chance to be considered for a conversion at the right time. Our responsibility is to not take this permission lightly and reward their attention with a helpful or entertaining experience.