5 Content Type You Need To Increase Lifetime Sales 

Post-Purchase Content: Keep Your Customers Happy And Buying

Post purchase contentWhen a customer buys from your firm is a pivotal marketing moment. P&G considered it so important that it coined the phrase: The Second Moment of Truth.

Does your offering still work the way your customers expected when they get it into their office or home?

As a marketer, you must continue to make your customer feel good about the money she spent on your product or service. Otherwise, you allow negativity and buyer’s remorse to creep into the emotions connected to your product, and that can result in diminished sales and higher costs.

The post-purchase process is critical for getting your customers to love your company, to encourage them to buy more and to become an advocate for your products. McKinsey‘s chart of the customer’s purchase journey highlights this. (Note: The red areas spotlight these aspects of the customer journey.)

Post-sales content in the McKinsey Customer Journey

Here’s an explanation of how the B2B purchase decision process has changed.

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5 Reasons you need post purchase content to keep customers happy and buying

Your sales team has moved onto their next conquest but if your offering doesn’t deliver on its initial promise(s), you’ve got a problem. Even worse, these customer issues often translate to higher expenses in one of the following five ways.Post purchase content-chart

1. Increased returns.

You want to prevent or reduce the products customers bring back to you. Returns have a business cost, even if the customer gets another version in a different size or color.

Don’t assume that you can’t have returns because that can hurt sales without you’re even knowing about since prospects choose an alternative provider who will. For some businesses, like Zappos, returns are a cost of doing business.

2. More post-sale customer service questions.

Regardless of how well customers have done their homework before purchasing, actually owning the product translates to questions. Often these questions relate to how to use the product. 

3. Higher service costs.

You must adjust or repair the product because it doesn’t work as promised and customers want to keep the product. This can translate to additional costs that hurt your profit margins.

Understand that customer have greater expectations for high-ticket offerings.

Note: This may be an indicator that there’s a disconnect between how your offering is sold and how it actually performs.

4. Diminished potential word of mouth.

In today’s social media connected world, you want to avoid disgruntled customers to the extent possible since customers trust other customers more than they trust you and your content.

Negative word of mouth also occurs offline as in face-to-face communications. The challenge with this is that it’s difficult to track.

5. Lost future sales.

A disappointed customer is definitely not buying more from you any time soon. This applies to both B2B and B2C sales.

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5 Post purchase content marketing types to increase lifetime customer sales

Here are 5 ways to create post purchase content that helps increase lifetime customer sales. (BTW–Here are 12 easy ways to boost every sale! Who wouldn’t want to do that???)Post purchase content types-chart

80% of B2B executives rated post-sales content as either very important or important after a technology purchase reported by Eccolo via eMarketer.Post-Sales Content Importance for B2B-2014-eMarketer-Chart

1. Answer customer questions.

Provide content that answers the questions your customers have when they first use your product. This is the famous Marcus Sheridan quote, “They ask, you answer.” (BTW, here’s the case study to convince you. His firm made $2 million answering this one key question!!!)

The main benefits:

  • Reduces customer service questions.
  • Supports related and additional sales.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Gather and answer the questions your prospective and new customers ask. Get this information from across your company. Optimize this content for the keywords your customers use, not just your internal company jargon.
  • Use a variety of different forms of content. Don’t just stick to text. Use images and video to help your customers solve their usage challenges.
  • Target your content for different endusers. When it comes to post-sales questions, understand the difference between the challenges that your customers have and the actual end-user. Particularly in B2B sales, they aren’t the same person.

How to make your customers happy2. Train your customers.

At a minimum, make it easy for newbies to have a good experience when they start using your product.

Re-imagine product documentation to provide customers with helpful content they want to read and use. This also applies to product labels, packaging, and manuals. Doing so extends your content marketing budget by leveraging information you’d have to create anyhow. By making it sexier, you extend its reach.

Produce fun product education including photographs, videos and ebooks. This doesn’t just apply to complex B2B products. It pertains to B2C products like clothes, make up and interior design, where customers like and need to see what the product looks like in context.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Re-imagine your user’s manual. Don’t make your product related information a yawn. Instead, transform it into content that delights and extends the usefulness of your product.
  • Develop step-by-step instructions and checklists. Remember your goal is to help get customers on track to use your product.
  • Link your various content offerings where appropriate. Don’t think of each piece of product support content as an information island. Include links to other related content to maximize content usability.
  • Create more advanced training as an additional revenue generator. Use your product training as a gateway to related content products. Canva does this with their Design School tutorials.

3. Provide news and thought leadership post sales.

Make your customers feel happy with their purchase decision. Where possible, give them the sense that they’re part of your team. This is important for complex B2B sales. Based on the Eccola Media research, here’s what post sales content B2B executives seek most:

  • 36% of B2B executives seek thought leadership.
  • 30% of B2B executives seek technical support and updates.
  • 25% of B2B executives seek new product information.
    (This is a HUGE opportunity!)

Post Sales Content Desired Post-Purchase - eMarketer

Your goal is to increase customer engagement with your brand and products. While customer lifetime revenues may not be as apparent as other content marketing efforts, they can shield your company from loosing business to competitors.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Develop regular influencer content. Use a blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn Publishing or Slideshare.
  • Interview specialists in your firm. Customers trust technical experts. Tap into this trusted source of information. Create articles, videos and podcasts.
  • Tap into your customer base for expert insights. Depending on your product, you may have lots of expertise across your customer base. Ask them to contribute. Don’t just look like you’re taking advantage of free content, rather make it a special honor.
  • Make your executives accessible. Create events or dinners when they’re traveling. Peter Shankman excels at this. He tweets that he is going to be in a specific city or even airport terminal and invites followers to meet up with him. Use some customer data to enhance this functionality for your firm.

4. Upsell and cross sell merchandise and services.

This is where your content marketing drives measurable incremental lifetime revenues while building customer relationships.

Spotlight new customer needs that you can fulfill.

Show your customers how to use your products. Mix current and older offerings. Get help from your customers to create this type of content, especially photographs.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Create patterns and recipes that encourage customers to buy more or related products. Kraft Foods does a great job of this with their recipes.
  • Build loyalty or fan groups. Target your best customers and provide them with special content at a premium cost. Many bloggers have this type of offering, such as Jon Loomer’s Power Hitters Club.
  • Develop live or virtual events to extend your experience. Remember live events are a form of content marketing. This really enables you to extend your relationship with your most loyal customers.

5. Enhance word of mouth and increases referral sales.

Customer recommendations are critical to closing sales. Encourage your customers to share their feedback about your products and services.

If you’re afraid to ask for recommendations because you fear the feedback will be bad, you’ve got a problem. Find out what the problems are and fix them or you won’t have customers to serve because these customers will tell their family and friends about their bad experiences—hurting your sales without you even knowing it.

To increase customer lifetime revenues more directly, ask customers for referrals. It’s a good bet some of their friends share their interests. Referral customer acquisition is relatively inexpensive because you target existing customers with owned media. Therefore you can give customers an incentive for their referrals.

Customer referrals top the list based on Implisit research on B2B deals.Post sales referrals

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Get customers to create content using your products. The easiest way to do this is via photographs. Where possible, make it easy for customers to show their family friends using your products. Use customer photo galleries and other social media venues.
  • Encourage customers to give testimonials. Ask your customers to share their experiences with others. You can do this as part of your post-purchase follow up.
  • Respond to issues and negative comments. Respond quickly and take the issue offline. Don’t get into a shouting match on social media. Even if you’re right, chances are, it’ll hurt your business.

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The bottom line is that post purchase content is where you really start to ensure that your customer is satisfied with your offering, create incremental revenue streams and build the basis for future sales.

How can you create post-sales content to support your sales process?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen



Photo Credit: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/904534

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