Thought leadership is usually associated with top-of-the-funnel as far as marketing outcomes are concerned, but there’s evidence to suggest it meets the needs of existing customers.
According to an eMarketer report – Don’t Forget About B2B Tech Buyers Post-Purchase – some 80% of B2B survey respondents are looking for thought leadership content after a purchase. Indeed, 41% said this was “very important” while just 2% couldn’t care less.
Yet for many companies, content programs intended to help existing customers is an afterthought. Studies have shown that somewhere around one-fifth of companies identify related metrics such as customer retention as a content marketing objective.
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3 Reasons to Include Customers in a B2B Content Program
Aside from the fact that customers are asking for such pieces there are a number of sound reasons to include customers in a B2B content marketing program, including:
1. Reaffirm the decision.
People often buy from brands because it reflects well on themselves. Buyers need reaffirmation long after an initial sales is made, and smart companies are engaged long before renewal time rolls around. In the words of eMarketer, “They want to make sure they’ve made the right choice in buying technology from a top company that shares expertise from industry leaders.”
People often buy from brands because it reflects well on themselves.
2. Build loyalty.
Brands shell out big bucks for loyalty programs, which generally center on additional transactions and repeat business. Yet useful content, acknowledging the needs of existing customers, is another savvy way to turn fans into fanatics.
Businesses should want loyalty for two reasons, first for the obvious implication for retention, but also from a PR perspective, for crisis communications planning. There are two primary audiences an organization under fire ought to be able to count on: employees and loyal customers.
3. Fuel word-of-mouth.
Anyway we slice the data, existing customers have an impact on new business too – especially true as the sales size grows. Whether it’s providing a recommendation or validating expectations, nothing fuels word-of-mouth better; happy customers bring friends.
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Where to Go for Creative Customer Content Ideas
For forward looking organizations, content marketing will become a requisite skill for most employees, no different than using a telephone or composing an email. We’ve got a long way to go to get there – many organizations struggle to find content contributors outside of marketing – so here are a few questions that serve as creative content ideas.
Keep in mind these questions are for existing customers:
- What are the most commonly asked questions?
- What are the major stumbling blocks that are easy to solve for new customers?
- What are the most commonly used features?
- What are the powerful but least used features?
- What reports to customers most frequently run?
- What are the drivers behind plans for the product roadmap?
- Which personalization feature are most popular and how to use them?
What would you add?
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