Getting the right content to the right customer at the right time is key when it comes to Lifecycle Marketing. What we’re talking about here is matching content to the customer lifecycle; creating content for customers at each stage in their journey to help them advance on to the next step. This might mean creating infographics and sharing them via social media for the awareness stage or crafting detailed product descriptions on a website for folks at the evaluation stage.
cus•tom•er life•cy•cle |ˈkəstəmər ˈlaɪfˌsaɪkəl |
the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using,
and maintaining loyalty to a product or service.
Matching content to the customer lifecycle is a smarter way to create and distribute content. On average, only 4% of the visitors to any given website are ready to make a purchase. So what about the other 96%? That huge percentage of visitors to your site is mostly in the buying stages of the lifecycle. They need content that teaches them about your company and its products and services and how you’re the perfect choice for solving whatever problem or meeting whatever opportunity has arisen for them.
Some of that 96% are also returning after a purchase, so don’t stop engaging customers once you’ve clinched the deal. These folks are in the satisfaction/retention stage, and they have needs, too. Think about what content would be useful now that they’re using your product or service. That might be a FAQs page to address any issues past customers have had, or it may be webinar specifically for clients to learn how they can get more out of the services they’ve already purchased.
And then there’s always the upselling/cross-selling stage. Since it’s easier and less expensive to sell to an existing customer than it is to convert a brand new lead, why not pitch new products and services that perfectly compliment existing products and services to the people who are already using them? If you keep engaging existing customers with content they can use, they’ll be more likely to speak highly of your products and services to their colleagues. Word-of-mouth is a powerful ally when used effectively.
Our recent post on customizing content for each stage of the buying cycle gives helpful examples of effective content you can create for each stage. In order to create this content, you need to understand your prospects and customers throughout their entire journey and know what happens for them at each point of contact with your company (and the people working for and in it), at the buying stages and—just as important—the post-purchase stages where customer retention, loyalty and advocacy come in.