Sometimes marketing communications make people feel like they're getting deluged by a fire hose. Marketers cram all these big ideas into one white paper or article trying to cover as much as possible in their effort to gain the attention of prospects.
It's the equivalent of saying, "Hey, we're not really sure what you need, but in case this one BIG point doesn't get you, how about all these other ideas?"Stop it. Your prospects can't take it. When you leverage a fire hose mentality you overwhelm them. Lead nurturing during a complex buying process is about reeling out small, potent, viable and strategic ideas in a way that helps your prospects embrace them. Once they've attached to one great idea, they'll more easily (and eagerly) dig into the next meaty topic you cover.And here's the great part. Nurturing with one idea at a time allows you to measure more precisely for interest levels.
If you cram a bunch of ideas into one piece of content, how the heck do you expect to know just what it was that caught your prospect's attention?Which type of content allows you to learn more through prospect behavior?A. A white paper that sets up a problem you know your prospects are grappling with and then talks about every feature of the solution that can be thrown at solving the problem.B.
A series of articles about the problem with each one focused on helping the prospect by answering a question they may have about solving it.If you use the white paper example, all you know is that they may have the problem. If you use the article series, you've got the possibility of learning which questions and concerns may be more important. You've also got the chance to see how interested they are in solving it. In other words, how high a priority that problem is for them. If they read the whole series, that tells you something different than if they read 3 out of 5 articles in the series.
Even if it's 3 articles, you now know which three questions the prospect was interested in and can tailor nurturing touches that dive deeper into those subjects to see if you can gain a higher level of engagement. Take a look at the prospects who read those three articles. Are they in similar roles, industries or company sizes? Are they influencers or decision makers? You may be able to spot trends that help you get very targeted in how you interact with specific segments.
Basing segmentation on expressed interest can give your marketing more traction.B2B marketers need to take a more customer-focused approach. This is really hard to do if you can't pinpoint a specific issue or interest that your prospect will actively engage in dialogue about. Just because you think an issue is important, doesn't mean they do. By breaking your content down into smaller ideas, you can explore them in greater depth. Instead of glossing over ideas because you need to cram them all into one content asset, you can take your time and be thoughtful about the expertise and insights you share. You can also learn if a question you think is important, isn't even on their radar.
Go look at your web analytics and see how long people spend on specific web pages. Let's say it's 1.56 minutes. Can they actually read the content on that page in that length of time? Attention spans are shorter. People want to get the information they need and get out. They're busy.Providing a valuable exchange for their attention is the end goal. When you do that, your prospects respond with interest. Plus, shorter and targeted is likely easier for them to digest. That's because you can take a complex issue and break it into simple parts. As you expand the conversation with additional pieces, the parts weave together to make solving that complex issue an option that's appealing because you've become someone they've relied on over time.
A complex sale doesn't happen with one white paper download. Or even with just a series of articles. But, the more often you have interactions with your prospects that they see as helpful, the higher your credibility and value as a trusted resource.
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