Brand Loyalty: The Basis for Content Marketing

I mentioned to my friend and fellow content strategist, Jake Johnson, that at Joy, we were leveraging user-generated content to build out our content marketing strategy. He leads content and editorial at Infusionsoft, and asked if I might share my story for their blog.

Never one to back down from a bit of self-promotion (and some free exposure for Joy), I did—and you can read it in full here: Building a Small Business Content Marketing Machine through User-generated Content.

I thought I’d share some highlights.

Building out a content marketing strategy

Content marketing requires time, staff, and budget—but what if those resources are in short supply?

I currently lead growth and customer success at Joy. Our goal is to bring a highly fragmented industry — wedding technology — together into one place. With Joy, you can manage your RSVPs, share important wedding-day details, and collect photos from your guests before, during, and after your special day.

We’re a small team, and I’m the only non-engineer. That means I am a marketing team of one who also leads customer success. The need to be resourceful — with my budget, my staff, and my time — is an understatement.

Leveraging happy customers for content creation

When I joined Joy, I knew that content marketing would be a cornerstone of our acquisition strategy. One, because it’s what I do. I am a content marketer by training. Two, because I have seen first-hand the value of content marketing, especially content marketing that is underpinned by clear brand values.

Because of the aforementioned resources (or lack thereof) I had to think about how I could leverage my time with customer success to inform my content marketing strategy. Our couples are at the center of what we do — their complaints, frustrations, praise, and happiness inform our product development at every turn. So what better way to market our product than through them?

User-generated content IRL

I started soliciting proposal stories from our users via our third-party customer support software. In the four months since we started the campaign, over 9,000 couples have received the message, and 30 percent have responded. (We had such an overwhelming response, I had to turn off the auto message just to manage the volume.)

We share the blog post and social links with the couple and make a simple, honest ask: “We don’t do any paid marketing. If you feel inclined, we would love if you shared this with friends and family!”

Our couples truly enjoy the posts, and they do share them with friends and family. What we’ve seen is an over 200 percent increase in the traffic to our blog, our Facebook acquisition numbers going up by 25% month-over-month, and an increase in direct traffic to our site. (Anecdotally, we attribute this in part to the proposal stories.)

These proposal stories, when shared socially by our couples, are an endorsement of our product and their level of happiness using Joy to plan their weddings.

Making a small team feel big

There’s so much chatter online about how to create brand loyalty. I would say that starts with a great product or service and gets rounded out with exceptional customer support — whatever that looks like for your business.

Our couples are at the center of what we do.

One manifestation of brand loyalty is a deepening relationship with your customers. And like any good relationship, there is a give and a take. We offer a great product for free, we’re available and responsive for our users, and a small ask in return is for their participation.

We’ve successfully managed to leverage our users to create a sound, consistent, and compelling content strategy that moves our brand forward — effectively solving for budget and staff by leaning on our greatest asset, our couples.