Subscription-based businesses can take advantage of many communication efforts to better serve your customers, including a variety of content formats and chatbots. Each one serves a unique purpose, driving prospects through the customer journey with helpful information.
To develop an effective content strategy, you first need to have refined messaging guidelines, as these are the base of your content strategy. This is because your content strategy should focus on meeting the needs of (and answering questions for) each audience segment in all three tiers of your business. By creating content for all three tiers, you are helping attract leads, convert leads into paying customers, and retaining those paying customers. When you know what questions you need to answer and what tutorials your audience segments need, it’s easier to develop a content strategy and calendar. The how is the strategy; the when is the calendar.
Before creating content, develop a list of questions you want to answer for each audience segment. Then create a plan to address each of these questions over the next few months. This is the beginning of your content calendar.
In your content calendar, be sure to include the types of content you’ll create and where you will distribute them. Pinterest and YouTube are great social media platforms for content distribution because content on those platforms are not primarily used by date, but instead, by topic and interest.
Tip: Content should primarily be used to help create a better customer experience in all tiers. The content itself will also play a strong role in generating relevant traffic via on-page SEO efforts.
TYPES OF CONTENT
Subscription-based businesses have a lot of content types to pursue, but choosing where to publish will be determined by where your audience spends their time, and how much time you have to create and distribute content.
- Blog articles
- Podcasts (Either host one, be a guest speaker, or both)
- Webinars (Free on social media or gated)
- Guides (Usually used as lead magnets)
- Vendor comparisons
- Case studies
These pieces of content can generally target one or more audience segments, so be sure to solve your audience’s biggest pain points wherever they are in the customer journey through your content.
The best part about creating content that addresses your audience’s pain points is that you can use one piece of content to develop multiple pieces of content. For example, you can create a blog article, ebook, email (in a sequence), video, and podcast episode all focused on one topic with the same general content (words) but dressed up into different formats. Each format will still benefit your audience in different ways while addressing their unique needs, such as a preference for reading or listening to an article.
Tip: Create headlines that answer questions to your audience’s problems.
Tip: Feature your customers in your content. This goes beyond a testimonial by providing more insight into how that specific person or business uses your products or services, and how it benefits them.
Chatbots are an ideal and cost-effective customer service solution for subscription-based businesses. A chatbot helps lower operations costs by providing 24/7 customer service and focusing on the simpler requests of your audience. We recommend creating a chatbot for your website. (If you have a Facebook account, you can also set up a Facebook Messenger bot.) You decide whether you want it to help prospects walk through the customer journey by answering their questions, or by helping customers use your services by answering their questions and performing various tasks. To decide this, think about your prospects’ and customers’ common questions. Can most of them be distilled into a list? Or does either audience commonly ask complex questions? If most of their questions are routine for your customer service representatives, consider creating a chatbot. Then consider which tiers will benefit most by using the chatbot or if they all will.
You can also decide whether you want a fully-automated chatbot or one that can push your prospects and customers to a live representative for further help. That will, again, be determined by the audience’s common questions and whether or not you have customer service representatives. However, you can use a fully-automated chatbot and include an option to direct prospects to a customer service email or phone number.
To build a chatbot, there are many solutions for you to consider. Based on your intent for the chatbot, you will know what basic content to have in the conversation. We recommend using short-form, Q&A content to lead your audience through a conversation in order to figure out what their needs are and answer them.
On a consistent basis, such as quarterly, visit your chatbot analytics to see if there are any updates that need to be made to the conversation. Updates can include additional topics being added to the conversation that come up for your live customer service representatives or topics that see high drop-off rates, indicating the message in the conversation is too long or unhelpful.
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