Many marketers get caught up in the hunt for new prospects. It's understandable; we're taught that we should always be expanding our client base. And, the thrill of getting a new client can be addictive. However, an obsession with new prospects can blind you to a far more fruitful tactic: reaching out to your current customers for future business.
Your current customers are as qualified as a lead can get. (Having trouble qualifying leads? Read 10 Signs You Should Invest in Lead Nuturing) They've already shown a willingness to buy your products. How can you keep them coming back? By delivering these sorts of inbound content:
Periodic Email Newsletters
During the purchase process, give customers the chance to opt in to your newsletter. This opens up a path of regular communication with your client. Offer advice on the best ways to use your product, news related to your industry and general tips and hints. Your newsletter can also offer occasional subscriber-only promotions, which many clients find an enticing perk; everyone likes to be part of the the in-group. Make sure that any communications are frequent enough that clients remember who you are but not so often that they feel hounded.
By posting blog content, ebooks and webinars for clients, you can keep them returning to your site. Don't just limit the content to how-tos that relate directly to your products. Give away useful DIY information, as well. This sort of content is likely to be shared with friends and colleagues; this is especially true when you already have a trusting relationship with your client.
Client Conferences, Chats and Webinars
When you offer clients free discussion and Q&A sessions, you give them a valuable opportunity to get the answers to their questions. This sort of support makes clients feel valued and can help increase the chances that they will purchase from you in the future.
There are a number of free and paid platforms that you can use for these sessions. Many people like the ease of use of free options like Google Hangouts. Others prefer premium, restricted options such as GotoWebinar. A third, intriguing option is to host the discussion on Twitter under a specialized hashtag. There are a number of third-party Twitter clients that support this option and make chats easy to follow. One of the benefits of this format is that the conversation doubles as social media interaction that can draw new prospects into the conversation.
In the end, the most important factor is not which type of content marketing efforts you direct at current clients but that you do it at all. Reach out to past and current customers regularly and they will reward you with their future business.
March 17, 2014