Agree that attracting new customers in internet marketing is more expensive than retaining existing ones. Therefore, it is worth focusing not only on expanding the market, but also to work with current customers who can provide high sales at lower costs. What will make the customer come back, make a repeat purchase and recommend the brand to friends, acquaintances and colleagues?
Content marketing is an effective way to increase loyalty and retain consumers. This is a very effective and important marketing strategy. In addition, with the help of content marketing you can collect useful information about the target audience (what content you like, what it should be, in what form, etc.) and use this data to increase the effectiveness of campaigns.
We offer 7 proven ways to form and maintain customer loyalty through content marketing.
1. Valuable content
Offer users not a product, but a solution to their problems. Quality content works better than any creative advertising – a person gets an answer to their question, notices you, highlights you in the general background, shares content and sooner or later becomes a customer. According to a study by Demand Metric, users spend 20% of their time online reading and viewing content. At the same time, 82% of consumers have a better opinion of the company after reading the useful content created by it. As a result of content marketing activities, 70% of users feel closer to the brand.
If we talk about the formation of brand loyalty, then here are well suited:
– Educational articles and videos;
– Branded content.
Post content both on your own site and on third-party sites (in thematic media, blogs, communities, public networks). Quality content not only brings new customers, but also works to strengthen relationships with existing ones, increasing their loyalty.
According to a Deloitte study, 60% of users trust online reviews. Interestingly, the level of trust in the recommendations of family and friends is also 60%. So feedback is a powerful tool for building loyalty. And he works not after the purchase, but at the stage of deciding on cooperation.
Post reviews not only on outdoor sites, but also on your own website. It may seem that no one believes the reviews on their own sites, but this is not the case. If you competently provide information, provide photos and contacts of consumers, the reviews are trustworthy, because they can always be checked again.
3. Recommendations of opinion leaders
Brand recommendations from opinion leaders not only lead to motivated traffic, but also build trust in the brand and, consequently, brand promotion. To increase loyalty, it is necessary for the opinion leader not just to be photographed against the background of the brand sign, but also to tell about his personal experience of using the product – what he liked, what he was wary of, to whom he recommended it and in what situation. This deep approach ensures that people will come not just out of curiosity, but will be consciously interested in the product and know its features in advance.
4. Loyalty programs
This is a common marketing strategy of the company to retain customers, which is used by many commercial organizations and online stores. Loyalty programs are implemented in different ways: some offer accumulative bonuses for purchases, some – discounts for the duration of cooperation, some – hold raffle prizes among customers.
Whatever the loyalty program, the essence is the same – to motivate customers to cooperate longer and buy more. The main requirements for the loyalty program are its transparency and accessibility. The client must have access to statistics and information on the status of the personal bonus account at any time. It is also necessary to make a short description so that there is no ambiguity in interpretations and non-negotiation.
A well-designed loyalty program as a basis for marketing can be a strength of the company, which is profitable to use in content marketing campaigns.
5. Client clubs
They should not be confused with loyalty programs – client clubs are more complex in nature. Any loyalty program attracts customers from a pragmatic point of view: the customer sees the benefits and takes targeted action. Clubs work at a deeper level – their goal is not just to attract customers with discounts, but to unite within a closed community, to provide exclusive access to information and benefits that are not available to “non-customers”.
With the help of closed clubs, companies establish relationships with customers, train them, develop relationships. The information here does not carry a direct advertising link and is well-received by participants.
6. Free activities and training
This does not mean a reference section on the site or useful blog articles, but seminars and webinars held on a regular basis. Such events are carried out free of charge by market leaders who have sufficient financial and human resources and can afford it.
Free events solve two main tasks: lead the target audience and form a positive attitude to the brand as a market leader.
Obviously, not all visitors will go to the paid courses after listening to the free course. But the goal will be achieved in any case – listeners will remember the company and will tell about it to friends and acquaintances. It is likely that after some time there will be repeated contacts and conversion.
E-mails can be different: news, information, greetings, encouragement with words of gratitude, etc.
In addition to e-mail mailings, you can periodically send regular paper letters by mail if you know the recipient’s address. This form of interaction is rarely used today, so it is at least surprising and attracts attention. Congratulate the client on his birthday or New Year, thank you for the useful comments and feedback, if any, express gratitude for the long-term cooperation. People love when they are singled out and addressed personally – it will lift your spirits and increase loyalty.
Increasing brand loyalty is a complex multi-stage process and traditional advertising will not play a positive role here. Using content marketing tools (reviews, recommendations, newsletters, publications of useful content, loyalty programs, development of clubs and communities, free training), you can establish a strong connection with potential and existing customers and transform them into loyal ones. The end point is to grow brand lawyers who will not just buy the goods, but actively recommend them to others. Loyal customers will ensure the financial stability of the company and will become a “safety cushion” in times of crisis.