Content Marketing created a whole new way to capture the interest of potential buyers. Content Selling took the best parts of that formula to help salespeople guide prospects down the funnel and close deals. Forbes contributor John Hall wrote, “…sales teams have taken a seat next to marketers on the content wagon, utilizing content to do some of the heavy lifting in terms of generating and qualifying leads. Not surprisingly, it’s working. Content is saving salespeople time and money while also bringing in quality leads and working buyers through the sales funnel.”
Both sales and marketing utilize content as a great way to seed the market and close sales. Great, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unlocking the power of content. Now it’s time to start creating and deploying content for a new purpose: Securing customer retention and increasing lifetime value using Retention Content.
B2B marketing expert Ardath Albee’s address the topic of Retention Content in a blog titled, “B2B Content for Customer Retention Tells a Different Story.” She points out that “Many buyers say that a key factor in their decision to do business with a company rested, in part, on the value of the content and unbiased information provided during their buying process. Providing value to our customers does not stop with purchase. The story just changes. It’s up to us to help them connect the dots to find more value and new approaches to reaching their business objectives.”
In many ways, Retention Content comes down to the Marketing 101 concept of sending the right content at the right time. Critical elements in a Retention Content strategy include:
- Be mindful of important customer milestones: One of the biggest Retention Content opportunities comes at renewal time. Albee chimes in on this topic with, “This is when marketers really need to focus on creating the content that account managers need to convince customers to stay and continue to put faith into the value of your company.”
- Know who your customers are, and stop selling: This may sound like a no-brainer, but I continue to get special offers from my cable provider asking me to switch to their service. I made the switch more than a year ago, but they perpetually view me as a prospect, not an existing customer. Make sure your content discovery system can integrate with your CRM to avoid these blunders.
- Foster greater usage of your solution: With decreasing budgets in every department, only the essential tools and services survive the cuts. Help your customers get the most of your solution by sharing content with tips and tricks. This content can include text, images and especially how-to videos and webinars recordings.
- Share success stories: Case studies aren’t just for winning deals, they help retain your customers as well. Every buyer wants to feel good about their purchase, especially when there are a number of competitive options. Generate and share an ongoing catalog of success stories, helping your customers see that other organizations are pleased with your tool and have ROI to back it up.
Now you have a new tool in your arsenal, Retention Content. Your existing CRM, content marketing and content discovery solutions can help you manage the task. And much of your existing sales content can be easily re-purposed for existing clients, with just a twist in messaging.
Hall’s Forbes article wraps it up nicely with a thought on the importance of Retention Content. ”There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time, money and effort trying to land a sale, only to have the client cancel after two months. Using informative content to educate your client … will build a sense of trust and transparency between your company and customers.”