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3.5 Content Marketing Tips for Subscription-Based Websites

Sorin Despot By Sorin Despot

Different types of content can be used all throughout the buyer's journey to help with market education, increasing revenue, and the general understanding of the business value brought on by your online endeavour.

Throghout this articIe, I outline the types of content required for three crucial customer journey stages, what makes the content great, and how you can both assess and maintain the quality of your content:

  1. Lead Generation

  2. Subscription Renewals

  3. Account Growth & Upselling Tactics

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Lead Generation

Establishing the required types of content must be preceded by and correlated with an attentive look at the available acquisition channels suitable for this fairly difficult online business endeavour of ours.

I cannot emphasise this enough: the nature of the business and the market it is operating in will ultimately weigh a lot in deciding which channels to choose and which types of content to develop.

Even so, here is my take on it. Every one of the digital channels available needs to be tested and then scaled up once the data shows promising results. Here’s a quick breakdown containing three possible channels and the correlated content types:

Paid Advertising & PPC

The bread and butter of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are the Ads (placed on Google, SM channels, paid media) and the Landing Page. The Ad can be a banner on some relevant news website or even a video, but what will ultimately make the difference is that landing page.

What will make the landing page significant to the users is the fact that it will point out their `Pain.` Then, it will paint a vision of how awesome it would be to get rid of that Pain - it will outline the Dream - and it will present the Ultimate Fix.

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Oh, yeah, and we will also thoroughly optimise it for conversion. More on that later. And it will have a relevant, compelling, and irresistible call to action, such as ‘I am in!’ or `Sign me up!`, just like this one:

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Owned and Friendly Media

Blog, blog, and blog some more. On the company blog, on affiliate blogs, on the blogs of influencers and industry aficionados, and even some content-hungry media outlets, there is always a way to get through to potential customers with valuable, enticing, educational, and entertaining long-form content.

What indeed makes a difference here is a mix of great search engine optimisation (SEO) and convertion rate optimisation (CRO) practices. I’ve repeated this throughout multiple articles on the Twispay blog, but it’s worth mentioning again and again:

SEO and CRO are meant to work hand in hand.

Awesome Social Media Strategies and Planning

In one of our previous articles I wrote something along these lines:

Consistent social media (SM) strategies allow digital marketers to fashion trusting, loyal relationships with potential and existing clients, especially since SM platforms have become overriding swayers of buyer behaviour. In a nutshell, social media strategies are multi-channel communication playbooks.

UX Design

Although somewhat simplistic, the analogy between SM strategies and playbooks points out the main reason behind the need for strategic planning: competition. We compete against other companies and for market share and market growth. We strive to capture the attention and imagination of the public. Feel free to cite me on this one:

In the digital age, the SM strategy is an essential multi-channel communication playbook that creates opportunities for capitalising on visibility.

So, a great social media plan and contextually intriguing content will get you quite far, if some persistence is applied.

Wait, There Is More!

Other channels to consider when trying out lead generation tactics are affiliate marketing and programmatic media buying platforms, plain-old PR, both on and offline, and, of course, the app ecosystem and distribution channels provided by Android and iOS.

Other content types that may ultimately persuade a customer to take a closer look at your offer and reach for the credit card include case studies, whitepapers, webinars, slide decks, ebooks, infographics, podcasts, and the good-old trusty email chain.

Subscription Renewals

These are tricky. The main thing to keep in mind is that the content efforts needed to keep a customer happy should not suddenly intensify around their contract renewal dates.

That is just rude!

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Regarding retention tactics, here is my advice. Focus on staged traffic and `speed to aha,` send your customers an email every once in a while, either to announce a product release or just to say `Happy Birthday.`

Useful, meaningful, cool alerts and notifications will also add to their satisfaction. Increase value for your loyal users and present that increased value as a natural evolution of their relationship with your products and services.

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Community building also goes a long way vis-à-vis retention. We do that with great how-to blogs, excellent API documentation, nifty Software Development Kits (SDKs), and to-the-point customer support. Every single bit of customer-facing content needs to be considerate, useful, and enjoyable.

Moreover, when a customer leaves, try implementing an exit interview. Those qualitative insights will surely dictate your next steps. Those nasty churn rates can drive a subscription-based website into the ground, so never neglect RETENTION.

Account Growth & Upselling Tactics

For this sort of endeavour, most product enhancement tactics will do the trick, as long as they do not annoy your customers through excessive exposure. I have found that a particular tactic has worked best, so my go-to move is as follows:

I create sales content that incentivises current customers to deepen the relationship with my company and let the sales team use it in direct sales initiatives.

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However, I suppose there is a lot that we can try, including implementing game theory tactics into the user experience and creating exclusive offers.

We would present these unique offers through landing pages and tidy emails, enticing the existing user to explore more possibilities of making use of our products and services, and, ultimately, we could assist them in finding concrete ways of capitalising on the extra investment in our solutions.

More on this in one of our next articles. Stay tuned!

Let's Wrap Up!

Subscription-based eCommerce is on the rise and subscribers will continue to research their subscriptions of choice online, so it is quite important for your company to understand their online behaviour.

Key pieces of content should be properly correlated with effective practices such as those presented to you in this article.

Moreover, there are certain times of the year, week and day when you need to correlate your digital marketing efforts with your sales efforts to maximise your ability to turn website conversions into paying subcribers.

All in all, all efforts should converge toward that BUY NOW call to action. Aside from offering actionable insights, Twispay has the subscription-based model covered with a recurring payments feature ready to go today, and offering unparalleled levels of flexibility and customisation. 

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Sorin Despot Sorin Despot