Customers are at the core of every organization’s success. Yet many brands opt for content marketing tactics that push messages they think will resonate with untapped consumer bases.
While crafting impactful messages can certainly be an effective strategy, in many situations, highlighting the success stories of existing customers can be far more powerful.
Great content relies on amazing storytelling, and what better story can be told than that of people who have been able to break down barriers and reach new levels of prosperity by using your product or service?
Promoting customer success stories to new audiences is one of the strongest and most effective marketing moves a brand can make as social proof has changed the landscape of how people make purchase decisions.
Publishing customer reviews, however, will only take you so far. It’s an effective way to go for adding social proof to B2C ecommerce product pages, but when it comes to wooing B2B decision makers, you’ll need to develop richer resources that make the clear case for the ROI your solution unlocks.
In this context, user success stories trump testimonials all day long. These types of narratives serve as consumer reviews on steroids that can draw in new customers and build a legion of brand advocates who are honored to have been featured. And that’s exactly what leveraging user success stories is: advocacy marketing.
According to Nielsen data, 66% of consumers trust the recommendations of opinions posted online, even if they don’t know the reviewers personally. But to maximize their impact, creating real-world context and emotional resonance with these stories is key.
This is why leveraging customer success stories is becoming a vital marketing practice.
If you want to begin highlighting your customer triumphs and let the results achieved by consumers do the talking in your marketing efforts, here’s how to get started.
Make Case Studies Your Secret Weapon
Customer testimonials are all well and good, but without the facts to back it, the tactic just serves as another marketing ploy. This is one of the main reasons that case studies work so well.
Case studies are capable of making a huge impact in driving new user acquisitions. A well-designed and properly formatted study can appear vivid and engaging while drawing the reader’s attention to key facts and stats that may inspire them to convert, even if they are just skimming the material.
For example, video testimonials allow prospects to not only hear about the successes, but also make an emotional connection to the individuals by seeing them discuss their challenges and victories. This content format is also highly shareable across social platforms and websites.
Wix, a self-service platform for creating business websites, does a stellar job of blending video user success stories and rich content pages for greater impact. While the company does not include statistics around user successes, they take a different approach by using video content to create emotional resonance in a shareable format. This allows user success stories to spread further than less intriguing and captivating content.
Another company that merges several user success story formats into a unique experience is Kajabi. Kajabi highlights its “heroes,” individuals who “made their first $1,000 on Kajabi and shared their story,” with compilation videos, blog posts and podcast-style interviews. The company also leverages stories from various industries to display the versatility of the product.
Kajabi is the real “hero” of this piece, however, as the company blends all of the necessary elements of user success stories to new heights; different content formats, emotional connection through seeing and hearing a user’s own words, and solid statistics surrounding their triumph.
In Michelle Parsley’s success story, the content clearly makes the case that using Kajabi is what eliminated the relatable entrepreneur’s frustration, allowing her to stop spending countless hours wrangling with her WordPress site.
Additionally, the post details how the Kajabi platform allowed her to expand her class size and ultimately pull in $70,000 in just a few months.
This is exactly how a brand should leverage its customer’s successes. Capture the story, create emotional resonance by including video and audio content, build a blog post around those materials, include solid statistics and promote it on social media and across the web.
Smart Internal Processes for External Successes
In marketing, the goal is to craft messages and experiences that entice and resonate with prospective clients.
Customer support teams are designed to assist customers in their efforts to get the most out of a product or service.
By implementing a system in which customer support teams are able to discuss and develop success stories together with clients, then can then relay that information back to the marketing department to begin crafting materials – granted, of course, that the customer has given their approval.
The stories that you really want to capture are those that showcase everyday David and Goliath moments – tales that depict customers overcoming odds and achieving remarkable results.
With this collection process in place, you can begin developing effective marketing materials to show audiences exactly how customers are using your offerings in a proven advantageous way.
WiseStamp, a custom email signature company that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, highlights these kinds of narratives via a dedicated section of its blog, sharing in-depth stories about how its users are expanding their operations through the use of the platform.
These rich-content testimonials often highlight consumer struggles and how WiseStamp’s service is helping them overcome those obstacles. Here’s an example:
“By putting my home page in my WiseStamp signature app, I’m directing traffic directly from my email communications into my funnel! I have several clients who have told me they bought a product of mine from this process.”
Salesforce is another B2B brand that uses this blogging strategy extremely effectively. As one of the leading cloud-based CRM and marketing solutions in the industry, the product is used by a variety of corporations, large and small. And customers tout the platform’s effectiveness in its posts where users like Nestlé Waters CEO Tim Brown states, “The capabilities that are being enabled by Salesforce are truly transformational.”
In both of these examples, the content does an extremely effective job of letting costumers tell their own stories. To take things up a notch, though, you can emphasize the ROI potential of your solution by including performance lift statistics. It’s tangible results and hard data that make the best possible case that a given solution actually works.
Use Customer Success as Your Marketing Muscle
There is no marketing message more powerful than the stories that come directly from users who have risen to new heights thanks to what you’ve done for them. Begin implementing your customer’s success stories into your marketing efforts, and you are likely to draw in many more prospects, convert at higher rates and create a whole new set of brand advocates.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.