How to Convert your (Ordinary) Case Studies & Customer Success Stories into a Selling Machine (w/ 5 Examples)

I want to take this topic beyond the scope of creating a good case-study/success-story, over to the discussion of what do you do with your good customer stories. It is not about having amazing customer case studies and success stories, but it is all about how well are you using them. If they are gathering dust in some hidden corner of your website, then it is a big opportunity lost !

In this article we will discuss about – How to design your case study/success story to become a selling machine ! I believe that lead generation and conversion should be the #1 desired outcome of any case study or success story because that is the end objective of content marketing or any marketing initiative for that matter, and you should be looking at the customer stories the same way.

I love customer case studies and success stories because in my opinion they are the most effective category of content within your content marketing mix.

I can think of just 1 reason  as to why they make to the top of the content strategy pyramid – and that single reason is that a well written case study or success story can be a nice hybrid of the following 3 things –

1. Informative – as a piece of content –  they can help educate the customer with respect to typical pain points, best practices and use cases. It is always nice to read what problems other customers have faced and how they are trying to overcome it – gives a lot of fresh ideas.

2. Credible – as a social proof point – It is the end customer who is telling the story. Social proof point which makes it much more credible than coming from the vendor since it is someone else who is willing to put his/her credibility at stake.

3. Selling – as a marketing copy – At the end of the day, you as the vendor have the opportunity to weave the discussion to be in-tune with your marketing copy. In-fact a well written story is a marketing copy in disguise.

 

Today, i would be focusing exclusively on the #3 point above

How to design your case study/success story to sell.

I will be analyzing examples of case studies for best practices based on 5 key factors. These factors have nothing to do with the content style per say, and it is everything to do with conversion and lead generation.

5 Key Factors to help make a case study or success story to sell

  1. Organized – Is it being organized in an intuitive way so that your prospects are inclined to read on ?

  2. Engaging – Is the case study engaging with less text and lots of visuals, and organized in a story telling format ?

  3. Clear Benefits – Are you highlighting the key benefits of using your product or service in the form of call outs or shout outs with metrics and compelling reasons ?

  4. Clear CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  are there clear calls-to-actions and do they stand out ?

  5. Promoted – last, but the most important – how are you promoting your case studies ? or are you assuming your prospects will come searching for them ?


 

Now lets see how to apply this to analyze some popular case study pages.

(author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. I basically allowed Google to tell me the top 5  🙂


 

 

Example 1 – Hubspot

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Our-Customers Page

 

It is definitely well organized. The individual case studies are in a sequence and it is not in A-Z. I believe Hubspot has a reason for showing the ShoreTel one on the top. (Maybe it aligns the most with their latest marketing message of inbound marketing versus marketing automation – ideally migration stories from market leaders Eloqua and Marketo ?).

I like how it does not try to confuse you with too many case studies shown at your face at one go. The navigation is very intuitive with the appropriate tags and groupings that focus on the way customers would like to search for customer proof – By Company Size, By Business type, By Solution, By Industry, By Country. All makes sense except for the Reviews vs. Testimonials Vs. Case Studies. Not sure if customers care what is your format ?

2. Engaging – 4/5

It is engaging. I am looking at the same ShoreTel example – There is a video that is not too long, and is not just a talking head but in a nice story format talking about why ShorTel choose Hubspot over Marketo, and migrated from Eloqua (bulls eye  from a marketing messaging perspective ).  In addition to the video, there is a face photo of Freeman, and a nice big logo. The Text is not too long and it is in a story telling format, so makes it not boring.

3. Clear Benefits – 5/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Case Study - Benefit Metrics

The benefits are highlighted in a shout out format, and they are clearly compelling. The metrics clearly outline the end benefits of using Hubspot. eg. 36% year-on-year increase in leads.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot - Case Study CTA

 

Though it does have a primary Call-To-Action button, it gets a little distracting with too many other options all in 1 place. The screen i was looking had 6 options !! I agree it is better than not having any CTA at all, but 6 is a lot of distraction for a normal person. Looks like Hubspot guys stopped paying attention to their A/B tests ?

5. Promotion – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Hubspot Home Page - Customer Testimonials Snippet

In addition to the Case Studies primary tab in the navigation, they are using snippets of the case studies in the home page very prominently, providing link back to the main case study page.

Overall, I would rate Hubspot’s Case Studies a 4/5

 


 

Bonus Tip #1 :

One of the very effective ways to make a case study engaging is to use a story telling style. See this short article by Hugh Taylor on how to write technology case studies that tell a story

 


 

Example 2 – VMWare

1. Organized – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare - Our-Customers Page

 

It starts well with a main spotlight video, and another 3 spotlight customers. So far so good, but then once you start searching, it lists everything as A-Z ! which means that i am always looking at the A’s. You might have the best story in a D, but then i will never be able to reach it, no matter how hard i try (and keep in mind your customers will not be trying even half as hard).

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare Case Studies

 

It does have the typical By-Product, By-Solution, By-Country, By-Industry, By-Language selectors, but everything finally lists it in A-Z, even the Chinese case studies. Shame that B-Z customer stories will never be seen by anyone 😦

2. Engaging – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare - Ducati - Success Story Page

 

The story is in an engaging format with videos, less text and highlighting of the important sections with call outs and shout outs. Here i am looking only at the newer stories that are showcased in the customers page. the ones that come up in the case studies page seem to all be in the older PDF format, which is not that engaging. and remember you don’t really get to see the newer ones unless the name starts with an A. Now you know why i hate the A-Z lists  🙂

3. Clear Benefits – 4/5

The benefits are highlighted and there are metrics that tie to the usage of VMWare, thus making it compelling.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There are no calls-to-action anywhere in the case study page or the customers page. Except for the social sharing buttons which is more of a call-to-action for the employees than to visitors and prospects.

5. Promotion – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - VMWare Home Page - Customers snippet block

 

There is no customers or case studies tab in the main navigation. There is a small section on the home page talking about customers, but that does not stand out. So unless someone is looking for case studies and success stories, you will not find them.

Overall, I would rate VMWare’s Case Studies a 2.6/5


 

 Bonus Tip #2:

There are many many ways to promote your stories. For some ideas see my recent article  25-Ways to Promote your customer Success


 

Example 3 –Tibco

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO Our-Customers Page

Like the way Tibco has arranged its featured stories – By the various industry segments.  Very inviting to click and see the story.


 

Bonus Tip #3:

It is always a good idea to give a little more detail about the customer in addition to the photos because it might get confused for stock images. example – logo of the customer, or a call out benefit, or even just the name of the customer.


 

2. Engaging – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO - RNLI Success Story Page

It has all the components that are very engaging – good video, not too much text, visual elements, call outs, etc.


 

Bonus Tip #4:

Splitting a story page into tabs as overview, details, & testimonials does takes away the flow. Would it  have been much more engaging if they were all woven into the story. what do you think ?


 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

There are  metrics, but they are focused on the customer’s business than Tibco’s. Example – RNLI having a 70Million budget does not say anything about the benefits of using Tibco.

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There are no calls-to-action anywhere.

5. Promotion – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - TIBCO Home Page - Customer Carousal

The stories are being well promoted. – On the main Tab, in the Carousal and in the product/industry pages. The real photos add to the wow factor.

Overall, I would rate Tibco’s Case Studies a 3/5

 


 Bonus Tip #5:

I am not a big fan of the carousel because in my opinion most people don’t get to see the subsequent slides unless it is dynamic and making movements in some way.

 


 

Example 4 – AWS (Amazon Web Services)

1. Organized – 4/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Our-Customers Page

Amazon has organized the success stories very well. The featured stories are on the top. There is enough information to entice the user to click to see the story. The big brands add to the oomph factor. Even the search is not bad. Though it lists in an A-Z order, there are not that many stories, hence it fits into 1 page and they have enough details with the customer logo and the benefits summary, thus helping users to be able to select the ones they want to read.

2. Engaging – 3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Dow Jones Case Study Page

The Stories are not very consistent. Example – some have detailed stories, while some are just videos, which is not bad in itself because most times in real life you have less choice as to what your customer is willing to provide. you have to make do with whatever is available. The videos are good, but the problem with just videos and no text is that it is everything or nothing.


 

Bonus tip #6:

In case of just videos – It might be a good idea to pull out snippets from the transcript and highlight it in the story page. That would entice users to see the video. In the above case the videos are in-fact very good, but you don’t get to know that without spending a few minutes. Not designed for people in a hurry, which is 99% of the audience !


 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

There are no consistent call outs for benefits. They are all there hidden in the videos and even in the story text in cases where there is text, but it does not catch the attention.

 

 


 

Bonus tip #7:

It is always a good idea to highlight end outcomes in some form of shout-outs. It draws attention to the most important part of the story – which is “So What ?”. and it is easy to do it if you already have metrics in the story or the video. It is a very low hanging fruit with Max returns.


 

 

 

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  3/5

There is a CTA button to get a free account that shows up only after you start scrolling. that’s neat. But there is also a Next Steps section at the bottom that links to a different page. So there is some kind of confusion.

 

5. Promotion – 3/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - Amazon AWS Product Features Customer Video Snippets

There is no primary tab for Customers or Case Studies (Success Stories). Also there is no mention in the home page. But it is very prominent when you go to the products page. There are many customer videos per features, which is cool !

Overall, I would rate AWS’s Case Studies a 3/5

 


 

Example 5 – Box

1. Organized – 2/5

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)  - BOX Our-Customers Page

 

The featured customers are cool. There is a video for each of the 4 featured customers. But there seems to be some confusion in the way things are organized. Examples –  Our Customers Page and Case Studies page are 2 separate pages that are not connected to each other. The Customer logos in the customers page are not clickable though they are presented as if they had more to just logos. maybe there is a case study/success story somewhere, but it is not linked.

There is a link in the bottom footer navigation that says Case Studies. Gotcha !

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX - Customer Case Studies Page

I actually like the way they have organized their case studies. It is by Industry and it is easy for users to see the ones that might be interesting to them.

 


 

Bonus Tip #8:

There are some awesome examples of organizing your Our-Customers Pages. See this recent article by me – The Best of Our-Customers (Our-clients) Pages. How to make Customer-Success-Marketing work for you ?

 


 

2. Engaging – 3/5

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX - Balfour Beatty Case Study Page

The stories are short and to the point, but no visual elements.


 

Bonus Tip #9:

I am not a big fan of stories being presented inside a reader (with scroll bars) since it takes away the coolness. That might be just my personal opinion 🙂


 

 

3. Clear Benefits – 2/5

The benefit metrics do not stand out

4. CTA (Calls-To-Action) –  1/5

There is no CTA button.

5. Promotion – 2/5

 

Case Study Tips: Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices) - BOX Home Page Customer Logo Banner

Not a primary tab for Customers or Case studies/Success Stories, but there is a customer logo banner that is liked back to the customers page. And it says case-studies though it is a separate page.  Not really sure what they are trying to accomplish.

Overall, I would rate Box’s Case Studies a 2.0/5


These were the 5 examples we analyzed.

Some more examples here  –  

1. Example of a success story page designed for conversion

2. Case Study Tips – Good & Bad of LinkedIn’s Customer Case Studies

 


 

Summarizing, You saw 5 different case study pages and the good and bad in each. They were just examples, but this applies to pretty much every case study or success story.

Overall, you need to pay attention to the following areas which are usually ignored. 

1. CTA Buttons

It is a big lost opportunity if you are not using your case studies and success stories for conversion, especially when they are meant for selling (lead generation or conversion) as their primary objective.

2. Promotion

You need to be promoting your customer stories everywhere. Assuming that your prospects will come searching for them is again a lost opportunity. Keep in mind that 60-80% of the buying decision is already taken before your sales teams get to talk to your prospects. And this is the exact phase where  your customer success stories can tilt the scales in your favor. It would be really smart to bring the success stories in-front of your audience.

 

If you have other good examples either from your own companies or from others that you admire, please share via commenting.

If you feel this is useful, please share it with your friends. appreciate it. thanks. anupam


anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn


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Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials

So how can you increase the click through rate and conversion from your email newsletters ? In simple terms how can you increase the chances of your subscriber taking that next step you desire them to do by clicking on that button or link or call you after reading your newsletter ?

Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials - 2014-content-marketing-trends

Newsletter is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged with a continuous feed of good quality content. As per the research done by the Content Marketing Institute, It is in the Top 3 as a tactic used by marketers in both B2B and B2C industries.

At the end of the day, the end goal of any content marketing tactic is to be able to get more traffic to your website, get more conversions, and get more qualified leads. There are many things you can do to make your newsletter more engaging. In-fact you have experts who have articles like 100 different things you can do to make your newsletters work better for you. I love all of those suggestions, and i would recommend you to follow them because they are all good. The only thing i have for you is …

Add Testimonials to your Newsletter !

Embedding  snippets of your customer testimonials in your newsletters makes your CTA (calls to action) more credible. When i say testimonials, it includes any of these  – logos, customer names, quotes, stories, spotlights, case studies, videos, photos, reviews,  infograhics,  trending charts, metrics, etc, etc. A dash or pinch of your customer’s vouch adds the much needed credibility to whatever you are trying to say to extra convince your reader/subscriber to take that next step. Test it out !

I have a very good example that  i was really impressed with. Its from the B2C segment this time.

Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials -best practices - the bridal photographer example

The Bridal Photographer

His Newsletter has a lovely set of testimonials from his past clients. Those photographs make anyone click on those links to find out more. I am sure if you are his target audience – i.e guys and gals planning for your wedding, you will pick up the phone to call !

Just a word of caution – Two things that you should pay attention to while choosing your testimonials would be

1. make sure your testimonials are real, and look and feel like one

(read this to know more  Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them)

2. make sure the testimonials you choose are as much relevant as possible to the context of  you CTA (calls to action)

(read this to know more  Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock )

Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials - best practices with example - the bridal photographer

Bonus Tip: David has the luxury of picking photos from his awesome collection. Of-course, he is in the business of photography. But that does not mean that other businesses cannot get some beautiful “real life” photos of their customers. I am 100% sure that your customers will not mind sharing their good moments ! Inherent human desire to share images is the foundation of many successful companies today.  Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Whatsapp, Flickr, etc, etc …. to name a few 🙂

Test your next newsletter with the best of your testimonials and see what happens. please share your experiences by commenting below

thanks, anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..

see more ideas on getting more leads from your content marketing using testimonials

1. Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions.

2. Content Marketing: Testimonials help increase blog conversions, and get more leads.

3. Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study pages for conversion

4. Best Practices : A-Z customers – examples of cool our customers page

5. Best Practices: Hero Image Testimonials – Examples of Cool Home Pages

see also

1. 24 Newsletter Content Ideas by Christina Walker at Writtent.com

2. 21 Great Ideas For Your Next Company Newsletter by Belinda Weaver

Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions.

Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions - Best Practices with Examples

So how can you increase the click through rate and conversion from your emails ? In simple terms how can you increase the chances of your recipient taking that next step by clicking on that button or link after reading your email ?

Email as a marketing tool is still very much alive and kicking, in-spite of the exponentially growing clout of social media. The primary reason for this is the fact that the first thing that everyone does in the morning is checking their emails !!

The smartphones and tablets have made emails even more important because now you can access them 24/7. Not everyone checks their Facebook or Twitter pages multiple times in day, but that does not apply to their emails.

Emails are no longer recommended for cold mailing though (also called spamming), but they are highly recommended for engaging customers to take the next steps – whatever is the desired CTA (calls to action).

Emails can be used to achieve goals like more usage/adoption in a SaaS/Subscription business, or more purchase/reduce abandonment in a retail/eCommerce site, or even take your customers through the lead maturing steps. Whatever is the end goal, emails serve as an effective way to help in the conversion of your customer.

It is very effective when the goal involves getting  the customer back to your site because with emails you can go to them, to their inbox, to bring them back to you, unlike any other channels.  This is also called a drip campaigns or drip marketing, and most email marketing tools have features to setup and manage the emails and the auto-responders.

There are many articles where email marketing experts tell you the 100 things you can do to improve the conversion from your emails! I would definitely recommend you to read all of that because they are all good suggestions 🙂

After you do that, I just have one suggestion for you – embed testimonials in your emails ! Add snippets of your customer testimonials in your emails. When i say testimonials, it includes any of these  – logos, customer names, quotes, stories, spotlights, case studies, videos, photos, reviews,  etc, etc. A dash or pinch of your customer’s vouch adds the much needed credibility to whatever you are trying to say to extra convince the recipient to take that next step.

I have a couple of good examples from Vocus today.

(disclaimer: i am in no way associated with either Vocus or any of their companies showcased here. Neither am i paid by them for mentioning them as a best practice)

Example 1. PRWeb (a press releases company)

The welcome email from PRWeb. I need to admit that the customer testimonial with the photo and the compelling quote is very engaging, and definitely tempts you to get started in using PRWeb’s press release services.

Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions. - Best Practices with Examples - Example of PRWeb - Vocus

Example 2: iContact (an email marketing company)

The Download whitepaper email from iContact. The customer testimonial idea is good and makes it interesting.

Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions. - Best Practices with Examples - Example of iContact - Vocus

Bonus Tip: If  there is something i would like to change here – there could have been a better choice for the actual customer and quote used because Chris here is talking about how good iContact is as an email marketing tool, and he is not talking about the “10 rules for successful email marketing guide” that this email was about.

See my other posts from our best practices series

Content Marketing: Testimonials help increase blog conversion and get more leads. (Best Practices with Example)

Best Practices: Testimonials that Convert – Example of a Success Story Landing Page Optimized for Conversion

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock

Best Practices : Keep them (testimonials) real – reasons why not to fake it

Best Practices : A-Z testimonials – examples of cool ‘Our Customers’ tab

Best Practices: Hero Image Testimonials – Examples of Cool Home Pages

Summary: Embed customer testimonials in your emails to increase the click through rate and conversion rate from your email marketing campaigns. But make it more relevant by using testimonials that are contextual to the topic of the email.

Please share your experiences and opinions via commenting. If you think this will be valuable to any of your friends, please share.

thanks, anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..

 

See also

1. Email Hacking: Improving Your Conversions With Every Email

2. Testimonials: The Ultimate Social Proof for Email Marketing

3. 21 Autoresponder Ideas to Grow Your Business

Content Marketing & Social Proof – Get More Conversions, Traffic and Leads from your Content Marketing

It is a proven fact that showing Social Proof helps increase reader engagement and sharing. But that’s old news! In this article i want to talk about how you can actually  increase conversions from your content marketing using social proof !

 

social_sharing_stats

 

You say it out loud or not – The end goal of Content Marketing has always been to get more conversions – either in the form of more traffic to your website, and/or more leads to your marketing funnel.

This is also evident in the recent survey done by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs as seen below.

 

Content Marketing: Testimonials help blogs get more website traffic and more leads. Best Practices with Example. - 2014 trends

(Source: 2014 B2B/B2C Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs. see full report here – B2B, B2C)

It is interesting to see the commonality between both the B2B and the B2C companies in this respect.

Now the biggest challenge today with content marketing is not about the question of value in content marketing (luckily, we have passed that stage). It is also not about how to engage the audience. It is about the ability to produce enough quantity of content, and the lack of time to produce quality content .

In this context, it is very important to see how to GET MORE from what you already have. This is where looking for ways to get better conversions from your existing content marketing efforts makes a lot of smart sense.

OK. Now how to do this ?

Well .. Adding snippets of Social Proof along with the CTA (Calls-To-Action) provides that additional level of credibility and assurance to the visitors to convert – to take the next desired step – like visiting a landing page or visiting the website, or signing up for a newsletter or any other call-to-action. Thus acting like a lead capture magnet inside your content.

When I say Social Proof, I am referring to testimonials, photos, reviews, videos, quotes, social mentions, benefit metrics, etc, etc that are not related to your content, but related to that next step that you want your reader to take. I shall show you what this means in the next part

(Read more about the different kinds of social proof here – 21 different kinds of social proof for your marketing )

Now, Lets look at how to use social proof for conversion in content marketing by considering each of the different tactics within content marketing  – Blogs, Newsletters, Email Campaigns, Case Studies, etc.

In each case, we will look at some examples as best practices.


 

1. Blog

I shall be covering Blogs in this article.

Blogs are one of the most popular tactics in content marketing.

(76% of B2B marketers and 72% of B2C marketers use Blogs as part of their content strategy)

Your blog would typically cover topics “related” to your business. The idea is to get eye-balls and traffic via search engines and social media, which you would hope will convert to traffic and leads to your business.

Adding snippets of social proof like testimonials  in your blog will help significantly in converting this traffic from your blog, over to your business. Acting like a lead capture “magnet” !

Lets look at this awesome example –  The Quicksprout Blog.

Content Marketing & Social Proof - Get More Conversions, Traffic and Leads from your Content Marketing. Blog Example - Quicksprout

Content Marketing & Social Proof - Get More Conversions, Traffic and Leads from your Content Marketing. Blog Example - Quicksprout Neil Patel Blog

 

Across the blog, you will see how Quicksprout is very smartly using some very powerful and compelling testimonials to act as a lead capture magnet.  Very nice !

 

This is very significant because Quicksprout is Neil Patel’s blog. For those of you who don’t know who Neil is – He is considered  “the guru” of website traffic optimization, and he the founder of some super successful companies like Crazyegg and Kissmetrics ! Google him.

 

Content Marketing & Social Proof - Get More Conversions, Traffic and Leads from your Content Marketing. Blog Example - Quicksprout Neil Patel Blog

Not the kind of guy who would do things without testing out something – not once, but probably a zillion times !!

This is social proof in action for you

 

Bonus Tip:

The Quicksprout blog runs into 100’s of pages and Neil has been blogging since 2007. So there is a ton of very very useful content out there. I would recommend everyone to have a look, in-case you have not done already.


 

2. Newsletters

Please see my article – Increasing Click Through and Conversions in Newsletters by Adding Social Proof


 

3. Email Campaigns

Please see my article – Increasing Click Through and Conversions in Emails by Adding Social Proof


 

4. Case Studies

Please see my article – Increasing Conversions in Case Studies and Stories by Adding Social Proof


 

Summary

The end goal of any Content Marketing tactic is conversions. Adding Social Proof as lead capture magnet helps do just that – get more traffic and more leads from your content – over to – your business. 

Would love to hear your opinions and experience via comments.

If you like this please do SHARE it with your friends and contacts. appreciate it. thanks. Anupam

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anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..

see also

1. 15 Call to Action Samples for Rocking Blog Posts that Convert

Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study pages for conversion

Customer Success Stories, and Case Studies should always be tied with relevant CTAs (Calls-To-Action). There are 2 reasons as to why you should design your case study and story pages for conversion, and why it would be a huge lost opportunity if your visitors end up in a dead end after reading your story.

1. If your visitors have taken the trouble of reading your customer story and case study, it very well means that they are interested in your product and services.  It is a golden opportunity to engage your visitors to take the next steps by popping the question.

2. your customer story and case study pages occupy prime real-estate space on your website. It is one of the most prominent 1st level pages out there. Therefore makes sense to think of converting the visitors to leads. Also the visitors to the story pages have a higher probability of conversion going back to our point #1.

Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study page for conversion -  Kissmetrics

One of the best examples of CTA (aka calls-to-action) in testimonials are the ones on Kissmetrics Our Customers Page.  Though they have 1000’s of happy customers, they are only showcasing 2 of them on their Our Customers Page. They are smartly placed to make the visitors take the next step and read those stories. They are clickable and with a CTA button to make it very obvious. It takes you to the actual story page, which is even more interesting.

Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study page for conversion -  Kissmetrics - LiveChat

It is not the usual monotonously long story in a single tone. It is interspersed with different things like quote snippets, highlights of benefits reaped, detailing of the features that the customer used to get the claimed benefits , etc. All making it more engaging.

The one i am looking at is the LiveChat story, and there are some really impressive quotes by Szymon Klimczak, their CMO, which make it even more compelling.

Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study page for conversion - Kissmetrics - LiveChat - Quote

The best part is that there are CTA buttons tempting prospects to sign-up. They are spread across the page so that it does not get lost with the folds. Though they are all for sign-up purpose, they are made interesting with different reasoning’s, which is cool.

The story page of Kissmetrics is very much a Landing Page in itself . We can call it a – Success Story or Case Study Landing Page !  Which is very smart because the whole purpose of a Customer Testimonial or a Success Story/Case Study would be to get you more leads. Also, the concept of hand picked stories, optimized for conversion makes a lot of sense from an ROI perspective as well.

What do you think ? Please share via commenting if you know of other examples …

thanks, anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..

Also see

1. Our earlier posts on more best practices 

Best Practices: Make your Features Page Rock with Contextual Testimonials

Best Practices: Rock-Star Customers on the Home Page

Best Practices : A-Z Customer List is Outdated

Best Practices : Keep them Real to add Credibility

Best Practices: Returns (ROI) from your testimonials – reasons why measure ?

2. This awesome post by Marie Dean & Peep in ConversionXL – Why you should invest in good testimonials and some great examples

3. This very comprehensive list by Tatiana Liubarets & Helen in Writtent – 25 Success Tips for Writing Irresistible Customer Success Stories

What is the real cost of your Customer Success Story ? Why the hell should you care ?

Customer Success is no longer a nice-to-have for any company. It is a Must-Have!

Especially if you are in a subscription based revenue model – it is in-fact the #1 of the many must-haves! Customer Success would be on top of your priorities. everything else comes after that.

Documenting your customer’s success is a smart way of taking that success to beyond that single customer, to be used for getting you more customers – by using it in various marketing and sales campaigns. (check out the 25 different ways to use a customer success story)

You will probably not find anyone who is not documenting their customer’s success – in some shape or form – it could be as simple as a customer name/logo/testimonial to a more detailed asset like a customer video. (check out the 21 different ways of documenting success – aka Social Proof).

Now every piece of freaking content costs $$ – in the form of efforts, resources, time, and money. So …

1. What is the cost of a customer success story ?

and

2. Why the hell should you care about it ??

Lets look at them one after the other

1. What is the cost of a customer success story ?

Lets take this head-on and list out all the things as below (I am sure i am missing some things here. please add via comments)

 

What is the real cost of your Customer Success Story ? Why the hell should you care ?

To make this simpler you can think of each of the above items falling into either of the 3 buckets

A. The Basics – Recipe for a great dish

Firstly, you need to have an awesome product(s) and/or service that your customers would value, which is by-the-way the starting point and the recipe for a great story.

B. The Right Ingredients & the Cooking (the hard part)

Secondly, but most importantly It involves making your customer a success in using your product and services. And this is not a one time delighting the customer, but doing it for every single thing and on a continuous basis – In a way that your customer loves working with you. Now you have all the right ingredients.

C. The Presentation

Finally, it is about documenting that awesome story (or collecting that awesome quote), and publishing it in ways that would really add credibility to your marketing messages and influence your target audience to take that next step.

 


 

Bonus Tip – Do not lose track of the #1 end objective of any content in marketing – Conversion!

check out some best practices, and awesome examples here

1. Best Practices in Customer Stories and Case Studies

2. Best Practices in Customer Videos

3. Best Practices in Our-Customers Pages


 

 

Each one of the above A-B-C buckets costs you a good deal of investment in the form of $$ spent, efforts put, time spent, resources used, sleepless nights, cups of coffee,  etc, etc. right ? 🙂

 

2. Why the hell should you care about it ??

As seen above – a Customer Success Story does not come cheap.

In-fact, it is one of the most expensive content kinds you would ever create because it involves much more than just creating an excellent piece of content. and the most important thing – it involves your Customer !

Therefore it will not just be a shame, and a lost marketing opportunity if you are not getting returns for your efforts, but much more – It is unfair to your customer to have taken all their time and effort, and not utilized it well. You have not just wasted your efforts, but that of your customer as well ! period.

 

Let me know what you think – Do you agree ? disagree ? Would love to hear about your own experiences and opinions …

and if you like this, please do share it. appreciate it

Food for thought – Now i have a million$ question for you  – How do you measure the returns of your customer success stories  ? How do you know what is the impact ? How do you know which is your best story ?

please share your views by commenting. thanks, anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock - Unbounce - feature1

The best way to make your features page more engaging to the visitors is to add some testimonials. Not just any testimonial but the ones that are contextually relevant to the feature you are talking about. It makes it more credible if you can compliment your claims with some customer quotes talking about the same features.

A Great Example is Unbounce’s Feature page. (www.unbounce.com)

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock - Unbounce - Feature2

(source: unbounce website, 7th Feb 2014)

I love the way how each and every feature description has a corresponding quote from a customer vouching how great that feature has been to them.

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock - Unbounce - Feature3

(source: unbounce website, 7th Feb 2014)

Best Practices: Contextual testimonials – examples of features pages that rock - Unbounce - Feature4

(source: unbounce website, 7th Feb 2014)

Summary: Add testimonials to your features page to make it more credible and engaging . But don’t just add ANY testimonial, but ONLY the ones that are relevant and contextual to what you are talking about.

If you have other examples of cool usage of testimonials in the features and functionality pages, please share in the comments below.

Also see other posts from the Best Practices series

Best Practices : A-Z Customer List is Outdated

Best Practices: Rock-Star Customers on the Home Page

Best Practices : Fake It Till You Make It – Does Not Apply Here

Best Practices : 6 Easy Steps to an Awesome Testimonial

Updated : Unbounce has recently updated their features page to make space for more features, and it no longer looks the same, but nevertheless the concept is still valid. 

thanks, anupam

……………………………………………………………

anupam_bonanthaya_customer_rivet_founder_ceo

Anupam Bonanthaya is an experienced Customer Success Marketer and the Founder of CustomerRivet – The Social Proof Marketing Experts

Rivet.ly – Hosted Our-Customers Page

Get More Leads and More Conversions by Optimizing the use of Testimonials, Success Stories, Case Studies, Videos, Reviews, Customer Photos, Tweets, or any other Social Proof, in your Marketing.

Ask for a Demo today to see how it can help “Transform Your Customer Success Marketing”. OR Contact Anupam Bonanthaya via LinkedIn

………………………………………………………………..