There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about content marketing to customers. Years after the sector reached maturity, some insist that content is king. Others suggest it’s dead while recommending dozens of ways to pivot.
So which is it?
The reality of the situation is that content is still critical to the success of your business. This is especially true when it comes to customer retention, but you can’t publish just any content. No, your business needs to be providing top-quality content that adds value to your base product or service and speaks personally to your clients. Achieving this drives customer connections that last. Here are some thoughts on how to make that happen.
Effective Content Marketing to Customers Must Emphasize Re-Engagement
We are all customers who consistently need to be reengaged. Think about it. We’ve purchased all kinds of products in the past only to largely ignore subsequent emails attempting to sell us something else. This is an all-too-common response.
If you push too hard, especially by sending too many emails, you’re going to turn customers off. This may lead them to unsubscribe from your messages and disengage permanently. This is why it’s important to use your content marketing skills to bring them back into the inner circle of your brand.
When using content marketing to customers for encouraging re-engagement, there are several steps you should take.
First, take the time to understand the different groups of disengaged readers that you’re working with. You can do this by using past buying behavior as well as by encouraging current subscribers to refine their preferences. The latter technique requires getting consumers to open a message. However, many are actually eager to provide a little more insight if it means receiving better deals or more valuable information.
Another valuable tool you can use to drive customer re-engagement is email personalization. As mentioned above, you should be segmenting your inactive customers in order to better understand what’s happening at an audience level. With that information, along with some simple formatting and automation tricks, you can send customers personalized recommendations. You can also ensure they’re receiving relevant content and, of course, make use of basic biographical details such as their name and birthdate. Even though customers know these things can be automated, this kind of attention to detail still matters.
Maximize Measurements of Your Content Marketing
You can churn out all the content you want in an attempt to draw customers in and keep them loyal. However, if you’re not successfully measuring those efforts, it’s all for naught.
So how can you tell if your content marketing program is working? There are a number of different approaches, some of which can muddy the waters. This is why some experts recommend choosing a “north star metric” — one statistic you focus on. This metric will act as your guide when attempting to interpret your overall strategy.
To determine which metric to focus on when interpreting your content marketing program’s impact on customer retention, you’ll want to consider a number of factors. First, look into the standards commonly used in your industry. For example, when mobile games want to measure retention, they typically focus on “N Day” values. However, that’s not a particularly valuable tool for most businesses.
Instead of using simple “N Day” retention values for your business, one way you might better measure customer retention is by breaking your timeline down into three groups: short-, medium-, and long-term customers. Your goal is to turn as many customers as possible into long-term customers. That being said, some long-term customers are more valuable than others.
Do you know which customer groups have the greatest lifetime value? What percentage of customers do you need to retain over each period in order to see profit growth? Once you define those factors clearly, you’ll be well-positioned to measure your program of content marketing to customers.
When Marketing Online, “Think Beyond The Page”
Content marketing originally focused on written information and, in many cases, still does. For this reason, it can be difficult for marketing teams to think beyond that format when devising their campaigns. That can pose a serious problem, both for customer retention and when pursuing new customers. The underlying reason is that written content has lost some of its power these days. In its place, marketing teams are devising video messaging, including video specifically for email marketing.
Given how labor-intensive video can be, what are the advantages of this modality?
Ongoing research shows that video increases click-through and conversion rates and can increase visibility on search engines. You’ve probably seen this happen in your own searches. Having entered a set of terms, the first few results that pop up now are often videos related to the topic. So why not get your videos into those leading slots? Though not the same as earning the zero position in search, it’s still a powerful position to occupy. In fact, it may even be more powerful as it requires a click-through.
Winning the Retention Race
It’s easy to view content marketing as a key tool for attracting new customers. It’s true that many customers will look for helpful information on your site, such as blog posts or videos, when making the decision to buy. That being said, single purchases aren’t especially profitable; it costs a lot more to onboard a new customer than to drive more sales from an existing customer. That’s why it’s important to put your current customers at the heart of your strategy.
At the end of the day, customer retention is another way of talking about brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is an emotional connection, at least as much as it is a practical or logical one. Make use of that fact. Build emotional triggers into your content as a reminder that your brand isn’t just a bunch of products and computers, but real people who are committed to meeting customers’ needs, and find ways to create content that is shareable, even if that means it’s slightly less informative in the traditional sense. This is how you get all eyes on your content.
All brands are fighting to maximize the number of high-value customers on their client lists. However, it’s the companies that find a way to make more out of their marketing campaigns that are going to succeed. What will you create to define your brand?