Subscription Services

In a commercial environment in almost constant flux, entrepreneurs always need to be on the lookout for strategies that can give them a competitive edge. As the digital marketplace has grown, so too has the need for new approaches. Over the last couple of decades, a solution that has seen increasing adoption is the subscription service model.

Currently, the subscription market encompasses a wide variety of products and services. There are razors that drop into your mailbox as the predetermined lifespan of your last one expires. Manufacturers are restocking the physical stores of local businesses automatically. Developers have shifted from selling software to providing their licenses on a subscription basis. This approach often capitalizes on two of the elements that consumers most desire: convenience and discounted purchasing.

There are still challenges, though. As subscription models become more accessible to entrepreneurs, the potential for competition grows. Not to mention that once you have customers signed up, you still have to work to retain them. One of the keys to overcoming these issues is excellent content marketing. Let’s examine some areas you should be focusing on to have the best possible impact.

Subscription Services

Showcasing ExpertiseOne of the best uses of content marketing is highlighting your company as a source of expertise. How can you use this to help your subscription model in particular though? Well, there’s a couple of areas to consider:

The Product. Customers want to be assured that what you’re providing them with each period of delivery is the best for the purpose, of great quality, and getting better. Use videos to give them behind-the-scenes peeks at the efforts you go to to ensure what you’re providing is a premium product or service. Showcase your ongoing development process, featuring key members of staff. Give customers insights into how to know whether what they’re receiving is of high quality or not; empower them with your expertise.

The Format. Subscription doesn’t work for every business, and it’s important to show that you know how to make it worthwhile for both you and your customers in the long term. Create blog posts to show why it’s a good fit for everyone, and why it’s superior to individual purchasing. For B2B services, it’s particularly important not to take a complacent marketing approach. You should demonstrate your commitment to the format by highlighting how you’ve invested in the ecosystem that supports subscription. Show how this method helps to bring more value to customers.

Focus on the BenefitsThe benefits of a subscription model for your business are clear — it’s an approach that more readily lends itself to repeat business with minimal effort from the consumer. However, one of the challenges for you as a business is to not only produce marketing that convinces customers to join but also frequently reminds them of the benefits of their subscriptions. You don’t want them to sign up and then cancel soon after. Particularly as many subscription services need consumers to stay with them for 2-4 months just to break even on the capital they’ve invested to acquire them in the first place.

Remember that consumers don’t tend to make a single overriding decision to buy from a business. They’ll make a series of micro-conversions throughout their customer journey with you, touchpoints at which they consider the quality of their customer experience and choose to take another small step toward sticking with you. Your content should be aimed at supporting this positive decision making. Send them emails that reinforce why they chose to sign up with you in the first place. Use this to direct them to other forms of quality content — blog posts, videos, podcasts — that they’ll both enjoy consuming, and further highlights the benefits of continuing to subscribe.

One of the keys to communicating effectively with your consumers at every stage of their time with you is the frequency and variety of the content you provide. One of the benefits that you should be capitalizing on through your marketing is your customers actually enjoy their engagements with you. They benefit from everything you send them. This applies to your marketing materials as much as your product.

Collaborate with UsersThe content marketing you produce, in essence, should be aimed at having a long term conversation with your subscribers. A primary element of maintaining an excellent customer experience is improving the depth of engagement that your consumers have with your company. You should be helping them feel empowered to not just interact with your marketing, but respond to it across multiple channels, and even contribute to it. Part of keeping customers interested in what you do is actively involving them in the process.

User-generated content (UGC) is a positive method here. One recent survey found that 79% of those polled stated that UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions. However, before you start soliciting for consumer advocates, you should first make certain you do your research into what forms of content, and which social media platforms will have the best possible influence. Check your insights on both your social media accounts and your website analytics to understand where you should be collaborating with your customers, and what they want to see.

Your collaborations with users shouldn’t be limited to reviews or sharing social media, either. Encouraging them to engage more deeply with you should involve more meaningful content, using shared values to help build a stronger sense of loyalty. Invite diverse voices to work with you to produce more inclusive content. Make it part of your marketing strategy to reach out frequently and ask customers what you can be doing better — philosophically as well as commercially. In B2B spaces, consider producing videos together that showcase your joint social responsibility efforts. Ensure customers know that their investment in your services has holistically positive effects.

ConclusionThere is no shortage of subscription services on the market. Part of your plan to attract and maintain subscribers should be using your content in ways that keep them making positive micro-conversions in your favor. Remind them why they need your products, and why you’re the best company to provide these. Understand what content keeps them engaged and incentivize them to be a more active part of your business.