Long ago Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, made a very profound observation that has been lost in the sands of time:

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

No matter how technological advance, fast paced, outsourced, mission-driven or lean businesses become, the company of tomorrow will remain focused on this simple fact.

You have read 300 times by now how important content is in today’s marketing mix.  But with all the hype and hoopla about content marketing, unfortunately it’s being interpreted as “create more content.” The truth is your business doesn’t need more content, in fact you may be drowning in it.

Today I’m offering businesses of all sizes the opportunity to bring clarity into their office or board room. I’d like to start by making a very profound observation around content:

“The purpose of content is to help create and keep a customer.”

On a strategic level, content must mean more than a blog post, visual, status update or tweet. You must think about your content achieving a business goal or objective – ultimately finding ways for it to create awareness, trust, educate and convert a customer. Building an asset to provide you with a return over time.

Here are some ideas to get you started on creating and keeping customers with content:

Suspect Content – Everyone in your target market

When your entire target market is not aware of your company, product, service or the benefit it offers, then the first objective of content is to simply build trust.

Trust can be built through:

  • Blogs
  • Testimonials
  • Customer Reviews
  • Articles

At the heart of every transaction is TRUST and in general, trust is what’s in short supply. If more people trust you, everything else will fall into place.

There’s a really big gap between someone being aware of you (which is really hard) and someone trusting you, enough to invest in you or buy from you.

Prospect Content – Anyone who has taken action to solve a problem that you can assist them with

There’s an huge difference between awareness and action. Putting something in the world for awareness is useless if it doesn’t lead to taking action.

As the market begins to trust you and competition increasing in that market. Prospects will compare you on price unless you give them a differentiation….your unique process, your solution, your message and your approach.

At this stage you need to you need to educate about that differentiation:

  • Special Reports
  • Information Packed Guide
  • Marketing Kit
  • Seminar

People want to be educated not sold. They will sell themselves if you just commit to educating.

Customer Content – A person or organization that has bought products or services from you

You’ve done all this work attracting and educating now show your customers how to get the most out of what they just bought. This builds loyalty and community.

  • How-to Information
  • New Customer Guide
  • Workshops
  • Q&A Sessions

This is were most organizations stop their content marketing but you should continue it if you want keep customers and create repeat sales.

Advocate Content – A person or organization that tells others and basically sells for you

The last stage of content that creates and keeps a customer is one that’s often overlooked. Ultimately, great content has the ability to help your raving fans spread the word, increase awareness, generate leads and convert prospects .

  • Referral certificate or coupon
  • Access to “behind the scenes” content
  • Customer appreciation events
  • Referable emails

The BIG takeaway is that you must change the way you think and approach your content strategy – you must think more in terms of content helping you create and keep a customer (awareness, trust-building, educating and conversion).