Retailers can forge emotional connections with these strategies and insights for using content to build customer loyalty.
- Statistics on content and loyalty prove content marketing is an effective way to strengthen customer relationships.
- Content that builds customer loyalty must add value to the customer’s life and their interactions with you through information, education or entertainment.
- You can build brand loyalty with content that helps customers learn more about optimizing their experiences with your product, answers their questions or shows appreciation.
- Data analytics can be a powerful tool for understanding your customers and the content that will foster customer loyalty.
Using content to build brand loyalty isn’t a new idea. In fact, 90% of organizations use content as part of their marketing efforts.1 But it’s especially important in today’s highly competitive marketplace, where emotional connections are vital to engaging consumers quickly and repeatedly. Content helps by giving retailers a flexible tool for capturing attention, delivering messages and influencing how consumers feel about your brand and their experiences with you.
Statistics on content and loyalty provide proof that it works. For instance:
- 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading its content1
- 78% of top-performing content marketers use content to build loyalty among existing customers2
- 62% of millennials say content drives their brand loyalty3
Content marketing even offers an ROI advantage: It costs 62% less than traditional marketing but delivers three times more leads.1
What kind of content marketing builds brand loyalty?
The most effective content to build customer loyalty adds value to the customer’s life — or at least to their interactions with your brand — and conveys the feeling that your brand cares about the customer beyond mere transactions. Below are four ways you can use content to build brand loyalty by providing information, education, entertainment or other value.
Help customers get the most from your products/services and even discover new ways to use it. For example, Lowe’s has an entire DIY Projects & Ideas content section on its website. The retailer once ran a content campaign for its copper pipe that included instructions, tutorials and tips for using the product to create unique home décor. In a similar vein, a beauty retailer could provide an illustrated how-to guide for applying a new makeup trend, while a pet supplies brand might share five tips for brushing your dog’s teeth.
Answer customer questions and address concerns. Talk with front-line associates and customer service staff to uncover frequently asked questions, pain points and other informational needs. Listen to social media to learn what customers are saying about you. And get input direct from customers through focus groups, surveys and online chats. Then address the issues through content, like onboarding guides, FAQs and tutorials. For example, beyond offering straight tech support, Apple offers free virtual sessions to help customers learn the basics of using their new device and a website section dedicated to using the Apple Watch.
Show appreciation to your customers for their business. Start off on the right foot by sending welcome messages to new customers — like this personalized video sent by Magic Mind. You can also send thank you messages to customers who make frequent or major purchases. And why not include a quick tip, helpful information or other value-add tidbit to your appreciation messages? Or randomly surprise and delight customers with a piece of exclusive content, like a mini look-book for a new fashion line.
Entertain in a way that fits your audience, aligns with your brand ethos and complements your products or services. For instance, fashion retailer Kate Spade developed a series of #missadventure short films starring female celebrities and incorporating the brand’s products. And the Hop Grenade taproom has its own Brewing Network, which produces podcasts, streaming audio and video that, among other things, offer how-to tips and advice to home brewers and beer lovers. An outdoor gear retailer could write travel guides, while a book seller could run podcasts interviewing local, famous or up-and-coming authors.
Content that builds brand loyalty can be delivered through nearly any channel and format. For instance, you can build brand loyalty with video content, social media content, consumer-generated content, email, podcasts, texts, newsletters, your website, your mobile app, social media, even exhibits and events.
In fact, the most effective content marketing campaigns use multiple distribution methods, and it’s not unusual for a customer to discover you on one channel, then follow you from there to another channel while exploring different formats, too.
6 Strategies for Using Content to Build Customer Loyalty
Try these tactics to fuel, foster and support your content marketing initiatives.
1 Analyze data to understand your audiences. By delving into your customer data, you can learn more about your customer interests, needs and buying behavior. You can create personas to define different types of customers. You may even be able to get insights on where they consume content. Use this information to help understand the type of content your customers will find interesting, relevant and worth engaging with.
2 Use data to enhance messaging. Customer data is also valuable for personalizing your content. This doesn’t simply mean adding a customer name to a message (although that’s a good start). Personalization can also incorporate other factors, such as past purchases and geographic location. Segmenting audiences is another way to leverage data — in this case, by dividing customers into similar groups based on things like loyalty program tier, age, lifestyle, purchase behavior and so on.
Like other data analysis strategies, these tactics can help you develop and deliver the right content to the right customers.
3 Take advantage of advanced technology. There are many ways to leverage modern tools with your content to build customer loyalty through better engagement. For example, virtual and augmented reality can bring imagination to life. Interactive quizzes can give customers immediate feedback (and instant gratification). Virtual events can let customers connect with your brand and your brand community, regardless of where they live.
Artificial intelligence can provide insights for creating personalized communications — and dynamic technology can turn those insights into action by efficiently delivering different messages or images to each customer.
4 Reward customers for engaging with your content. You can use rewards to help your content build loyalty by letting customers earn points, badges, freebies or other perks when they download a piece of content (like a look book or guide), like or share a social post, watch a video, comment on a blog, and so on.
5 Encourage consumer-generated content to build brand loyalty. “Co-creating” content with your customers can be a powerful way to strengthen relationships and build brand advocacy. Ask customers to provide testimonials and product reviews, or share photos and videos of themselves using your product. Encourage them to participate in social media forums. User-generated content can even be at the center of a sweepstakes or contest — for instance, to enter, customers tell a story about how your product has impacted their life or how they’ve gotten the most from your product.
6 Create a preference center. This system — often part of a company website — lets customers have a say in the type of content they get from you, how often they get it and through what channel. This can increase the likelihood that they’ll look forward to getting your content and that the content, in turn, will contribute to positive feelings about your brand.
Customer-First Content Marketing Builds Brand Loyalty
Remember, for content to build customer loyalty, it needs to add value for the customer. That means you need to focus on the customer and their needs rather than flooding them with promotions or messages that put your company first. This approach still supports your business objectives, while ultimately building stronger, more profitable — and more loyal — customer relationships.
CCG’s mission is to build customer loyalty and our clients’ bottom lines. Our retail marketing experts have extensive experience in designing, evaluating and improving customer loyalty programs for retailers across North America. And we’ve been developing customer-centric content for more than 40 years. See what we can do for you: Schedule a complimentary consultation or call us today at 303.986.3000.
1 “Content Marketing Infographic,” Demand Metric, https://www.demandmetric.com/content/content-marketing-infographic, accessed Feb. 9, 2022
2 “Use Loyalty Content to Sustain Your Hard-Won Customer Relationships,” Jodi Harris, Content Marketing Institute, posed Oct. 19, 2021, https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2021/10/customer-retention-loyalty-content/, accessed Feb. 9, 2022
3 “3 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty with Content Marketing,” Kristin Savage, SendPulse, posted July 21, 2020, https://sendpulse.com/blog/building-brand-loyalty, accessed Feb. 9, 2022