4 Keys to Keeping Customers Happy Through Inbound Marketing
We never fail to discuss inbound marketing with the goal of lead generation, but we often overlook its other merits.
While it's true that inbound is a highly effective methodology for generating leads, that's not the only area where it shines.
To succeed long term, once you've gained all of those new customers, you need to make sure they stick around.
Fortunately, inbound marketing is perfect for keeping customers happy.
In fact, inbound is designed to "delight" customers through their entire lifecycle with your company -- from first introduction to their 100th repeat purchase (or referral) and beyond.
In this article, I'll go over the keys to keeping customers happy through inbound marketing and how you can implement these strategies in your business.
1. Create Customer-Focused Content
Customer-focused content is one of the most effective ways of keeping your existing customers happy. Customers already trust your company and have signed on the dotted line. Sending them the same old content that you would someone who has just discovered your brand doesn't cut it.
They know you and you should know them, so create content that shows this. Create content that can help them get the most out of their relationship with you and your product. For example:
- Educate them on product updates
- Address troubleshooting issues and FAQs
- Show them hidden or little known features
- Share breaking news and current events in your industry
- Feature customer success stories
- Create exclusive customer-only content with insider tips and tricks
- Offer customer-only perks (i.e. early access to new features, contests, parties, webinars, etc.)
Perhaps, with time customers might outgrow your product or no longer need your services, but with the right inbound marketing strategy they'll leave you with nothing but good things to say and positive reviews to pass on to their peers.
2. Build a Relationship Through Social Media
The relationship between businesses and customers has evolved a great deal with the rise of social media.
In the early days, people didn't want brands involved on social media because they viewed it as advertising spam, but, those views have changed as brands have learned how to interact with people on social media in a way that they enjoy.
If all your company does is post promotional updates, it's not likely that you'll foster a great relationship, but if you engage with fans and share valuable content that is suited to the platform-- people will be more than happy to have you on their timeline next to their friends and family.
The brands worth following on social media are the ones that show personality and act more like a human than a corporation.
Here are just a few ways to keep customers happy on social media:
- Respond to posts that your brand is mentioned in, positive or negative
- "Like" or favorite posts that your brand is tagged in
- Share/retweet fan pictures and positive feedback
- Ask questions and engage in a conversation
- Run contests
- Keep your customers informed on pressing issues, such as your site being down temporarily
- Share funny, educational, or entertaining content that is relevant to your brand
All of these are great for keeping your customers happy, but they also provide social proof that helps you attract more potential customers.
An active social presence will always attract more attention and awareness than one that hasn't been updated in months and when prospects see how how engaged your company is, they'll want in on the fun too.
3. Ask for Feedback
Gathering feedback directly from customers is one of the biggest brand benefits to social media. Instead of running expensive and time-consuming market research, simply asking questions on social media and monitoring what people have to say can offer valuable insight into what's working and what's not for your brand.
You can even take this a step further and share the survey results with your customers (like Domino's did when they revamped their menu.)
People appreciate this level of transparency and when they know their voice is being heard, it gives them more incentive to share their opinion. Not only that, but when you make changes based on their feedback it shows that you genuinely care to deliver the best product and customer experience possible.
4. Look at the Analytics & Track Data
Customer feedback can be subjective at times, but numbers don't lie. Whether it's views, click-through rates, on-screen time, or conversion rates, great inbound marketing is data-driven.
By studying the engagement of your customers have with your content, you can learn what qualified people are truly interested in and what made them convert. This data helps you identify trends and gaps and refine your strategy accordingly to increase conversions.
You can also generate a wide variety of reports that are relevant to different divisions of your organization, so your entire team has insight into what they can do better and where they're already killing it.
The goal of inbound marketing is to build a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and customers. This opens the door for special offers that extend far beyond a coupon. Keeping your customers happy is more than continuing to receive their money, it also helps you improve your company to make them even happier -- and in turn, they're happy to spend more money. It's a win-win.
About Bob Ruffolo
Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot's Diamond Partner Agencies and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.