Hi, Lauren Kaye, here, with this week’s content & coffee with Brafton. It’s a new year, and instead of talking about what you should be doing to get the year started on the right foot, I want to talk about what you shouldn’t do – let your leads grow cold. Click play to watch the video, or read the full text below. 

I know, this may sound silly. As marketers, we work so hard to get leads and generate interest in brand content that it seems improbable brands would let that interest fade. However, a study from ClickZ revealed that only 55 percent of Fortune 500 B2B companies follow-up with a phone call or email within 24 hours of a prospect filling out a form request online.

That leaves around 45 percent of businesses in a position to lose leads to competitors just because of poor timing. This is not only frustrating for consumers, who might have been excited to learn about your products or services after discovering the company through social networking and researching them through web content, but it also shoots content marketing efforts in the foot.

No matter how smart your content is, how strategically it’s shared or how accurately it’s honed into readers’ interests, it will be useless if the response mechanism is broken. Internet users simply aren’t patient enough to wait around a few days for companies to get back to them. They need information to make the best purchase decisions on deadline.

And if people start to lose the motivation to convert after waiting seven seconds for a website to load, the same effect will probably sour their desire to work with your company. They might assume that all interactions with you will suffer the same response delays, and choose an alternative vendor that’s quicker on the draw.

You work hard for your leads, so put the plans in motion to make sure they don’t slip between the cracks in 2014.

Catch you next week, and happy content marketing!

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.