How to Create Lead Nurturing Content That Actually Works

Content marketing has a strategy problem. Research from the Content Marketing Institute found that only 41% of content marketers always or frequently produce assets related to specific points in the buyer’s journey. This stat is startling because it means nearly 60% of content is produced with only vague regard for where it fits in the buyer’s journey.

So questions like, “Is this content relevant to your audience?” or “Will this material help people make more informed decisions or overcome their challenges?” simply aren’t being considered often enough. These questions are cornerstones of any decent marketing strategy, so if you’re not using them to align your content to the customer journey, how do you expect to nudge people closer to making a purchase?

Why You Should Develop Lead Nurturing Content

Relevancy is a moving target. What people find interesting when they first interact with your brand will change as their understanding grows. As buyers move closer to making a decision, the questions they’re asking change. This is process is referred to as the customer journey, because the information needs of the customer change over time.

In fact, research by Aberdeen found targeting users with content related to where they are in the buying cycle resulted in a 72% increase in conversions. Your goal as a content marketer must be to supply the best answers to the questions your audience is asking at any given stage of the journey. If you can manage that on a consistent basis, you’ll establish your brand as a trustworthy source of information.

And once it’s time for the customer to choose a solution, your organization will be in prime position because of the trust you’ve built with your audience. This is lead nurturing in a nutshell. And it’s critical for producing revenue because the vast majority of people who come to your website are not ready to buy from you. But if you maintain a relationship with your audience through email and retargeting campaigns, you can nudge them closer to making a purchasing decision. That’s why nurturing leads produces, on average, 20% more sales opportunities.

But you can’t nurture leads without content. And to do that, you have to understand the series of stages buyers go through in the customer journey.

The 5 Stages of Buyer Awareness (and the Content You Need for Each One)

A lot of people would like you to think the buyer’s journey is a recent phenomenon. And while it may have changed in the internet age, the concept of buyers moving through a series of information gathering stages before buying something is nothing new.  Way back in 1966, the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz classified the five stages of awareness buyers travel through before making a decision. These stages are:

  1. Unaware
  2. Problem-Aware
  3. Solution-Aware
  4. Product-Aware
  5. Most Aware

Schwartz theorized that the primary reason marketing failed was because it’s not aligned to the stage of awareness of the audience. Here’s a deeper look at each stage Schwartz outlined in his book Breakthrough Advertising:

1: Unaware

In this stage, the customer has no knowledge of your company or even that they have a problem that needs solving. Content for this stage of the customer journey doesn’t need to focus on selling your product or service. Typically, this type of content will be something more newsworthy, like industry research results or a narrative piece.

Types of content to create at this stage:

  • Infographics
  • Industry research
  • Human interest stories
  • Event recaps

For example, Atlassian wrote a story about 500 of their employees working from home for a week. Atlassian sells project management software, so this is article is only marginally related to their product.

Your main goal at this point is just to attract people to your site who have an interest in your industry. Atlassian’s article does a nice job of mixing a human interest story with a subject that potential customers would be interested in. If the content is good, people will come back for more.

2: Problem-Aware

When someone is Problem Aware, they grasp there is a problem, either in their personal lives or in their business. They don’t necessarily understand how to solve that problem, but they do want to learn more. Content at this stage should speak directly to problems your company solves without overselling your organization. At this point, the goal is to provide value without asking for anything in return.

This phase is the crux of building trust between you and your audience. You need to convince people you understand their problems, and explain how they can solve them.  

Types of content to create at this stage:

  • Industry best practices
  • Thought leadership
  • “Why” posts that explain why industry problems occur

Contently uses the Content Marketing Institute’s annual event as a starting point for Problem Aware content. This article analyzes three big problems that are affecting Contently’s target market, i.e., content marketing managers. This type of industry analysis draws in marketers who are concerned about their content strategy and positions Contently as a trustworthy voice in the market. The post doesn’t mention Contently’s solution at all. Rather it simply provides education about problems that are relevant to readers.

3: Solution-Aware

Once someone decides their problems are pressing enough to fix, they move to the next stage, Solution Aware. In this stage of the customer journey, your audience is looking for solutions to fix their problem. This, my friends, is the first real time when it makes sense to emphasize the value of your solution in your content.

Now, the approach shouldn’t be to pontificate about your product specifically, but rather about the type of solution you’re selling.

Types of content to create at this stage:

  • Content that explains the benefits of your type of solution
  • “How x company achieved x” content that emphasizes your type of solution
  • ROI calculators

This Apptentive post listing reasons why you need a customer feedback system is a perfect example. The post begins by acknowledging where readers are at in the customer journey: “By now, marketers and product owners understand the importance of listening to their customers.” The writer knows the audience understands their problems, i.e, they need to listen to their customers. Now, she has to convince readers that a customer feedback platform is the right solution to that problem.


When someone is Product Aware, they are considering specific products that are solutions to their problems. Finally, this is the time to put your company front and center.

Types of content to create at this stage:

  • Case studies
  • Comparison posts between you and your competitors
  • Testimonial videos

Your biggest consideration here is less about strategy — it’s probably not a surprise that you need case studies to persuade people — but rather how you execute it. Instead of gating their case studies behind forms, Appcues publishes blog posts that detail how companies have succeeded with their product.

The difference between good content and mediocre work at this stage is the detail with which you describe how your product helps people. The more specific you can be about how your product works to deliver value, the better.

Most Aware

Most Aware prospects are familiar with your product and the value it delivers. They just need an incentive to act.

Types of content to create at this stage:

  • Free trials (for product companies)
  • Free assessments (for service companies)
  • Limited time offers

Klientboost utilizes it a free proposal to convert people who are Most Aware. The process contains multiple steps, with each screen emphasizing the value of your free proposal. Once someone converts with this piece of content, they’re basically knocking on your sales team’s front door. In fact, I bet discussing this free proposal is the first step in Klientboost’s sales process.

The key to creating this type of content is to compel people to act in the moment. Your offer should reflect the immediate benefits your audience will experience.


Lead nurturing isn’t easy. You have to understand what questions your audience is asking at each stage of their journey. Then you have to create the right content that speaks to each of those needs. Then you have to plot automation campaigns to deliver the content at the right time (a subject we’re barely covered in this post).

The fuel for your lead nurturing machine is content. And if you don’t have the right content, you’re letting customers slip through your grasp.

Bio: Zach is the Director of Content at DePalma Studios, an agency that specializes in enterprise UX. Zach’s work has been featured in Entrepreneur, Invision, and ConversionXL.

What NOT To Do When Creating Your Newsletter

The only good newsletter that I ever received was in 2008. I’m not kidding. At the bottom of the newsletter was an offer that simply said:

For the first 20 people to respond to this email, you will receive a pair of tickets to our suite at the next New England Patriots game.

I won, and the rest is history.

I remained a “fan” of that newsletter for about two years…mainly in hopes that I would see another offer hidden inside. Since then, I’ve received hundreds -no THOUSANDS – of newsletters with sources ranging from neighbors updating me on their extended families (sorry, I don’t care.) to vendors (boring… congrats you made a bunch of money last quarter… I don’t care.) to those trying to sell me on their brilliance.

The point is: nobody likes newsletters. Even people that signed up for them, and appear to have read your newsletter, probably didn’t read it. If you insist on periodic communication as part of your required role, please consider doing the following to make things a little more palatable to your audience:

  1. Offer them something of value (and no, we’re not talking about content). Perhaps it’s a contest, a game, a trial of your product, an invitation to meet for coffee… anything that gives a feeling that is warmer than a Christmas Fruitcake.
  2. Personalize the message. If you expect me to take the time to read your content, at least take the time to know who you are sending your information to. If I bought a car from you last month, please don’t send me information about how badly you need to sell me a car this month because it’s President’s Day (or any other lame, manufactured reason).
  3. Segment your messaging. If I have to read 3 pages of information to find the two sentences that I care about; I won’t do it. If you are lucky, I’m going to give you 16 words to win my interest. If you can’t do that; I’m very likely to unsubscribe from your messaging forever. If you can entice me to click on information, and then follow that up with a special offer, you just might have my interest for many months.

In summary, with marketing automation and other analytic capabilities that are available to you, you would be amiss to send a generic newsletter in today’s business world. Be creative, be fun, and focus on building emotion, not just throwing as much content onto as many people as possible. Reface your newsletter, and watch your results blossom. And if you are ready to see the many other ways marketing automation can help your business be BETTER, let us know. We’d love to give you a quick tour.

Why Blogging Should Be a Key Part of Your Marketing Plan

BloggingDid you know that 70 percent of the links that people click on online are organic?

In other words, 7 out of 10 internet users ignore paid ads and click on natural links, like blog posts and articles, instead.

While there are many ways to attract organic traffic, blogging is the best option. Companies that run blogs have 434 percent more indexed pages than companies that don’t blog. That means they have 434 percent more chances to get those organic clicks.

With amazing stats like that, you probably think that blogging is hard to do. In reality, it isn’t just effective. It’s also incredibly easy.

Easy Content Creation with Blogging

Blogging has never been easier than it is right now. Software like WordPress allows companies to create and manage their blogs for free. The simple interface is easy to use, and you can even customize the design without any technical knowledge. These simple tools have leveled the playing field and made it easy for everyone to blog.

Creating your blog is one thing, though. Running it effectively is another. Follow some tips so you can get the most out of blogging.

Tips for Blogging

First and foremost, you need to write blogs that people want to read. Use your social media channels to pick your followers’ brains. Find out what they want to read about and then write about those topics.

You can also repurpose some content for your blog. Take an e-book that you’ve written and break it up into blog posts, or turn an interesting press release into a blog. This will make it easier for you to keep coming up with new content.

Next, you need to remain consistent with your blogging. If you post once a week, post on the same day. Don’t miss a week or people will think your blog is dead.

You also need to use keywords in your blog posts. That way, people will find you. Use the AdWords Keyword Planner or another tool to find your keywords. Also, don’t go with simple keywords. Use long-tail keywords so you reach your target market.

Finally, use social media to promote your blog posts. Share your posts across all of your social media channels and write a short snippet of what each post is about. This is a great way to get more traffic.

Now, you finally are ready to start blogging. Download the software and fine-tune the design. Then, write your first post and introduce your new blog to the world. It won’t be long before you reap the benefits of blogging.

Interested in tracking the activity that your blog receives, and having the ability to continue to nurture those potential clients in new and inventive ways? Request a demonstration of our marketing automation software from one of our experts!


Alternate Content Marketing Strategies besides Email

Alternate Content Marketing Strategies besides EmailEmail has the ability to deliver a large amount of content quickly and its traditionally strong response rates. It’s probably the king of direct marketing strategies, but don’t forget that there are many other ways to reach your leads. There are other online options, such as through social media networks and mobile devices, and offline options, like direct mail or promotional materials. If you’re wondering how your company can take advantage of all these different ways to reach your leads, keep reading to learn how marketing automation companies such as Lead Liaison can provide a comprehensive alternate content marketing strategies that will benefit your business.

Social Media

Social media is becoming an increasingly vital element of any company’s online presence and overall marketing strategy. However, many small to medium sized businesses end up largely neglecting this important medium. There’s a large time investment required to cover multiple social networks and the demand for constant supervision. Lead Liaison’s social media management tools can help your business by allowing you to schedule your social media posts, removing the day-to-day upkeep that can bog marketing departments down. And if you simply can’t keep up with the content required to maintain a healthy social media presence, don’t worry! You can outsource your content creation needs to Lead Liaison, who can deliver quality content on topic and on time.

Text Messaging

While directly text messaging marketing materials is certainly a bit more aggressive than an email campaign, it gets results. Text message marketing receive a 98% open rate, which is substantially higher than the numbers email can provide. Using the data collected from your marketing automation tools and social intelligence software, you can narrowcast marketing materials and hit the right demographic at the right time to make the sales you need.

Direct Mail

While it may seem a little old school for a marketing automation strategy that relies on instant communication and data collection from the internet, direct mail remains an incredibly effective way to get a lead’s attention and get him/her interested in your product. A fact in the marketing world is that different leads react in different ways to different types of marketing material, and a lead who has generally ignored your email campaigns might finally become intrigued when a piece of marketing material lands on their desk.


Another old school method of marketing your company and your products is through the creation and distribution of promo materials. Nothing helps people remember your product better than seeing it on their desk with branded promotional materials!

If your company doesn’t have the resources or connections to arrange a large scale direct mail campaign or produce promotional materials, Lead Liaison can help. We can organize mailing campaigns and point you in the right direction to design promo items that reflect your company’s brand, and will help you convert leads to sales.

To learn more about how Lead Liaison and how marketing automation can help your company, visit Lead Liaison’s marketing automation blog online.

How to Create Content to Appeal to a New Market

How to Create Content to Appeal to a New MarketOne of the great advantages that marketing automation can provide for your company and your marketing team is its ability to send very specific content to a very specific audience. While it is true that you want all of the content delivered by your company to remain cohesive and consistent, with marketing automation you can gather specific demographic information about different groups and then send them targeted marketing materials. This gives you a great advantage over competitors who are simply blasting marketing material at anyone who might listen. It can be incredibly valuable if you are trying to secure a new market for your products or services. Keep reading to learn how to create content to appeal to a new market, and how software automation can help.

Tips for Reaching a New Market using Marketing Automation

The tools your marketing team will have access to when using marketing automation software such as Lead Liaison gives your company a unique opportunity to gather a great deal of intelligence about your new leads and how they react to marketing materials. Marketing automation software can collect data on things such as clickthroughs on emails sent out giving you a precise idea of how effective your marketing strategy is. Social intelligence functionality can pull demographics data from social profiles to help your marketing team refine new content. And always remember, content directed to a new market should be educational – as overselling can be disastrous.

Quality Content can be found from Marketing Automation Providers

When you’re looking to attract a new market, you should be sure that you have a campaign with enough content prepared to see it through. However, marketing teams can be stretched thin while trying to develop a whole new set of content and managing existing content delivery strategies. If that is the case, you can always consider outsourcing content creation. One excellent provider of quality marketing content is Lead Liaison, who can provide your company with access to thousands of professional writers to create marketing content.

When you need content from Lead Liaison, the process is very straightforward and totally transparent to ensure you receive high-quality content on time. You can direct the type of content you wish to have created for you, such as blog posts or web articles, and then give Lead Liaison a description of what you need the content to address. Lead Liaison will assign the content to a writer who is familiar with the subject, and the content is delivered to you within five days. However, if you need it sooner, you can place a rush order and will receive your content within three days. You can then review the content and request any edits you would like to see, and will ultimately end up with high-quality, ready to market material.

Visit Lead Liaison’s marketing automation resource blog to learn more about creating content to appeal to a new market, among other great marketing strategies.

Marketing Life Hack 101: Lead Liaison Outsourced Blogs

Outsourced BlogsWhat if you could sit back and produce a blog every week with less than 30 seconds of effort? Have you considered outsourced blogs or using an outsourcing service to complement your blog content with authentic, SEO boosting content?

Here are some predictable (SALES) benefits:

  1. Drive traffic to your site.  Blogs/content drives SEO. SEO drives traffic.
  2. Thought leadership.   Think about it.  The last time you saw an article in a blog, didn’t that person/company quickly become the thought leader in your mind?   The halo principle applies here; and if you aren’t winning the blog game… you’re missing out on sales
  3. Blogs are lasting.   Not only do you drive customers to your site when you release a blog, you win prospects and customers over for the future too!

With Lead Liaison you can outsource blog content with ease. You choose the content,  outsource it to our third party writers and schedule future blog posts. It’s an end-to-end project management interface that walks a marketer (or intern) through the process of requesting content, reviewing it, approving it and automatically publishing it to your website via content management systems like Joomla!, Drupal and WordPress.

The net results:  $ 250 + 10 minutes a month could yield a blog post each week for your company if you were a Lead Liaison Customer.

For the naysayers that say people don’t read blogs anymore.  You just did.

Marketing at the Top of the Funnel

Marketing at the Top of the FunnelWhat does it mean to focus your marketing at the “top of the funnel?” The sales funnel is essentially a model that depicts the purchasing process of prospects. The top of the funnel, the widest part, is where your brand makes itself known to the potential customer; this is prospect awareness and education. As the funnel narrows, so does your prospect pool. Here, your marketing and sales efforts become much more direct and personalized and you can focus on quality lead nurturing. The bottom of the funnel is when the purchase is made—leads turn into paying customers. When you maintain strong marketing at the top of the funnel, the bottom of the funnel should never be empty.

Marketing at the top of the funnel can include several different types of practices; a couple of the most successful include social media marketing and content marketing (namely, via blogging). Take a look at all of your current marketing channels: email marketing, blog posts, search ads, social media posts, how-to videos, etc. Which are the ones that educate prospects and invite them to explore your website? In order to answer that question, you need to have a solid understanding of who your prospects are and what they’d like to know. The best way to figure that out is to monitor your marketing analytics so you can keep an eye on the numbers that matter in terms of your company’s goals. Taking a look at these numbers will show you which articles are most popular, what your social media followers like to read, and which landing page designs are most effective in terms of leading the prospect to the information they are looking for.

As far as the overall process of the funnel, here’s a simplistic overview:

  1. Start with content marketing (blog/social media).
  2. Insert links that take the visitor to your landing pages.
  3. Provide something of value on the landing pages (for example, whitepaper downloads).
  4. Continue to nurture the lead with personalized information that helps them to make their purchasing decision.

When implementing marketing at the top of the funnel, communication between marketing and sales is key. This allows the sales process to continually evolve and increase effectiveness with each cycle. An effective marketing plan leads to a more effective sales process. Involving marketing at the top of the funnel means implementing productive marketing strategies at the early stages of a prospect’s interactions. Here, you can weed out the ones who are not likely to turn in to paying customers, saving your sales team time on those wasted efforts.

3 Ingredients to Content Marketing

3 Ingredients to Content MarketingWe know that customers today are armed with more knowledge than ever before. Instead of your sales team being the lead communicator of your product’s details, buyers are getting their expertise via the internet. This means that by the time you reach them, many have already made up their mind and are primed to purchase. How do you reach them before they’ve made up their minds? As we’ve heard over and over again: content, content, content. Read more about how content creates success here. Creative content leads to inbound marketing, meaning higher close rate. Let us provide you with 3 ingredients to content marketing.

Creating innovative marketing content will allow you to influence the buyer tremendously—you want to be the one that furnishes their knowledge, especially if it’s about your product. By establishing a reputation as a knowledgeable resource you become an authority in the marketplace. Here’s a step-by-step process that will help you organize your content marketing and increase your revenue because of it:

  1. Publish to your blog appropriate content. What do your potential buyers want to know? Which topics are getting retweeted? Is there a big change in the industry that needs to be reported? When creating content, it’s also important to write in a way that’s enjoyable to read. Read more about a few ways to let your audience decide your content.
  2. Use your landing pages to better understand your readership. Analyzing the bounce rate will inform you of the modifications needed to improve the performance of your landing pages. You can also use transactional landing pages to directly interact with potential buyers. Then, you can import the stats from the landing pages into your CRM for better lead management.
  3. Optimize the visibility of the content and convert into marketing automation. Use the appropriate key words and gather results from your social media sharing to determine what your readers are looking for. This is a process that will be repeated and improved constantly. Learn more about optimizing your website conversions here.

Last but certainly not least, structure your content conveniently. You want potential customers to be able to find the information they are looking for. Optimize your user’s experience on your blog by organizing by topic and creating hashtags. If you are able to influence the user with the information on your site, your chances of closing are that much greater.

Curating News Content via Automated Article Marketing

Article MarketingThere’s something to be said for the way we process news and how that factors in to overall article marketing strategy. In the not-too-distant past, article marketing was all about stuffing articles with keywords and submitting them to as many article directories you could find. These days, article marketing necessitates a unique approach that includes curating useful content and reaching out to top-ranking websites to create connections. Doing it any other way could result in some serious Google penalties for your website – as well as the isolation of your loyal audience.

Using News to Curate Content

Many companies feel they have blogs that are newsworthy. Using news content for your article marketing isn’t really as easy as creating a great story and putting it on your social media accounts. There are several steps to ensuring your curated content is out there and visible by your target audience.

For starters, you might want to consider attempting to get your articles featured on Google News. This isn’t as easy as directly submitting them to Google.  First, you will want to focus on having a regular readership and comments/feedback on the articles you use for article marketing.

Second, the articles actually need to be newsworthy. Don’t just use press releases- create news stories that focus on current events in your industry. It’s also important to consider creating a Google news sitemap. Follow the instructions you see in the link and set up your sitemap. Make sure to update it each time you have a news story worth reading!

Automated Content

Many small business folks are looking to do their article marketing via automated content. This ensures that each time content is created, it will go out on your blog and anywhere else you tell it in a timely fashion. Creating a news site for your article marketing necessitates your content going out on a schedule that you can stick to. Automated content can help you ensure you’re getting content out to readers when they expect to see it. If you’re creating a news site, Google isn’t going to take you very seriously if you don’t have timely, updated content.

Lead Liaison recently rolled out our new automated content management feature and we’d love to have you check it out!  Automated marketing platforms are becoming the go-to for busy business folks who don’t have the time to curate and share newsworthy content. If you’re doing article marketing for your business, please take a look at our automated content services and let us know what you think!

What Does Context Have to Do with Content Marketing?

What Does Context Have to Do with Content Marketing?After Google’s latest algorithm change, context is the new king of content marketing. This means that regardless of how much keyword-optimized content, how many words you have on your page or how great your content is, you may not rank the way you’d like to if you aren’t answering the questions users pose with search queries related to your site.

We’ve talked extensively about Google’s Hummingbird update. This and other changes by Google ensure that context is the most important criteria in a user’s search. Users aren’t just looking for info about a certain topic, they’re looking for information that specifically answers whatever questions they’re trying to pose.

Context and Content Marketing

This is where you come in. These days ensuring you’re giving users the right context can be about over explaining things. In the pre-Hummingbird days, one of the most important things you could do in developing site pages is keep the user on your site for as long as possible, not overwhelming them with content and giving them the right navigation to “fall down the rabbit hole” in your site – exploring page after page to browse content in several areas. Post-hummingbird page strategy isn’t that different. You still want users to get happily lost in the wealth of information you’re giving them – but you want the pages they land on to answer the specific questions they’re looking for answers to.

For instance, “What kinds of flowers should I plant in spring” should bring up an intro page on a site with a wealth of information about different kinds of spring flowers and individual pages on how to best plant them – not just an article about “The 10 Best Spring Flowers to Plant.” This may not happen just yet, but keep in mind Google is crafting search to lean toward content, so the more information you can provide that answers user questions, the better.

How Do I Change My Site?

Less is not more – don’t worry about rewriting existing pages on your site. If anything, add more content to those pages or link to content that ensures users will get their questions answered. And most importantly, if your content marketing isn’t truly answering any questions, start by thinking about what your users want to see from you. If you don’t know the questions it’ll be hard to come by the answers.

Lead Liaison has a truly unique content marketing platform unlike any other marketing automation dashboard out there. Our writers can craft content marketing focused around the general questions your site visitors want answered. Let us show you how!