This is a guest post by Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services, Elevation Marketing.
Today’s consumers are savvier than ever before, and they can smell a sales pitch from three blocks away.
It’s tempting to push the hard sell on your products online, particularly when it feels like you’re up against thousands of other brands selling the same stuff, but this can make customers tune out and take their business elsewhere.
With this new-found savviness comes extensive research; that is, consumers conduct their own research into a product or brand before they hit the buy button. In fact, a recent study showed that two-thirds of customers do their own digging on a product before shopping in a brick-and-mortar store for the same item.
This research is carried out online, and it involves reading blog posts, watching videos, checking out reviews, and consuming all different kinds of content.
Because content is such a huge part of the customer journey now, it’s important that you get it right if you want to improve the experience your customers have. If you can do this, you’ll increase loyalty and keep customers coming back for more.
Here’s how you can put your customers first and improve their experience with your brand by implementing different kinds of content in the sales cycle.
1. Automated Email Nurture Campaigns
Customers today want to build meaningful relationships with the brands they purchase from.
This means that leaving them high and dry once they’ve visited your website or made a purchase is simply not an option if you want them to come back for more.
And, one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your audience is via an email campaign.
These are essentially an automatic series of emails that customers receive straight to their inbox that provide educational information, case studies, testimonials, or any other relevant content about your brand that will help build a meaningful connection.
For many brands, creating an automated sequence that is automatically delivered to a buyer’s inbox drastically improves the customer experience.
Because the customer doesn’t think you’re just in it for a quick sell. They appreciate the follow up and the regular dialogue you open with them in their inbox.
What Type of Emails Should You Send?
Your nurturing email sequence shouldn’t be a series of sales pitches. You’ve already lured the customer in, so now it’s time to tighten that bond and build a sense of loyalty. You can do this by sending:
- Case studies that show how another customer has used your product
- Educational information about topics relevant to your brand and products
- Animations and explainer videos to provide more information about their recently-bought product
- FAQs that other customers have asked in relation to the purchased product
2. Consistent On-Site Content
It’s not enough to share one piece of content with a customer and hope they stick around.
More than 2 million blog posts are published every single day, so it’s easy for your stuff to get lost in the pile.
This is where consistency comes in.
Companies that provide an excellent customer experience realize that delivering consistent content helps build and cement customer loyalty.
In fact, research by Accenture shows that 65% of customers express frustration over inconsistent content experiences.
When you start pushing out great content on a regular basis, your customers will start to expect it of you and will keep checking back for more of the good stuff.
How Can You Publish Consistent Content?
This doesn’t mean you have to publish a new blog post every day. In fact, that’s counterproductive as there’s no way you can produce epic information on a daily basis for an extended period of time.
Instead, you want to focus on consistently publishing excellent content that your audience digs.
This might look like two videos a month or one long-form How-To guide every three weeks. As long as the quality is consistent and the timeframe between which you publish each piece is consistent, you’re creating a stable experience for your customers.
3. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Despite this being the digital age, word-of-mouth marketing is still incredibly powerful.
And, while we still look to family and friends to recommend products to us, we also look at online for reviews and stories posted by previous buyers – regardless of whether we know them personally or not.
Content created by other consumers is far more trusted than content pushed out by brands. This is because people trust the word of their peers more than they trust the word of polished marketing departments.
The great thing about UGC is that it can be used at various points throughout the sales cycle to build solid customer experience.
Where Can You Publish UGC?
Improving the customer experience with content is all about knowing the best place and time to publish said content.
When it comes to UGC, you have a number of options. You can:
- Publish testimonials on the homepage of your website
- Share photos of your products posted by your customers on social media channels
- Get customers to write about their success stories with your product or service on your blog
- Share videos of past customers talking about your product or service on product pages
4. SMS Campaigns
With our phones permanently attached to us, it makes sense that SMS campaigns are a great way to connect with customers in-the-moment.
In fact, research shows that more than 6 billion text messages are sent in the US every single day – don’t you want a slice of that action?
Communicating via SMS feels more personal than other forms of interaction, and it opens up a dialogue with consumers making them feel much more comfortable in asking questions and working towards improving their own experience.
How Can You SMS to Improve Customer Experience?
- Segment Your Audience – SMSs are personal forms of communication and deserve to be treated as such. Instead of sending a mass text to everyone, segment your audience depending on their behaviour and past purchasing habits to send more personalized messages.
- Use SMSs for Customer Service – customer service is absolutely vital in creating a good customer experience. Use SMSs to answer direct questions and queries and to ensure buyers have a good experience throughout the sales funnel. For example, you might send them an SMS as soon as they’ve made a purchase saying thanks, and then another when their product is on the way.
Content is at the Crux of Customer Experience
Creating an enjoyable customer experience is vital in ensuring buyers keep coming back for more. Today, consumers are savvier than ever and consistently use content to determine whether or not to buy from a brand.
These little insights into your business – whether it’s a blog post, a video, or a testimonial – deepen the connection customers have with you and nurture loyalty at the same time.
It doesn’t have to be complicated either; you can set up an automated email sequence consisting of a few emails, publish one fresh piece of content a month, and sprinkle UGC across your website and social channels, all of which add to the customer experience.
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations. Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward the execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals while staying true to core values and brand integrity. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rygould/