Great customer service is the ultimate key to customer retention. Today, most businesses cannot afford to toil with this important aspect of business because it’s impossible to thrive without customers.
Essentially, customer retention aims at building lasting relationships with customers, increasing lead generation and sales, and boosting Return on Investment (ROI). If these aren’t achieved, then the purpose of customer retention will have been defeated.
Another reason why customer retention is valued by entrepreneurs is that it is cheaper to retain old customers than attracting new ones. That’s why a number of strategies have been developed to help facilitate customer retention. These strategies, however numerous they are, can be categorized into two basic groups.
Customer retention can be achieved either by providing excellent customer service and/or by implementing effective content marketing strategies. However, both methods are most effective when they’re made to complement each other.
The paradigm shift
With recent advancements in technology, consumers now find it easy getting information about products from online sources. With the help of blogs and mobile apps, they can window-shop remotely and compare prices before finally deciding which product to buy.
As a result, marketers too are forced to intensify their digital marketing efforts, and are using content marketing to get their products in front of customers. And it’s really proving very effective.
According to a study that was jointly conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs on B2B Content Marketing, 53% of the most effective marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
In addition, B2B marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy get better results from their content marketing tactics. In fact, more than half (51%) of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months.
The most amazing part of this study is that 85% of these marketers identified lead generation as that the most important goal for carrying out content marketing, while 84% and 74% of them mentioned sales and customer retention/loyalty respectively.
How does content marketing work?
In explaining this, we need to understand that the final result of content marketing is driving sales. Although, content marketing is targeted at getting the attention of the audience without the outright intention to sell, the strategies involved tend to raise the consciousness of every customer to eventually buy.
Here’s how it works:
A marketer creates awareness for a product – potential customers decide whether it solves their problem – they try to see if similar products or services exist so as to make comparison – finally, customers decide and finally make move to buy.
Against this background, we shall take a look at the 3 sure-fire content marketing strategies that guarantee customer retention, hence lead generation and sales.
You shouldn’t be surprised that blogging tops my list of content marketing strategies. It‘s simply because every other strategy you might think of depends on a functional blog.
When I first started blogging, I had little or no idea of what business blogging was all about until I read a guide to making money blogging. This equipped me with necessary information relating to writing blog content that customers can relate with.
Of course, your aim for retaining customers is getting them to buy your products, hence more income. Therefore the success of your content marketing efforts depends largely on the effectiveness of your blog.
Blogging has to do with creating compelling content consistently. You should seek to educate your readers who are your prospective customers with every blog post you write. This will help to improve loyalty and build trust.
Once you’re able to convince them that you have knowledge on a particular niche, they’ll keep visiting your blog since they know they’d always get insightful information every time they visit.
Here are few quick tips to attract more readers to your blog
- Optimize your pages and blog posts for SEO with relevant keywords
- Use infographics to summarize or make a graphic representation of relevant information related to your content.
- Use images to enhance your content and increase the view rate.
- Create surveys and polls to find out what customers want to learn, collect feedback, and to measure user engagement.
- Use podcasts and videos to explain what words alone cannot convey. This also helps to decrease bounce rate on your site.
- Use slide shares to tell exciting stories
- Give away lots of freebies
- Email marketing
This is another indispensable tool for content marketers. According to KissMetrics, email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined, reaching about 2.9 billion people across the world.
It is very effective when it comes to customer retention, and if properly deployed, will immensely multiply your ROI. Actually, the cliché that “the money is in the list” is nothing but the truth.
Here are few tips for effective email marketing:
- Create a good landing page that is capable of converting new visitors
- Add a signup or subscription box to start building your list
- Use an autoresponder to send regular newsletter campaigns
- Perform A/B tests on your ongoing campaigns
- Use effective metric tools to track and analyse customer engagement
- Social media marketing
Social media marketing is famous for its ability to improve brand presence and increase customer base. This strategy is very effective among digital marketers due to the availability of many social media networks, and its accessibility to all and sundry.
In the recent social media statistics revealed in February 2016, Smart Insights hinted that there are 2.3 billion active social media users around the world. This figure reflects a 10% increase since January 2015.
It’s quite obvious that this huge numbers is a goldmine for content marketers because they can get their content in front of several million social media users with few clicks.
For this strategy to produce the desired results, consider these tips:
- Make your content highly sharable, and always share your content
- Identify the social media channel that your audience uses most
- Interact with customers on social media especially Facebook and Twitter
- Stay active on all the channels especially on Google+ to boost your search engine ranking
- Analyse your data with tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite.
Lastly, it goes without saying that the real purpose of content marketing, according to Content Marketing Institute, is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating relevant and valuable content with the intention of driving profitable customer actions.