Your content marketing strategy does not (or should not!) stop when the sale is made. The moments after a sale is made offer the opportunity to have a profound impact on your business. The next few interactions could be the starting point of turning a customer into a raving fan. You just need to engage your customers in the right way. First, you need to understand why they really became a customer. This provides a foundation for your efforts. Next, create a welcome package that enhances your offer and allows your customer to benefit even more from working with you. Finally, be sure to stay connected and continue to offer opportunities for a stronger relationship. This includes email, events and social media.
Use content marketing to connect with your customers
What do you really sell? Among other reasons, we purchase things to feel safe, more attractive and belong. If you are a successful business, at least some of your services likely address these drives on some level. You need to understand this.
Research your customers. Send out short questionnaires and learn about your customers most painful problems. (Look for low cost opportunities to help them solve these problems!) Make sure you use sites like https://followerwonk.com to research your customers on social media. Take your 10 best customers out to lunch and ask them about what you do well, what you could do better and other problems that they experience.
Create a sense of safety. Point out how your customers are more safe when using your service or product. Just remember that safe translates very broadly. It could mean being more competitive at work, understanding the world better or saving time. You just need to understand how your product makes your customer safer. For example, saving time can be translated to living longer.
Make your customers feel more attractive. Highlight how your product or services helps your customer stand out, be unique or be more interesting. This falls along the lines of, “Be the first on your block to….”
Give your customers a sense of belonging. Your customers have a lot in common. Work on creating a community. This has the benefit of encouraging your clients to stay involved if only to maintain friendships. Host member only events, create an online membership forum or do something else to encourage a community among your customers.
Welcome your customers with helpful content
Create a welcome package. Your customers may experience buyer’s remorse after purchasing your product. You can ease their fears with a strong welcome package. This could include an autoresponder campaign, paper materials, instructions on your website or an online course about how to use your product or services. This is one area that I think copyblogger makes an error. This company is the master of the autoresponder campaign and I did not get the opportunity to receive an educational series of emails when I purchased three products.
Provide extra value. In your innovative process, create extra materials or services that you don’t advertise. Surprise people with this services. Zappos tells you your new shoes will arrive in a few days. They typically arrive the next day. Zappos smartly considers this a marketing cost.
Stay connected by promoting useful content on social media
Follow your customers on social media. Your market research and sales discovery process should include details about which social media networks your customers use and how they use these networks. Follow your customers and help them promote their business or any personal causes.
Continue to provide valuable offers. One main use of social media is to send out offers to potential clients. Be sure some of these offers will appeal to current clients. These can be white papers on areas of interest to your target market. One strategy is to put together two reports one for lead generation and one for current clients. If you create an offer that both parties see and that notes the additional material available to clients, you create a powerful reason to become your client.
Blog for your customers. Add two key areas to your blogging routine. Teach your customers how solve problems closely aligned with your services. A company that provides support to software development firms might post about managing developers, increasing productivity or valuable new services unrelated but aligned with your company. Also, teach your customers about the benefits of your services.
Ask for Referrals Properly.
We all think about growing our business on a regular basis and we typically think about this from our perspective: “It would be great if we had x more customers/$x more revenue…” When you ask from referrals you want to do three things: 1. create an offer highlighting the benefit for your client to refer, 2. highlight who they should refer and 3. encourage your client to become a brand evangelist.
The offer. You are selling your client on referring you. Most people want to introduce people to great services. We all like to talk about the great food at a certain restaurant, the great service at a store or the fantastic vacation we took. It’s all about us. Your offer should highlight the personal benefits of referring. “Help your friends learn Spanish.” “Make a difference by …”
I tend to shy away from offering a cash reward for providing referrals. It is not related to the cost (although lower cost is a benefit.) It is because I want my customers to develop an emotional connection to my company and to referring new people to my company.
How to highlight. You need to help your customer remember your name at the right time. Identify times or conversations that suggest you could be helpful. “Do you know someone who is frustrated with..” or “Have you met someone who complains about…” Add a call to action suggesting that your customer think of you when they see/meet/talk with someone in situation x,y or z. An accountant might ask, “Do you know someone who is upset about how much time it takes to file taxes?”
This can be used to broaden your market. Identify people who are not currently searching for a new service, but based on their personality or situation would be good customers. Restaurants might ask, “Do you know someone who enjoys going to the art museum?”
Create brand evangelists. This is an emotional process. It starts with someone willing to refer and turns them into a brand champion. Here you discuss how they can help. Two examples are: “We need your help” or “Help us grow.” Thank people for referrals and explain how they are making a difference in your life.