(image created by AI) An interesting study by the New Columbia Business School finds that…
Loyalty Marketing is about rewarding behavior to influence behavior. Contrary to what most people – and that includes marketers – think, rewards do not (should not) only be points or discounts. Rewards often can be status (and most often is called gamification in that case), privileges or service. These three overlap. Providing content is an important part of that, because providing content can fulfill multiple goals in one action. For example, when the content is (still) exclusive, access to it provides a reward and it can influence the buyer through the information itself. A double whammy.
Marketers however always sigh softly when the topic of Content Marketing arrives at the table while designing a loyalty program. Content Marketing is important, no doubt, but it also costs effort, especially producing content at scale. The thought of personalizing content for different target groups freaks out many of the Marketers I meet, especially when somebody (usually me) mentions micro-targeting.
So, how do you tackle that as CMO, marketer or – worst case – the marketing intern?
Don’t worry. It’s doable. VEMT presents 6 valuable hacks to support you creating content at scale to enable that important part of your Loyalty strategy.
Hack 1: Use The MyAccountPages to offer (automated) Customized Content.
Because the MyAccountPages in the VEMT platform can serve as highly personalized website, you can use them to serve customized content to each individual customer, member or buyer. A standardized example we include for each of our clients is the MyDealsPage or MyOffersPage (each client likes to call this differently) in which we show highly personalized content based on rules (Persuaders) to each member. It’s even possible to mix this with generic content, that in this context gets a bit more value because it is specifically presented to this unique member. If you want to change Deals with Stories, Experiences, Community News or whatever type of content you have in mind, it’s all possible.
In the B2B context, you can show contact data of the account manager, his/her latest posts and regional or local information for that relationship. Presenting sector information is a logic addition.
The default timeline that shows individual events in the member’s history is another form of automatically generated and highly personalized content that will take efforts away from your content marketing team. Want to add stories to the timeline? No problem. Want to add events of friends in the timeline, so the social media effect is emphasized? Possible. Want to show when emails are sent and even make their content available in a historic context, so members can find them back in case they missed them? Piece of cake. Pictures and descriptions from your webshop at every purchase, including a replenishment button? Of course.
Because of all of this (automated) content you offer your members, you already offer quite a basis before you even start producing more, which means there’s always something available, and it’s always personalized and thus relevant.
Hack 2: Offer Interactive Content
Leveraging interactive content is a great way to create highly-targeted loyalty content with minimal work. VEMT offers an interactive content module to be able offer members (and visitors) scans they can walk through. The result delivers advise tailored to their needs and a way to get more contact data on top of that. This data contains more than an email address: you have access to the data they entered in the scan as well, enabling you to build a detailed customer profile from the start of your journey together.
Interactive content also enables you to show your expertise and added value, much more than passive content like (downloadable) white papers or blog posts.
This sounds more difficult than it is. VEMT can help you put together a module fast. With that you are creating interactive and relevant content (which will already help you stand out), for key prospects, plus you gather data about their preferences.
Hack 3: Leverage Partners to Offer More Content
Joint content creation with partners is another way to save the day. This is often simpler than it looks. As a multi-brand retailer, you can work together with your brands. And as a brand, you can work as your outlets to deliver some local content so you can add information on your site that will attract local search traffic as well and differentiate from brands that don’t.
But there are other partners to be approached as well. Check your list of strategic partners to determine who might have expertise in a market, an industry, or location. If there’s nothing, joining forces to create together saves effort and costs. Agree on who will write, who will design, etc, and then create! The newly created content can benefit both.
Hack 4: Update, Recycle, Repurpose
That ‘how-to’ of 2 years ago…is that still relevant for your current target groups? Probably it is, even if it needs some polishing. The seasonal interest article on tips of ‘how to get through the winter’, would that be so much different 3 years later?
If you organize your content well, you can re-use, re purpose probably around 40-50% of it in due time, which decreases your efforts hugely in after some time. Probably you will find materials already very quickly, providing you enough extra time now to organize yourself even more for the future.
Hack 5: Buy Content (smartly)
I hear you think: that content is either too expensive or doesn’t have the quality. But that is not necessarily true. Ordering a 300 word article in Vietnam for $1 might not be the path to Content Marketing success, but there are usually better sources close by. Approach an (online) editor, magazine or community and discuss repurposing their content on your site. Interest articles, specialized content or manuals/how-to’s might get a new life with an introduction focused at your target group, in your newly created context or for your target group. It’s less effort to update a text, than it is to write one, and it’s certainly less effort to re-use pictures or videos than to search for them and arrange copyrights again.
Your network and creativity will save you here.
Hack 6: User Generated Content
Let your customers ‘do the work’ and get unique and diverse content. Organize campaigns, or even better, a constant flow of user contributions that you will only have to curate, rather than create. It’ll save you time, increase member engagement and it will probably raise your share levels as well, when you enable each contributor to share his/her created content in their networks.
Think about ‘how I look wearing the product’, ‘how I perform using the product’, ‘my best experiences with the product’, ‘the people I met during the trip’. VEMT’s review module even adds user generated content in a standardized format which is SEO optimized.
Why would people contribute? Well, that’s why you have a loyalty program in place: you can reward each contribution smartly and generate a constant valuable stream of content.
Loyalty Marketing can be improved by Content Marketing and vice versa. Any marketer will recognize that. Organizing that content becomes just a bit easier and cheaper with these smart hacks to create content in different ways without having to build a ton of personalized content from scratch. Call us if you want more of these ideas or need support to execute them. We can get you up and running fast.