With the holiday season gearing up, now is the perfect time to talk about implementing an effective content marketing strategy. The most exciting part about content marketing is that, if done well, it can have a huge positive effect on both customer acquisition and retention.
For anyone with their own business, the importance of acquiring new customers is obvious. Without them, your business will almost certainly collapse. However, it’s equally as important to be able to garner repeat customers as well.
The cost of keeping an existing customer is only 20% of what it costs to get a new customer! They already know who you are, what you sell, and obviously liked you enough to make a purchase in the first place. Keeping them loyal is paramount to growing your business, as their lifetime value far exceeds a one-off customer, and they are also more receptive to referring you to friends, family, and associates.
So how can your content marketing strategy work to do both?
If you’re like many businesses, acquisition is your primary marketing focus. 44% of companies and 58% of agencies have a bigger focus on acquisition than retention. But how do you go about acquiring those new customers?
The key starts with research. You need to understand your market, understand your customers, and understand what their concerns and pain points are. Ideally, this is where you will build out buyer personas.
At the most basic level, buyer personas are avatars your company creates around a group(s) of your past, current, and potential customers. These personas share similar buying insights, goals, problems, and decision criteria which are gathered through interviews and surveys. Here’s an excellent resource to learn more about the importance of buyer personas and how to get started with them if you haven’t already.
Once you’ve identified your personas, you need to formulate a plan on what kind of content to market to them. You need to understand what it is they are looking for, what struggles they’ve had in the past, what caused them to seek out your product/service, and what your specific product or service can offer them that your competitors cannot.
Tailor your content to the needs of your customers. Create succinct, meaningful messaging that can help resolve any barriers in the buyer’s journey. Use all the information you gathered in your personas to create specific content that speaks directly to them. Don’t generalize, specify.
After your framework is laid out, it’s time to focus on where you will advertise. Let’s say your company sells furniture and most of your business come from social media. In this case, marketing initially via direct mail or PPC ads might be a lost cause.
Conversely, if you are an HVAC maintenance company that focuses primarily on B2B, marketing on social media is probably not ideal since that’s not where your customers are looking for these types of services.
Finally, once you’ve got your marketing materials out to the masses, it’s time to analyze the data. Find out what pieces of content are successful, and which aren’t. Update and iterate your content based off this until you find what works. Don’t be afraid to run a myriad of A/B tests and multivariate tests to help determine what is most successful for conversions.
Ok, so you’ve got a solid base of customers who have purchased from you. The key now is to nurture them and keep them coming back for more.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to offer them enticing deals. Incentivizing your customers to come back is a two-fold victory. First, it gets additional revenue for your company, even if at a discounted price. But more importantly, it builds your brand.
Customers who are satisfied with the service and products they receive are far more likely to refer the business to others. Referrals are basically free money. You usually don’t have to do anything to get them, other than possibly asking customers.
Of course, there’s a lot more to retention than simply offering a good deal. Having excellent customer service is just as important, and in many cases more important. If you offer your product at the lowest price on the market, but your company has poor customer service, doesn’t respond to questions, and receives and ignores bad reviews, your customers will just go elsewhere in the future.
Every customer you lose is a customer gained by a competitor. Every customer lost means your market share is shrinking, not growing.
In order to stop this negative trend, it’s imperative that you are responsive as a company. If customers leave you feedback, read it and implement their suggestions when feasible and applicable. If customers leave bad reviews, figure out why and fix the problem. If you can’t figure out why, try and reach out to them for more information. If a customer gives you a positive review, reward them and make them feel appreciated.
There’s a reason that companies like Amazon and Target are so successful. It’s because they accept nothing less than outstanding customer service. The customer is always right for them, and it should be for you too.
Both customer acquisition and retention are crucial to business success. While many companies may focus more on new customers, in truth there should be an equal balance between both facets in any content marketing strategy.
Although it won’t happen overnight, when you are able to achieve this balance your company will experience tremendous growth and be far more efficient in all marketing endeavors.
If your business is still struggling to achieve this balance, it’s not the end of the world! Here at ROI Revolution, we have a team of experts ready to help you in a multitude of areas. From Paid Search to Marketplaces to Social Media and more, we can get your account on track and help you gain and keep the customers you need for your business to grow. Get a complimentary 20-minute consult today!
About ROI Revolution
ROI Revolution is an ecommerce digital marketing agency providing expert full-service management of marketplaces, paid search, online shopping, social media advertising, and search engine optimization. Employing a unique combination of hands-on expertise and proprietary technology, ROI Revolution manages digital campaigns for 290+ ecommerce clients, including Perry Ellis, HydroFlask, Peter Millar, Plow & Hearth, and Kenneth Cole.