Creating Content for Current Customers
One common mistake businesses make is misunderstanding their own sales cycle. This applies mainly to businesses who sell a one-time use product or service and who don't go after repeat custom, but it's relevant to every business. The error is in assuming that once you've sold your wares to a customer that you won't see them again, but this could not be further from the truth.
Even for products and services where repeat business isn't the name of the game, retaining customer interest is a worthwhile endeavour because those customers will go on to recommend you to their social and/or professional network. Those customers might also appreciate information and tips on getting the most out of the product they bought from you, even if you don't expect them to make another purchase from you in the next 5 years.
It's rare for business/customer interactions to be a true one-off. There will certainly be some support and answers they seek from you, and your customers will always appreciate insights into getting the most from the product or service they purchased from you. It's likely that you'll also have contacts within your industry that could be leveraged to create a mutually beneficial working relationship – a business which sells products or services that complement yours could market to your loyal customers and vice versa through content delivered through email marketing, or online promotions.
The sort of content which is valuable to existing customers is absolutely anything that makes their life easier. You'll want to focus on ways to get the most from your product, other uses for the product, and real life examples of how other customers have solved problems using your product or service. You can build a really welcome email newsletter with content like this, and by asking for submissions from your customers you make them feel special, as well as improve the chances of them sharing your newsletter because they are featured in it.
Some of this content can also be used to gain new customers – testimonials or tips and tricks are appealing to prospective customers and existing customers alike. It's important not to lose sight of the objective of getting new customers when you're trying to focus on customer loyalty, but each strategy can complement the other.
If your customers are active on social media, consider setting up a group for product owners where they can share their experiences with each other and where they can get access to content that you've created especially for product owners. This can take some work, as moderating an active community means spending time outside of work hours on your computer dealing with spammers, bots and potential conflict. It can, however, be a great way of ensuring customer loyalty and a way of creating brand evangelists – if you've ever participated in online communities you'll know that a handful of people will become active members who contribute towards policing the group and who may also become moderators in their own right, lessening your workload in the end.
Creating content for existing customers helps to increase the value of their purchase, increase the perceived value of your company and communications, and leads to word-of-mouth purchases effected by customers who appreciate the extra value your content adds to their lives. Getting them involved in this post-sales activity also increases their sense of self-value; loyal customers who are rewarded with content, exposure or freebies feel good about those interactions and that makes them feel good about the source – you.
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