Content is King!
Creating new online content
All shiny and new
When growing an online business, this thought should be part of your overarching strategy: New content is King.
It’s harder and more expensive to attract new customers than it is to sell new products to old customers. Attracting a new customer to your online store can, on average, cost between 5% and 25% of gross profit for each conversion. But accessing an existing customer database is essentially free – offering a product directly to these customers is more time and cost-efficient. This is why it’s important to generate new digital content to attract the attention of your existing customers.
One of our go-to case study clients, Her Pony, update their main collection at least every six months, with a range of new arrivals, one-off garments and sales items regularly added to their website. They share updates of these events across their social media platforms, resulting in more traffic to their website. This is great, but when you look at the stats and discover that their one-off section, which is posted to weekly and spread through Instagram, generates just over half the revenue of the entire store, the phrase New content is King starts to feel like gospel.
Building rapport with existing customers
So you’ve established your customer base. Where to from here?
It’s important to build a database of customers and leads so you can keep them up-to-date with your business’s latest developments and content, such as new products, services and offers. Maintaining effective communication and building brand loyalty with customers leads to customer retention. Customer retention is also affected by the trust and interactional experience the customer experiences with your brand, the experience a customer had the last time they shopped with you, the quality or perceived value of the product or service the customer received, and whether your brand delivered a service that would be likely utilised again.
Building value for your existing customers is the most effective way to increase business profitability.
According to Catalin Zorzini, ‘a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase your profitability by 75 percent.’
Her Pony has built a positive relationship with customers over a period of five years by utilising popular social media platforms, pop-up shops and market stands. They are in constant communication with their existing customers through Facebook and Instagram. Customer loyalty is so strong that customers now contribute to product photography by submitting posts of themselves wearing their latest Her Pony purchase for use as a product’s main hero image on the online shop. This strategy is an invaluable marketing tool, as these images are authentic and build trust with a user base, as the models featured wearing the clothes are actual Her Pony customers.
After building their social following to around 50,000 people across these platforms Her Pony reached critical mass, and the community element behind the product was able to rapidly expand. The team at Her Pony effectively maintains these social media accounts, posting about fashion industry news, general interest, lifestyle and new products when available.
Direct marketing to your existing customers
Now it’s time to generate further interest in your business and create conversions by actively marketing your new and existing products and services. There are a number of simple ways in which to communicate this with existing customers.
- Send a regular (but not continuous) stream of newsletters to those customers in the database. This is a simple and effective way to inform existing customers about what’s new with your business, build value and get them back on your shop.
- A catchy title that is relevant and interesting to your clients is a must.
- Keep it short and sweet – bombarding them with information can lead to a bad experience.
- Keep track of the customers who aren’t opening your emails and target them less often.
- Use multiple social media platforms in order to connect with customers. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a company blog are just a few ways in which to keep the public informed about the goings-on of your business.
- The rule of three applies – seeing a reference in three different contexts has the ability to influence a customer’s behaviour when implemented effectively.
- Post beautiful high-quality content, and do it frequently.
- Not every paid advertisement needs to be selling something to someone.
- Show customers your interest in them by holding events, such as webinars (web-based seminars). These are interactive online seminars that will get your customers talking about your business and what services and products you offer. Hold face-to-face events so you can give out samples of new and existing products or vouchers for the services you provide.
- Your customers will relate more to you or your sales staff than your website.
- Everyone loves samples of great products.
- Collect testimonials and create an online forum, so you can keep in touch with the needs of your customers, while reminding them that you value their opinion. This is the perfect platform in which to spread word of new developments.
- Build trust and value your customers’ opinions.
- Beware of overreacting or not reacting at all to your customers’ conversations.
- Create a poll or competition to allow your customers to have input into the development of new products and services. What do your customers require and how can your business deliver?
- Information is power – everything you do should revolve around what your customers tell you.
- Harness the power of your own focus groups and research team.
- Think about creating a program where customers can trade their old products for a discount on new products. That way, they’ll source their products from you instead of the competition.
- Lush trades five used plastic tubs for a face mask, killing three birds with one stone – they lower packaging costs, participate in effective recycling and build loyalty.
- Upgradable products are also highly desirable, though not always feasible.
Remember: New content is King
Set a regular schedule to update these platforms, or employ Claridge & Co. to take care of this side of things. If you don’t publicise new products and services, how will your customers know they need them?