When you plan out your marketing content, it's natural to think primarily about roping in new prospects. But if you do it right, there's a big unexpected additional upside for all your marketing content: in addition to attracting new leads, it’s just as valuable for retaining current customers and reducing the dreaded "customer churn."
Why is customer churn a problem?
A “revolving door” of one-time customers is expensive. It degrades your company’s reputation over time. Typically, it costs 7x as much to secure new acquisitions as to keep existing customers or clients. Retained customers bring you ongoing revenue and opportunities to upsell, which adds up to greater growth and profitability. Put another way, you can sail a lot faster if you're not constantly plugging holes in your boat.
Maintain their loyalty
Well-considered content can show your customers you’re continuing to be on top of your game – a thought leader – by demonstrating your expertise on an ongoing basis. When you analyze industry subject matter and share your perspective on it, it shows that you’re ahead of the curve in your industry. These things make you a trusted resource, a key factor that drives buying behavior today, and instills greater customer loyalty.
When you increase your value proposition to customers, it changes their perspective and moves you from being a "vendor" to a "trusted advisor" in their minds. Instead of hiring your firm to simply perform “tasks” or "widgets," they come to see that your underlying knowledge and expertise provide specific value far beyond a mere commodity product. The ability to tap into your deep expertise and leadership gives them a compelling reason to continue doing business with you. This is equally applicable to all types of B2B customer relationships, as well as many types of B2C customer relationships.
The same marketing concept – and sometimes the same content – applies to both attracting and retaining customers. Everyone is hungry for information and insight that have practical value they can apply in their own business. On the one hand you’re nurturing initial interest, leading prospects through your sales funnel; and likewise, for existing customers you’re still feeding their needs and helping them solve problems, just at a different level.
Think about your target personas. After all, they’re based on your ideal customers, yes? Consider not only their pain points and questions as a prospect, but how things change for them once they become a customer. Help them make the most of your products or services after they buy, with content that offers how-to tips, explains the latest upgrades, etc. Help them grow their own careers or look good in front of their boss with cutting-edge industry trends and best practices they can put to use streamlining their own operations or increasing their company’s market share.
Use every marketing tool at your disposal to reach current customers:
- Blog about the latest industry trends and thinking.
- Create a segment of your email list for ongoing contact and nurturing of your existing customers – newsletter, special announcements or promotions.
- In addition to batch-sent email, take the time to send one-on-one emails just to each customer individually – for instance, “Hey, Jim, based on our conversation last Thursday, we thought you might like this article we just authored on XYZ…”
- Connect with them on social media and regularly share your content in those channels, to become a part of their daily newsfeeds.
- Mention them in your content – blog about their experience as a case study, highlight their achievements in your social media posts, etc.
- Use surveys to elicit content ideas, refine your products and value proposition, create fodder for future content and give your sales team more pertinent conversation-starters.
- During phone meetings, share your recent blog article or new ebook and explain how it’s relevant to them.
Personalize wherever you can to underscore each customer’s value to you as a real person/company, not just another tick mark in your sales column. When you use your marketing content to the fullest and share it with your customers as well as new prospects, you’ll replace customer churn with customer confidence in your ability as a trusted business partner to help them grow. And that’s every customer’s #1 priority.