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Beyond Customer Acquisition: Using Content to Build Brand Loyalty

If your content strategy is focused solely on customer acquisition, you’re not thinking big enough! Content can also play a powerful role in nurturing loyalty—and retention—among existing customers. 

Content like blogs, email newsletters, and social media posts can help you build brand allegiance, earn referrals, reduce churn, and add tremendous value to the overall customer experience.

Let’s take a look at what we call loyalty content, explore which businesses benefit most from it, and examine how to create it successfully.

What Is Loyalty Content?

The purpose of loyalty content is to add value for your existing customers or clients—the kind of value that makes them feel great about working with you and strengthens their sense of connection to your business. 

Loyalty content is for anyone who’s working with your company right now. You already have their business, so this content should help solidify an ongoing relationship by inviting them into your brand’s world. 

Loyalty content isn’t limited by the scope of work for any one client. It offers education and insight, introduces new ideas and possibilities, and explores specialized services and offerings to deliver ongoing value to your client base.

Loyalty content can appear anywhere your customers are already “hanging out,” but it’s often centered around email. Sending messages to a curated email list is the most direct route to clients who have already opted in and are willing to hear from you. Loyalty content can often be repurposed for other platforms, including your blog and social media. But it has different goals and is measured differently as well. Let’s get into it:

Loyalty content vs. marketing content

In many cases, “content marketing” and especially “blog content” is closely identified with search engine optimization (SEO) and is designed to draw new web traffic to your website. Loyalty content exists outside of that sales funnel, speaking directly to people who have already invested in your service—or if they haven’t invested with their dollars yet, they’ve at least shown their willing to invest time in your brand.

This audience knows what you offer, understands your processes, and in many cases has already spent money with you. At the very least, they’ve already demonstrated interest in your company by actively subscribing to your email list.

Measuring the success of your loyalty content

Because loyalty content doesn’t necessarily target new prospects, you have to look at it differently to appropriately measure its success. Depending on the channel you’re evaluating, you may still track key metrics such as:

  • Open rates
  • Subscribe and unsubscribe rates
  • Engagement
  • Shares

More sophisticated models may support tracking your loyalty content’s impact on client retention or expansion.

And you’ll really know that your loyalty content resonates when people start replying via email. Nothing gets the heartstrings humming quite like a direct message or email reply saying, “I love your newsletter!”

What Kind of Business Benefits from Loyalty Content?

Loyalty content works best for companies that offer a service that clients use repeatedly or on an ongoing basis. These types of businesses tend to have customers interested in learning more about their work, their industry, their values, and their ideas. 

Loyalty content is thought leadership at its finest!

For our client Goodwin Consulting, loyalty content makes perfect sense. As a PR industry expert, owner Tara Goodwin has endless insights to share with her clients—CEOs for whom public relations advice is always valuable.

Crews & co. is another Every Little Word client that leverages loyalty content for their entrepreneur clients. Owner Eric Crews shares ongoing, actionable wisdom through short posts that he distributes on in his email newsletter, the Voice of the Entrepreneur.

If your company is service-based, such as an accounting firm, you may consider loyalty content that provides ongoing tax advice and financial insights throughout the year.

A product-based business, like a company that makes project management software, might deliver loyalty content about productivity, workplace efficiency, and team collaboration.

Does your PR firm serve corporate executives? Does your boutique hotel work with outside event planners? Does your educational software support school administrators? 

These types of B2B organizations all offer products and services with ongoing, long-term benefits to their customers and clients. If your business fits the bill, you can enhance those relationships with loyalty content!

When should a business not pursue loyalty content?

“One and done” services and products are unlikely to see much traction from loyalty content. That’s not because their customers are unhappy. Rather it’s because what they offer isn’t a regular part of their customers’ daily lives.

Consider a plumbing company. Sales-focused content is a great choice for them because it can help customers find them and reassure those customers that “we are the best choice for your plumbing needs.”

But loyalty content isn’t likely to make sense to a plumbing company’s customers because plumbing, in and of itself, isn’t something they’re interested in. People hire plumbers to solve a specific problem, and then they move on. 

There’s an exception to every rule, of course, so don’t let us stop you if you feel strongly about building loyalty content for your audience!

How to Create Loyalty Content

The most successful loyalty content is, like all good content, customer-focused

Ask yourself, “What do I give someone who has already bought what I sell?” Many companies reward their top clients with gifts or special birthday offers. Loyalty content is different from presents and coupons, but it serves a similar purpose: to keep your brand top-of-mind by giving your customers something they care about.

Loyalty content is for people, not search engines

You can create impactful loyalty content from only one insight, one experience, one win, or one challenge. Since search engine results aren’t your primary objective, the length of your content is largely irrelevant. You can also throw out your keywords when creating loyalty content. Instead, lean into what you know about your client to choose the right platform, content type, message, cadence, and even time of day that you deliver your message.

Loyalty content is personal

Loyalty content works best when it comes from one individual—the voice of your company or the primary source of thought leader content. The tone should be less formal, more vulnerable, and 100% authentic.

Don’t make the mistake of selling customers on services they’ve already bought. Loyalty content should feel like a coffee chat, not a trade show floor. 

Loyalty content is dual-purpose…if done right

Although loyalty content primarily targets existing customers, it has an additional benefit. Done strategically, it can also offer value to people who haven’t yet hired you. For loyalty content to be dual-purpose, it should be clear and compelling to any reader.

For example, you wouldn’t get too detailed about a process you only use with your clients—that wouldn’t resonate with prospects who don’t work with you yet. Then again, you can’t explain too many basic concepts—if your existing clients are familiar with those ideas, you aren’t offering them additional value. 

There’s a middle path that allows you to speak to both audiences. Lean into the principle behind a product feature or the inspiration behind an idea. Share additional context, background, and experiences that you might not discuss in every client engagement. You have to thread the needle to create loyalty content that serves two different segments, but wth the right strategy, it’s definitely possible.

Stay Top-of-Mind With Loyalty Content

B2B and professional services clients aren’t impulse buyers, so your loyalty content isn’t meant to convince them to “Click here!” or “Buy now!” 

Effective loyalty content keeps your business top-of-mind.  It helps you keep customers longer and reminds clients to return to your business the next time they need your service. And when a prospect is ready for what you offer, yours is the first company they think to contact. If you keep creating valuable loyalty content, you’ll eventually start hearing from long-time subscribers who say, “I’m ready to work with you now.”

You don’t have to tackle your loyalty content alone. Book a Discovery Call and let Every Little Word help you turn your prospects into clients and your clients into lifelong devotees.

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