the complete guide to success story marketing

How to Repackage Precious Case Study Content

Author: ; Published: Jun 3, 2010; Category: Uncategorized; Tags: , , ; 3 Comments

 

Picking up from my last post commenting on Hubspot’s "27 Marketing Lessons B2B Marketers Should Know," here’s another tip from Hubspot that ties directly with customer case studies:

"Content is precious. Repackage existing content into different formats, such as blog posts, podcasts and webinars to drive more leads."

You can easily repackage customer case studies and success stories into valuable, reusable content throughout your sales and marketing communications.

Here are just a few ways:

1. Blogs

An estimated 77% of active web users read blogs. They’ve proven to be powerful drivers of search engine traffic.

Even better, those following your blog are interested in your particular topic, giving you the perfect target audience.

Share your best customer stories on your blog – either in full or linked back to the full story on your website.

Focus on the customer’s experience and path to success, not just tooting your own horn.

Here’s a great example.

And finally, be sure to get the customer’s permission before you publish anything with their name on it.

2. Contributed articles

For editors, it’s all about the compelling story. They’re constantly looking for ideas and contributed articles that tell stories their audiences want to hear.

Many websites and publications take contributed articles.

Try submitting a story about your new product and see how that goes. Then try submitting a story about how a specific customer has succeeded with your product, and it changes things.

With just a little editing, you can turn a customer case study into a contributed article, preferably by-lined by your customer.

Just make sure it focuses on best practices and approaches without heavily talking up your product or service.

3. Press releases

The same thing goes for press releases as above.

When you announce news, such as a new product offering, pull an anecdote into your press release that ties the news to a customer’s success.

Ideally, you have some beta customers with early experiences of your solution that you can share.

A customer example makes a dry release much more interesting.

4. Industry awards

I’m big on awards these days – after seeing some Fortune 500 companies jump at the chance to tell their stories for awards opportunities.

Why? We all like to be recognized for our efforts. Your customers are no different.

If they’re doing cool, best practices things, and your solution helps with that, find relevant awards programs and ask their permission to submit them.

You might be surprised how on board they get for an awards submission when they might not publish their story as a case study.

If your customer wins, their story gets natural publicity through the awards process.

Also, once you have all the juicy details, ask if you can make that public on your website.

5. Newsletters

Feature a different customer success in each newsletter or e-zine that goes to customers, prospects and even employees.

Show all your audiences how you help customers solve their problems.

It will likely be the most read part of your newsletter.

 

But that’s not all. Check out 25 Ways to Build Trust (and Sales!) with Customer Success Stories.

Can a Case Study Help You KEEP a Customer?

Author: ; Published: Aug 28, 2009; Category: Uncategorized; Tags: , , , ; 2 Comments

sales meeting

Compelling customer case studies and success stories do many things...

  • Close a sale
  • Land PR
  • Generate leads
  • Upsell to existing customers
  • Train new sales reps and employees

Can we add to the list, help you keep an existing customer that is considering moving to another product or service?

And, here's the kicker. The case study would be on the customer that is thinking of leaving.

Wait, if the customer is happy enough to be featured in a case study, then why are they at risk?

Business dynamics can be complicated, and many customers don't fully realize the impact a product or service actually has.

Sometimes you have to continue proving why you're better than the competition.

Here's the scenario:

I'm currently working on a customer case study where the customer account is in jeopardy. The day-to-day person who manages the software is satisfied. In fact, the solution has helped the company make major strides in boosting its service to customers. There are even some measurable results!

But the new director of support has other ideas. He wants to switch to another product. The reasons are not 100 percent clear yet.

My client is hoping that well-documented success, summarized in a solid case study, will help convince the new director to keep the product.

So, how can we maximize this case study so it does its intended job?

Understand the objections

Try to find out as much as you can about WHY the customer is thinking of switching, though it may not be easy. The sales/account manager should be in tune to this.

Perhaps this new director doesn't fully understand how the incumbent product can perform.

Answer the objections

Once you understand the goals and motivations behind the possible switch, you can respond accordingly. Be sure that your interview collects solid evidence to address the company's concerns.

Measure!

As clearly and thoroughly as possible, lay out the specific results of the product or service. Being vague here won't accomplish the goal.

A case study alone may not save a customer. Maybe the customer needs some education about functionality or capabilities they are not yet taking advantage of.

But it does give them a summarized view of success to date—something your customer may not even be aware of.