So you’ve got a great success story … maybe even a few of them. Now what?
Too often, we see fantastic success stories and glowing customer testimonials get shoved to the back of a corporate kit or buried among thousands of files on a network. Success stories can be fabulous marketing tools if used properly.
Our clients often ask “how do you recommend we use it?” shortly after we’ve finished writing a new customer success story for them.
So we thought we’d share a few tips for putting those stories to work.
1. Post On Your Website
Getting those customer stories and case studies up on your website should be one of the first things you do. Most of our clients have some sort of Success Stories or Our Customers page … and that’s a good start.
Beyond that, it’s also a good idea to sprinkle success stories throughout your site in the context of other pages.
For instance if you have a Sage X3 success story, it should be featured on your Sage X3 product page in addition to your general Success Stories or Customers Testimonials pages.
That way, it’s relevant and easy to find in the context of the content on that particular page.
Similarly if you have a wholesale distribution or QuickBooks conversion page, it would be great to see Wholesale Distribution or QuickBooks conversion customer success stories on those pages.
2. Include in Your Newsletter
This is another one that, to me, is a no-brainer. If you’re nurturing prospects with a regular newsletter (and you should be!), simply include a quick intro/customer spotlight and a link to the full success story.
Here’s an example of this technique taken from a lead nurturing newsletter we put together for a client:
3. Customer Spotlight Email
Another thing we recommend is to feature the customer in an email. This is similar to including a short blurb in your newsletter – but this email is dedicated entirely to the case study and really puts the focus on your successful project.
Again, here’s an example from another client project we did:
4. Feed Em’ Bite-Sized Pieces with Pull Quotes
You don’t always have to use the whole story. Some prospects won’t take time to read it all.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull quotes out of the story out and sprinkle some short 1- or 2-sentence testimonials on your website, your brochures, in your newsletter, or in email communication.
If they see those endorsements in enough places, your prospects will eventually get the idea that you’re good and your customers are willing to say it.
5. Put Out a Press Release
If it’s a particularly good story or highlights a key industry or recognized company name, it could be worth announcing the success through a Press Release. That way, your success story potentially reaches a wider audience and gets better coverage (news outlets, industry analysts, similar companies or prospective customers, etc).
6. Take it With You
Take your best success stories to every sales meeting. In fact, why not just cut right to the chase in your first meeting and offer up a fantastic success story or two?
You might just save yourself the hassle of providing a bunch of references later in the sales cycle. You may even save your customers the hassle of fielding a bunch of referral calls or site visits later in the sales cycle.
7. Get Social With It
Share your success stories and testimonials with your network on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Something like “Wholesale distributor improves inventory turns by 250%” might just generate some buzz and drive some people to your website.
Those are just a few tips to get you started. If you need some help, just let us know.
What are some of YOUR favorite success story marketing tactics?
Build Your Success Story Library
It’s not a bad idea to have a collection of success stories in your arsenal.
That way, you have an inventory of happy customers to draw from and can provide something that’s relevant to a given prospect based on their size, industry, and type of business.
And if you need to start building your library, take a peek at our Success Story Program or have a gander at our Customer Buzz Program – it’s like a success story, but shorter.
Dan Kraus says
Great article and thanks for writing it. The only other thing I would add is as you write the customer story, really focus on highlighting them, not just yourself. If you help them tell their story well, then when you go to put it out in a press release or on social, they are much more likely to help you push it out further.
Great point Dan!
David Sroka says
This is a nice, concise summary Mark. Since our focus is on customer advocate technology, I’ll add that tagging the success stories in your library is essential to provide a way for marketing and sales to find relevant material for their needs. Industry, product, use case, etc., etc., are consistent tags among our clients.
Kissinger Associates says
We joined the social media conversation the year, and it’s provided awesome opportunities to do mutually beneficial marketing with our customers through customer spotlights on our blog and direct communication, “liking,” and sharing links on networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Same-old same-old success stories can start to feel repetitive, so mix it up! Video is a great alternative to the sometimes “tired” press release. Weave success stories into product or service-focused videos, and lavish some attention on those loyal customers by getting their enthusiasm on camera during your next consulting visit (or make a special trip!) You can embed the videos right on your website, and they get lots of clicks on sites like Facebook compared to your average link-to-article.
Mark Badran says
@Kissinger Associates – Now THAT’S leveraging customer success in a very creative (and social) way. I particularly like the idea of customer spotlights on your blog. Great tips, thanks for sharing!