Many content marketing metrics are used for determining the success of gaining new traffic and customers. While these are definitely important considerations, some businesses make the mistake of not serving the customers they already have. Many customers -- 68% according to Socially In -- will find a new place to purchase their products or services if they feel you’re indifferent to their status as a customer. Others may think they’re getting a better deal elsewhere. These can lead to high churn rates and lost profits.A major factor to consider in B2B content marketing is how to reduce churn. It takes much more effort to get a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. If you think about it, the customers you already have know your brand, so it’s much easier to tailor your marketing efforts to them than a potential new customer. And depending on how you continue to engage and relate to your existing customers, you’ll not only reduce churn rates, but you could also create more leads.
Content marketing strategies can be used to attract new prospects and retain existing customers, with the latter being especially valuable. Did you know 50% of current customers will try your new products and 31% of them will spend more money with you? Keep this in mind as you shape your content marketing and aim to consistently deliver valuable, useful, reliable and relevant content. Not only will this help shape your identity across the Internet and social media platforms, but you’ll also naturally define your target audience as a result.
Businesses often have solid content marketing strategies, but they don’t use them effectively. Making minor alterations could lead to major impacts, whether it’s how you display content, the frequency in which it’s delivered or the adjustments in the actual content itself. Here are five ways you may be able to reduce churn by altering your content marketing strategy.
Produce Valuable and Insightful Content
Customers have a world of resources at their fingertips with the Internet, and now more than ever they want to find out information on their own. Having valuable and insightful content on your website regularly will keep them coming back to see if you have the answers to their questions. Whether you choose to create a regular newsletter, have an email marketing campaign or post a new blog article every week, the content you produce should have value for a customer.
The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t create your content specifically for new customers. Otherwise, your existing customers may think they aren’t important and look to take their business elsewhere. This is a mistake many businesses and organizations make. They offer promotions to attempt to gain new customers, while existing customers don’t see any benefits. Your content marketing efforts should be directed mostly at existing customers, with some content sprinkled in to attract new customers. Better yet, clearly distinguish the two so you can demonstrate benefits for both new and existing customers. When people see how you treat both types, they’ll be more likely to do business with you since they know they will be taken care of either way.
Be Proactive With Customer Retention
Customers want the companies they do business with to be proactive, so take steps with your own content marketing to make it happen. Creating personalized content is a great way to demonstrate proactivity. There are many different inbound marketing tools available to help you analyze data and get enough information about customers to create personalized content. Whether it’s knowing a customer’s business, the responsibilities a contact holds at a company or any other particulars, you can create specialized content. This personalized attention will greatly reduce your churn rates since customers will feel a sense of belonging as a valued customer of your business.
Establishing a dialogue with your existing customers is also a good way to be proactive with customer retention. There’s a fine line between emailing your existing customers to the point of annoyance and emailing them just to keep in touch, ensuring they are informed. Adjusting your content marketing strategy to send valuable information to customers about a particular product or service they purchased is important. It not only gives them value, but it also reminds them that you are a resource for finding information, so they won’t have to look elsewhere. And don’t forget to engage with your sales team regularly. They’re often the first point of contact your business has with a customer and they possess a treasure trove of information when it comes to insight on a customer’s needs and perceptions.
Incorporate Different Forms of Media
Customers want a variety of information so they can feel confident they are making an informed and educated purchasing decision. Things like guides, eBooks and blogs can help your business establish credibility in its field and let a customer know they’re working with experts. Case studies can put your existing customer base to use by showing how your products or services are having a positive impact on another company’s bottom line. And video offers a more personal way to reach customers and develop relationships. It lets customers put a name to a face and reminds them there are real live people working inside your business on their behalf.
People learn in different ways, so having a few different types of media can help cater to a larger audience. Some customers may prefer to read a general blog article first, and then view a video or read a detailed guide to get more in-depth information. The main goal is to have enough of a variety of media available to ensure the visitor stays on your site rather than seeking the information they need elsewhere.
In your B2B marketing efforts, knowing what type of media to use in different situations is a skill learned over time. You can utilize metrics from different inbound marketing tools to help you, but each type of media works differently for various businesses. In some ways, using different forms of media is a trial-and-error strategy, but you can still see some value either way. Start off slow with the various types of media you incorporate and work your way up to see which type is most effective.
Anticipate Customer Questions
Being prepared for questions customers have and answering them even before they are asked could significantly reduce churn. Customers want to find content online to answer their questions, so if you don’t have the answer right away, they will look elsewhere. If that happens, you’re running the risk of losing a customer.
Knowing what questions customers have before they are asked comes down a few things. First, proper keyword research. Prospective and current customers may or may not search for the same keywords when they have a question, but discovering the most popular ones will help you narrow down your content marketing strategy. You’ll also want to sit down and talk with your sales team. They’ll know best the types of questions your customers are asking about your products. You might also find it helpful to listen in on sales calls, demos and webinars to get a sense of what prospective customers are interested in learning about before they pull the trigger.
Create your list of important keywords to incorporate in your content. Use these keywords when writing a blog article about solving a problem or providing new information about a product. When your content answers multiple questions and utilizes the right keywords, you’ll have a more powerful resource that will soar up the search engine rankings and provide customers with the information they need in one spot.
Measure Effectiveness and Adjust as Needed
Your company likely already has various inbound marketing tools to help measure success and effectiveness. Sometimes making simple adjustments to B2B content marketing strategies can help with retaining existing customers and gaining new customers. These are two different audiences you’re dealing with, so it’s important to always adjust your strategy accordingly.
The inbound marketing tools you use to measure effectiveness should give you the amount of insight you need, but never shy away from going directly to the customer. One guaranteed way to make a customer happy and keep their business is to ask them what you need to do to make them happy and keep their business. It’s really that simple.
Generate a survey or short questionnaire for them to provide feedback. This shows you are interested in their perspectives and opinions and want to provide valuable content to help them out. And once you get the results, you have to follow through and deliver what they want. Too many times businesses get valuable feedback, but then miss their window to capitalize on it. customers expect action on their input immediately, so if the majority of customers want instructional videos rather than written guides, get to work on creating them.
Of course, you have to have the understanding that you’re not going to be able to please every single customer forever. Churn is going to happen in every organization, but taking small and proactive steps every day to cater to your existing customers will help reduce churn rates significantly, provide a boost to your bottom line and allow you to maintain business consistency.
At Cogo & Co., we help companies develop the most efficient content marketing strategies to not only earn new business, but to keep existing customers coming back. Customers who have already purchased a product or service are more likely to return to your business if you continue to engage with them appropriately. Reducing churn rate is one of our specialties, so contact us today to see how our services and strategies could benefit your business.