By now, all marketers have been sensitized to the importance of digital marketing. The world is going digital and so is marketing. Digital marketing alone has a comprehensive definition.
It constitutes of many different marketing strategies like social media marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing and so on.
In this article, we will be talking to you about one of the most popular sub-branches of digital marketing: Content Marketing.
In simple words, content marketing is a marketing practice that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content on digital media platforms.
A successful content marketing strategy adheres to the popular adage, “Content is king.”
Why are so many marketers focusing so much of their energy on content marketing? Given below are a few facts that will put the importance of content marketing into perspective:
- Firms with sound content marketing strategies experience8 times more site traffic than other websites.
- According to a study conducted by IBM, 56% of the marketers believe that great content can promote customer engagement.
- Content marketing is 62% cheaper than outbound marketing.
- Companies that adopt content marketing experience 6 times higher conversion rates than those companies who don’t use content marketing.
Content marketing is a flexible marketing strategy. A company’s content marketing strategy depends upon their goals or objectives. Content can be used to attain any one of these objectives:
- Brand building
- Lead generation
- Information dissemination
- Customer service goals
- Support search engine optimization
- Gauge & entice social media engagement
- Improve customer retention
The rest of this article is going to be devoted to just one topic:
How To Use Content Marketing To Improve Customer Retention?
Customer retention is an important business goal for all businesses. Sure, it’s great to win new customers. But just winning new customers doesn’t guarantee success. The long-term success of a company greatly depends on its ability to retain its customers.
Content marketing is a great way to improve customer retention. But before we get into how to use content to drive customer-retention specifically, there’s something that all marketers need to understand.
Relationship Between Customer Retention & Customer Experience
A company can only retain its customers if its customers are happy with the interactions that they have with the company. Therefore, before focussing on a sound “customer retention strategy” as such, it’s important to focus on ensuring that customers have pleasant and positive interactions with the company.
Give your customers a reason to be your customer.
Seamless transactions, valuable customer service, informative, valuable and engaging content, transparency; these are specific areas that demand the company’s attention.
If you can satisfy your customers, you will have the best customer retention strategy in place that being, word of mouth.
6 Ways To Leverage Content Marketing To Improve Customer Retention
Now that you know the importance of customer experience to customer retention, you are much better equipped to understand and implement these strategies. Given below are the different ways in which content marketing can be used to improve customer-retention:
1. Publish excellent content religiously
Content marketing is not an overly complicated marketing strategy. If you stick to the basics and focus on quality, you will see its results.
Publish quality content regularly and religiously. Publishing content regularly is the best way to add value and experiences to your customers.
And don’t stick to publishing content in the same format. Experiment for better results. Look at videos, look at gifs, look at listicles- explore all the different kinds of content formats that you can exploit-make a calendar and post different content formats regularly.
Pre-plan content, hire influencers, hire freelancers, conduct regular brainstorming sessions, if you have to but ensure that you post content on a regular basis.
2. Make use of the information that your customers provide you with
Data is an invaluable asset in today’s time. When used correctly, companies can use their customer data to formulate their entire customer retention strategy.
Analyzing customer data can provide companies with compass-like guidance for their content strategy. It can help companies pinpoint what it is that their customers value and what it is that drives engagement.
Customize your content to disseminate the exact information that your customers value. This can be a great contributor to your customer-retention strategy.
3. Keep your customers informed
To keep your customers informed: keep two things in mind. One, you should be the first one to distribute content about anything new that’s happening in or to your company. A new product, new features, new business heads etc. Your customers should be kept in the loop about what’s happening in the business. And, they have to hear it from you and nobody else.
The second way to retain customers is by broadening the horizons of your content. Instead of distributing content that’s solely about your business, try to disseminate any interesting information that you come across that relates to your business directly or indirectly. Focus on distributing comprehensive content. By doing so, you can get all the attention to yourself.
Personalized email marketing campaigns are a great way to keep customers informed. When deployed correctly, email marketing in itself can be a great customer retention strategy. Design personalized email campaigns that talk to individual groups and make them feel special. You can define customer groups on the basis of their past interactions with the business. Email marketing campaigns are flexible so you can use them to distribute whatever content that you feel is right.
4. Run periodical webinars
Webinars are one of the most under-rated content formats. Traditionally, companies consider a webinar to be a tool that can be used to gain customers rather than retain customers. However, that approach is profoundly misguided.
When used right, a webinar can be a great customer retention tool. Webinars need to be run at periodic intervals. By following such a practice, the customers of a company will always know the exact time at which the webinar is running and can thus, make time for it accordingly.
Now the key here is to have great content. People are giving up their time to tune-in so the content has to be something useful and engaging. Ideally, the content should be a mixture of: humorous content & informative content. Tackle issues like the challenges that people may face with the product or service. Inform people about new product features, their benefits and how to use them. But do so in a fun way. It has to invigorating, interesting and exciting.
5. Do your best to keep your customers engaged.
Ensuring customer engagement is crucial to a sound content marketing strategy. The engagement can adjudge the success of a content marketing strategy that it entices on social media.
Whatever content you post online, the objective of it should be to drive customer engagement. If your content is not driving engagement, you are doing things wrong. Engaged customers make for retained customers.
So, how to ensure customer engagement? Post regular contests with small giveaways. Reply to as many of your customers’ comments as possible on as many social media channels as possible. Try to act on some of the advice that’s given to you by your customers and let them know that their input was valuable.
6. Create a loyalty program that runs around content.
For years now, loyalty programs have been the major drivers of customer retention strategies. And rightly so! The effectiveness of loyalty programs with respect to customer retention is second to no other strategy.
Try building a loyalty program that runs around content. Few examples of how this can be done. Invite your customers to share some content. Choose the best content out of all the content that you receive and publish it. You can choose to give the customer monetary and social recognition as an award. You can run such a program continuously.
This is just one example of how you can incorporate content into a loyalty programme. Be creative and think of other exciting ways to do so. The more fun, the more rewarding the program- the better for you.
4 Content Marketing Tools To Drive Customer-Retention
Traditionally, man designed tools to help him make his work simpler and more effective. The marketing tools found on the internet have been designed to fulfil the very same purpose.
The problem here is that there just too many different tools to choose from which is why many marketers forgo the helping hand offered by these tools.
The right tools though prove to be a worthy investment. There are a few content marketing tools that are really good and can be used to drive customer retention. Some basic information about these tools is given below:
MailChimp (Email Marketing): MailChimp is an email marketing tool that provides businesses with to readymade email template designs, A/B testing options, segmented email lists and a lot more.
Google Analytics (Data): In one of the points above, we spoke about the importance of using customer data to tailor one’s content strategy. Google Analytics is an online tool that allows you to analyze customer data and draw intelligent inferences from the wide-range of statistical information that it provides.
Keyword (Keyword Research): Filling up content with the right keywords is critical to ensure the success of a content strategy. Keyword.io is an online keyword research tool that provides you with all the information that you need with respect to finding and selecting the right keywords for a concerned topic.
Disqus (Website Audience Building): We spoke about the importance of customer engagement in a content strategy. Disqus is an online tool that offers users an easy solution to their customer engagement woes. It helps you keep track of all conversations spread across your social media channels and allows you to focus your attention on the important conversations.
4 Examples Of How Real Companies Have Used Content Marketing To Improve Their Customer-Retention
GoPro sells one of the most versatile cameras available in the market. Their content strategy has been to focus on video content. And, it’s been successful. As a part of their content strategy, GoPro invites consumers to send in adventure videos that they have shot using the GoPro camera. These videos are then posted online. One such video of theirs got 20 million views on Youtube.
New York Times
New York Times made a truly revolutionary move by offering its customers VR newspapers. In one bold move, they changed their content offering mechanism. It was something new, something exciting, something unique and got the attention of all their customers.
HubSpot keeps it simple. They post quality content regularly and religiously, content that their target audience really cares about. They ensure that their customers are kept informed. They publish marketing and sales related topics that generate 2 million visitors a month.
By keeping it simple, keeping their audience informed, they have built a sound customer-retention strategy cornered around content.
Cocoa Runners are chocolate distributors that operate in the UK. They entice customer-retention using content by running a regular email marketing campaign. Through the email marketing campaign, they keep their customers informed about new offerings, chocolate insights and chocolate suggestions.
There, that’s the end of it. In this article, we have comprehensively covered all that you need to know about the relationship between customer-retention and content marketing.
To summarise everything; it’s unwise to overlook the importance of content marketing. Executing it is simple and not overly complicated. Sticking to the basics can help one reap its multiple benefits. Content marketing, when used effectively, can be a great customer-retention strategy. Customer-retention is as important if not more important than attracting new customers. Post content regularly, equip your customers with useful information, do all that you can to keep them engaged, exploit the advantages of webinars, build a unique loyalty programme and make good use of all the customer data that’s with you.
Take inspiration from successful content marketing strategies. Don’t copy them. Get inspired by them. Strive to better them!