In the B2B marketing arena, content marketing has been recognized as a key component of the customer acquisition sales funnel. To begin the cycle, quality content is an effective lead generation mechanism, and in my experience, it’s also extremely affordable compared to other methods.
Once potential customers are on a company’s website, carefully constructed content can provide valuable information and enable them to make an informed purchasing decision. At the same time, useful content helps build brand awareness and trust with this defined target market.
Popular content forms include articles, blog posts, white papers, e-books, podcasts and videos. Depending on the sales funnel stage, one content type may prove more effective than others.
Not surprisingly, content marketing can set the stage for successful reader-to-customer conversions. In fact, I’ve found that content marketing leads to considerably higher conversion rates than other digital marketing techniques.
The Big Misconception About Content Marketing
Before you and your team break out the champagne, realize that effective content marketing doesn’t stop when the sales prospect converts to a customer. That might surprise many B2B marketers, who devote all their resources to bringing a new customer into the fold.
Once that customer signs on the dotted line, however, the steady flow of valuable content usually stops. After a boilerplate “Welcome, New Customer!” email, the customers are often left to fend for themselves.
Essentially, customers often drift along in a communications vacuum, opening the door for competitors’ outreach efforts. At the same time, this lack of post-purchase reinforcement can decrease the chances of referral business. And in the long term, customers may be increasingly likely to jump ship when making their next buying decision.
How Content Can Also Support Post-Purchase Goals
By continuing to provide customers with value after the sale, you can avoid this unpleasant scenario. Here, value comes in the form of quality content that helps strengthen the relationships you worked hard to build during the sales cycle. This is particularly important when working with first-time buyers.
Over time, better customer relationships can foster brand loyalty and repeat sales. And satisfied customers often make highly effective brand ambassadors who are happy to provide referrals.
How To Make Optimal Use Of Post-Purchase Content
To use after-the-sale content most effectively, begin with a well-defined goal. Then, use a group of well-coordinated tactics to achieve it.
Goal: Onboard Your New Customers
Begin your post-purchase content marketing efforts during the sale. Provide applicable product links, along with an FAQ page link, on the customer’s receipt.
Add other support-related content via videos, webinars and in-person customer service. Obtain timely purchase feedback via a simple survey, and correct any problems immediately.
Tried-and-true user manuals still have significance in the 21st century. Update the publication as needed, and recruit a skilled editor to ensure quality and accuracy. A well-coordinated product use content sequence will complement the manual’s information and offer an extra contact opportunity.
Don’t forget those good old-fashioned handwritten thank-you notes. In this fast-moving technological age, many customers still appreciate that personal touch. As an added bonus, sending a personal note can help your business stand out from the crowd.