You probably already know how powerful customer retention can be for your business. Cultivating new leads and clients can be much costlier and more time-consuming than retaining or upselling current ones.
However, in today’s world, where we can utilize predictive analytics tools to create highly personalized experiences for customers, it’s critical to focus on delivering value over making a sale or focusing too much on cost.
Providing real value today and consistently into the future will help you connect with customers on a deeper level. They’ll be more likely to remember you, admire you, trust you, and work with your business long term.
How can you create consistent, long-term value for prospects and loyal customers? With content marketing.
- Focus on building value for customers over driving sales. Add more value, and the sales will come.
- The buyer’s journey shouldn’t end at the decision stage. It must include retention and advocacy for long-term success.
- Fuel the momentum needed to retain your customers by offering your followers relevant and engaging content at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- To retain customers, you should publish quality content consistently, create a smooth onboarding process, educate your audience, and focus on making things as convenient as possible for them.
- You can continue to build brand loyalty by engaging with your audience, personalizing your content, telling real stories, and listening to customer feedback.
The Power of Customer Retention Marketing
Implementing effective customer retention strategies into your content marketing plan can help you build a community of advocates for your brand. Not only will this group be more likely to buy from you again (or continue buying from you), but they’ll help you spread the word about your products or services.
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is still one of the most effective ways to share offerings and promotions with a larger audience. It’s one of the most trusted channels today.
The Buyer’s Journey Doesn’t End with a Purchase
We’re often taught that the buyer’s journey has three main stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
But the customer experience doesn’t end when someone makes a purchase. Your end goal shouldn’t be to make a sale. Instead, it should be to create loyal, long-term customers. We would even go so far as to say that “retention” and “advocacy” should be added to the bottom of the sales funnel. These stages can be the most important in the buyer’s journey.
Another way to look at the customer journey is as a flywheel instead of a funnel. Funnels can lose momentum. A flywheel drives future growth by leveraging the momentum of each customer to continue cycling through the buyer’s journey.
You can fuel the momentum required for customer retention by offering your prospects, leads, and current customers relevant and engaging content at each stage of their buyer’s journeys.
9 Customer Retention Strategies That Use Content Marketing
Making a sale but losing a customer’s future business is like making it to first base but getting tagged before you reach second. Delivering content for customers at every stage of the journey will help you build brand loyalty and advocates (AKA hit a homerun).
Post-purchase content, specifically, should focus on encouraging additional purchases, building customer loyalty, and preventing non-use of a product or service. Here are nine customer retention tactics to consider implementing into your content marketing strategy.
1. Publish Quality Content Consistently
This one’s a given. Blogging is one of the best ways to show up for your audience consistently. Regularly publishing fresh content doesn’t just help you earn better rankings on search engines. It also enables you to build trust with your ideal customers by offering continual value.
You can also create other types of content consistently like ebooks, guides, demos, podcasts, videos, or vlogs (video blogs). Choose the methods your target audience will resonate with best. That way, they’ll be more likely to engage with your business regularly.
Consider involving your customer service, customer support, and sales teams in your process to help brainstorm relevant topics. They will understand your customers’ pain points, questions and concerns, reservations, and praise for your brand better than anyone. Incorporating key insights into your content marketing plan can make your strategy more influential.
2. Facilitate a Smooth Onboarding Process
Make the onboarding process for new customers as seamless as possible by sending them a welcome or orientation series via email. You can link to guides, instructions, or webinars that explain the next steps. Providing answers to questions you know your customers will have is a proactive way to show you care about their success.
Perhaps instead of sending emails, you’d rather work with your customers one-on-one throughout the onboarding process to ensure they understand how to use your product or service. You could also send a series of videos that walks them through the setup process step by step.
Another idea is to have a live chat functionality on your website or an online portal where your team can answer questions and address concerns promptly. User manuals, how-to guides, and forums can also be helpful for onboarding.
Don’t forget to thank your customers after they’ve made a purchase. This will help build a stronger foundation for your relationship by showing you appreciate their business and value them. Successfully onboarding will help you avoid losing frustrated customers right off the bat.
3. Continue to Educate Your Audience
Offering your customers free and exclusive content to continue educating them about your market, product, or service can push you ahead of competitors and solidify their loyalty to you.
Let’s say you’re a software company that sells subscriptions to an email marketing tool. You could offer free content to everyone through your blog, podcast, weekly newsletters, or YouTube channel.
To provide even more value to your customers, offer them access to exclusive content like an online resources center, software training programs, exciting new videos, or more personalized emails. You can make their experience unique and engaging to keep them up to date and invested in your business.
4. Make Life Easier for Your Customers
Have you noticed a theme throughout this article? Every strategy so far has been about adding value to the customer experience. Prioritizing convenience is another way to retain loyal customers. Making tasks or challenges more manageable and enjoyable can help you win new advocates for your brand.
Today, many businesses are creating apps to remain relevant and give their customers an easy way to interact with their brand. Another option is building a web browser extension or plug-in to make websites, products, or services more easily accessible.
Determine what your target audience desires, and then build the resources and tools that empower them to achieve their goals in the easiest way possible. They might end up loving you for it.
5. Engage with Your Audience
You want your customers to feel like they’re heard and understood, right? Prove to them that you genuinely care about their problems and concerns. Engaging with your audience on different platforms by sharing content and interacting with people personally can show them you’re listening and that you care.
You could host a contest on social media or share a news report on a current event. Create a group on LinkedIn or Facebook. Send text notifications to connect with your audience in a creative way that keeps them engaged with your brand.
If you receive complaints or negative comments, address them immediately. This shows your professionalism and willingness to face adversity. If you make a mistake, address it and apologize publicly, showing you’re humble and human.
According to a recent survey, 96% of customers would continue to buy from companies that apologize and rectify a negative situation. Having a plan in place for quickly solving potential problems can help increase customer retention.
6. Personalization Matters
77% of B2B marketing and sales professionals say personalized marketing experiences lead to better customer relationships.
The larger your business is, the harder it can be to portray your brand as authentic and humanized. Find which platforms your audience prefers, and then engage with them on a personal level. This might include replying to comments and messaging customers on social media. You could also use email to send more personalized and relevant messages by segmenting your contact lists.
Whichever channel you choose, encourage your customers to respond and engage with you one-on-one to humanize your brand and create authentic connections.
7. Use Storytelling in Your Marketing
Customers can deeply relate to other customers who have had similar experiences. Case studies, success stories, and testimonials are all great ways to get people’s attention, create connections, and make your business more memorable.
Keep stories focused on the customer. Describe how you helped a business find a solution or empowered them to use your product or service to see successful results.
8. Listen to Customer Feedback
79% of customers would be likely to make another purchase if they had a positive experience with a brand. 89% will run to a competitor if their experience with a business is unsatisfactory.
One of the most effective ways to improve the customer experience is by reaching out to customers directly for their opinions. Obtaining regular feedback can help you improve your products and services, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
Create a customer feedback loop in your business so you can systematically gather, analyze, and apply suggestions to enhance the customer experience. You can ask for customer reviews, send out surveys, use live chats, or send direct emails to receive valuable feedback.
Having a process in place for gathering feedback will keep you up to date with the latest customer needs and complaints so you can address them quickly and make any necessary changes. You might also discover new opportunities you’d never considered before.
9. Encourage Customer Advocacy
Word of mouth marketing isn’t only effective in person. It can also be a successful virtual marketing strategy.
To encourage advocacy, consider building an online community for your most loyal customers. You’ll build social proof while giving your customers a safe place to voice their opinions, ask hard questions, and connect with others in the community.
You could develop a forum, discussion board, or LinkedIn or Facebook group to get people engaged. Develop and share purposeful content your audience is seeking to encourage participation and offer solutions to pressing problems. Prove to your customers that you care about their challenges and have answers for them. This will help build confidence in your brand.
You can also offer exclusive discounts, training, educational tools, coaching, and other rewards to your online community. Make sure to moderate conversations to avoid inappropriate or irrelevant discussions. Don’t be afraid to address negative comments openly.
Here are several other great ways to encourage customers to advocate for your brand to their friends, family, and followers online.
- Send out surveys to show your audience you value their insights.
- Ask your top customers for reviews. Use platforms like Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, Glassdoor, G2, and Angie’s List.
- Ask your social media followers and email subscribers to share your content.
- Ask influencers who follow you to share your content with their audiences.
- Build a loyalty program to reward loyal customers.
- Create a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
- Develop an affiliate or brand ambassador program.
Overarching Content Strategies for Successful Customer Retention
Apply each of these tips to all of your content marketing efforts.
- Always keep the customer at the center. No matter what type of content you’re creating or where your audience is in the buyer’s journey, your focus should be on making the experience as delightful and easy as possible. Try to see things from their perspective and address their needs and concerns directly through your content.
- Choose quality over quantity. High-quality content will catch people’s attention and help you rank higher on the SERPs (search engine results pages). For example, instead of pumping out ten short blog articles every month, write five in-depth, highly researched, and strategically optimized articles that will resonate with your target audience.
- Consistency is key. Communicate with your audience regularly to keep them in the loop and show that you’re active online. You’ll create a standard and a routine that your audience will learn to expect and appreciate.
- Continue to nurture. Nurturing doesn’t end when your lead becomes a customer. Continue to add value to your offerings to keep your customers engaged and satisfied. If you don’t, your competitors will. You may need to get creative. Figure out ways to deepen your relationships to help customers continue finding success moving forward.
Increase Customer Retention with Content Marketing
Creating and publishing quality content on your website, social media, and other essential platforms will help you build trust with your audience. Over time, you’ll build confidence in your brand and have a following of loyal advocates.
MIG can help you create targeted, engaging content consistently to reach and win new customers and retain current ones. We can help you build content for every stage of the buyer’s journey – including retention and advocacy. Our Content Builder Service is affordable, customizable, and effective. Build a loyal fanbase and one-up your competition through content marketing.