When you consider that it can cost five times as much to gain a new customer than it does to retain the ones you have, customer retention ends up looking like a really good investment. Plus, repeat customers on average spend 67% more per purchase than a first-time customer.

Getting repeat customers is one of the benefits of relationship marketing. When you build long-term relationships with your consumers you build customer loyalty.

How do you build long-term relationships?

  • Listen to what your audience wants, needs and desires and then deliver it to them
  • Provide a stellar customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey
  • Use content to educate and engage customers and grow loyalty

Although the ultimate goal of content marketing is to improve sales, the path to get there is through the relationships you build. You nurture those relationships with content.

This isn’t a quick-and-dirty marketing scheme — relationship marketing is a long-term commitment with long-term payoffs.

Know Your Customers to Create Content that Connects

Whether your content is a how-to or a technical piece or anything in between, it must connect with your audience. When the content you distribute resonates with your clientele, it builds trust in your brand, nurtures relationships and builds community. Loyal customers who have faith in your brand will extend your marketing efforts when they circulate and share your content with their own network if they find the info valuable (or even entertaining).

The only way to ensure that you are delivering content your audience values is to truly LISTEN to them. This is why I always “get under the hood” of my clients’ businesses to take a deep dive to understand who we’re marketing to in the Diagnostic stage of my strategic consulting process.

Timely and Personalized Content

Another key to building trust and loyalty with your customers is to deliver targeted content — that is, the right content delivered to the right people at the right time.

Thanks to consumer-first martech and automation, access to customer data and the tools needed to deliver personalized content are available for companies of any size to leverage. Two-thirds of marketers confirmed their top marketing automation goal was to speak to their customers in a more relevant way, and I believe this is a step in the right direction for building better customer relationships.

Say goodbye to generic mass email marketing, and shift to targeted communications that provide value to your consumer because you recognize them as an individual. Reaching out to customers and asking for their feedback on your products, services and operations shows them you value their ideas and opinions — and it also gives you valuable voice-of-the-customer data.

This data is what makes more targeted content marketing possible — and targeted communications grow the relationship with your customer better than any generic message ever will. It’s no accident that 70% of companies rated best-in-class for customer experience use customer feedback.

Content powered by data is a mighty thing.

Content that Builds Relationships is Customer Focused

When you’re building a content strategy with long-term customer relationships in mind, the focus needs to be on the customer. Consider:

  • What type of content would be valuable to the customer?
  • What content would evoke a positive emotional response?
  • Where should you distribute your content to reach your best customers?

Relationship marketing success isn’t fueled by sales-focused content. It’s driven by the value you can give your customer. Content can be the bridge that supports strong customer relationships and a loyal community for your brand.