In the early days of my career, as an Account Manager for a large insurance company, my sales manager explained that his team were hunters or farmers.
Hunters excelled at winning new accounts. They were the alphas in his team and were primarily responsible for hitting the big monthly sales targets.
On the other hand, farmers were good at maintaining existing relationships and keeping those accounts ticking over.
While never said explicitly, hunters had the status within the sales team, and farmers were the less valued individuals.
My understanding of sales and marketing has (thankfully!) evolved considerably in the past 22 years. My old boss was wrong to place such value with the hunters.
Winning new customers is exceedingly important to any business, especially close to the start of the business journey when every new customer matters.
But retaining satisfied customers is arguably even more critical.
When you secure a new customer, it’s only the beginning of the journey. You might feel a rush of excitement at having ‘won’ that customer, but what truly matters is for how long you keep them.
Cost of acquisition
We know that it costs considerably less to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.
Depending on the study you read and your business sector, it can cost anywhere from 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
More important than the cost of acquisition is the future value of a retained customer; businesses that take the long-term view are especially interested in customer lifetime value.
We also know that satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to recommend you to others.
Research by Temkin Group found that 77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after just one positive experience.
We call these satisfied customers ‘mini-marketers’ thanks to their ability to supplement your in-house marketing efforts, attracting new customers to your business.
Yes, a focus on customer retention and satisfaction (farming) can directly win new customers (hunting).
With all of that in mind, how can you boost customer retention with your content marketing? Here are three simple steps.
1 – Make sure your content is valuable and interesting to your audience
We bang on all of the time about the importance of making your content relevant to your audience.
Understanding your target audience is an essential foundational step in any marketing; who are you speaking directly to, and what are their particular challenges?
With so much content shared with the world daily, your content can only cut through the noise if it combines value and interest.
Knowing what pushes your existing customers’ buttons is a great place to start. To find out for sure, ask them!
Use storytelling to bring your content to life, including images and video, to make your content more interesting, and don’t be scared to embrace controversy from time to time.
2 – Publish fresh, new content regularly
To stay front of mind with your existing customers, you need to publish your content regularly.
Content frequency is the source of much debate, but anything from 2-4 times per week (for each channel you choose to use) should find you in the sweet spot.
It’s about getting into a sustainable rhythm. Working within a content marketing framework or calendar allows you to keep consistent despite other business pressures.
Also, consider the power of repurposing your main (pillar) pieces of content to create micro-content that can be more easily shared and consumed.
Not every piece of content you create needs to be a massive undertaking; in this world of limited attention spans, the short stuff performs equally as well as the blockbusters.
3 – Give exclusive content access to existing customers
Exclusivity is a powerful element of marketing psychology, based on the principle that we humans love scarce things.
The harder it is to obtain something, the more valuable it is.
You naturally increase its value if you make some of your content available exclusively to your existing customers.
One example of this content exclusivity is to host a customers-only monthly webinar, where you share the latest developments in your business and sector.
Making your existing customers feel special and part of an exclusive club will help enhance customer retention and increase their loyalty.
Winning new customers is essential to any business, but retaining existing customers can be more critical.
Content marketing can help to retain existing customers and enhance loyalty.
Here at Bear Content, we can help you turn these ideas into action.
We would love to help you create compelling content that will engage your audience, build trust, retain existing customers and generate leads.