Elegant content strategies map to all touchpoints of the experience, even after the sale. (via)
Manufacturers and their marketers expend a lot of time and effort on brand sites designed to entice consumers to make purchases. But what happens after a site visitor converts from prospect to customer? Is your company, or your client, expending as much effort to strengthen ties with existing owners? Have you developed a content strategy that addresses owner’s needs?
Not only are loyal, satisfied owners your best source of future customers, many of them serve as unpaid brand ambassadors who help attract additional buyers through favorable word of mouth. Why then are so many post-purchase, or owner, sites treated as afterthoughts and populated with repurposed print owner manuals and pitches to buy the next new model? Content strategy principles should not be limited to brand sites alone; they must be developed to support the entire consumer purchase lifecycle.
After more than a dozen years of working on a number of consumer product research, shopping, buying and owning sites, I have found the following three content strategy principles to be most effective for post-purchase sites:
1. Adopt a publishing mindset
Business owners should act as publishers and content managers as editors
From the selection of the content management system through the creation of the Content Strategy Brief, the owner property should not be treated as a static entity that is refreshed only during periodic rebranding intiatives. Owner sites that do not receive regular care and feeding risk becoming time capsules and, even worse, irrelevant to visitors.
2. Deliver the right information at the right time
Customers need advice and support at many different points during the product-ownership lifecycle
Serving owners a welcome page after they register for the post-purchase site is a good start, but give considerable thought to the types of information that are most useful immediately after a purchase is made, a year afterward or even after warranty coverage has ended. Even owners of the same product purchased at different times, or those purchased at the same time by first-time versus repeat buyers, will have dramatically different needs when it comes to user assistance and customer support content.
3. Content can be both user-centric and support business goals
Align content goals, page purpose and business objectives; establish metrics that directly measure the impact of the content strategy
Manufacturers build owner sites for one reason – to sell more products in the future. Not only do these sites need to benefit owners, they should help manufacturers develop a stronger relationship with these customers. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be established to ensure that the content strategy is meeting both user and business goals
A content strategy that acknowledges the specific needs of each owner segment should result in good KPIs and in reaching the ultimate site goal – creating a more loyal and engaged owner.