I have been a loyal credit card holder of a certain credit card company (who shall remain nameless) going on six years now. Despite my loyalty, however, I still receive offers in the mail to open up additional cards, as if I was not already a customer. As a marketer, I think to myself, what a wasted cross-sell/up-sell opportunity that was. As a consumer, I toss the envelope in the mail, peeved that this company doesn’t know me better after all this time.
With customer marketing, we have the unique opportunity to further engage people who are already loyal fans of our product or service. And yet, more often than not, customer-marketing efforts get pushed to the sidelines in the never-ending quest for new prospects. Your customers deserve to be treated to content marketing designed expressly for them. Here’s how to accomplish this:
Know your data. Before you start creating customized content for customers, find out how you can segment your database to ensure you can even accomplish what you had in mind. In some cases, the easiest route is to simply separate your prospects and customers into two different contact lists. If you’re a bit more data-savvy, and have the marketing technologies to support the approach, consider segmenting customers based on title, industry, length of time they’ve been a customer, or other ways that would help you provide a relevant and meaningful content experience for them.
Create a simple customer “welcome” program. Running successful content marketing programs for customers doesn’t require you to hire an additional resource dedicated to customer marketing (at least not right away). The easiest thing to do is start with a customer “welcome” program. This can be as simple as creating a welcome package that you send to every new customer who joins (think nicely printed versions of your most popular content marketing pieces combined with a coffee mug, cookies, or other things that show you care). Better yet, complement this direct-mail package with an email program that sends three to four emails focused on customer resources they might find valuable, such as how-to guides or a link to register for an upcoming customer webinar.
Ask for feedback on what content your customers would find useful — and act on these insights. This works because they are already loyal to your brand and can be extremely receptive to marketing communications from you, especially if they’re well-targeted and thoughtful. Take advantage of your good customer relationships by reaching out and asking them how you can make their content experiences even better. Surveys that gauge overall customer satisfaction are commonplace; be innovative and use these surveys to ask questions that pertain specifically to your content marketing strategies. Do certain industry topics resonate particularly well with customers? If they had the choice, would they prefer to listen to a podcast, watch a video, or read a whitepaper? Asking simple questions like these can put you on the fast track toward creating better content that your customers will find valuable.