Client nurturing: turn interest into trust into sales
Potential clients are not easy to convice that your solution is the best one out there. You need a different approach to reach them and built a trusted relationship with them. Slowly.
In the media landscape everything is changing rapidly. It is hard to reach people.
Reaching people on a continuous basis and earning their trust is vital to building your brand and converting social interactions to real actions.
With online communications becoming more vested and mature there lies a great opportunity for brands to become the online thoughtleader in their spaces. Týrsday is helping many clients find the right strategy, platforms and content teams in this process. This blog helps you understand the ideas behind what we call: Client nurturing.
The overwhelming amount of daily communications targeted at them is confusing and numbing, so they stick to a few comfortable brands.
Traditional campaign-based marketing does not suffice to gain this trust and we think this is a good thing. Smart non-intrusive way of communications and dialogue is a more balanced way of talking with your clients.
What is client nurturing?
Client nurturing is the process of building valuable and durable relationships with (potential) clients. The goal of client nurturing is to build a trusted relationship with a potential future client, long before he or she has an intention to buy or replace a product or service. This means when the client is ready to buy a product or service, the client will not search or do research but will buy from their trusted brand; your brand. It is a long-term strategy based on emotional engagement.
Client nurturing is the inverse of performance marketing, which is based on connecting to the client only when they are ready to buy a product or service. Performance marketing is a short-term strategy based on expected rational decision making. Client nurturing is the way to go if you want to build a lasting relationship with your clients.
Why should you engage in client nurturing?
Potential clients are overwhelmed with daily commercial context-less communications. The constant bombardments cause potential clients to reflexively block these messages or are numbed by these, they just don’t register them.
The process of client nurturing builds a valued relationship between the brand and the (potential) client. The value is derived from content and enforced through peer-to-peer influence, over a longer period of time via consistent and frequent messaging. These messages (or stories) are interesting and relevant to the client and brought to the client in an authentically branded context.
By slowly building a long-term relationship with the potential clients, trust - sometimes love even - grows between the client and the brand. The relationship is untainted, because the potential client is not even aware of the fact that he or she is a potential client, there is no apparent sales motive. As soon as the need or wish to buy your product or service arises, your brand is already the preferred brand, connected with strong, often subconscious ties.
So client nurturing leads to potential clients with a strong emotional preference to your brand, leading to a clear and simple sales process, as the need for your product or service arises.
What are the key elements of client nurturing?
Client nurturing centres on building a relationship with your clients on the basis of relevant messaging. This calls for a strategy involving six key elements.
1. Clear ambitions This sounds more than obvious, but getting your goals and mission straight is one of the most difficult parts of getting client nurturing right. Ambitions start with your business mission (what problem are you solving?), then follow up with business goals (what can you contribute?) and of course with goals (f.e. engagement of a certain number of people and potential clients).
2. Understanding of your target groups In order to build a relationship with your client, you need to know your client: who they are, what triggers them and with whom and where they engage online.
3. A strategic framework for your story lines Client nurturing is about sharing content and being part of the discussion. It is about creating stories they like to engage with and share with their own peers. This means the stories by your brand need to be awesome and carry your signature.
4. An owned and branded online platform Every moment one of your messages touches one of your clients, a bit of trust is built and the relationship deepens. More time spent with your brand generally implies a bigger increase in trust. The best place to do so is your own branded platform. Your own platform offers you the perfect balance in brand building and conversion. All while you stay in charge of your data, your content and your clients; something social media are not very prone to offer. The Tag The Love suite by Mobypicture offers the simplest way to find and curate cool content, to create smart and engaging blog posts and to plan and distribute the messages around the Internet. The platform is seamlessly integrated into social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube), messengers such as WhatsApp, newsletters such as MailChimp, and office platforms such as Slack. With Tag The Love content is easily shareable within the communities you wish to reach.
5. Consistent and frequent messaging With the framework and your owned branded platform in place, it is time to start building trust. As a rule of thumb this means daily messages in different formats: from pictures, short video’s, blogs to long reads and curated content. All need to fit the same tone of voice, reflect the brand values yet still be entertaining and diverse. During this process you learn what works and the statistics will show you when you are on the right track. Perseverance and flexibility are both necessary virtues when nurturing your clients.
6. Community management Your stories needs to reach your target audience. This starts with Tag The Love connecting your content to social media, notifications and newsletters. But delivering the story to the final audience often takes two or three stations.
For example: A scientific discovery has to pass through a university blog, then to a scientific journalist, then a blog or newspaper covering the topic, before it reaches the trusted friend of someone in your target audience and finally to the person in your target audience. The message often needs some support to travel across the web. The knowledge of your clients and their influencers offers a guideline to steer the message to the final audience.
Become the online thoughtleader in your space
At Týrsday we have more than 10 years experience in rearching the online space, developing content strategies for major brands, building activating branded platforms and creating suitable content and community management solutions.