How Investing in Effective Content Can Improve Customer Retention
Here’s the thing not many businesses realize - having a good product or a decent service sometimes isn’t enough to make a customer stay. They might shop with you once or twice, and they might use your services, but that doesn’t mean they won’t leave for greener pastures once they spot a better deal.
So, the question is: How do we make them stay? How do we retain the customers we have, as well as gain new ones? What makes a person become your loyal customer, and how do we ensure their loyalty through effective and subtle means?
The answer? By investing ineffective content.
Effective content will not only show that you care about your product and/or service, but it will also help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, forming a lasting relationship.
Now, let’s see what kind of content is the most effective at keeping your customers hooked to your business.
Blogging is one of the most effective ways of keeping your business relevant at all times.
Through blogging, you’re talking to your customers and new arrivals, relaying your vision to them, teaching them about your product/service, and keeping them posted on new trends in your respective industry.
It’s no wonder, then, that there were 31.7 million bloggers in the US in 2020, with the number consistently rising.
Good blogs rank well in Google’s search engine, but, beyond that, a good blog also provides content for your customers post-service, so they actually have something to do and look forward to after they’ve made their initial purchase.
A good idea is to include your PR and customer service teams in your blog. Since they work with customers, they know what people tend to ask, and you can create posts that answer those questions directly.
This way, a person that has an issue with your product/service can find a solution to their frustration.
With that, not only will they not demand a refund, but they’ll also likely offer you their patronage again, owing to the fact they can rely on your blog to remove any potential issues and not jump through hoops, having to contact customer service and waiting for them to get back at them.
People don’t know things, and people don’t care to know things - unless there is someone willing to teach them! If you offer a product or service that isn’t familiar to your potential customer, you can bet they’re going to leave as soon as they realize you haven’t got a good onboarding process in place.
Just consider this for a second: the average bounce rate on websites is around 47% across all industries. That is a lot of lost revenue that could have been yours if only you knew how to bring them in.
That is why a smart business will create a seamless onboarding process. And the best part? It’s very simple to do, too!
The easiest way to bring people up to speed with your product/service is with a simple welcome email. In this email, you can link to guides and other content that they might find helpful. Even better if you have a blog with all those guides, too - this will make you that much more trustworthy and relevant to a potential buyer.
Speaking of emails, people like them to be personal. However, to become personal with a client, you also need their data, and the more clients you have, the harder it becomes to keep track of them all.
This is why smaller and medium-sized businesses make use of managed service providers. MSPs primarily provide remote IT support, but they also manage user accounts for their clients.
That said, with the best-managed service providers at your side, you can gather that user data more easily, and manage user accounts more efficiently, allowing you to find out your customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences - anything that will allow you to write that perfect, highly personal email.
Also, consider making use of the video format during the onboarding process.
You might not have the resources to ensure one-on-one sessions with every customer, but you can mimic that experience with a video. Not only that, but people are more likely to watch a video than read walls of text explaining every little detail.
Another common strategy is having a live chat option on your website. Using the live chat, your visitors can have their questions answered on the spot, which is a great convenience and an opportunity for you to turn that visitor into a customer.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool that any business looking to overtake their competition should thoroughly explore.
Sure, the influencer trend is becoming a bit of a joke nowadays, and it’s sort of falling out of favor, but you can bet there are hosts of people that will take the advice of their favorite influencer any day of the week and engage with their business of choice.
This is what makes social media such a powerful tool - it’s basically a big platform for word-of-mouth marketing, and it allows you to quickly reach thousands of people in a short amount of time.
So, say you have a respected person within your industry telling people to check out their site on their Twitter or Facebook account. You can be certain that the business they referred to will definitely rank highly on people’s trustworthiness list.
And not only that, but that post is likely to reach scores of people, and all of them are potential visitors and potential customers down the line. And just like that, by having one person refer to your site, you can see massively increased traffic, and (provided you have a product/service worth buying) you’ll definitely see that conversion rate go up too.
But social media goes beyond that. It is a way of keeping in touch with your customers, a way of forming a personal bond, and a way of building a community around your business.
Forming a community ensures new arrivals are on board that much more easily, and it creates a strong following of fans that are likely to buy your product/service in the long run.
Why should you do all the work, and create all the content? Why shouldn’t you have customers create content for you? After all, they’re the ones buying your product!
Jokes aside, there is a way you can have customers create content without you having to do anything, and that’s through customer feedback.
People like to express themselves, their experiences (especially very positive and very negative ones), concerns, and opinions. Why not let them do that on your platform, where potential and existing customers can see them and interact with them?
Thus, customer feedback becomes one of the best strategies for not only gaining new customers but also retaining existing ones.
If your business has a quality product/service with excellent reviews, people are more likely to offer their patronage and come back for more.
According to Statista, 53% of people in their 2018 survey answered that their shopping experience greatly depends on product ratings and reviews. What this means for you is that the more positive reviews you have, the more likely people will engage with you.
But that’s not all. Customer feedback is also an important tool for businesses to better themselves and their products.
Shrewd businesses use customer reviews to tailor their products/services to their niche, thus creating a very personalized experience for the customer - something they are certain to appreciate.
Another way to capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing is to start referral programs.
People are, by nature, trusting creatures, and if that trust is placed in somebody they know, then they’re all the more likely to follow their recommendations, and you should be ready to capitalize on this.
In fact, 92% of people will deem a business partially, if not completely, trustworthy if they’ve received a recommendation for it from a friend/family member. Just think for a second - how many times did you engage with a business after someone you know and trust told you to.
And that is why many companies, especially those in the retail and luxury industries, have referral programs in place. These companies usually feature special deals that award both the person and the referred friend some sort of boon on their next purchase.
Be it a discount or a free shipping kind of deal, they’re all good incentives for people to shop with you.
A great place to introduce a referral program is right at the start. Many businesses usually indicate the existence of one in their welcome email. Getting a deal on your first purchase just for referring a friend is a great start to a long relationship for a lot of people.
You can also tie in referral programs with social media. As we said, people like sharing their experiences, and if you’ve got a good deal, they’re very likely to bring their friends with them to capitalize on that deal. This way, it’s a win-win for both you as the business and them as customers.
In the modern-day, content is king. There is nothing more beneficial for the growth of a business than a well-thought-out content marketing strategy.
The fact is, most of us are well in tune with the modern-day digital world.
New generations are spending more and more time online, and they’re using this access to information to form opinions and make decisions. This, in turn, makes it that much easier for a brand to form a personal bond with them.
It is for this reason content is so important for a business. As people evolve, so, too, should marketing, and keeping up with the latest trends will ensure you stay on top of your competition.
But, most importantly, forming a community around your brand will certainly keep you relevant for many years to come, and keep you in the loop as to what those trends are.
Harold Ader is a digital marketing specialist and freelance blogger from Manchester, writing exclusively for DigitalStrategyOne. In his spare time, you can find him in the garden or kitchen.