Content Marketing 101: Customer-Centric Content
Delighting your current customers with customer-centric content helps you create brand promoters and boost your bottom line.
- Retention or acquisition? It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to nurture a current one.
- What is a marketing flywheel? The flywheel is a self-sustaining marketing model that creates brand promoters and keeps a steady stream of customers coming to your business.
- 9 tips for customer-centric content:
- Avoid the “valued customer” temptation.
- Start conversations with content.
- Get visual with it.
- Unlock the power of referrals and brand promoters.
- Start a loyalty program.
- Ask for customer feedback.
- Use automation to follow up.
- Practice transparency.
- Focus on customer experience, not just service.
Retaining existing customers is more cost-efficient than gaining new ones, yet many businesses don’t focus their content on their existing supporters. They may think they have to keep bringing in new ones to keep their bottom lines healthy, but existing customers can be much more valuable in the long run.
Customer-centric content helps you continue inspiring your customers so they stay loyal to your brand, bring you referrals, and vouch for you again and again. That’s how your business keeps growing! Here is your guide to customer retention, the marketing flywheel, and nine ways to focus on creating customer-centric content.
Retention vs. acquisition
These are the age-old questions for marketers: Is it more important to focus on customer acquisition or retention? Where are you better off putting your marketing dollars? The truth is, retaining customers is cheaper than trying to gain new ones. Look at the numbers:
- The likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60% to 70%, compared to just 5% to 20% for new customers.
- Other data has shown that 61% of customers will go out of their way to purchase from a brand they’re loyal to.
- It can cost five times as much to attract a new customer than to nurturing a current one.
- You can see an increase in profits by 25% to 95% just by boosting customer retention by 5%.
- Gartner data has also shown that 79% of CMOs plan to rely on their existing customer bases to recover from all the losses experienced during the pandemic.
So, focusing on your current customers with your content approach is just good business.
Another reason is your marketing flywheel. A flywheel is a self-sustaining marketing model that keeps a steady stream of customers coming to your business. It depends heavily on maintaining your existing customers, otherwise buyers will fly out of the wheel when they hit any bumps in the road or friction.
One of your primary content goals should be to inspire customers in every stage of the flywheel so they stay in the cycle and continue to make purchases and support you. When you can accomplish that, your customers turn into “brand promotors,” or marketers for your brand.
Tips for customer-centric content
How do you keep that flywheel moving and create customer-centric content? Let’s look at nine effective ways to start.
1. Avoid the “valued customer” temptation
It’s frustrating when someone feels they’ve given you enough information to know who they really are, and yet you still address them as a “valued customer” in communications. Make your messaging more personal by addressing them by their names. Automation can help you with that.
2. Start conversations with content
Interactive content is a must for marketers because it helps you stay engaged with existing customers. You need to delight your them to keep them engaged and happy, and you can do that by focusing on creating personalized, spicy content that offers your followers something of value. Try starting a poll or asking a question to your social media audience. Avoid static items that don’t spark conversations. Talk instead about industry trends and get people’s take on them.
3. Get visual with it
Another way to keep customers engaged is to use more visual content. Think infographics, video, memes, and images that will catch (and keep) your followers’ attention. Bring in statistics and interesting facts, or create how-to videos. Data from HubSpot shows that over half of consumers want to see video content from brands, which is more than any other type of content.
4. Unlock the power of referrals and brand promoters
When you’re able to sustain relationships with existing customers, you create true brand promoters. These are supporters who will get you referrals and shout your name from the rooftops, but why do referrals matter so much? They’re actually extremely powerful. Data shows 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know personally, and that referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate than other customers.
How do you get your customers to become brand promoters who will vouch for you and refer you to their networks? You need content that will delight and inspire them at every step of their journey to keep your marketing flywheel moving:
- You should go out of your way to improve their experience.
- Think of ways you can make them feel like they’re in on a secret or something special.
- Offer perks like sneak peeks of new products or in-depth resources, for example.
- Also make sure you’re always listening to customers and showing them you value their time.
- Evaluate your website and other touchpoints to make sure it’s user-friendly and simple to interact with you.
After you score a brand promoter, don’t forget about them! Follow up with email newsletters, special offers, and resource guides. These types of content help you continue to impress them and keep them in your flywheel. Then, you’ll see those referrals come in.
5. Start a loyalty program
Research shows that companies who are leaders in loyalty programs grow revenue about 2.5 times faster than industry peers. Loyalty programs work because people love getting perks and incentives for doing something. In fact, 75% of customers have said they’re more likely to make another purchase from a brand after receiving an incentive.
Loyalty programs are very effective ways to create committed, long-term customers who quickly turn into brand promoters. Customers are more engaged with you when you provide a discount, create a points system, and offer people rewards for taking an action – and they have incentives to keep the relationship going. Rewards give something of value directly to your customers, and who wouldn’t like that?
6. Ask for customer feedback
You need to know exactly where your customers are to truly inspire them. The easiest way to find out is to ask them! Gathering customer feedback helps you sustain strong relationships. It can reveal their pain points so you can address them head on, for example. You can then create more personalized content by knowing exactly what they care about and why.
Another great way to gather feedback is social media. Social listening is a concept centered around a brand’s ability to respond to mentions and monitor all channels for opportunities to connect with followers and other businesses. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) also helps brands gather information from their audiences. This one score tells you how likely customers are to promote you to their friends and family, and can tell you a lot about how you’re doing with the customer experience.
7. Use automation to follow up with customers
Remember that a customer’s journey isn’t over just because they made a purchase. You need to nurture them by following up and checking in down the road. Send them welcome or thank you emails. Show them you’re thrilled they are interested in your brand. Start the friendly vibe right away.
You can use automation tools in a CRM platform to send out welcome notes, thank yous, and reminders as soon as a customer takes action. Personalize these notes so customers feel you’re speaking to them.
8. Practice transparency
Today’s consumers prioritize honesty and transparency from brands. SproutSocial found that 86% of Americans feel transparency from brands is more important than ever, for example. A big part of that is being open about pricing, but it also means being willing to admit your mistakes and addressing any brand reputation issues without fear. Don’t be afraid to be honest with your followers.
9. Focus on customer experience, not just service
Do you know the difference between customer experience and customer service? The latter is all about delivering service in the moment, whereas customer experience goes above and beyond expectations. A customer who has a great experience feels valued, seen, understood, and heard. Content is personalized and feels like it was created just for them. You remember their names and address their problems. It’s about creating the best possible interaction so they remember you and want to support you again and again. This also requires that you’re consistent in your messaging and content.
How customer-centric content impacts the bottom line
By focusing your content on your customers – and not just leads – you’ll keep your marketing flywheel moving and your business growing. After all, 80% of your profits in the future will come from 20% of your existing customers! You just have to know how to use your content to turn supporters into marketers.
People who want to promote your brand are way more credible than leads or other customers, and they have a higher conversion rate. Do this by making sure you’re always focusing on value. This takes digging deep into what people want and what their primary pain points are. Your marketing flywheel depends on content that is centered around the customer. This takes planning the right mix, always delivering value, and inspiring people to become brand promoters who will stand by you for the long haul.
To get customer-centric content for your brand, you need help from the experts at ContentBacon. We’ll help you identify and address the most important issues for your customers, inspiring them at the right moment with the right message.
How's your current content plan?
We're offering a no strings attached content assessment. Have our experts provide you a free evaluation of your content plan and we'll provide you some free strategy on how to optimize. On the house (really).