Content marketing is a great way to introduce your company to a wider audience and attract new business, but don’t forget it’s also a very effective way of retaining existing customers.
So make sure that in your efforts to acquire new business you don’t ignore people who’ve already purchased from you.
The numbers are compelling. The probability of winning a sale from an existing customer is between 60 and 70 per cent, compared with new prospect conversion rates of just 5 to 20 per cent, according to US B2B marketing strategist Ardath Albee.
And let’s not forget that a sale to an existing customer takes a lot less time and money than converting a new prospect. The other advantage is that you already know who they are and where they are, so it’s easier to get your content in front of them.
WHAT TO TELL YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS
The most important thing is, don’t sell. This applies in all content marketing, but even more so with existing customers. They’ve already bought your products so don’t turn them off with a sales pitch.
Here are a few things that existing customers find useful:
Think of the old Rice Bubbles boxes with recipes for chocolate crackles on the back. Are there other ways your customers can use your products or can get more out of them? If you can help your customers use your products more successfully they’ll perceive more value and keep coming back.
Have your customers had any problems with your products or services? Is there anything that’s been stopping them getting the most out of them? Be honest, because nothing builds credibility and trust like acknowledging that not everything is perfect. Explain why things can go wrong and how to fix them. It’s also a chance to turn a disgruntled customer into a satisfied one.
People love reading about other people in the same situation as them or facing the same sorts of difficulties. So have any of your customers successfully used your products to overcome a problem and can you turn it into a story?
AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
If your product is used in an industry where people have lots of questions and tips and like discussing their work, then you should think about creating an online community. Write a couple of blogs to get people talking and set up a bulletin board for discussions and questions.
US machinery company Caterpillar has done a fantastic job of building its online community. The site looks pretty ordinary, but I doubt any of the tradesmen or contractors who use it come for the graphic design. When you have a look at the content then you find blogs with useful industry-specific information and a lot of engaged customers.