4 Ways to Use Content Marketing to Drive Customer Loyalty
The secret is out- it is much cheaper to keep a client versus acquiring a new one. In a recent study done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, it was found that a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. Why? According to the study, “Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time. As they do, your operating costs to serve them decline. What ís more, return customers refer others to your company”
So the question becomes “How do I increase customer retention and build loyalty?” It would be unrealistic for me to pretend I know your business well enough to answer that question in its entirety. What I can do is offer suggestions on how your content marketing can be used to build customer loyalty and repeat business.
Design Content Marketing to Offer Value to Your Clients
Content marketing designed for your current customers should receive as much, if not more, attention than the content marketing designed for your prospects. Client content marketing can be used to deliver valuable information to your clients in various ways:
One effective approach of digitally marketing to your current customers is building a series of drip marketing campaigns. Drip marketing is a schedule of emails that trigger after a certain event (i.e.- a prospect turning to customer). Drip marketing can also be scheduled to send emails to subscribers based on their actions. For example, let’s say you have a standard campaign being sent to all new customers. Within your emails you promote value added services that your company offers. As users click on services being promoted, they are automatically placed in a less frequent but more informative campaign based on their click interest.
As mentioned in our previous article, “The Power of an Online Knowledge Base”, a knowledge base can be a valuable tool when it comes to keeping your clients informed. Though this approach may not apply to all businesses, there are many companies who field calls on a regular basis answering the same questions when it comes to customer service. Maintaining a Knowledge Base has been proven to reduce customer service calls and build customer loyalty. It is most powerful when it works in conjunction with your email marketing to deliver industry news and company updates.
Tap into your resources. Involve your support and relationship management team with the marketing content and highlight their contact information. This accomplishes a few things;
Clients have a personal connection with the author. They are more willing to click on and read a piece if there is a personal connection to it.
It builds credibility among your employees. Having a staff of “experts” in their field builds a tremendous amount of trust among your clients.
This shows versatility in your office. It conveys that your employees are not only part of the industry news, but they dissect it and understand it.
Closely Monitor Your Social Media and Online Reviews
It can be overwhelming managing posts and conversations within social media. That is why it is important to find the right platform(s) and ditch the rest. Are you in B2B sales? LinkedIn is the best choice when it comes where your resources should go. Are you more consumer focused? Then Facebook or Instagram may be right for you. But one thing you should never do is let a post from a user go unnoticed.
I want to share social media (lack of) interaction I recently had with a comedy venue that I have been attending for nearly 20 years. I have always loved this venue and recommended it to many people. A few months ago, I found an EARLY form of content marketing when I dug up a postcard they sent me postmarked in 1996. I was ecstatic to come across this relic. So I did what anyone with a phone would do. I took a picture of the postcard and blasted it on Twitter while tagging the comedy club. To my disappointment...nothing. No retweet. No comment. Not even a like. Whether they saw the post or not, not getting a reply left a sour taste in my mouth. Will I ever go back? Maybe. But the luster is somehow lost, and I am going to be less excited to send friends their way. A simple recognition could have gone a long way, and many consumers feel the same way.
As a consumer, I will be the first to admit that I put a lot of value in online reviews, but I realize no one is perfect. We all mess up (some more than others). So when a bad review about your company is submitted, look at this as an opportunity to make things right with the client and showcase your empathy to online readers.
It is important you are claiming your businesses on all popular platforms when it comes to online reviews. This allows you to receive notifications at the sign of any activity.
Make Case Studies and Testimonials a Staple and Highly Visible on Your Website
A series of case studies can provide multiple benefits. The most obvious is the ability to highlight your success stories, but for B2B companies, they can also be used to cross promote your clients through various online platforms. Cross promotion is a great way for prospects to notice the type of relationship you build with existing clients.
Let’s say the business highlighted in your case study decided to share the article on their social media with 500 followers. Assuming 100 of those followers saw the post, it would be safe to estimate 10-15 of those followers are in the same industry as your client who could be a potential prospect. Finding a positive article about your relationship from someone they know can go a long way.
You should always be on the hunt for testimonials. If they aren't coming to you unprovoked then you should be asking for them. You will find a lot of clients are more than willing to help and testimonials are a great way to do so. One thing you should never do is to let a customer testimonial fall through the cracks. Even if you decide not to use it at the present time, log it and hold onto it until it can be added to your website or marketing collateral.
Implement a Chat Feature on Your Website for Support Questions
One solution that often goes unnoticed when it comes to small businesses offering support to their client base is the use of an online chat bubble (as seen in the bottom right corner of the screen). Consumer preferences on how they receive support is shifting and many want help without making an outbound call. This can be in the form of an email, text message, or an online chat that can be accessed from their desktop or mobile browser.
Depending on your company’s needs, an online chat bubble can serve as a simple chat to open a case or answer a question. For some, it can be as specific as immediately recognizing customers, integrating a knowledge base for canned responses, and set schedules/queues for multiple support reps.
Think of content marketing as a way to keep the relationship moving forward with clients. Will they ever buy from you again? Maybe. But if the you continue to interact with your current or past clients, a referral is surely going to come your way.
We would love to hear from you
Need help with any of the options outlined above? Let us know how we can help you with your customer loyalty.