Customer success stories can be a great tool for online marketers. Each one is an opportunity to celebrate the success of a client, as well as your contribution to their ability to meet their business goals. It’s a good way to help businesses reinforce their credibility and expertise and each piece becomes part of your positive brand story.
You might choose to publish the story as a blog post, or a whitepaper on your website. Wherever it is physically housed, the customer success story must be optimized for search engines and readers to make it discoverable, and also for social network users to make it shareable.
Before beginning a customer success story, it’s critical to have the permission and buy-in of the customer you’ll feature. Some companies choose to “sweeten the pot” for clients or customers, by offering a discount of some kind in exchange for their participation in a client success story or case study. Involve the customer in the planning and creation of the story to ensure they have a vested interest in its promotion, as well.
What does a good customer success story look like? Ideally, yours will have the following components, at a minimum:
For example, Dell recently shared the success story of Ipanema Technologies, who used Dell KACE system management appliances to simplify its IT asset management. As a result, they were able to reduce the amount of time spent on inventories. That is a great business outcome that may inspire other companies to use the solution. Creating an online story around this success provides content for other potential buyers to consider while making their own buying decisions and can even help expose the brand to new audiences.
We published the success story as a downloadable, print-friendly PDF and a simple one-page online summary for social and email sharing.
The shorter summary story is great for attracting new potential customers, who may discover the story through their social network or web search results. It offers the highlights of the story in a few short paragraphs, with a link to the longer study for more information.
The longer form success story allows room for additional quotes from the customer, attractive graphics and a lengthier explanation of the process. This type of resource is perfect for a potential customer who might be in the decision-making phase of their buying cycle.
How can you make your customer success stories stand out and more importantly, stand on their own as shareable, optimized pieces of content? Follow these best practices:
The various text, image and video elements of your customer success story can all be used in the social promotion of the content. For example, the image can also be uploaded to a photo site like Flickr and link back to the customer success story. Hosting the video on a site like YouTube makes it discoverable by people searching that site for information about your company or industry, as well.
Have you used customer success stories as part of your content strategy? Share your experience in the comments!
To post a comment
login or create an account