The days of cold calls are dwindling. That’s because potential customers are turning to the internet looking for products and information. It’s no longer about finding customers, but making sure they can find you.
Content marketing’s main purpose is to ensure that the right customers find you and that when they do, they like what they see.
But there’s another side: content marketing builds a relationship between your company and your customers. As you learn more about your existing customers, you can hone content to delight them. This fosters greater customer loyalty, which is essential for growing your company.
In fact, you'll find that your existing customers are your best allies when it comes to marketing and sales.
Learning how to delight potential customers
Existing customers offer information about who uses your product, why they use your product and feedback about where your company is falling short.
Instead of casting a wide net with your marketing efforts, the information from your existing customer base allows you to target and attract the right individuals.
Personas aren’t based on one actual customer. They are a synthesis of the commonalities between different types of customers who you identify as your ideal buyers around which entire marketing campaigns are built.
To build accurate personas and effective campaigns, you need data on the demographics, personalities, wants, needs and values of people that have already bought into your brand.
Selling the right thing
You also need information on why your existing customers chose to buy from you. Your sales and marketing efforts won’t be as effective if you are emphasising the wrong benefits, which no one cares about.
Your customers are the only ones who can tell you what’s best about your product and your company from the buyer’s perspective.
Getting critical feedback
On the other hand, customers also provide feedback about where you fall short. In one of his TED talks, Bill Gates said, ‘We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.’ If you never improve, you never grow.
You need to know what your buyers don't like and where you can improve in order to market yourselves more effectively and hone your products, services and brand to meet your ideal buyers' needs.
Delighted customers become brand ambassadors
Information from your customers helps you build effective marketing campaigns with targeted content. These in turn help to ensure customers are delighted with your company and therefore return for future transactions. If you're really lucky, they'll also become your brand ambassadors. There are a few key ways this happens.
Good content gets shared, liked and followed. If you put out good content, your existing customers are more likely to share it with their network of people who have similar needs and which you might not otherwise have access to.
The number of followers you have on social media doesn’t tell you if you’ve met your sales goals, but it does offer evidence to potential customers that your brand is well-liked. And potential customers use social proof when making a purchase decision.
Referrals and reviews
It’s easier for potential customers to buy into a brand recommended by someone they already trust. Encourage existing customers to refer others or fill out online reviews by offering incentives. The word of existing customers can sway an indecisive buyer.
How you respond seals the deal
A Crayola customer once complained on social media that one of the pink crayons in his new box was dull. Crayola responded and sent the customer a brand new crayon in the same shade. That customer got back on social media to talk about that response.
In a digital age, you can’t control every piece of information that shows up online about your company. But you do control how your company responds and your response creates allies.
Gathering information about what delights your ideal customers increases the effectiveness of your marketing and in turn, you delight customers and create loyal advocates for your brand, which extends your reach well past what you could achieve on your own.