Quick quiz: When does content marketing matter most? The answer may not be what you think. My first instinct is to say during the awareness phase, but that’s not necessarily true. More and more, all signs are pointing to the post-purchase stage of the cycle. Surprising? Yes, I think so too.
Content marketing seems to focus primarily on the early stages of awareness and consideration, leaving the actual customer who has put down hard-earned dollars for the product or service out in the cold. But that’s when brand loyalty is fostered and brand ambassadors are groomed. After all, it costs a lot less to retain a customer than it does to acquire a new one.
Following up after the sale
So will your customers return to your brand for their next purchase? Will they tell their friends about it online? You can encourage and drive this behavior by engaging with them through diverse channels. This means post-sale content that’s relevant, tailored to their evolving needs, and designed for shareability to promote your brand. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Give Them Content They Want
Thinking about your customer’s changing context when designing content for the validation stage will prime you for ensuring they come back to your brand next time.
- Get into the details: Some post-sale content is obvious. Customers with a new Ultra HD 4K TV will want to learn about their entertainment investment. Have content ready to enable them to better use your TV’s features, including how to hook up inputs like keyboards, game consoles, and streaming media players.
- Dive into their interests: Think about the experiences your customers seek. Smart TV purchases have already demonstrated an interest popular television, TV technology, streaming music, and home theater systems. So design content around the viewing experiences of the future or new and notable TV programming (such as upcoming Netflix releases). Want extra intel? Good back-end site coding lets you track customers’ interests and target content. Over time, this establishes your brand as a trusted resource for content and products. Eventually, you become a partner in that customer’s larger home-entertainment experience.
- Give them some affirmation: To tip the scales even further in your favor, consider success stories, which can validate a customer’s decision to buy from you. Our Ultra HD 4K TV owner may enjoy seeing how other people set up their home theater suites or use the TV’s networking capabilities to make family life simpler and more enjoyable. This type of content instills a sense of brand community.
- Make it shareable: Content should be easily consumed and easily shared. Design it in a way that encourages the reader to pass it along to their friends, whether it’s to brag about their purchase, inform about new trends, or admire someone else’s goods.
Timing is Everything
How often you serve up content to existing customers depends on your customer base and where they are in the product life cycle. At some point your customers will need to renew their subscription, optimize and update the product they bought from you, or buy something new. Relevant content at the right time can reinforce brand loyalty and generate repeat business.
One other aspect to keep in mind: A strong post-sale campaign isn’t about developing a library of content to release all at once. Get some content out there, analyze its performance, and continuously improve it for better customer retention.
Recruiting Brand Ambassadors
Add into that a promotion strategy, such as sharing-based social media contests, that can turn existing customers into brand promoters. When they share your newsletter, video, or Pinterest pins, it reinforces their connection to your brand. It can also generate warm leads among their social connections — people who already have a pain point and see someone they trust advocating your brand.
Of course, once they buy from you, you’ll be ready with great post-sale content for them, too, and you’ve got a new ambassador for your business.