There was a time when marketing and sales were considered one in the same. Yet, with advances in technology, traditional business functions have become more granular. In addition, we can segment our target audience in a myriad of ways from location to age to purchase history and more. When it comes to blogging, marketing strategies are focused on obtaining new visitors and maintaining a loyal audience.
While it’s often the case that some bloggers are focused on attracting new visitors, an increasing number of bloggers are turning towards marketing with their current fanbase in mind. This is known as retention marketing, or lifecycle marketing. It is also known as loyalty marketing. The goal is to keep your visitors happy and coming back for more.
Moreover, a study from Bain & Company showed that improving customer retention by only 5% can create somewhere between a 25-95% increase in profits. Furthermore, there is the highly regarded business theory that it’s less expensive to retain customers than it is to spend money on marketing to acquire new ones. So, how can you incorporate retention marketing with your blog? Read on to learn more.
Set your goals and qualifications for success
There’s a popular saying that states: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If increasing visitor retention is one of your priorities this year, then you’re off to a good start. Yet, before you even create your strategy, you must determine what you would like to accomplish and how to measure success.
You probably already have metrics in place for new visitor acquisition. Now, it’s time to measure the value of your fans far beyond their initial purchase. How often do they comment on and like your posts? Are they following you on all of your social media pages?
Loyal fans are the best form of marketing because they will tell their friends and family about you. You can’t be all things to all people. You must stick to the niche your fans want.
Learn as much about your followers as possible
Your fans visit your blog because they feel that you care about their opinions and feedback. Yet, they want you to understand their needs before they have to explain them. In fact, they want to be friends with you. As a result, it’s critical to collect customer data with every single interaction you have. When they post comments, you should respond and ask questions.
Another practice is to send surveys via email and your social networks. Then, you want to create customer personas–based on the information you have gathered. When you understand your market better, you can assess what you need to look for when you want to attract new visitors.
Guest blogging is one of the most successful ways for bloggers to maintain their fan base. Plus, it’s one of the most trusted in terms of link building strategies. Your followers want to know that you are stepping outside the box and reaching out on other platforms.
Of course, just because this is someone else’s blog does not mean you get to skip out on quality. You should continue to write with as much authority and quality as you do for your own site. In return, you can expect to get two to three backlinks when you submit to a blog in your industry.
Furthermore, you should never submit the same post to several blog owners. Your followers will be searching for topics in your niche. When they read your guest blogs they will be more inclined to stick around as they view you as trustworthy and a leader in your field.
Post fewer blogs of higher quality
The Internet is inundated with information. You can find similar topics written and spun many times over. Since we live in an era of instant gratification, many bloggers feel they have to post articles at lightning speed just to remain competitive. Consider this: if you’re churning out sub-par articles, you’ll only drive people away.
It makes much more sense to take a few days–or as long as you need–to produce work that makes you proud. Then, when you develop a reputation for producing relevant and marketable articles, your followers will stick around. This is retention marketing at its finest.
Stick to what you know
One thing many bloggers try to do is to write on anything and everything. Soon, they become an amateur at everything and a master of none. One of the easiest ways to lose your followers is to write on topics that you don’t understand. Some of your followers might be experts on these very topics and humiliate your attempts in the comments section–that would be very bad for business.
In addition, when you try to become the jack-of-all-trades, you end up not doing anything well. Your followers will find a blogger who posts relevant articles in the niche that interests them most. Instead of blogging about anything and everything, focus on your area of expertise. Sure, you might lose followers who want something else.
Yet, if you post incredible articles in one or two areas–you will do a lot more for your retention marketing than posting average articles in 10 or 11 different niches. Focus on your area of expertise, then try to do it much better than every other blogger in your industry.
Get to know your followers
As stated earlier, your followers want to be your friends. They want to feel as if you know them by name. And, if you want them to stick around, then you must develop relationships with them. A common mistake is acting as if some of your followers are more important than others. You must treat everyone equally.
Don’t respond to just three or four of your followers regularly. Even if you like some more than others, it is important to spread the love. If you have consistent visitors and those who stop by periodically, you should focus your attention on as many different visitors as you can. This way, you can retain your current base of followers and make your occasional visitors feel more welcomed to stick around.
Maintaining a successful blog, in a world already filled with data, is no easy feat. It takes continuous effort to post high quality articles that are relevant to your target audience. In addition, you can’t depend on new customers all the time. Instead, focus on retaining your current following for an even larger impact on the popularity of your blog.
About the Author: Ryan Stewart is a marketing expert and owns webris.org