Retention Content Marketing: How To Create Post-Purchase Loyalty

Retention Content Marketing56% of B2B marketers plan to increase content creation spending —but they myopically miss a huge opportunity: retention content marketing!

To understand this marketing challenge, examine this 2019 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs Research chart. (Here’s the full 2019 B2B Content Marketing Research analysis.)

Content Marketing By Buyer Journey Stage Chart via Content Marketing Institute-MarketingProfs

By stopping at the bottom of the funnel with evaluation-purchase, this content marketing purchase process ignores the entire post-purchase process!  


Purchase funnel - - 2007

Purchase Funnel – Visitor Needs and Marketing Goals – [Chart by Heidi Cohen]

So it’s no surprise that only half of B2B content marketers foster customer loyalty according to Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs. Click To Tweet


Why wouldn’t 100% of marketers want to develop customer loyalty since it increases sales and referrals?

To develop customer loyalty and retain existing customers you need post-purchase content especially for first-time buyers. 

Iterative Loop of Customer Purchase Journey – McKinsey [Chart]

Without building loyalty across your customer’s organization, you risk that they’ll change vendors the next time they face a buying decision.

Even worse, they won’t tell colleagues and peers to buy from you! 

At the heart of retention marketing, post-purchase content supports 3 goals:

  • Reduce returns and non-use. In addition, roughly 3 out of 5 customers check information post-purchase according to McKinsey research.
  • Encourage additional and repeat purchases with on-going consistent content.
  • Build customer loyalty and referrals. As a result, you reduce customer churn.

Even better, retention marketing yields measurable  long-term business benefits:

    • Lower content creation costs.
    • Lower distribution costs.
    • Higher KPIs such as improved customer lifetime value.

So let’s examine how to develop and use retention content marketing to improve sales and reduce customer turnover.

Retention Content Marketing

Retention Content Marketing: Onboard New Buyers

Retention marketing starts the moment your customers purchase your products and services. Offer content tailored to purchases and customer needs to provide support and onboard newbies.

Retention Content Marketing Goal:

      • Jumpstart use of your products and services to create satisfied customers and reduce issues with purchase use.

Onboard New Buyers Retention Content includes:

      • Useful product links on receipts. Don’t assume end users saw your product information! Direct users to your existing FAQ customer content.
      • Customer thank-you’s. Where possible, write personal notes. Also build relationships with end users and introduce them to your product and customer service teams.
      • Quick start support. Use a variety of content formats such as webinars, videos, forums, chat and live customer service. Deliver it across channels.
      • User manuals. Give end users the detailed information and references they need. Astute marketers can renovate this content for customer acquisition.
      • Insider How To’s. Find out how your audience uses your products and services. Then share this content with existing customers.

Actionable Retention Content Marketing Tips:

      • Gather purchase feedback quickly. Take a page from Amazon. Learn where you have potential problems to fix them ASAP. Then alert all of these product users!
      • Create a product use content series triggered by the purchase. I’ve used this technique to jumpstart buyers and get them to read my communications.


Retention Content Marketing: Keep business top-of-mind and increase sales

After purchase, continue to earn your audience’s attention. Otherwise, you risk falling out of their inner content circle!

Go further and develop relationships and loyalty with other people in your customer’s organization. Since buyers and decision-makers may not be the end user.  

Retention Content Marketing Goals:

Stay Top-Of-Mind Retention Content includes:

      • Regular email newsletters tailored to reader needs. Skip marketing hype and promotions. Write letters to deepen audience relations. (Hat tip: Ann Handley!)
      • Updates on the latest offering changes. As a result, you have a reason to contact this segment of buyers.
      • Customers and end users in your community so they help each other.
      • Upgrade customer skills. Offer educational content as training, webinars and/or videos. As an added benefit, you may be able to charge for this renovated content!

 Actionable Retention Content Marketing Tips:

      • Offer related products and services where it makes sense to readers.
      • Ask customers for input. Where appropriate, ask your audience to show how they use your products.
      • Interview your customers. Give customers a chance to shine. As content creation partners, they help with distribution.
      • Share tips related to your offering. Even better, use this content to nurture prospects.

 Retention Content Bonus:

      • Distribution costs are less for retention marketing because you already have contact information for your readers.

Retention Content Marketing: Generate Referrals

By encouraging customers to refer your content to their colleagues and peers you extend your reach to new prospects within their organization (B2B) or family (B2C).

Retention Content Marketing Goals:

      • Get new referrals from existing customers.
      • Obtain references and word of mouth since customers trust other customers, especially if they have relationships with them. (BTW, this is one reason to stay in touch with former employees!)

Referral Retention Content includes:

      • Customer case studies. Andrew Davis recommends borrowing emotional storytelling techniques from reality television shows to build your audience’s engagement.
      • Community encouragement to share content spotlighting your product or services.
      • Guides and other supporting content to help customer referrers. Provide the information your audience needs to promote your offering.

 Actionable Retention Content Marketing Tips:

      • Build credibility by request permission to spotlight customers. Make the request personal to show that you know and care about the customer.
      • Offer existing customers a reward for each referral. Affiliate marketing uses this approach because it reduces acquisition costs. I’ve successfully used referral marketing to acquire new customers for multiple clients.
      • Promote your referral program on a regular basis since your audience may not remember you when their colleague needs your product.
      • Create contests or other promotions at key times to increase referrals. Ideally create special offers that aren’t just monetary such as special access.

Retention Content Bonus:

      • Reduce your customer acquisition costs.
      • Use renovated existing content.


Retention Content Marketing Conclusion

Use retention content marketing to onboard new customers, deepen customer relationships, increase sales, and gain new referral clients.

Even better, retention content marketing costs less because you have your audience’s contact information.

As a result, you don’t waste budget and time to find people willing to pay attention to your content. At a minimum you don’t need advertising.

Additionally you don’t need fresh new content. Most retention content can be created by transforming and tailoring the existing content you already have. As a result, you further reduce your content marketing time and costs.

So get started building post-purchase customer loyalty with retention content marketing!

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.


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