8 Reasons Why Customer Success Story is #1 Kickass Marketing Content

Customer Success Stories are a “special” kind of content, and it is unlike any other kind of content. I can think of 8 reasons for it being kickass special and why it is (and should be) the #1 marketing content.

When i say customer success story –  i am referring to all kinds of customer/social proof content – case studies, stories, videos, testimonials, customer names, logos, reviews, ROI studies, audio/podcast, and everything in between.

8 Reasons Why Customer Success Stories are number 1 marketing content

8 Reasons that make Customer Success Stories #1.

Lets start with the most obvious

1. It is 10X more expensive than other content.

It is not just the cost of interviewing and writing, but the overall cost involved in acquiring the customer and making them happy in the 1st place. Add to it the cost of writing the story and finally publishing the end product.

It costs much much more than any other piece of content in terms of the effort, resources, money, time and people involved.

measure-ROI-customer-testimonials

If we go with the market dynamics which says cost is directly proportional to the value of a product/service, then customer success stories ought to be at #1.

50-80 % of a typical customer reference/advocacy program budget is spent on content creation alone (source: Customer Reference Forum)


Doesn’t just this say it all ?

Not convinced yet ? 🙂

Lets see if the other 7 reasons can convince you …


2. It is the 2nd most effective tactic in content marketing.

65% of B2B users feel that case studies are very effective as a content marketing tactic. Whereas 70% felt that the same for in-person events. This is huge to know – how users see customer success stories as comparable to in-person physical events in terms of being an effective tool.

effectiveness_of_customer_success_stories_in_content_marketing

(Source: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends—Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs)


3. It is among the top ‘must-haves’ for any B2B website.

Case-Studies (at #3) and testimonials/client list (at #5) are on top of the top-10 things that users feel are a must-have in any B2B website. It is right below important things like pricing (at #1) and technical support (at#2).

customer_success_stories_is_must-have_in_B2B_website

(Source: 2014 B2B Web Usability Report | Huff/KoMarketing)

In-fact, the same survey says that case-studies are #1 when it comes to what users feel as “lacking” or needs improvement today., which is something to think hard about.

customer_success_stories_testimonials_lacking_in_B2B_website

(Source: 2014 B2B Web Usability Report | Huff/KoMarketing)


4.  It helps influence the buyer decision early-on, and that is “super important” today.

By now we all know enough about how buyer decisions are being taken early-on in the buying cycle . More than 57% of buying decision is taken even before talking to the company sales.

Purchase_decision_early_on_in_sales_cycle

(source: The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing 2012 – CEB/Google )

And this is a 2012 figure. The figures being quoted in recent discussions is upwards of 70% !

Here is a huge opportunity for marketing to help tilt the scale, and positive voices from existing customers can play a big influence.

Testimonials and Case Studies are the most influential content types both in the awareness stage and the evaluation stage

customer_success_stories_most_influential_early_stage_content

(source: 3 Keys to B2B Success 2013 – Hawkeyee.com)

Promoting and advocating your customer success stories through various channels is a sure shot way to get there.

Marketing should amplify and promote customer successes to help win in the early discovery and engage stages of customer life-cycle. Waiting for the sales team stage would be too late. (source: Tip The Balance From Reference Customers To Advocates – Forrester/Influitive)


5. It is among the top ‘must-haves’ for any Landing Page.

Any landing page or marketing copy without a customer/social proof is seen by users as just marketing fluff due to the 1-sided nature. Experts recommend social/customer proof as one of the must-haves in any page whose end objective is conversion/lead generation.

anatomy-perfect-landing-page_testimonials

(Source: Anatomy of Perfect Landing Page – NiceLandingPage.com/Unbounce)

And adding customer/social proof increases credibility, thus improving conversion drastically as proved by all the experts. unanimously.

34%_increase_in_conversion_with_customer_testimonials

(source: Social Proof Tips to Boost Landing Page Conversions – Aschottmuller/Unbounce/Visual Optimizer)

Adding social proof helps increase landing page conversion between 5-500% (source: Unbounce, CrazyEgg, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, Visual Optimizer, Kickoff Labs, Hubspot, and other marketing optimization experts)


6. It has an extended shelf life.

Typically a detailed story like a case study has a life of 2-years at the minimum. Many stories stay relevant for a longer period of time and hence can be used for more than 2-years.  Shorter proof points like testimonials and logos have an indefinite life span.

46% of companies said they use customer success content for up-to 2 years. 43% said they could use it infinitely !

high_shelf_life_of_customer_success_stories

 (source: 2012 InEvidence Global Customer Reference Survey)

Which means you can re-use it like crazy. This is very important given the fact that producing enough good quality content is the #1. challenge for marketeers today.

producing_good_content_is_a_challenge_1

(Source: B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report Nov-2014 – Technology Marketing Group LinkedIn/BrightTalk/IDG)


7. It can be added to other content to make them do more selling.

The #1. end goal of any content marketing initiative is lead generation.

customer_success_stories_check_all_boxes_against_content_marketing_objectives

(Source: B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report Nov-2014 – Technology Marketing Group LinkedIn/BrightTalk/IDG)

Adding customer success proof in the form of customer names/logos, testimonials, proven benefits metric, story snippets, videos, etc into other content like best-practices articles, blog articles, whitepapers, discussion forum topics, ebooks, etc not only makes the content more interesting with real-life examples, but also adds a dab of marketing into them – thus helping you get more traffic to your website, more conversions and leads into your marketing funnel.

In-fact it helps check almost all the boxes against the content marketing goals.

As an example – An awesome example of using it in the blog would be this one

quicksprout_neil_patel_blog_testimonials_1

(source: Quicksprout/Neil Patel Blog)


8. It is valuable in all stages of the buying cycle.

Many people still believe that customer success stories are only needed in the last 2 stages –  i.e vendor comparison, and sales closure stages. This is incorrect.

The below research shows that it is in-fact useful in all the 4 stages. And it is the “most helpful” content in the stage-2 (understanding the problem) and stage-3 (Identify solution, consider vendors) in comparison with all other types of content.

 Customer_success_stories_for_all_stages_in_sales_cycle

(Source: B2B Tech Buyers – Which Assets Are Most Influential, and When? – MarketingCharts/Eccolo Media)


Conclusion:  You need-to believe in your Customer Success Stories.

Irrespective of any of the following –

You believe in Customer Success or not.

You believe in Advocate Marketing or not.

You believe in Content Marketing or not.

You believe in Digital Marketing or not.

You believe in being Online or not.

You do need-to believe in your Customer Success Stories.

Why ?

Because it is the most effective marketing content out there, without any doubt !

So what are you doing about your Customer Stories ?

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One thought on “8 Reasons Why Customer Success Story is #1 Kickass Marketing Content

  1. […] Also read my earlier detailed article on Why Customer Success Story is a #1 Kickass Marketing Content ? […]

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