For many fast-growing companies, most of their marketing is focused on one thing: acquiring customers.
It’s all about the funnel; attracting and nurturing prospects so deals are closed. It’s about awareness, engagement and education.
Then, a prospect becomes a customer and something strange happens: companies abruptly stop marketing to them, other than run-of-the-mill onboarding and take-it-or-leave it training that delivers little value.
For the most part, customers are taken for granted or ignored. As a result, they feel unloved, unappreciated and underserved. It explains why churn is such a problem, particularly in ultra-competitive markets.
Something needs to change, right?
Instead of assuming customers are content, companies need to keep marketing to them. To keep customers in the fold, companies have to be engaging, educating and entertaining.
Customers have to believe their business is valued and, just as important, they need to see that the product still makes a difference to them personally and/or professionally.
There are various ways to market to customers.
- A newsletter that highlights how customers are successfully using a product and growing their businesses. Freshbooks, for example, publishes a monthly newsletter that highlighted customers who used its online invoice software.
- Case studies that showcase how a product is used in different ways. These stories validate that a customer made the right decision and, at the same time, offer insight into how the product offers value. HubSpot is a great example of a company that creates case studies that put the spotlight on its customers.
- Blog posts that educate and entertain. While blogs aren’t particularly sexy these days, they are content workhorses that power social media, newsletters, infographics, eBooks and videos. Take a look at how Wistia uses its blog to educate customers and prospects about how to create better videos. Buffer is another company with a blog that delivers value about social media.
- Videos that educate customers (and prospects) about how to use the product and get as much value as possible. Wistia makes terrific videos, while WealthSimple is successfully using videos to educate millennials about investing.
- Resource centers: The problem with many resource centers is they are boring, which explains why few customers use them. This information should be more accessible and user-friendly by using media such as videos, photos, and GIFs.
- Webinars to educate your customers about new features or industry trends. A Webinar showcases ideas and lets you interact with customers. Customers can also watch recorded versions of the Webinar at any time.
- Meetups in which customers can interact with a company’s executives and employees. These type of events create stronger relationships and provide a company with real-world and real-time insight about their product and what customers want.
I’m currently working with a client that has completely embraced the idea of marketing to customers. It has an in-house video production team focused on creating videos that educate customers to make them more successful.
While a three-person video team is a major investment, it is marketing that makes an impact. When a company invests the time and money to nurture and educate its customers, it makes customers stick around and recommend the product to other companies.
This client has been focused on internal marketing while, until recently, doing little external marketing. It sells a product that helps customers make more money so there is strong demand amid little competition.
By marketing to customers, the company us helping customers successfully leverage its software and creating stronger customer success culture.
In some respects, it is strange this client’s video-making efforts stand out but it shows that marketing needs to continue throughout the customer journey.
Simply put, there is too much competitive to ignore your customers and stop marketing to them. Companies need to take a different approach to the sales funnel by adding education and engagement to awareness, consideration and purchase.
To build a community, you need to be actively involved. It is no longer enough to build and sell a product; companies need to constantly support their customers so they’re happy and successful.
If you’re not marketing to your customers, another company will be marketing to them. And before you know it, the customer will be gone.