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Businesses are always searching for more customers.
While there are so many different ways to attract and retain them, content marketing is one of the best methods – that’s why we talk about this all the time here at Melotti Media.
The question is: how exactly do you use content marketing effectively?
In today’s ever-expanding and dynamic marketplace, the needs of your customers are evolving. This makes marketing a challenging exercise, especially when trying to meet your customers’ expectations, and can result in your brand becoming lost in a sea of competitors, struggling to stay afloat.
Effective content marketing is not about attracting high quantities of customers simply to increase your chances for success. Rather, it’s about taking the time to understand exactly how your audience feels about your business. That way, you can begin to tailor your marketing to suit their needs – regardless of where they may stand in the customer journey.
One of the most efficient ways to do this is to build your own customer loyalty ladder.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the customer loyalty ladder and outline how you can use it to your advantage while developing your content marketing strategy.
What is the customer loyalty ladder?
The customer loyalty ladder is a marketing concept that allows you to clearly identify and assess your relationship with each of your customers.
It relies on analysing the level of engagement that your customers have with your brand, and using this information to find the right marketing techniques to effectively connect with them.
Similar to the concept of the customer journey, the loyalty ladder works on the premise that not all customers are the same. In fact, each have varying needs and require different strategies to build a connection.
The customer loyalty ladder has seven stages:
- Raving Fans
Ultimately, your goal is to drive your suspects all the way up the ladder until they become raving fans – that is, the type of customer who, by telling everyone about you, does your marketing and sales for you with no prompting at all.
Why should you aim to drive your customers up the loyalty ladder?
As a general rule, the higher up a customer is on the loyalty ladder, the less they cost your business in marketing spend and the more valuable they are to your bottom line.
This is because those people high on the ladder are often repeat customers, making up the bulk of your sales and helping with your marketing through word-of-mouth and testimonials.
On the other end of the scale, your customers on the lower rungs typically require more intensive marketing, education and use of resources to demonstrate your value to them and build brand awareness.
Your customers are changing. So must you!
Nowadays, customers aren’t just looking for a business to get their products or services from. They’re looking for a reputable brand that they can build a genuine connection with.
In other words, they’re looking for a brand that will treat them like a person, not a dollar figure.
If your business fails to take the time to build these relationships and move your customers up the loyalty ladder, you’ll spend a lot more money perpetually marketing to those customers on the lower rungs – this is incredibly inefficient.
It’s clear that taking the time to guide your customers along the journey and drive them up the loyalty ladder offers many benefits for your brand.
How does the customer loyalty ladder work?
As mentioned, the customer loyalty ladder consists of seven stages:
Your suspects are those customers who have a need for your products or services, but are yet to learn anything about your brand. Content marketing strategies that focus on generating brand awareness are most effective at this stage.
This is the hardest and most costly step for your brand because you need to use more resources and put in a lot of effort to make a great first impression – however, it’s an essential step to start creating a pipeline.
These people see your brand and interact with your content marketing, but are yet to purchase any of your products or services.
At this step, you should utilise conversion content marketing to give your prospects the motivation they need to move up a rung and become shoppers.
This step is critical.
Shoppers are those customers who have just purchased one of your products or services for the first time. So it’s crucial to ensure they have a great customer experience to encourage repeat business.
These are your repeat, ongoing customers. They’ve been pleased with your offerings and your customer experience so far, and regularly make use of your products or services. As long as you continue to meet their expectations, they will eventually move up to the next stage.
Your member customers feel a sense of connection with your brand. They’re very pleased with your experience and make use of your loyalty programs, packages and subscriptions.
This is the first stage of true brand loyalty.
Advocates are those customers who love to tell other people about your brand. They think highly of your products or services and they take any relevant opportunity to let friends, family and colleagues know.
They are your source of free and effective word-of-mouth marketing.
7. Raving Fans
Finally, at the top of your ladder, you’ve got the type of customer that every brand wants – a raving fan.
These customers don’t need to be marketed to. They will buy your products or services simply because they love them.
They go beyond doing your marketing like an advocate. Now, they perform your sales for you, because they convert people! Like a true fan, they will rave about your brand and convert your suspects and prospects into paying customers all by themselves.
How do you categorise your customers on the loyalty ladder?
Now you know what the loyalty ladder is, the next step is determining which of your customers sit at what level of your ladder.
Here at Melotti Media, we use a customer matrix that allows us to better understand our clients and their individual needs. This works by asking three simple questions:
- When did we last contact this client?
- How do they feel about us?
- What else can we do for them?
By answering these questions, we develop a bespoke marketing strategy that appeals to our clients’ needs and guides them further up the loyalty ladder.
How can you increase customer loyalty through content marketing?
Wherever your customers may stand on the loyalty ladder, there is a content marketing strategy that will appeal to them.
Once you understand how your customers are engaging with your brand, you can begin to formulate an effective strategy that will empower your brand to deliver the right content to the right customers.
This ensures that you are taking the right steps to guide your customers up the loyalty ladder, using content marketing to convert your suspects into raving fans of your brand.
How can Melotti Media help you?
To better connect with your audience and move your customers from suspects to raving fans, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content.
However, we understand that you’re probably feeling a little time-poor or spread thin, and it’s possible that you still have a lot of unanswered questions. Or you may just hate writing!
That’s okay because our team can help you by doing all of your copywriting for you!
At Melotti Media, we utilise our tried and tested copywriting approach to help you with your content marketing needs while you focus on what matters most to you – growing your business.
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words to achieve your goals today.
For more information or to speak to a trusted copywriter, contact us now at email@example.com.