The Importance of Creating Post Purchase Focussed Content
Winning a customer on the internet requires research, hard work, and multiple touches across different communication channels. Taking a person from stranger to buyer online is one of the hardest challenges in today's world of business.
Unfortunately, even after you succeed in this difficult endeavor, your marketing work still isn't done. In fact, there are still plenty of things your business needs to do to ensure your customers have a great experience once the sale has been completed. One of the most important of those tasks is creating post-purchase content.
With all the different things a marketing team has to do just to make the sale, you may wonder why a company should bother catering to people who have already bought. After all, the fact that they've given you money means they are totally sold on your offering, right?
Not exactly. From a customer perspective, there are a few key reasons you need to offer top-notch post-purchase content and service:
It's great that people are willing to pay for your product or service one time, but will they use it? If a buyer doesn't actually apply your product or service in their quest to help meet their goals and overcome their challenges, they probably won't get much value out of the purchase. As a result, they aren't likely to become a repeat buyer or recommend your product or service to their friends and colleagues. Sending them relevant, helpful content makes customers more likely to get value out of what they've just paid for.
Right after a customer pays for a new product or service, there is always an element of uncertainty. They've spent time reading marketing materials and information about the business, but now the company's curtain is being pulled back and they are being ushered into a different space. When they get there, you want to be sure customers can trust you in two ways: first, that your offering actually helps them, and second, that your team can be trusted with sensitive information. The importance of trust is why, according to Salesforce, 51% of sales leaders are focused on improving retention by fostering relationships.
In the most successful businesses, there is a difference between how much an item costs to produce and how much a customer is willing to pay for it. To make sure this gap exists, you need to create content and provide services after the sale. Think about a luxury automaker. the cost of the actual components that go into these vehicles isn't substantially more than the cost of more mainstream cars. But because these manufacturers have powerful marketing and high-caliber, personalized service after the sale, customers are willing to pay more for these vehicles.
Why Should You Be Making Content for Customers Who Have Already Bought?
The answers above relate mostly to the individual customer's experience. But there are other reasons to create post-sale content that relate back to your own business goals:
Cross-Sell / Upsell Opportunities
If someone is comfortable buying one thing from you, logic holds that they will be willing to buy something else from you. But there's a caveat - you still have to nurture them into the new sale and explain why it makes sense for them. That's where post-sale content comes in. Consider the telecom industry - research shows that over half of all U.S. consumers split their television, mobile phone, and internet services between multiple providers. If a single company was able to get 10% of those customers to switch one service to them, they could improve revenue by $480 million annually. This is a large-scale example, but the principle behind it still applies to a business of any size: cross-selling will increase your revenue.
Referrals vs. Generating New Leads
Referrals are one of the best ways to acquire new customers at a relatively low cost. When you receive a referral, there is little to no pre-sale nurturing required on your end. The customer has already been pre-qualified, and they already know about your business and what it does. Knowing this, many marketers make the mistake of directly asking for referrals to friends and colleagues. While this can work, a better tactic for generating referrals is to serve customers with valuable, relevant content that delights them so much that they have to tell people about it. This is especially true early on, when the customer hasn't had a chance to even determine whether or not your product is worth referring to people they know.
A customer evangelist is the holy grail of existing customers. They are the raving fans of your brand who tell everyone they meet how great your products and services are. In some cases, they might even help people sign up to become a customer themselves. You should set out to make every single customer an evangelist through excellent post-sale content and service. Some companies offer affiliate programs or discounts in exchange for referrals, but ideally you want your offering to be so valuable that customers want to refer it to people in their network just because of the benefits they'll gain. This is the way a true customer evangelist thinks.
Post Sale Content Ideas - Put Yourself in Their Shoes
So what exactly should you be creating content about? There are a few different things you can choose from. Probably the most important concept behind post-sale content is putting yourself in the shoes of the customer.
Imagine you just bought a new product or service - what's the next thing you are looking for? Here are a few ideas:
These are ideas related to the sequence of events surrounding your offering. This type of content helps customers understand what order to do things in.
Each person is different, but your customers probably share some similar needs that come up as they begin to use your product or service. Think about what people commonly want to do after they have used your offering, then recommend them an easy way to find or achieve that. For example, if you sell a CRM or sales software product, a common next step might be training the sales team on how to use it.
Almost everyone is familiar with the recommendations that come from Netflix once you've finished a series or movie. You can adopt a similar post-sale content strategy in your own business by recommending other pieces of content or products that will help customers at their current stage.
Adoption & Value
This type of content relates specifically back to the product or service you offer. It explains to your customers exactly how to use what you sell so that they can get even more value out of it.
Ins and Outs of Features
Some features may be self-explanatory, but others might not be so obvious. If you know there are specific features of your offering that customers sometimes have difficulty understanding, creating post-sale content around those features will help clear up the confusion. You can also personalize this type of content based on the types of customers you have, as similar persona types tend to have similar questions about features.
Hacks for Easy Use
"Hacks" are simply shortcuts to achieve a specific goal or target. There may be a certain outcome customers are trying to achieve that they can get to quickly with your offering, but these hacks aren't always obvious. Providing content that illustrates them is a great way to make your customers happy.
Quick & Easy Setup - Checklist
A checklist is one of the best ways to help people learn how to use your offering. It sets out a specific set of steps in a specific order, making it easy for anyone to follow. Remember to be as detailed as possible with your checklists so that customers don't have any challenges with them. If possible, create a separate checklist for each of your buyer personas.
Getting Your Team Involved
Even if a single customer enjoys your product and can successfully use it, that doesn't always mean they are on the path to becoming an evangelist. Sometimes, more than one person at a customer organization will need to use your product or service in order for it to truly be a success. This is why building a roadmap to help buyers incorporate other teams or the rest of their company is such a good idea - you take the heavy lifting involved in this process off the customer and share some of the load yourself.
Inbound Marketing - Delight Stage - Don’t Forget Your Customers
Neglecting your existing customers is an easy mistake to make. Marketers are under pressure to meet goals related to leads, conversion rates, and acquisition. Few of these areas of interest relate back to existing customers, so it's easy to see why people who've already bought your offering can fall by the wayside.
But the most successful marketers understand that they can't neglect their existing customers. A poor or nonexistent campaign for customer retention is like trying to drive a car with a flat tire - you can still move your growth forward, but it won't go as quickly or as efficiently as you'd like.
By following the steps above to create helpful, relevant content that gives customers what they need when they need it, you'll elevate your marketing efforts to a higher level and improve the overall health of your business.
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