It’s a simple idea really – customers are the lifeline of any business, so keeping them should be a top priority.
A key strategy in building customer loyalty is providing value. Value can come from the products and services you offer but also from the extra things you could provide, like useful and relevant information or content.
Content that is highly interesting, entertaining, informative or useful to your customers is powerful in ensuring repeat businesses and creating brand advocates who will then recommend your business to their peers.
Content marketing is more than just sending out a regular newsletter or blog. It is a strategic discipline that can be executed to achieve a number of aims, like customer loyalty, increased membership, sales generation and brand awareness.
In marketing, we often focus more on expanding and reaching out to new audiences. However, retaining the customers you’ve worked so hard to obtain can be just as important as getting new customers – it’s often cheaper to hold on to an existing customer than to recruit a new one. If done effectively, a strategy that aims to encourage repeat business and builds a community of loyal advocates can have a significant financial impact for your business.
Here some strategies you can implement to encourage customer loyalty.
Don’t underestimate the power of free content when used properly. Giving out free information that could benefit the lives of others will make you trustworthy in the eyes of your customers. For example, if you were a telecommunications provider targeting small businesses you could write content explaining the how mobile technology can improve business efficiency.
This strategy works best online where it is easy to distribute and share content with others. It also works well when you adopt a multi-channel approach to distribution. For instance use this content across your social media sites, blogs, newsletter, websites and third party sites.
Exclusive content/loyalty programs
According to the National Retail Association there are an estimated 200,000 loyalty programs in Australia. It’s definitely an option to consider if you’re interested in growing your company and staying competitive.
But it’s not enough to just start a loyalty program and assume it’ll work for itself. Millions in rewards dollars are wasted every year because members forget to redeem them. To be effective it is important to actively promote and manage your loyalty program.
Successful loyalty programs focus on nurturing relationships with consumers. This involves identifying and fulfilling the needs of your customers. A simple discount for ongoing customers may be enough for your particular business. However, remember to notify them they are eligible. Personalised reminders and notifications help to make people feel included and make them more inclined to respond to your offer.
Another tactic is to offer exclusive content that only members can access, keep it regularly updated so customers feel like they are getting value from the membership.
Running a business is a two-way street, you must give and take to truly be successful. Reward your customers for continually supporting your business. It can come in the form of discounts, benefits or anything you feel will benefit your customers. Make sure what you are offering is relevant for your customers. While free things are never a bad thing, free things that are relevant are even better.
Make it accessible
Whether you’re are providing free or exclusive content or a special offer, it’s vital to make it easily accessible. Knowing how your customers prefer to receive information will greatly impact the success of your content marketing.
There are many ways to distribute your content and it may take a combination of channels working in unison to get results. For instance you may send out an email offer to your database, post this to your social media channels and also write a blog post about it. The more accessible you can make your content, the more likely customers will engage with it.
Whatever program or content strategy you decide is best for your organisation, it is important to research the needs of your customers. It is good to post regular updates to your loyal customers, but if you don’t offer anything of value it might be considered spam and work against you.
Be creative and considerate in how you use content marketing and you’ll notice your customers will be much more receptive to return business. Implementing these strategies will establish a strong foundation for customer loyalty.