If you’re reading this post, you’re probably aware that content marketing is something you can do that will help you attract customers to your website (content marketing is a facet of inbound marketing, after all).
You may even know that it’s a great way to build know-like-trust relationships with your prospective and existing customers – not just generating sales leads, but actually helping you build loyalty and retention too.
But you may be struggling to understand how different types of content can be used to best effect throughout the customer lifecycle.
And that’s what we’re going to cover in this post.
Content Marketing Across the Customer Lifecycle
There is a lot more to content marketing than what follows. But as you’re reading this to understand how it can be used at different points in the customer lifecycle, I’m going to keep it brief.
The 3 different types of content marketing we’re going to look at are:
- Content for prospects
- Content for new customers
- Content for loyalty and retention
Content for prospects
This is the most common and obvious use case for content – making your brand and product/service/solutions known to your prospective customers. In other words, the content you create to attract and convert your target customers into (paying) customers.
Content for prospects should mainly be concerned with helping them understand that they have a problem, what the potential solutions are, and, ultimately, why your particular solution is the one that they should choose to go with out of all the options they are aware of.
Content for new customers
Content for customers is also fairly common – and is actually pretty useful as content for prospects too.
When creating content for customers, the key thing to be aware of is that you’re not trying to sell the benefits of your solution anymore – you’re trying to help your (new) customer make the most of their new purchase.
At this stage, you’re going to want to create content that highlights ways that they can get the most value out of whatever it was they purchased from you, or perhaps look at adjacent topics that they might be interested in based on the thing they purchased.
For example, if you’re selling software (or a physical product), you might create content that shows the user how to do/use certain core features to help them start gaining value from their new purchase as early as possible.
This is particularly useful if you’re a SaaS company and you know that if you can get your new customers to start using the most value-adding features, they’re less likely to churn.
Content for loyalty and retention
Finally, the third type of content is focused on keeping your customers so happy that you become the defacto supplier/partner for a product/services that they require.
Obviously the broader customer experience plays a big part in whether or not a customer stays loyal or looks elsewhere when it comes to replacing or renewing whatever it is you’ve sold them, but your content also plays it’s part here.
When it comes to creating content for long-term customer retention, you’re building further on the useful content that you produced for your new customers – taking a dive into more advanced or niche features to further delight them.
A useful approach to finding what content to create for this stage is to talk to your customer service or support teams to find out what questions/challenges your customers are having post-purchase.
It’s almost guaranteed that if one customer has a particular problem, others will too. Creating content that addresses these issues means your customers are better able to self-solve the issue, meaning they’re less likely to need to contact your help desk/customer services team in the first place.
As a bonus, you can also engage with your happy customers at this stage to help create content aimed at other stages in the customer lifecycle: customer stories or case studies, webinar/podcast appearances, or even guest posts on your blog, for example.
Content Marketing with Purpose
No matter what stage of the customer lifecycle you’re creating content for, you should always aspire to build trust, be relevant, and deliver great customer experience.
To ensure your content has purpose, always consider:
- What it is you want to say
- Who you want to say it to
- Why you want to say it
- What action/outcome you’re hoping to elicit
Before signing off and hitting ‘publish’, always consider whether your content does hit the criteria you’ve set. If it doesn’t, take a look at what you need to improve and make the necessary changes before you start distributing it.
And there you have it: a quick intro to the 3 types of content marketing and what to focus on at each stage to ensure you’re building trust and loyalty for happy, long-term customers.
Need some additional support creating a content plan, coming up with ideas for what content to create, or even writing/scripting? Get in touch!