The first exercise I do with a new client is walk them through the stages of customer engagement: acquisition, assimilation, retention, and attrition. This is a standard outline for any continuity program analysis. There is a beginning and end to every relationship—whether you’re talking business-to-business or business-to-consumer.
My goal is to identify where the weak points are along the spectrum of engagement. Those areas are the greatest opportunities for impact through content strategy. The two areas that most organizations—even one-person consulting firms—struggle with are acquisition and retention. Thus, most of the content I create drives these two essential engines.
Acquisition is sometimes referred to as lead generation. If I can create and execute a content strategy that will boost the number of exposures, then I can assume that I’ll also boost the number of new clients. Acquisiton is the lifeblood of any business. I have yet to talk to anyone who doesn’t want a bigger pipeline feeding their revenue stream.
Retention is staying engaged with people who have already benefited form what you have to offer. Perhaps you have another service or an additional product to offer existing clients or customers who already trust your brand and have first-hand knowledge of your company. The cost of acquiring and assimilating a new account is high. It only makes sense to stay engaged with those you can for as long as you can; doing so will multiply your revenue and create a more stable environment.
Content strategy and development must drive revenue for your clients. Otherwise, it’s just more clutter. I’m insanely focused on the results of what I write and produce—maybe even more so that the piece itself. I want my clients to be successful, and writing sentences that don’t create dollars isn’t a sustainable strategy for me or for my clients.
When you tie your content to revenue growth:
- You provide measurable value.
- You become part of the growth engine of the organization.
- You create more opportunity to create more content.
The feedback I love hearing is when my clients tell me a content campaign helped them do things like:
- Shorten sales cycles
- Increase total revenue
- Improve lead generation and conversion rates
The key is to write content that converts leads into clients or customers and existing accounts into long-term relationships. Without the ability to do that, you’re dead in the water.
Have you had an exceptional experience where you used content to drive revenue growth? I’d love to hear about it and what you learned in the process.
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.