Originally published at Search Engine Journal
When it comes to the metrics by which you measure business growth, Customer/Client Lifetime Value (CLV) is king – but only given the right context.
Increasing CLV in your content marketing business isn’t about taking more from each customer or simply selling them on additional services.
It’s all about delivering the best possible service by meeting more of each customer’s needs.
This important growth KPI is the natural byproduct of your ability to anticipate client needs and offer solutions that help grow their business.
This is especially important now since 54% of SEOs have reported marketing budget cuts due to COVID-19, as per Moz’s most recent State of Local SEO report.
Winning new business becomes even more difficult in times of economic turbulence.
This may be just the right time to focus on helping your existing client base weather the storm and come out stronger, thanks to the enhanced services you can provide.
Be flexible – you may need to adjust your contract to focus on higher-impact opportunities and quicker wins.
There’s no point holding a client to services that no longer meet their needs due to circumstances beyond their control.
When you prove that these value-add services are worthy via increased revenue for existing clients, it’s a win all around.
You increase their lifetime value to your business and they have the budget to keep you on in theirs.
Check out these options and think about the opportunities they could create for your clients – and your business.
1. Email Marketing
The Coronavirus pandemic caused a massive upheaval in consumer behavior, with brand loyalty one of the greatest casualties.
Over 60% of consumers changed their shopping behavior due to COVID-19, most often for convenience and value.
Email is crucial for reengaging and staying in front of loyal customers.
But each communication must add value to that person’s life and speak directly to their needs.
Your client probably already has an email strategy, but it doesn’t hurt to offer extra support given the circumstances.
They may need to increase the frequency of their communications, or perform more testing to see how copy lands now that the market has shifted.
2. Social Graphics
It makes good business sense to help your clients get the most from their content creation investments.
If you’re already blogging, offer to add 4 or 5 social graphics for each blog post; these could be “quote cards” that call out expert insight, or minigraphics that highlight statistics from the piece.
Include these in the blog post itself for visual interest, to break up dense text, and to add lots of descriptive alt text for search engines and readers with differing abilities.
Use Canva to get started, or use a VA to save yourself some time while adding new, scalable revenue.
That was easy.
3. Market Research
Many different types of companies have had to add new products/services or even completely transform the way they serve customers and clients in light of COVID-19.
Your clients’ customers may be completely different than the market they were in just one year ago.
SEO professionals and content creators are prolific researchers. How can you package that inherent knowledge and put it to work for your clients? It could be that you make yourself available on an hourly basis to do market research and create new customer personas.
Or, you could offer this as a packaged service and give your existing clients a substantial discount.
Either way, this is a service all kinds of companies need right now whether they’re doing it in-house or outsourcing.
4. Keyword Research
Similarly, your clients’ keywords may be out of date.
They may be dealing with entirely different competitors now, especially if their primary business category has changed.
Think: a transition from dine-in restaurant to prepackaged pickup meals service, or pivoting from arts and crafts supply store to online classes with home-delivered supply kits.
Their target customers’ intent and motivations could be entirely different now.
Consider offering keyword research as an add-on to your next month’s package.
5. Google Posts
Help local businesses improve their visibility in Maps and organic searches with local intent.
Google wants to see that businesses are actively managing their local presence and Google Posts are a great way to regularly put out news, offers, photos, and other engaging information.
Repurpose content you’re already producing for the client’s blog or social media and include Posts as a weekly or twice weekly add-on to your package.
6. Review Management
Depending on your clients’ business, they may experience an influx of online reviews at different stages of lockdown, reopening, and operating under various public health recommendations.
Some businesses may have lost key staff who used to handle review responses.
Check in with your clients and see how they’re doing at reviews management.
Make sure they understand the importance of reviews not only as an extension of their customer service channel but also as a powerful conversion agent and local ranking factor.
If you know the company well, you could offer to assist with review response.
Or, your client might have people to do this in-house but need their review response templates and flagging/escalation policies updated in keeping with new social distancing guidelines, PPE, and sanitization practices, etc.
7. Crisis Communications
Every company should have a crisis communications plan.
It is critically important that companies are proactively communicating important service updates regularly.
Customers and employees alike want to know what’s going on inside the companies with whom they do business.
They need reassurance and stability and if your clients aren’t putting the truth about their situation out into the universe, it leaves the door open for speculation and rumor.
Offer your hourly rate at a discount for existing clients to craft any important media releases and repurpose into blog posts, Google Posts, social content, and emails to keep customers and employees informed and engaged.
Let your client companies’ executive team know you’re at their disposal.
8. UX Testing
Companies that had to adapt and reinvent themselves quickly may be staring back at a mess of new blog posts, landing pages, informational or product pages, and more created during the height of their crisis.
Again, this may or may not be needed but if clients don’t know this is within your wheelhouse and capabilities, they won’t likely offer you the opportunity.
(And surely you’ll do a more thorough job for them than Jamie the accountant’s son Simon who’s doing online learning from home and needed something productive to do.)
A lot may have changed for your client companies.
Internal and public-facing policies, workflows, and procedures, entire product and service lines may be new or different.
If your client did have in-house resources for creating and updating documentation, they may be stretched to their max right now.
Do you have the capacity to offer your services?
It could be that you interview in-house team members and go from there.
Or, you could have VAs transcribe voice notes or instruction and work from that.
10. Remote Teams Support
When the lockdown first hit and entire teams had to go remote, it was all about getting people connected and figuring out the technical glitches.
Today, most employees know how to use Zoom but the challenges in remote work are becoming more complex.
Work-life balance has become increasingly difficult and may be contributing to even greater gender inequality in the remote work environment.
Your client companies may need assistance with collaborative work events, such as:
- Planning and hosting more engaging social events.
- Training sessions.
- Skills shares.
If this is an area of strength, consider offering professional remote events facilitation as a service to support your client teams as they continue to figure out the most effective ways to work remotely.
Basically, you want to find opportunities where your client needs and your transferable skills intersect.
Run these new service offerings through a bit of a litmus test:
- Is this something my clients would benefit from?
- Does it make sense alongside the other services we offer?
- Is it necessary and helpful?
- Do we have the talent and resources to do this right?
- Is someone else already doing this really well and if so, is there an opportunity to partner?
Author’s note: I have intentionally withheld Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training/consulting from this list.
Yes, it is needed now more than ever before, and desperately so in many companies.
However, it is my personal belief that unless you have the lived and professional experience and education to make you a legit DEI expert, you have no business selling it as a service.
If you’re just starting out on your learning journey and want to be a better ally, start by following and listening to Brigette Hyacinth, Madison Butler, Kike Oniwinde, Geraldine Cochran, or any/all of the other talented black professionals generously sharing their experience and insights for our benefit in social channels.