What’s the connection between content and customer lifetime value (CLV)? Some clues and possible answers were revealed in a recent case study from Search Engine Land.
In the study, an e-commerce company pulled down all of its “informational” website content, only to find that organic keyword rankings and domain visibility decreased significantly. And I think there’s an important takeaway here:
Even customers who “are just there to buy something” interact with informational content. This of course provides an opportunity to leverage this informational content to drive CLV.
Here’s a few ideas on how to do just that.
Wait, do I need informational “customer service” content in the first place?
There is some debate around this, especially when it comes down to allocating manpower within, say, the customer experience or contact center organization. Informational content is often treated like a box that needs to be checked in the form of basic documentation or an FAQ. Yet, As the Search Engine Land case study shows, the company in question regained much of its lost rankings and domain visibility after restoring its informational content.
First and foremost, this kind of “customer service” content provides an easy way to support customers through self-service. When people have questions, they Google it, and the volume of people who self-serve this way can be significant. For large brands, the ability to deflect case volume through effortless self-service is too valuable to fail to provide publicly searchable informational content.
So, how do I use content to drive CLV?
That alone—the ability for customers to find informational content through Google—brings a lot of value to the customer journey. It’s easier than calling support, first and foremost. When successful, this kind of self-service experience can even help build brand affinity.
Yet, there is an opportunity to take things a step further here and drive even more value when your customers click through to informational content.
1. Don’t overlook the “pre-purchase” mentality
Beyond post-sale customer service needs, people sometimes look for informational content while evaluating a product or service before making a purchase. This might include research around features and functionality and competitor comparisons. Does your informational content signal to this “pre-purchase” crowd that they’ll be well supported and successful after hitting “buy”?
2. Create a seamless journey with click paths
After someone arrives at a knowledge base article, for example, why not provide additional opportunities to explore other customer service pages or even commercial content that could add value to their specific customer journey?
One way to do that is to create continuity between the primary “marketing” site and your dedicated customer service page. How? Consistent look and feel throughout, as well as click paths that make it easy for customers to move between each web property seamlessly.
3. Add CTAs customers can get value from
Some organizations are examining the customer journey for specific pieces of informational content and strategically adding “commercial” CTAs that might bring value. For example, an appliance manufacturer that knows its visitors to the “how to fix the refrigerator filter” article will likely need a replacement filter, they can give those visitors a way to easily order that replacement right in the flow of their self-service journey.
Remember to “always bring value”
If nothing else, the Search Engine Land case study shows that the line between informational content and “commercial” content is somewhat blurred. People can start or finish in both places, going from “I need to buy something” to “I have a question” and vice versa.
Still, the two worlds don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The common denominator is creating value for customers. If we can keep that in mind in our approach, we can find new and impactful ways to drive CLV with our informational content.