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Why You Need Content Marketing to Build Customer Loyalty

Now more than ever small businesses need to understand the importance of customer loyalty and retention.  Customer loyalty starts with trust and once a customer trusts you, they are more likely to purchase from you again as well as refer you to other people. How do you earn that trust and convert a customer to a loyal customer?  You need them to find value in your brand – and by that I mean not just in whatever products or services you provide, but also in your company’s existence.  This is a difficult thing to do “in normal times” when you can have in-person meetings or other interactions with your customers, but how do you do this now?  How can you build a local customer – through new platforms and methods of communication using content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a purposeful way of creating and executing on information that your customers find valuable on a consistent basis.  This information can be used to educate, excite, and even interact with your customer so that you can become a trusted partner and develop long-term relationships.

Why content marketing?

Educate customers: Giving a customer-relevant content provides not only your current customers, but also your potential customers avenues to engage with you and gives them a reason to continue to use you or give you an opportunity to try your company.  This is the foundation you can build upon. Excite your customers:  What value do you bring to your customer and how can you deliver it in an unexpected way?  Demonstrate your thought leadership in a category, industry or vertical through content marketing. Interact with customers:  Creating interactive, two-way content helps you grow the foundation that you already have and build upon the valuable relationships by demonstrating ongoing value to your customer. When a customer comes to me and tells me that their marketing results don’t work and they don’t want to continue with the program, a lot of times it is because they do not have a complete understanding of what content marketing should be used for and what the expected results should be for these types of programs – a lot of it is playing the long game because customer retention is just as important as acquisition.  When you measure the success, it isn’t always about that immediate sale, but it is staying in front of the customer so that when they are thinking about making a purchase, they don’t think of anyone else except for you. There are many easy ways of doing this from regular communication on social media, useful infographics that are compelling and easy to share, how to videos or tutorials, and whitepapers or eBooks are all useful content that you can incorporate into your overall content marketing plan. For example, if you are a dentist, you might share before and after photos to educate customers on the benefits of teeth whitening.  If you are a restaurant, you might create a series of cooking demonstrations teaching knife skills and other basic. No matter what type of information you give the customer, it should educate, excite, and interact with your customers and prospects.

Using content marketing to build trust and loyalty

So, how do you use content marketing strategically to build trust and loyalty among your customers? There are a few ways you can approach it.
Be genuine: Make sure that whatever you share online properly represents you and your business.  It does not matter if it is a photo, video or other message, it needs to be in your voice.  Your customers should know right away that it feels like you or your brand and should not feel forced.
Embrace storytelling: The easiest and most natural way to connect with your audience is through telling a story.  Utilize content marketing to tell compelling stories that relate to your company or its products and services.  You can even tell a story about a customer and how they use your product or service.
Giving back: Customers are interested in how your work within your community.  How are you personally, your employees and your company giving back to your community?  Do you volunteer with local organizations and why?  This is also an opportunity to highlight another organization that you or you employees believe in.  If you are genuine (see above), this can build trust and loyalty and demonstrate to your customers that you are more than just about profit.
Employees matter: Content marketing can show the people behind the organization and this can not only humanize your brand, but this can also help with employee recruitment and retention.
Interact directly with your customers: Start a two-way conversation with your customers.  One way is to use social media for trivia or contests.  Make it fun for everyone while educating them.  You can even to a virtual lunch and learn for a smaller target audience to get even more value from your company.

Give your customers what they want

Not all content is good content so you shouldn’t just make content for content sake.  You want to make sure it is customized for your target audience or customer.  If you think of it like Google, you are much more likely to click on content that answers your question and so Google wants to serve the most relevant content to you – that is what you want to do here – give them exactly what they want or what interests them most.  It is the best way to build customer loyalty which eventually turns into sales.  Of course, first, you need to have a good understanding of who your customers are – what are their demographics.  Without that knowledge, you are not going to be able to provide relevant content. Finally, as a reminder content marketing is not here to sell.  As long as you are creating relevant and appropriate content and providing value to the customer you are playing the long game – you aren’t here for the quick sale.  As long as you focus on your content marketing strategy and provide different types of appropriate content and value you will nourish your relationships and have a customer for life. Looking for a marketing company? AlphaGraphics is more than a local print shop in Northbrook, IL. We provide various marketing services through graphic design, print, signage and digital marketing channels. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your business and earn your trust.

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