Consumers who gain some form of value from a retailer's published content, whether or not it's directly related to a product or service, are much more willing to engage with that retailer again and again, according to a study by loyalty and marketing agency Customer Communications Group (CCG). This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study has identified four key ways in which retailers can shape or re-shape their consumer-facing content to reach further and build greater loyalty among both prospects and existing customers. For example, research from the CMO Council found that more than 60% of consumers want content beyond special offers, seeking information about new products, features and services from the brands they follow.

"The link between content and customer loyalty is clear," said Sandra Gudat, president and CEO for Customer Communications Group. The four key ways retailers can help customers gain value are as follows:

  1. Get Personal
    Relevance is the key: connecting content to the wants and needs of your individual customers. In other words, it's what your customers want to read - not what you want to say. To best align your content programme with individual consumers, leverage customer data to understand their preferences - then continually create new and innovative ways to benefit them.
  2. Be Credible
    Your content should help guide and educate. When it comes to marketing your products or services, your customers should feel they are more like partners than mere sales targets. Even if consumers don't have the immediate need for a particular product or service, you can keep yourself top of mind by branding yourself as the one they should contact when they are ready to move forward.
  3. Stoke the Emotional Connection
    Loyalty can be thought of as an emotion that's strengthened over time through customer experience. By offering consistent, relevant messaging across multiple channels, you are strengthening that connection with every communication. Do this, and over time customers begin to feel personally valued by your business.
  4. Keep it Insightful, Educational, and Abundant
    The old adage "quality, not quantity" is only partly true when it comes to loyalty-building content. Today's consumers expect both. They are hungrier than ever for insightful, engaging information that can help them make sound decisions. And with increasingly ever-present social media, there are more ways to supply your customers with the content they're looking for. So will they satisfy their craving with a competitor - or with you?

Find out more about measure content marketing success and many other content marketing tips and strategies that build loyalty and boost the bottom line, read CCG's Guide to Content Marketing at The company's 2015 Guide to Content Marketing has been made available for free download from its web site - click here (zipped PDF document; no registration needed).