The Art of Lead Nurturing with Engaging Events

The Art of Lead Nurturing with Engaging Events

In our recent webinar, Erik Newton, CMO at Hubilo, joined Gloria Zhu, the Director of Demand Generation, to explore the art of lead nurturing. Let's take a look at what he talked about.
Nainika Sharma
Content Marketer
April 7, 2023

Effective lead nurturing is crucial for businesses of all sizes and industries. However, many organizations need help with this concept to implement strategies that yield positive results. In a report by Marketo, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales, primarily due to a lack of lead nurturing. A sad reality, isn't it? 

In our recent webinar, Erik Newton, CMO at Hubilo, joined Gloria Zhu, the Director of Demand Generation, to explore the art of lead nurturing. They discussed various techniques to help you build strong relationships with your leads, increase your leads conversions, and ultimately grow your business. Whether you're a small business owner or a seasoned marketer, this webinar provides valuable insights into effective lead nurturing and how to achieve your business goals.

Let's take a look at what he talked about.

What is lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing is just a more organized and regimented form of marketing that can be effective for businesses of all sizes. The concept of lead nurturing has been around for almost 40 years and is still relevant to an effective marketing strategy. Jim Cecil, who was consulting for Microsoft, developed the concept of nurture marketing, a more organized and targeted type of campaign. 

Lead nurturing is like hosting a successful event. As an event planner tries to engage with attendees, lead nurturing involves building relationships with potential customers and guiding them through buying. It's all about understanding the needs and interests of your target audience, then providing them with relevant information and valuable experiences that keep them engaged with your brand. Just as a memorable event can leave a lasting impression on attendees, effective lead nurturing can help you establish trust, credibility, and long-term relationships with your customers.

By dividing campaigns into smaller segments, we can make them more manageable and relevant. Marketing automation and lead-scoring tools introduced by companies like Marketo and Eloqua have made this approach more feasible for medium-sized teams with automation and email marketing expertise. 

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Why is it important to care about lead nurture?

Lead nurture is critical to any business's sales and marketing efforts for several reasons: 

  • Low cost per lead: According to a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, businesses that implement effective lead nurturing strategies generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. In addition, businesses that nurture leads experience a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to those that don't. 
  • Shorter sales cycle: Nurtured leads convert faster than leads that aren't. Closing leads quickly also gives you a competitive advantage, helping your teams and business grow faster.
  • Better number of SQLs: Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects also experience a 451% increase in qualified leads, per Annuitas Group

These statistics highlight the importance of lead nurturing in driving revenue growth. In today's competitive landscape, where customers have plenty of options, lead nurturing helps establish relationships with potential customers and convert them into loyal ones. 

What is a nurture gap?

MarketSherpa's study also found that 65% of marketers need a solid nurturing program despite having many advantages. Why? Erik believes that one of the primary reasons is the "sales conundrum." 

"There is always a difference of opinion between sales and marketing," says Erik. "While marketing believes they generate a lot of leads, sales disagree. This is a sales conundrum. This is frustrating for both sides, but the reality is, both are equally true."

This leads to a nurture gap. Marketing creates a lot of content and leads absorb it across the sales cycle. However, sending over a non-nurtured lead to the sales team, who have not engaged with the content much, creates a gap as those leads are not ready to move to the next stage. 

"Sales would want to maximize their time efficiency and work on leads they've got a good chance on. That's the nurture gap," adds Erik.

How do you fill the nurture gap?

Erik believes that nurture is complex, but companies must implement an effective nurturing program to maintain strong customer relationships. A successful nurture program involves consistent, helpful, and valuable customer communication. This communication can be programmatic (such as emails, whitepapers, and videos) or episodic (webinars or user conferences). The key is creating a roadmap of different events over six months to develop visibility and a sense of community among customers. The goal is to make customers feel that investing their time in the company's community is worthwhile and valuable.

Creating episodic content with an always-on event strategy

Creating an episodic event establishes a date and time, which makes sense of urgency and FOMO. Try creating a roadmap of events over six months to develop visibility and a reason for people to invest their time in the community. The goal is to have an "always on" event strategy.  

An always-on event strategy requires a commitment to consistency, creativity, and agility. It's not about hosting significant, flashy events occasionally; it's about creating a steady stream of valuable content that keeps your customers engaged and returning for more. Just ensure they are sustainable and effective over the long run. 

Erik suggests improving planning skills can allow for more frequent webinars, especially when targeting smaller audience segments. He recommends using interactive webinar classes called "office hours," which allow for more engagement with the audience, including bringing them on stage to speak. These events can be smaller and less formal but still practical.

Driving webinar engagement

If you want your webinar to be effective, you must implement strategies to keep up audience engagement throughout. 

"We don't want our webinar to be flat, and we don't want people to start side-working," states Erik. "The speaker has to be prepared and dynamic, but don't over-index on creating a deck — don't over-index and over-practice. Speak for 20 or 30 minutes, leave some time to interact with the audience, stop and pause, catch your breath, and do the polls."

It can be helpful to acknowledge reactions from the audience and use them to engage the audience further. This can create a more interactive environment for everyone involved. It's also vital to ensure you're answering questions and addressing comments from the audience. This shows that you value their input and are invested in their experience. 

Finally, make sure to follow up with attendees after the webinar. Send a thank-you message, a webinar recording, or any resources mentioned during the event. This helps you build a relationship with the audience and can lead to further engagement in the future.

Tips for creating better lead nurture

Creating a lead nurture program can be challenging, but using these tips can be helpful:

  • Map out your always-on event strategy before the execution
  • Empower your sales team's post-event outreach and nurture it with robust event data
  • Expand beyond email for your post-event nurture strategy
  • Keep your audience engaged during the event to create a long-lasting impression
Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline

To get the full scoop on the art of lead nurturing and engaging events, check out the webinar here. And for more content like this, stay tuned with us. 

Nainika Sharma

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