Content Marketing: Not Just for Lead Generation

Huge Blinders by emilio labrador, on Flickr

Marketing organizations often focus all of their time and budgets on generating new leads. But by wearing “lead generation” blinders, you lose sight of the bigger picture. Getting customers is important, but keeping them is essential to long-term business success. Marketing needs to expand its focus to include customers after the sale.

Think I’m overstating the case? Open View Partners published this terrific infographic of stats about B2B content marketing. Reading these stats, you cannot help but notice the focus on lead generation. This point in particular stuck out: 84% of B2B marketers said that brand awareness was their top content marketing goal.

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B2B marketers are replacing advertising with content marketing. Great, but there’s so much more they could be doing. Content marketing has an important role to play after the sale, nurturing customers.

What happens to customers when you grow?
Also in the news recently was this article in Fortune about the shutdown of Homejoy, a cleaning services marketplace startup. The article’s author, Ellen Huit, suggests that the company never figured out how to retain its customers. It kept spending on acquiring new customers, which made it look like a hot startup. But its retention rates hovered around 15-20 percent. The story illustrates the dangers of focusing exclusively on acquiring customers, without a model for keeping them over time. The risk is particularly acute for startups chasing fast growth.

After writing about this topic in the book Subscription Marketing, I’m continuing to hunt out examples of content marketing after the sale and sharing them with the members of the Subscription Marketing email group. Even if you’re not marketing a subscription-based solution, every marketer can learn something from successful subscription businesses.

If you have great examples or suggestions you’d like to share, let me know in the comments or by email. Thanks!

Image:
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  emilio labrador 

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