How to Create Automated Marketing Content for Lead Nurturing

By Mathew Sweezey

The number-one complaint from people getting started with marketing automation is that they don’t have enough time to create content. This is also the number-one reason that companies delay their adoption of marketing automation. However, the real issue is that they are thinking about content in the wrong way.

When you are building content for lead nurturing, it is very easy. Take a look at some easy examples of content for nurturing programs:

  • Short form: The opposite of long is short. Short-form content should be easily digested within five minutes. In a recent research report, only 1.7 percent of respondents said that they prefer content over five pages long.

    To create short-form content, you can break down long-form content or create it from scratch. The content should consist of specific ideas that can then link to bigger pieces of content if the person wants to read more.

  • Blog posts: You don’t have to write them! Two million new blog posts go up each day. If you want to be considered a thought leader, you should also consider helping people find information, not just creating it yourself. Other people’s blogs are a great way to do this.

    Send emails with links to other blog articles by industry experts. You are sending a link to the blogs, not putting the blog content into your email.

    Being a thought leader doesn’t always mean that the thought belongs to you. Raising awareness of good thinking is also a way to become a thought leader. If you use this technique, make sure to let readers know why you are sharing the ideas. Tell them the reason that a post is great, for example, and what they should try to learn from it.

  • Videos: Video content is currently one of the most engaging forms of content. You can create videos quickly, easily, and with little expense. If you have not done videos before, go to Wistia.com (@wistia) to find out how to do video well. Wistia.com also shows you how to shoot video with anything from your iPhone to a production camera.

    You don’t have to put the video in your email, and it is not advisable to try to embed video in email. Instead, take a screen shot and make the image a link to your video. Or just use a hyperlink to the video.

  • Testimonials: These are a super great form of content as well. They are key to lead nurturing because they show social proof. Social proof is something all buyers are looking for before they set up demos with your company.

    Have testimonials in different content forms. Consider having a few videos, a few interviews hosted on your blog, or a few case studies. A testimonial can consist of only one item, such as a single quote. Don’t try to overproduce these elements at this stage. It is more important to have just one quote from four companies than to have one single case study with lots of quotes in it.

  • Short research: Proprietary research is a must. There are 294 billion emails sent every day. For your emails to be engaged with, they have to be fresh and relevant. The easiest way to ensure that they are fresh is to create new research.

    Research is interesting in lots of ways and can provide you with tons of value. Consider using SurveyMonkey or LinkedIn to conduct short surveys. You can pay for survey submissions for about $3 each. Remember that you need just one metric, so don’t go overboard with your research. Observations are a form of research, too.

  • Survey: Send a survey to your prospects. This is a great form of content. You are asking for their input, which is not a typical form of engagement; it is, however, highly effective. You can survey their biggest pain points, their thoughts, or their opinions on how your company can improve.

  • Infographics: The current golden child of many marketers, infographics have become a must for any company. If you don’t have the means to create them, find your local design school and pay a cheap artist.

    The infographic is a visual depiction of data. It’s usually fun and uses graphics to showcase the data. Graphics are used frequently to take mundane topics and make them fun through good graphical layouts. Make sure that you have fresh data and then worry about making it pretty. This is where you can use your survey data or your research to drive increased engagement.

  • Webinars: Conducting webinars is another great way to drive engagement in a nurturing program. ReadyTalk (@readytalk), a webinar-hosting company, suggests that hosting a webinar recording on your website can increase the life span of your efforts and increase your lead count.