A happy customer yields dividends over time in the form of repeat purchases, referrals, and helping to build a positive brand reputation. How do you keep customers coming back for more?
Content marketing is essential to your customer retention strategy.
Consider the final stage of the buyer’s journey ~ Delight. We break Delight into two stages – Retention and Advocacy – to show that creating a valuable customer experience impacts both the retention of customers and building a following of advocates of your brand.
Delighting your customers is the key to creating a loop (what HubSpot calls the flywheel) in your marketing and sales cycle. Keeping customers engaged after their purchase develops post-purchase loyalty. Satisfied customers repeatedly purchase, help raise awareness of your brand, and refer others.
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Some industry experts state that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. (Invesp)
Fred Reichheld of management consulting firm Bain & Company reports, “Across a wide range of businesses, customers generate increasing profits each year they stay with a company. In financial services, for example, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.”
Retaining customers requires providing consistent value beyond the sale. If a sale is a “one and done” event, you’re missing an opportunity to build a community of raving fans and customers who return to you for additional products.
Content That Increases Customer Retention
Through retention content marketing, you have an opportunity to continue to build a relationship with your customers and increase customer lifetime value. Here are some examples:
Customer Onboarding ~ Help your customers get off to a good start by sending a series of onboarding emails. Include links to product instructions or a quick start guide. Webinars are also an excellent channel for educating customers about product features and answering questions.
Text notifications – Invite your customers to receive texts. Use this channel not only as a means to offer discounts and notifications of sales but as an opportunity to continue to nurture your relationship with them by providing links to valuable content that enhances their experience with your brand.
Email Marketing ~ Provide tutorials on how to use the products. Offer add-ons, upsells, and discount codes. Announce new features and product development updates.
Social Media ~ Publish customer success stories and ask customers to submit their stories. Publish the stories and tag their profiles. This extends your reach on social and provides value to your community as they see new and different ways to be successful using your products.
YouTube ~ Continue to educate customers on product use and maintenance, brand values, and corporate mission. Always invite viewers to subscribe and share.
Community-Building ~ Create groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and invite your customers to join. Treat them to exclusive content that is only available to members. Groups are an excellent source of information about your buyer persona that can inform marketing strategies and new product development.
Learn more: How Does Content Marketing Work?
Using Content Marketing for Customer Advocacy
The opportunities for virtual word-of-mouth advertising of your brand are plentiful. There are infinite ways for customers to advocate for your brand including feedback on review sites, engaging on social channels, sharing content, and sharing email.
Creating user-generated content starts immediately after purchase. Ask for feedback by offering a survey or giving them the opportunity to write a review. According to Nielson, 73% of consumers use online reviews to make purchase decisions.
Consider creating an ambassador or affiliate program to reward your biggest fans. Connect with influencers who are customers to help spread the word to their communities. Give your ambassadors and affiliates awareness-stage content to share with their networks. Make it easy for your current customers to help you attract new customers.
The key to continuing a trusting relationship with customers is to provide value, rather than continually sell to them. Through analytics and data on customer engagement on content, you can determine which content they prefer and the channels they use most frequently, and then develop strategies around their preferences.
Looking for more ideas to create a content strategy that will attract, nurture, and retain your customers? Download our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business Growth.