As B2B marketers and practitioners, we sometimes get stuck in our own little lead-generation bubble. We strive to create content that piques interest, builds our contact list and hopefully, turns some of those contacts into sales opportunities. If a lead is sales-ready or converts, our job is done, right?
Wrong. There are several stages that come after conversion, and they often get overlooked by content creators — one being retention. This is especially troubling given the fact that only 29% of B2B customers are fully engaged, or “emotionally and psychologically attached,” to the companies they do business with.
What do we need to do? We need to create content and experiences that continually educate and empower our customers. So not only can we drive that retention, or ongoing business, but we can also create a base of loyal customers who will act and speak on our behalf. This isn’t just about retention; it’s about driving advocacy and, most important, loyalty. Here are some quick-hit ideas to help you do just that:
- Hold events: You don’t need to drop a Dreamforce-level budget to put together a great event. Start small by hosting local dinners and cocktail hours for a handful of key accounts. Hold workshops featuring product experts and other customers. Run networking roundtable dinners where customers can get together, share their experiences and ask questions. Don’t have the budget for in-person events? Go digital by using tools like WebEx Meeting Center, Skype for Business or Google Hangouts. Holding a digital forum of sorts will help you connect face-to-face with customers and collect some valuable feedback about their pains, their situations and even areas where your business can improve.
- Create short-form support content. This can span across a variety of different formats, such as frequently-asked-questions documents (FAQs), cheat sheets and best-practices guides. Share more details around how current customers can fully optimize their tech investments by diving into the methods of “power users.” Or give them turnkey access to troubleshooting tips or your details on company’s service offerings. Short, easy-to-digest content that speaks to what happens after they purchase a product and what to do if they have a problem will help you instill confidence in your customers.
- Collect (and use) their feedback. Your sales and service teams likely get a lot of feedback from customers, ranging from product-related issues to overall satisfaction levels. Of course, any good business will use this feedback to improve their solutions and services, but have you used these insights to create content? Tap customer feedback from across channels (in-person, email, social, etc.) to see if there are any overlapping trends or talking points. Then, brainstorm ways that you can transform these talking points into actual content assets.
- Let them star in your content. We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about co-created content, especially as more buyers give credence to content featuring influencers and like-minded peers. You may have a few key power users or high-value clients. Schedule meetings to pick their brains on the trends and issues taking precedence in their business. Ask them if they’d be open to sharing their thoughts in a content piece, blog, webinar or in-person event. More likely than not, they’ll be happy to share their experiences and expertise so they can get some PR presence. This is also a great way for you to spotlight successful clients and how they work with your business.
- When in doubt, make them feel special. Exclusivity is a big selling point, whether you’re buying new software or a tube of lipstick. Take cues from loyalty marketing experts like Sephora and give your loyal or top-spending customers exclusive or early access to events and content assets. This VIP treatment makes your clients feel special and appreciated, and definitely makes them feel like their money is well spent.
Does your organization create any other content for customer retention, loyalty and advocacy? We’d love to hear your tactics and successes in the comments section below!
I love the idea of the VIP treatment! Great post!