Guest post from Ashley Taylor Anderson from Ceros
Social media can be a great channel for acquiring top-of-funnel leads. But one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced with social leads is effectively nurturing them to sales readiness. Often times, social leads take a long time to mosey down the funnel—and that means there’s a lot more time for them to lose interest along the way.
While there’s no magic formula to solve the social lead nurture equation, there is an easy place to start when optimizing your nurturing strategy: with your content. After all, if the content you’re sharing with leads along their journey is boring, irrelevant, or light on value, they’ll be much more likely to tune your brand out over time. (Cue the tiny sad violins.)
In our marketing program here at Ceros, we’ve consistently seen strong results when using interactive content for lead nurture. We define interactive content as content that blends rich media, visual storytelling and participatory narrative to keep viewers engaged.
Here are 3 key reasons why interactive has been so effective for our program—and why it can work for yours, too!
1. It Provides a Personalized, User-Focused Experience.
Most consumers— especially savvy social networkers—have a very low tolerance for impersonal, one-size-fits-all content. In order to keep social leads engaged at every point in the sales cycle, your brand’s content has to be more than just high quality. The most effective lead nurture content is extremely relevant and flexible to your end user’s individual needs.
Interactive content is a great way to provide a personalized, choose-your-own-adventure experience for leads being nurtured to sales readiness, for a few reasons:
- Multidimensional Content: It supports multiple layers of content so viewers can dive deeper when they want to or keep moving if they’re not.
- Customized Exploration and Results: It provides ample opportunity to deliver branching narratives and customized results based on a user’s selections.
- Flexible Consumption: With the right information architecture in place, users can choose a specific path that interests them, or jump around to topics they find most interesting, instead of being forced through a linear narrative.
- Personalized Experiences: With some marketing automation wizardry, you can serve different experiences to different users based on demographic and behavioral characteristics.
2. It’s Way More Engaging than Static Content.
Virtually every brand out there today is publishing content online. The problem is that, with so many articles, PDFs, videos, and other information crowding the web, consumers are starting to come down with a serious case of content fatigue. There’s just too much content to keep up with from too many sources—and most of the time, the time spent with a piece is worth more than the value it provides.
One of the key benefits of interactive content is that it’s more engaging than your average piece of static content. In addition to being more personalized and user-driven, interactive experiences:
- Tap into consumers’ deep-rooted psychological bias toward content that gives us insight into our personal narrative or identity.
- Use visual storytelling to connect with consumers, which has been proven to increase engagement time and again.
- Have a novelty factor (at least for now) because they look, function, and behave differently than common content marketing types.
3. It Helps with Lead Profiling, Qualification, and Sales Follow-up.
Standard lead nurture content types such as eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, and product sell sheets, operate in a data black hole. You may know which social leads downloaded an asset or signed up for a live-stream webcast, but you don’t have much (if any) insight into how they engaged with your content. Each of these content touch points is a missed opportunity for marketers to learn more about their leads and how to more effectively connect with them.
Interactive content provides a deeper level of visibility into who your leads are, what they care about, and how engaged they are with your message. Results from quizzes, assessments, and calculators can help you better profile or score leads in your CRM. Engagement data from within a specific interactive experience can tell you which parts were most interesting to your audience and where they spent the most time. And from a sales perspective, interactive assets developed around an account-based marketing strategy can provide deeper insights into which SQLs are most qualified and which Opportunities are most likely to convert into paying customers.
About the Author
Ashley Taylor Anderson is Director of Content at Ceros, an interactive content marketing software startup in NYC. She’s a writer and marketer who’s spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, interactive media producer, and pastry chef. When she’s not in front of a computer typing, you can usually find her nose-deep in a book, strolling a museum, or cursing at her sewing machine