Acceptance of content marketing among B2B marketers has grown in recent years. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of B2Bs now use some kind of content marketing to acquire new business. But content marketing isn’t just a tactic that can bring B2Bs new business. When used intelligently, it can also help them manage, enhance, and deepen relationships with existing customers. In this respect, content marketing has an important CRM (Customer Relationship Management) dimension that shouldn’t be ignored.
Here are some concrete ways that content marketing can strengthen B2B CRM:
- Helping to Avoid “Buyer’s Remorse.”Complex, high-consideration buying decisions are often afflicted by what’s termed “Buyer’s Remorse” after the contract is signed. While some residual level of buyer’s remorse is often present post-purchase, given human psychology, marketers can take steps to deflect/redirect this negative emotion by supplying buyers with a steady stream of supportive content illustrating how to get the most out of their newly acquired product or service.
- Converting ordinary buyers to extraordinary “members.”The job of marketing doesn’t conclude once a B2B converts a prospect into a buyer, but its tone and temper can and should shift into a lower gear. A new client wants to be treated as a special individual, and content marketing gives you a channel to make him/her feel more like a member of an exclusive club than an ordinary buyer. Content marketing mechanisms that can enable this include periodic email messaging, educational webinars, and customized alerts. The idea behind this CRM tactic is to reinforce – on a regular basis – the concept that your firm is “in the know” and — more importantly – is serious about catering to its prized “members.”
- Upselling/Cross-selling.While it’s a rookie blunder to aggressively sell to those who’ve already been sold to, there’s nothing wrong with illustrating – in a neutral, informative manner – the benefits of upgrading/accessorizing/enhancing the product or service, especially if new technology is available to make it work better.
The Value of Content-Driven CRM
Client/customer acquisition is typically the most expensive single cost borne by any business, and content marketing has a key role to play in reducing these costs. But its auxiliary role as CRM-enhancer shouldn’t be overlooked. Properly curated and intelligently distributed, content can play an expanded role in CRM, making it stronger, timelier, and more effective. While you may have to design your own custom metrics to make your case to management, factoring in the multiple benefits of content marketing – especially its CRM dimension — can get it more respect in the C-suite.