Like many B2B marketers, much of your marketing strategy is likely focused on lead generation - as well it should be. But focusing on retention is essential, too, as it can cost up to five times more to earn a new customer than it does to keep one you already have. B2B content marketing strategies have been proven to boost lead generation, and the same principles can be applied to retention. Let's take a look.
Your Current Buyer Persona
Your content strategy is centered on your primary buyer personas, but are you also including current customers as one of your targets? When creating your inbound content strategies, don't just answer questions that those new to your brand, your products or your services will have.
Instead, make sure you also accommodate things that come up once someone has made a purchase. What are people calling your customer service line to ask? What are current users talking about online? What are some implementation best practices?
Take as much time to develop current customer personas as you do for prospects, and your efforts will pay off in the long run.
B2B Content Strategies for Customer Retention
Once you've built personas for your current customers, it's time to develop and deploy a content strategy that's designed to maximize your profits. Here are four ways to get started:
- Smart Website Content. Stop showing current customers offers that are targeted for new prospects and focus on offers meant for existing customers. When people feel like you're recognizing their contribution to your success rather than focusing on the next sale, you will build loyalty.
- Keep Emailing. Your nurturing campaigns don't stop once you’ve made a sale. Check in with your customers regularly to find out how things are going, what they like about your solutions and what you can do better. Consider cross-promoting products and services when relevant, and when the time is right, suggest an upgrade or expansion.
- Create a Community. When customers feel supported, they’re more likely to keep buying from you. An online community of customers will not only give your buyers a dedicated place to go to for questions and discussions, but it will also give you the opportunity to engage with your customer base on a larger scale and deploy helpful and meaningful content. Communities can be as simple as a LinkedIn group or as complex as a dedicated forum that your company maintains.
- Build Brand Advocates. Brand advocates are the holy grail of marketing. These loyal customers are not only happy with their own purchases, but they also go out and tell their friends and colleagues about their experiences and bring you fresh prospects.
The first step, of course, is to provide excellent customer service so you have happy buyers. Then, use a content strategy to get the advocating action moving. For example, send a request asking for reviews and testimonials that you can use or offer incentives for referrals.
The key to asking for help from your brand advocates is to keep it rare and make it personal. You don't want your best buyers to feel burdened or annoyed with your requests, or to feel like they've received the same email as a thousand others.
When it's done right, you'll be giving your top customers the VIP treatment while also getting the most value from their business — a win-win scenario.
A Sale is Only the Beginning
If your B2B content strategies end with a sale, you're missing out on some of the best revenue opportunities. Loyal customers are five times as likely to make another purchase, five times as likely to forgive errors, four times as likely to refer new business and seven times as likely to try a new offer. Once you've done the work of earning a customer, the earning opportunities have only begun.