This is Part 4 of a 5-part series on how to drive more sales for your business or company with Content Marketing.
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So you executed your marketing strategy, generated leads and sales, and increased revenues for your business.
You’re thinking you did a really great job and you’re pleased with yourself (which you should be), and now you believe your job is done right?
The mistake most businesses tend to make is thinking once the first sale is complete that’s it, mission accomplished.
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25-95%. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%
Yet, businesses tend to focus more on getting new customers than retaining their existing ones.
If your goal is to have repeat and loyal customers long-term, reduce customer acquisition costs, and focus on lifetime customer value rather than a one-off sale then your work has just started. You need to have an after sales support in place.
An after sales support is simply a duplicable system that has a step by step process of how to onboard a new customer, get repeat purchases, upsell and cross-sell them on complementary products/services, and lead them to eventually becoming loyal customers and brand advocates.
Let’s briefly go through each, and how Content Marketing will help in maintaining your existing customers so you spend less and increase net profits over time.
Create content that is specifically tailored to help your new customer get started and make better use of your product/service with as much ease, simplicity, and as little steps as possible.
Why is this important? Because if they have to do too much thinking trying to figure it out on their own they’ll get frustrated and just ask for a refund.
What’s worse isn’t that they go to your competitor, what’s the worst is when they start talking negatively about your product and how difficult it was to use or how difficult it was to work with you. That affects your brand and reputation which affects your sales.
A company that’s really great at this is Thrive Themes. They have an onboarding video welcoming you once you sign up for their platform.
Another company that does this really well is Convertkit. Once you sign up for the email services they have videos that takes you step by step how to use each aspect of the platform. They even go a bit further by offering an incentive to encourage you to go through each tutorial video.
2. Repeat Purchases
Repeat customers are usually found when you do the first part right.
The more comfortable they felt during the onboarding process and ease of use for what you offer, the more they’ll want to use it again, plus they’ll want to recommend it
What you want to do at this stage is get them using the product/service more and often. Even if they bought it for one reason, help them identify other uses or reasons for them to use it.
Create content that shows them other ways they can use what you offer that they hadn’t thought about before. Content that helps them achieve their goal with greater efficiency or speed.
Using Thrive Themes again as an example they have a suite of several products that is designed to help business owners grow their business through their website.
So for me I started out using the product they have which allowed me to build the front end designed for the 5 Years 2 Mastery website.
However, they recently held a video course for paid customers only that shows them how to develop and use online courses to generate more leads and sales for their business. One of their product offerings is a course building template for websites.
So in this case they got a repeat purchase from me because even though I bought one product offering for one specific use, Thrive helped me identify another way their platform could be used that I hadn’t known of.
3. Upsell & Cross-Sell
This step is the same as getting repeat purchases.
The difference here is rather than identifying ways they can use the same product/service, identify other challenges they have that can be solved with an updated version or add-on of what you offer, or a new product altogether.
A good example of this is a tech company that does web development I recently partnered with to create value added services to their clients.
The company develops the websites for the clients to help them streamline their sales process online. However, a lot of these clients also want to know how they can drive more website traffic, and convert more website visitors to customers.
This is where we now cross-sell them on my Content Marketing services. By doing so the company is able to create a new revenue stream for their business by solving a new pain point their current clients have.
You can do the same by asking your existing customers what other challenges they have that what you offer isn’t or wasn’t able to solve. Once you have this data look for commonalities among the answers (you want to be sure the new offering is viable).
If you have identified a common problem among your customers then you have the option to either create a new product that addresses the new problem or partner with a non-competing business to offer their solution and you can get a commission for every purchase made.
4. Loyal Customers & Brand Advocates
This one is a bit of a challenge, and isn’t as simple as most people may think. It requires creating a consistent, above expectation customer experience through and through over time.
This may be difficult as different individuals interact with customers at different parts of the Buying Process. Therefore, you could get 4/5 things right, but someone messes up the fifth and that throws everything off in the customer’s mind.
From a Content Marketing standpoint what you can do to create loyal customers and brand advocates is to create premium and exclusive content that only your paying customers have access to (as in the example mentioned with Thrive Themes).
That way there is a level of exclusivity, and they feel special and valued, and will want to talk about your brand with others they know (word-of-mouth).
My Final Thoughts
These are the steps that I have seen work for me and other brands that have worked to create repeat customers and more sales.
Always keep in mind that it’s not about winning the customer and getting them to buy the first time is the greatest victory (and challenge), it’s getting them to become repeat customers and ultimately loyal customers and brand advocates.
It’s about focusing on the lifetime value of each customer rather than the revenues generated from a one-off sale.