Nurturing programs have many more applications than drip marketing campaigns to your house lead list and eNewsletters sent to your customers.
Many of the marketing campaigns you likely execute can be improved with a nurturing mindset. For example, let's consider a webinar.
A webinar requires a number of steps from pre-promotion to post-event follow-up. But, when's the last time you actually thought about them as a nurturing program?
Let's outline the steps:
- The audience has to be aware you're having a webinar.
- They have to decide that it's worth their time to register to attend.
- They have to actually be motivated to take the effort to register.
- Then your attendees need to remember & make an effort to show up.
- Once there, you want them to stay through the entire event.
- Then you want to follow-up with them to continue the dialogue.
Each one of these steps has a variety of sub-steps and considerations similar to those you'd go through in constructing a lead nurturing program for a buying process.
Even if the audience is aware of your event, it may take several tries to get them to decide it's worth their time. You may need to create differently worded invitations and landing pages for the different personalities of your anticipated audience.
Instead of sending the same invitation repeatedly, consider approaching each invitation you send from a different angle. Surely your webinar has more than one set of takeaways. Or perhaps test the wording of the bulleted points in several different versions to see which work best for motivating registrations.
Think of a webinar invitation series as an example of the versatility and depth your expertise will provide during the presentation. Make it worthwhile for them to attend.
Increase curiosity about the subject matter you'll share. Focus on what's in it for them. Can you make the event more exclusive? Are you unveiling new research? Showcasing a customer story that speaks directly to their situation?
Once people register, consider ways you can create advanced participation. Can you survey your attendees to find out how you can really add value that is specific to this set of people? Yes, this probably means you need to be versatile in presenting, but if you involve them, think of the rewards...
When people participate in creating the event they'll attend, they have a stake in the ground to actually show up. Of course you'll also send reminder emails, and you'll provide way to add it to their calendar.
Refresh their memory about why they want to attend. Relate the reminder to your invitation, but add something else. Maybe it's a white paper or eBook download special offer at the end of the event. Think of something that could be viewed as a value add.
Many companies put this on the original invitation. But why not roll out the "goodies" during the nurturing campaign to either drive registration or ensure they remember to attend?
If you think about a webinar as a nurturing program, it changes this need to dump it all in one shot and then just repeat that send over and over and over.
Now the big day arrives and you're ready to start the webinar.
Start with these 3 things:
- Make the first slide deliver value for them. This means no company blather up front. You need to create immediate engagement to lock in their commitment to stay.
- Tell them what they'll get and why it's important to them. Use the words your audience would use and frame the ideas from their perspective.
- Acknowledge the advanced participation and talk about how it's being used. This creates anticipation on two levels. First from the people who participated. Second for the attendees to learn what their peers think.
Afterward, you need to interact with the attendees and attempt extend the dialogue. Do you have a follow-up informational offering that will help them extend the ideas you shared in the webinar? Unless they've asked you to, this is not the time to switch to sales mode.
Perhaps you've created an content series they can subscribe to, giving you permission to dole out that information in bite-sized chunks that move them into a nurturing program that extends from their current position in the buying process.
Webinars are one of the top 3 informational vehicles specified by B2B buyers as providing high value. If you're going to go to all the trouble to create them, it stands to reason that you should maximize the return on attention - for them, and for your company.
It's also worth noting that the better you get at short-term nurturing programs for webinars, the more you'll learn about your target markets that can be applied to your longer-term nurturing programs with other leads.