Being a valuable resource to your customers is one of the most effective customer retention tactics you can undertake. Do it right, and you can increase engagement, build stronger relationships and even uncover new business opportunities. Do it wrong, and you could harm customer relationships by degrading trust or annoying the very people you want to engage.

You can demonstrate value to your customers through content marketing. A content marketing program lets you educate your customers on key topics and demonstrate your expertise, while creating a personal connection between your company and your customers.

To get the most out of your customer content program, here are some dos and don’ts for developing content that engages customers.

DON’T: Make it about you

Content that is promotional, one-sided, subjective, boring, calculating or generic doesn’t speak to the customer’s needs. Even if your intentions are good, the “all about me” approach is a relationship nonstarter.  Content only works as a customer retention tactic if it adds value for customers. In sales, you need to show prospects you are adding value, and the same is true when you’re communicating with your customers.  Make it about you, and your customers will be turned off. Make it about them, and you’ll create lasting relationships.

DO: Further your customers’ agenda

People are inherently selfish. They want to read content that serves their personal interests and goals. To customers, valuable content:

  • Informs them of a problem in their industry or business
  • Educates them about trends, technologies or tools to help them do business
  • Helps them solve a problem
  • Interests them

Take an honest look at the next piece of content you’d like to send to your customer, and ask yourself: Why does my customer care about this? Am I sending this content for the customer’s benefit, or for mine?

DON’T: Forget about engagement

It’s easy for companies to revert to bad habits in ongoing communications with customers. Over time, customer service visits can turn into asks for referrals or testimonials. Emails and status calls become opportunities to upsell customers or promote your latest product.

If you’re not also providing customer-centric content, sending overly salesy content can compromise even your best relationships if customers feel like you take their business for granted.

DO: Make it a conversation

Unlike a sales pitch, content marketing works best when you engage in a conversation with your customers. Both you and your customers should be contributing to and getting value from the exchange.

Once you share a piece content, find ways to keep the conversation going. Invite feedback, direct customers to more information, share resources or offer a solution – especially if that solution is you. As author Pratik Dholakiya writes in “Marketing Land,” “Focus all your time and effort on value. Inform and educate your customers. Give behind-the-scenes solutions. How else will they know how awesome you are?”

Contact us for more tips on how to use content as a customer retention tactic.