Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content – which social proof works ?

How do you ensure that the social proof you are collecting will help you in your inbound marketing ? Company Generated Content  or User Generated Content (UGC) – which proof works better – in terms of getting you better results – in the form of more traffic, more conversions, and more leads !  (see my recent article on 25 Ways to Boost your marketing with customer testimonials and social proof )

Keep in mind social proof can be any/all of these –  customer names, logos, testimonials, photos, social share/follow counts, success stories, case studies, videos, user reviews, ROI studies, snapshots, spotlights, business benefits, metrics achieved, stats about customer base, product/service usage, tweets, social mentions, media mentions, celebrity endorsement, etc etc (see my recent post to see all the 21 types of social proofs that you can use in your marketing)

In general, we can classify Social Proof into 3 Categories based on how it is created.

A. User Generated Content (UGC)

This is created by the end users on their own, typically on 3rd party platforms. Less or no control by the company.

Examples could be the following

1.  Social mentions and posts in platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc

2. User Reviews in platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, BazaarVoice, TrustRadius, G2 Crowd, TrustPilot, etc

3. User Videos in platforms like youtube, vimeo, vine, etc

 (also see here for the various different kinds of UGC )

B. Company Generated Content (with endorsement from Users/Customers/3rd Party)

This is produced by the company, but with close collaboration with the end users and customers, or even 3rd parties of repute. More control by the company, but still endorsed by the users.

Examples could be the following –

1. Testimonials, Case Studies, Stories, Videos, etc

2. Social Sharing, Followers, Subscribers, etc

3. Celebrity and Influencer Endorsements, media mentions, etc

C. Company Generated Proof (unverified or not easy to verify)

These are “facts” claimed by the company, with less scope for verification. Fully controlled by the company.

Examples could be the following –

1. Customer Base  Statistics eg. 10,000+ customers.

2. Product and Service usage statistics eg. 40 Million Emails sent out.

 Now which of these categories makes sense ? 

Though the question seems simple enough, the answer is not very straightforward. To answer this question lets look at it more pragmatically – not from the seller point of view, but from the  buyer point of view. Putting myself in the shoes – If i am a buyer in the market, what are the questions i would ask when evaluating any vendor ?

6 Questions that i would ask any vendor

1. Social Proof – Do you have it ?

Could you demonstrate to me that there are other people who have used your product and services before ?

Lets look at the results of a survey that Dianna Huff and KoMarketing Associates did asking what B2B Buyers today want from vendor websites.

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content : social-proof must-have credibility indicators for websites

It is very clear that social proof is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have in order to establish credibility in the eyes of the buyer. This is very significant given the fact that 60-80% of the buying decision is taken even before a prospect tries to contact your sales teams.

 

2. Credibility – How much can i trust this ?

There is no question about faking social proof what-so-ever. That would be a stupid suicide. (see more in my recent post on Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them)

The question is how convinced the buyer would be on seeing your proof points ? How credible does your proof look ?

We can classify the 3 categories based on the level of inherent credibility of the type of social proof. This has nothing to do with the proof point in itself, and it is a relative ranking.

I. User Generated Content – HIGH

User Generated Content does stand high in the credibility ladder. The reason being obvious – it is the end user making the point. He/She has no reason to say something good (or bad for that matter), unless there is a strong first hand reason. It also gives a fair representation of both good and bad sides. In real-life nothing is 100% good, so it always make it more credible to see the not-good side as well.

Example – Yelp Reviews – Lazy Bear

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content

II. Company Generated Content (with endorsement from Users/Customers/3rd Party) – MEDIUM

Company Generated Content like testimonials, case studies, and videos will always be lower in credibility compared to the earlier User Generated Content types. But you can always make it get closer (if not equal) by taking measures to keep it as real as possible. for the same reasons – it is a good idea to cover areas that might not be your week points, by answering questions that might be a concern by your typical customer. Of-course it has to be delivered and acknowledged by the end user in your content.

Example – Campaign Monitor’s Testimonials

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content - Example of Company (+User) Created Content

III. Company Generated Content (unverified) – LOW

Pure company claimed “facts” that have no easy way to verify would naturally be received with an element of skepticism. Therefore it always helps  to link it to publicly available facts where possible.

Example – MailChimp’s 5 Million Users

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content - Example of Pure Company Generated Content

 

3. Consistency – is everyone saying the same thing ?

Am i hearing these from just 1 channel from 1 particular audience ? or is it across the board irrespective of channels, across the audiences ?

As a buyer. As a prospect – If there is just 1 kind of social proof, then i am skeptical about it. Whereas if there are different kinds of social proof, it gives me an opportunity to see if the experience is consistent across the board.

Are your case studies, videos, reviews and tweets saying the same things ?

Lets look at an example – Social Proofs by Hubspot

A. Hubspot Case Studies

In this example Geoff Tucker from Alere Wellbeing says how good his experience has been with Hubspot’s customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_casestudy_example

 

B. Hubspot Twitter Posts

This Tweet by Stephen says how good his experience with Hubspot has been w.r.t customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_tweet_example1

 

C. Hubspot TrustRadius Reviews

This review in TrustRadius by Kevin says the same thing about Hubspot’s customer service.

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  hubspot_review_example

All 3 different types of social proof are saying the same thing about Hubspot’s customer service, which is awesome. Therefore more varieties of proof points are very welcome from a buyer perspective because it provides the buyer an opportunity to verify if the claims are consistent across the board. Which leads to a  stronger assurance to believe the vendor.

 

4. Natural – does it look too scripted ?

Scripted content is less convincing compared to natural sounding ones. This is where user generated content scores over company generated ones. If they sound non-scripted and spontaneous, it makes them more believable.

Example – Manpacks Testimonials

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  manpacks_tweets

Therefore it also makes sense to keep the company generated content less scripted. The imperfections actually make them sound more genuine. Don’t edit anything just for the sake of it, unless it makes a significant difference to the messaging.

 

5. Clear Benefits – are the features-benefits convincing ?

Is it clear that using the features provided would lead to the benefits claimed  ? Features in itself does not mean anything, unless the customer can see the benefits associated.

Example – Optimizely’s Case Studies

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content  optimizely_case_studies

This is especially important if your product or service has a lot of features. As a buyer, i would like to hear from users how using a particular feature has led to a claimed benefit.

This is where the company produced assets like case studies, stories, ROI studies, videos, etc are better placed compared to user generated ones where there is less control on the structure and flow of the content. (see more in my recent article  Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)

As a buyer i am more compelled to believe your social proof when you have the depth and clarity.

 

 6. Buyer Persona – does it look like “me” ?

The crux of the social proof argument is that it is “what people LIKE ME are doing”. Therefore for it to be effective as a marketing tool, it will have to match the desired profile of the  buyer – what we call as the buyer persona. It sounds easier said than done because your current customer base need not be the same as your ideal or desired customer base. This is because your target customer profile is always a moving target.

 

 

Social Proof Marketing: user-generated-content vs. company-generated-content Buyer Persona

User generated content has less control on the profile of the people who create and contribute to the content. Whereas company generated ones have more control on the people you want to collaborate with. Also it is easier to fill the gaps.

 

Conclusion – the good news is that you need everything !

As you can see there is no 1 kind of social proof that can satisfy all the needs of the buyers. Therefore it is good to have as many types as possible because showcasing them together helps cover all the needs of the buyer. It is way more smarter than betting on 1 type of social proof. Therefore, Company Generated Content is as important as the User Generated ones, or vice-versa.

If you feel this is valuable, please LIKE and SHARE it with your friends. Appreciate it.

thanks & regards, 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

 

Customer Testimonial Examples: 25-Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ best practices)

The most popular usage of customer testimonials is posting them in your Testimonials page or Our-Customers page, and you are done, which in my opinion is a gross under-utilization of this valuable asset. In this article you will see 24 more ways to utilize them well, along with examples and bonus tips on best practices.

Customer Testimonials help in making your marketing credible, increasing conversions from your calls-to-actions, increasing traffic from your content marketing, and getting you more leads as an end outcome. Therefore they are super valuable, and you can definitely do a better job of utilizing them.

For the purpose of this discussion, when i say customer testimonials, it includes all the formats of customer proof points – name droppings, logos, quotes, photos, success stories, case studies, videos, user reviews, ROI studies, snapshots, spotlights, business benefits and metrics achieved, tweets, social mentions, pins, and what not. (see my recent post to see all the 21 types of social proofs that you can use in your content marketing)

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25 Ways to Boost your Marketing using Customer Testimonials

Includes examples/templates/best-practices of testimonials, case studies, reviews, success stories, videos, photos, tweets … or any customer proof point usages

1. Home Page

Displaying your customers on your home page not only means you are showcasing credibility to your claims, but also gives the impression that customers are central to your business. It kills (rather saves) 2 birds in 1 shot. Lets look at an example

Example – About.Me’s Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - About.Me Home Page 2

The Home Page of About.Me showcases the about me pages of its customers. Its so cool ! Makes you want to get your about.me page right away.

Bonus Tip: Understand everybody will not have the luxury of using all the real-estate on your home page for customer testimonials. Wish every product and service was so simple that you didn’t have to explain it beyond your testimonials. In reality home page 1st fold is super premium real-estate, and it is a compromise with many priorities. I would recommend at-least having a small area for testimonials.  you could be displaying just 1 that says it all.

also check out this earlier post by me with some cool examples of Customers as Hero Images

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2. Products, Services & Features Page

The page where you are explaining the benefits – features is a very good place to show case some relevant testimonials. It helps assure your prospects that people are using those features and are benefiting from them (like you claimed). Lets look at an example.

Example – Square Trade’s Iphone (product) Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Square Trade IPhone Products Page 2

See how the strategic mention of the reviews from Apple App store fits-in to the context. The videos at the bottom are very relevant as well. If you are insuring your phone against damage, nothing is more convincing than testimonials from people who ended up breaking their phones and hence made claims, and got reimbursements – the biggest mental hurdle for buying any insurance policy – will they pay up ?

Bonus Tip – 3 things you need to keep in mind – relevancy, relevancy, relevancy. Testimonials in a product/service or features page makes sense only if it is contextual to what you are trying to sell.

also see this earlier post about contextual testimonials. yet again the example is that of a features page

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 3. Landing Pages

The single only objective of any landing page is conversion. Every A/B test proves 1 thing for guaranteed – adding testimonials to a landing page increases conversion. period. If you don’t take my word for it, go ahead and test it, and come back to me if it is not true.

Example – Neil Patel’s (Quicksprout) Landing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Neil Patel's Quicksprout Landing Page

Neil Patel is the guru of SEO and Conversion. If he is using a customer testimonial in every landing page of his, then you know that this is something you should copy blindly ! I am a big fan.

Bonus Tip – Landing Page experts always say one thing – do not distract the visitor away from the CTA (Calls-To-Action) Button. Therefore make sure the testimonials don’t take away the spotlight from the CTA, yet help add credibility to support your claims.


4. Pricing & Plans Page

The Pricing page is very strategic from a sign-up perspective. In addition to addressing all questions and concerns related to cost of ownership, it is an opportunity to provide additional assurance in the form of testimonials from existing customers. Lets see 2 examples

Example 1 – Unbounce’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Pricing Page

In this Unbounce example, the testimonial from Hootsuite tries to assure that choosing Unbounce is a good decision overall by reinforcing the USP of Unbounce.

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Now lets look at another example.

Example 2 – 3D Cart’s Pricing Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - 3D Cart's Pricing Page

In this example from 3DCart, the testimonial from Mike & Karen is trying to assure you that this is a good deal from a cost-package perspective, which also makes sense. Therefore both are good examples.

Bonus Tip – What is the best one for you ? – that’s something you need to test because every case would be different.


5. Sign-up Page

Sign-up is the last stop before someone signs up. Therefore an opportunity to give that extra assurance boost. Lets see an example

Example – Present.me’s Signup Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Present.Me's Signup Page

Nice clean page with the right pinch of customer testimonial.

Bonus Tip – Just like the Landing Pages, do not take away the spotlight from the main CTA – to sign-up. 


6. About Us Page

About-Us page should in-fact be right the opposite. It should be about the customers – it should say why customers should do business with you. Showcasing what other customers say about you is just the right thing to do. Lets see an example

Example – Optimizely’s About-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Optimizely's About Us Page


7.  Testimonials & Our Customers Page

Testimonials or Customers page is where you would consolidate all your customer proof points. This page is still very important because it is one place where your prospects can see the strength of Social Proof – The voice of the crowd.  Testimonials and Our-Customers are used interchangeably.

The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example of a good testimonials page.

Example – Guidebook’s Testimonials Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Guidebook's Testimonials Page

In this example from Guidebook, the page is well organised – it is not too overwhelming, but at the same time makes it interesting with the right mix of brands and quotes.

Now lets see an example of an Our-Customers page.

Example – UberConference’s Our-Customers Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Uber Conference's Our Customers Page

I love the tiered approach taken by Uber Conference here. At the top tier is this testimonial from BeatsMusic that says it all. The 2nd tier is 2 testimonials, more detailed but compelling. The 3rd tier is a bunch of logos. Very engaging way to present your customer testimonials.

Bonus Tip – It is a bad idea to have an A-Z list because this is not a telephone book ! no-one will search for a customer by name. It is a good idea to provide categories at-the-least – like by solution, by products, by industry, by customer segment, by country, etc. and display the search results by relevance (not A-Z). see more in my earlier post on why you should not have a A-Z list


8. Success Stories & Case Studies Page

Success Stories or Case Studies Page is essentially a subset of the Our-Customers or Testimonials page, but limited to those that have a detailed story.

Similar to the Our-Customers page, The key here is to organize everything such that it is engaging and helps drive the message across, without being boring. This is one of the top premium pages on your website from a traffic perspective, and it does make sense to use it well.

Lets see an example.

Example – MongoDb’s Customer Success Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - MongoDb's Customer Success Stories Page

Bonus Tip – Another important thing in design of these pages is making them conversion friendly. It is a waste if the pages are a dead-end. They need to be designed such that it helps you accomplish that one and only objective of any customer proof point – generate leads. see examples in my recent post about best practices for case studies – Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)


 9. Contact-Us Page

Contact-Us page is very similar to the sign-up page. It is an opportunity to provide that extra bit of assurance so that your prospects can contact you. Lets see an example.

Example – Sarah Rudinoff Realtor’s Contact-Us Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Sarah Rudinoff Realtor's Contact-Us Page


 10. Blog Posts

Blogs are the most popular tactic in content marketing. The top objective of any content marketing is to get more conversions from your CTA (calls-to-action) buttons or links. Using customer testimonials provides assurance, and adds credibility, thus increasing conversions. Therefore it is a must have to add testimonials to your blog posts. Lets see 2 examples.

Example 1 – TINT’s Blog Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - TINT's Blog Page

In the TINT example above the Kudos Tweets widget helps to entice the visitors to the blog to convert and visit the website.

Now lets see one more example.

Example 2 – Hootsuite Blog

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - HootSuite's Blog Post Page

In this example a customer case study is used as a blog post in itself.

Bonus Tip: You can do both of the above. Use the case study as a blog post, but also use snippets of the case study across rest of the blog and content.

see one more example of the Quicksprout Blog –  Content Marketing: Testimonials help increase blog conversions, and get more leads.


 11. Press Releases & News

Using Customer Testimonials as a press release or news article is a good way of reaching out to audience beyond your immediate circles. Lets see an example.

Example – Oracle’s Press Releases

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle's Press Release Page

Bonus Tip – You can also use testimonials in other press or news releases where you are talking about other things like product launches, new features, etc


12. Webinar

You can do Webinars with customers, which is very popular. But in addition, you can also use testimonials to get more sign-ups and attendance for your webinars. Lets see an example.

Example – Unbounce’s Webinar Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Unbounce's Webinar Page

Bonus Tip – It is nice to have the testimonials to be relevant to the CTA (calls-to-action) like the Unbounce example above where people are not talking about Unbounce’s product, but they are talking about how the past webinars were useful to them as attendees. Very contextual.


13. Newsletters

Newsletters are another important content marketing tactic. The top objective is to get more click-through back to the website. Customer Testimonials help do exactly that – get you more conversion. Lets see an example

Example – Rackspace’s Newsletter

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rackspace's Newsletter

In this example from Rackspace, they are showcasing a snippet of the case study with Data Morphosis and the CTA button is to see the complete case study.

Bonus Tip – You can also have CTA buttons that link to a landing page.

see one more example from the B2C space here –  Content Marketing: Increase email newsletter click through and CTA conversions using testimonials


 14. Emails – (Auto-Responders, drip campaigns, transactional, etc)

Emails are used for many purposes. It can be for drip campaigns where you keep dripping your target audience with a series of emails with a desired CTA. It can be auto-responders that are setup as a response to specific actions by the user. It can also be transactional emails related to on-boarding, billing, renewals, etc.

Whatever be the reason, there is a good opportunity to include testimonials. Including testimonials would basically help provide that extra assurance for the user to take that next step you desire them to take (aka CTA -calls-to-action). Lets see an example

Example – Influitive’s Email

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Influitive's Emails

I got this email from Influitive after i downloaded a white paper. The desired action that Influitive’s team would like me to take would be to visit their products page. The mention of popular names like Act-On, Eloqua, etc adds that extra bit of assurance and prompts me to check out their product.

Bonus Tip – It is a good idea to make the testimonials stand out with logos, photos, etc. Knowing that emails have a tendency to not show images, it is still worth the chance because visual components are much more compelling than plain text. Also email servers like gmail do show images because they pre-screen for malicious images (the primary reason for not showing images), and they also cache the images in their CDN servers (performance being the secondary reason for not showing images)

also see more examples of testimonials in emails here –  Email Marketing: Testimonials help increase click through rate, get more CTA conversions.


15. Whitepapers & eBooks

You can club together groups of customer success stories and case studies in the form of eBooks or whitepapers. Lets see an example.

Example – Workday’s Whitepapers

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Workday's Whitepapers

Here in this example, Workday presents 2 of its customer stories in the format of a whitepaper, where they are trying to explain a topic but with the use of a customer as an example. It not only makes it feel more easy to understand, but it also make it credible from a practicality and feasiblity perspective. You sound less preachy when you can relate it with examples.

Bonus Tip – In addition to discussing customer stories in detail, you can also use snippets of testimonials in any whitepaper, very similar to product/service features page.


16. LinkedIn Updates

Social Media is an opportunity to go beyond our know circles in order to reach out to the larger audience and get more visibility.

Lets star with LinkedIn. Post your customer testimonials as updates in LinkedIn. Lets see an example

Example – Tegile’s LinkedIn Updates

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Tegile's LinkedIn updates about Customers

The cool thing about the updates by Tegile is that the images are self explanatory.

Bonus Tip – In addition to getting the word out, you should also think about getting traffic back to your website. From that perspective, it would be a good idea to provide back links to your Our Customers page or even your Home page, if not a landing page.


17. Facebook Pages

Similar to LinkedIn updates, post your customer testimonials on your Facebook pages.

Lets see an example

Example – OfficeVibe’s Facebook Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - OfficeVibe's Facebook Posts about Customers

I love the CultureSpeak videos by OfficeVibe. They are recordings of interviews with the HR person (or whoever is responsible for the company culture) at the customer side, over google hangout. Very interesting.

Bonus Tip – Like i said earlier for LinkedIn updates – the idea of any posts in social media would be to get traffic back to your website, therefore you need to post just the teaser and people need to click on the back links for the main course .

Correction : I got a clarification from OfficeVibe –  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe. I stand corrected, but I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such. And nothing stops someone from doing similar interviews with their customers, using them as testimonials, and posting them on facebook.

read more about it here – Best Practices in Video Testimonials


18. Tweet It (Twitter)

Tweet out your customer testimonials. Lets see an example

Example – Microsoft Education’s Twitter Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Microsoft Education's tweets about Customers

19. Pin it (Pinterest )

Pin the images and photos. Lets see an example

Example – Wine and Design Australia

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Wine and Design Australia's testimonials we pinned

20. Instagram It

Post it on Instagram as well. See an example below

Example – SideKicker’s Instagram Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Side Kicker's Instagram photos


 21. Slideshare

You can convert all your testimonials into a slide deck format and post it on Slideshare. Lets see an example below

Example – Genesys’s Slidshare Pages

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Genesys's Slideshare posts about customers

Bonus Tip – You can also post your case studies and success stories as slides on Slideshare, and then embed it into your pages everywhere.


22. YouTube

Create videos of your customers and post it on Youtube.

Lets see an example

Example – Rockwell Automation’s Youtube Page

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Rockwell Automation's Customer Videos in youtube

Bonus Tip – You don’t need to always shoot professional videos that come at a big price. You can do user generated videos. You can also convert your case studies and success stories into a video like the example above.


23. Advertisements

Advertisements are a big area in itself. You can do a lot – traditional media ads, PPC ads, Native ads, Sponsered ads, etc. Here i am just giving some traditional media examples.

Example – SAP Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - SAP Customer advertisements

Example – Oracle Ads

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Oracle Customer Advertisements - Ironman

Bonus Tip – Stay tuned for a followup post with more details about Customer Testimonials in Advertisements. 


24. Analyst Interview (Analyst Relations – AR)

Industry analysts are always tracking and evaluating companies. Testimonials from existing customers help make your case strong. Check out this example

Example – Marketo in Gartner Magic Quadrant (for CRM Lead Management)

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Gartner's Magic Quadrent for CRM Lead Management


25. Earnings Call (Investor Relations – IR)

Name dropping of recent customers is the best way to showcase credibility during earnings call. check out this example.

Example – Salesforce’s (SFDC) Earnings Call

Customer Testimonials: 25 Ways to Boost your Marketing (w/ examples & best practices) - Salesforce (SFDC) Q4 earnings call


These were the 25 ways. I am sure i have missed some more. If you have other examples please share via commenting.

Summary – You can do a whole lot more with your Customer Testimonials than just posting them in your Testimonials Page. Above you could see 25 ways of using them. Go ahead and make your marketing kick ass with your customer stories.

If you feel this is valuable, please LIKE and SHARE it with your friends. Appreciate it.

thanks & regards, 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

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - David Ortiz Obama White House Selfie Example

 

Social proof is a terminology used to represent the herd mentality of human beings in a good way. There has been lots of research on the subject, but in simple terms – We all like to follow and do things that other people-like-us do. Much more if they have now become more successful by doing so.

Social proof when applied in a marketing sense is very powerful. It provides a compelling reason for visitors to click on the call-to-action links and buttons, because they see it as getting on the path that other people like them have taken in the past in order to find success.

I have compiled a list of 21 different types of social proof that you can use in your marketing. Please see below with some awesome examples.

21 Types of Social Proof to Boost your Marketing


 

1. Customer Testimonials.

Let me start with the most powerful social prof – Testimonials from customers. For customer testimonials to be very effective you need to make sure that they look and feel as real as possible by including proof points like – photos, full name and job title at the least. The more details it has the better it is.

(Example: LinkedIn )

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Customer Testimonials - LinkedIn

You can use testimonials in various places across your website and content marketing. see some awesome examples here.

1. Examples on the Home Page

2. Examples on the ‘Our Customers’ Page

3. Examples on the Features page

4. Examples on your Blog Posts

5. Examples in your Emails and Drip Campaigns

6. Examples in your Newsletter

 

Bonus Tip: 

Ensure that you are including enough information so that your visitors can verify the credibility of the customer by a simple Google search. see this post to know more why and how to keep testimonials real – Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them

 


 

2. Customer Logos

Customer logos bunched together as a banner or a page is very effective in showcasing social proof, especially if you have some recognizable brand names. Customer Branding always helps make a big first impact.

(Example: Oracle Eloqua)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Logo Banne - Oracle Eloqua Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Link back to a detailed story or testimonial if you have one. Otherwise resist from providing a generic link to the customer website (unless of course the customer insisted you provide back link). In fact it is less valuable if you are expecting your prospects to read up about the customers whose logo you are showcasing (if that was your intent on generic linking)


 

3. Review from Users

Reviews from users rank high on credibility provided they done on platforms that allow both positive and negative reviews. And this is exactly what i mean when i say reviews.

(Example: Amazon)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - User Reviews - Amazon Example

 

Bonus Tip: 

Negative reviews are definitely not bad since it makes it more real life as no real business will have 100% happy customers. And in-fact negative reviews gives the opportunity to see how the company handles feedback about bad experiences. I see it as a golden opportunity to showcase competency in customer service.

 


 

4. Kudos Mention in Social Media (Eg. Tweets, FB posts)

Encouraging customers to post kudos in Social Media, and pulling them in into your marketing is one of the easiest ways to show credibility. It is super convenient from the customer point of view, and easily verifiable, hence making it one of the most popular social proofs.

(Example: ASmallOrange)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Kudos Tweets  - ASmallOrange (ASO) Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Twitter and Facebook have made available widgets that helps you showcase your kudos tweets and posts in your website. check them out. See How to embed Facebook Posts, How to embed Twitter tweets

 


 

5. Customer Success Stories and Case Studies

Customer Success Case Studies and Stories if done well is a very effective social proof from a selling perspective because it combines credibility and marketing message in a very non-salesy way. It gives an opportunity to go to the details of your product or service features and map them to the business benefits that your prospects can expect to reap.

also see – Case Study Tips: 5 Examples of how not-to-waste your customer success stories (w/ best practices)

(Example: Facebook Success Stories)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Success Story and Case Study - Facebook Example

 

Bonus Tip :

Do not forget to add relevant CTA calls-to-action buttons to your case studies and stories, so that it does not become a dead end. see this for a great example –  Landing Page Optimization: Design success story and case study pages for conversion

 


 

6. Customer Photos and Selfies

It is a well tested fact that Customer Photos add credibility to your testimonials and make them look more trust worthy as mentioned earlier. Therefore last year stock photos got replaced by real customer photos. Now professional photos are getting replaced with Selfies with the common trend of selfies popularized by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus.

This is primarily because it makes it easy for the customer from a convenience perspective and it looks more real than a professional portrait any day.

(Example: Volkswagen)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Photos and Selfies - Volkswagen Cars Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try asking your customers for a selfie and you will be surprised by their willingness. Sharing photos is an inherent human behavior and the reason for the success of the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Flickr, the list goes on and on …

 


 

7. Customer Video

Videos of customers talking about your solution are more engaging because most of us are better in grasping a audio-visual content compared to pure text and images.

(Example: Unbounce)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Videos - Unbounce Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Videos work only when someone is inclined enough to spend the 1-2 mins to see the video. Therefore always compliment with text and photo testimonials because it aids visitors to skim reading that is normal when you browse internet (read here about speed reading)

 


 

8. User Generated Content – Videos

User generated videos have all the plus points of reviews and videos combined together. They have the same level of credibility as user reviews, and the audio-visual component that comes with videos makes it very engaging to the viewer.

(Example: GoPro)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - User and Customer Generated Videos - GoPro Example

 

Bonus Tip:

You don’t always need a fun product like a GoPro to encourage user generated videos as your social proof. It will be nice, but not a must. Even a boring product like business software (relatively speaking) can have interesting videos depending on the customer industry. Example  – An F1 race team could be making use of a lot of software in winning races ?  right. you know what i mean 😉

 


 

9. Endorsements from Celebrities

Research shows that association with someone recognizable or desirable makes it more credible and trust worthy in itself. Endorsements from celebrities is very effective in the B2C space. Therefore you see a lot of celebrity advertisements in various media. You can use them in your website and content marketing as well.

(Example: Samsung at the 2014 Oscars)

Samsung has been very smart in using celebrity selfies. First it was the Oscars, then it was the White House. Nevertheless selfies is a new gig here, but celebrity endorsement in general has been there ever since the existence of marketing, which is ever since the stone ages.

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Celebrity Endorsements - Samsung Oscar Selfie Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Even if you are in a B2B space, i am sure you will have brands who are a celebrity in themselves. The Apples, Googles, Facebooks of your world. An endorsement from a big brand in the form of a customer or even a partner goes a long way …. 


 

10. Endorsements from Influencer(s)

Influencer can be anyone who has some clout with your target audience. An endorsement coming from someone whom your target audience trusts has much more credibility than anything coming from you as the service provider.

(Example: Neil Patel for UberFlip )

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing  - Influencer Endorsements - Neil Patel for UberFlip Example

 

Bonus Tip:

It would be awesome if this Influencer is an expert in what you are trying to sell, but it need not always be the case. It can even be someone that your customer segment would look-up to. Example  – Marketing automation software company Hubspot uses endorsements from Gary Vaynerchuk. Among’st many other things, Gary is a founder of winelibrary (an online wine retailer) and a person to look up to in the customer service and loyalty space, and hence someone that Hubspot’s customer segment would relate to. ( read more about it here)

 


 

11. PR and Media Mentions

Mentions in popular publications and media is also a valuable social proof because it is a know fact that credible news sources would be mentioning you only if they have reasons to believe in your story. Very valuable for new businesses.

(Example: Hubspot)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - PR and Media Mention - Hubspot Example

Bonus Tip:

From a credibility and verifiable point of view It is a good idea to provide link backs to the news articles that talk about you. If you are concerned that it would lead to link leak, then list them in a separate page.


 

12. Partnerships and Integration

Associating with other businesses and people who are more popular helps build credibility. In Information Technology it is important that your software plays well with the rest of the ecosystem and integration with other popular  software is a must have.

(Example: Zapier)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Partnerships and Integrations - Zapier Example

Bonus Tip:

These are social proofs that cannot stand on their own, but play well as a complimentary proof. i.e in addition to having customer proofs. see this post on why customer poof is important – Why social proof is useless without customer proof at the top

 


 

13. Trust and Security Badges

Third party certifications are a must have if your product or service needs assurance about privacy and security.

(Source: Curated by Monetizepro.com)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Trust and Security Badges - List curated by Monetizepros Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Similar to partnerships/integration that i covered earlier, trust/security badges are social proofs that cannot stand on their own, but play well as a complimentary proof. i.e in addition to having customer proofs.

 


 

14. Awards and Recognition.

Awards and recognition from popular boards or industry associations are valuable proof of credibility. They are similar to Media mentions, and are very helpful for new businesses or new products/services.

(Example: Jawbone)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Awards - Jawbone Example

 

Bonus Tip: 

They are helpful in industries where customers look up to expert boards, associations, councils, connoisseurs, etc  for opinions on the latest and greatest products and services that hit the market. example would be technology, engineering, and food industries.

 

 


 

15. Customer-Base Stats

Customer base or User base statistics in the form of social proof provide assurance to prospects  that they are not alone and there is already a significant number of people or businesses that are benefiting from your services.

(Example: AirBnB)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Customer Statistics - AirBNB Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Keep it real. It is awesome if you can quote numbers in real-time, but if not it is OK. Please don’t make up increment counters. Everyone understands it is a big deal to be able to show real-time numbers. Rounded-off numbers look and feel much more genuine than fake counters.

 


 

16. Social Sharing Stats

Social sharing statistics is a social proof that is very relevant and valuable in content marketing. Knowing that it has been shared well increases the credibility in the content.

(Example: CopyBlogger)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Social Sharing Statistics - CopyBlogger Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Many people recommend that showing stats that have low numbers is not a good idea. I don’t necessarily agree. Lets think like a customer – what could be that one reason as to why you are not showing your sharing stats ? A. you want to be modest and not be boastful. B. you have numbers that you are not proud of showing. what is your guess ? (i know this could swing both ways, but in the case of showing low numbers one thing is clear – you are honest)

 


 

17. Product or Service Usage Stats 

Similar to Customer Stats, but this is more about the Product or Service in itself. Having a large number of customers does not always mean they are using your services well, and vice-versa – having a large usage does not mean many customers. Though it is true in most cases. Therefore both statistics are valuable.

(Example: Mad Mimi)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Product and Service Usage Statistics - MadMimi Email Marketing Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Same as Customer Stats. Do not give fake counters. it is OK to say over 40 million emails sent. it does not have to be 40,145,987 !

 


 

18. Friends’ Recommendations

If you see that your friends and contacts in your network have recommended something it is very compelling because you can relate to it better. even if the number is small the impact is very big because you tend to think that if a few people you know have liked something what would be the scale at a broader level – quite big.

(Example: Coca-Cola Facebook page)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Friends Recommendations - Coca Cola Facebook Page Example

 

Bonus Tip:

I still don’t like coca-cola even though 5 of my friends love it ! 🙂

 


 

19. Trending Stats

Statistics like 48 people are listening, 10 people are viewing, 25 people bought this item, etc are quite compelling as a social proof because it helps us picture a long Q in front of the popular food joint, which assures us that the food must be good.

(Example: Mashable)

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Current Trending Statistics - Mashable Comments Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try to keep it relevant to the customer. ask yourself the question – as a customer why would you care if this number is high ? eg. you can easily show “100,000 people are viewing this page right now” but ask the question – so what ? if you have a good reason – go for it ! eg. if it a piece of content, then even 100 people viewing it means it is valuable and hence it is big deal.

 


 

20. Subscribers and Followers

How many followers you have in social media or how many subscribers you have for your newsletter or mailing list definitely indicates the level of credibility and clout you have therefore it is a very valuable piece of social proof to showcase.

(Example: ContentMarketingInstitute)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Subscribers and Social Followers - Content Marketing Institute Example

 

Bonus Tip :

There are many styles of presenting this, but I love this one above used by the content marketing institute for 2 reasons – 1. It is different from the standard social follow-like buttons, hence making it interesting. 2. It is ordered in the order of high to low, thus making it easier to total. at the end of the day, it does matter what is the total following. doesn’t it ?

 


 

21. Projects and Portfolios

Proof of past projects or portfolios in the form of screenshots and photos is very common in the services industry, but is rarely mentioned in the context of social proof which is surprising because it is social proof – 100% for sure.

(Example: Razorfish)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof types (w/ examples) for your content marketing - Projects and Portfolio - Razorfish Example

 

Bonus Tip:

Try to strengthen your portfolio roster by including testimonials. Most people keep them separate, which does not make sense because at the end of the day both are proofs of credibility and it reinforces credibility and competency when both portfolios and testimonials (for those portfolios) are showcased together.


 

22. Visitor Activity Stats (NEW)

Live Statistics about the visitors and what they did on your website  is a way of assuring your new prospects about the popularity of your site.

(Example: TweetStork)

 

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing  - Example of Visitor Activity Stats

 

Bonus Tip:

This is more effective for B2C industries like Retail, Booking sites, etc where the relationship is transactional in nature. 

 


 

23. Best Practices Sharing by Customers (NEW)

Getting your customers to talk about their area of expertise is another way of showing social proof.

They might or might-not refer to your product/services, but by agreeing to share best practices they are endorsing you, which is great. They get to see this as an opportunity to showcase themselves as a subject matter expert, which is a Win-Win.

(Example: OfficeVibe)

Good example is the CultureTalks video interviews by OfficeVibe.

Social Proof Marketing: 21 kick-ass social proof examples to boost your content marketing - Best-Practices Example -OfficeVibe

 

Correction : I got a clarification from Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at OfficeVibe – the cool dude doing the interviews,  saying that the CultureTalks video interview series is not necessarily with their customers, and hence they are not intended as testimonials for OfficeVibe. I would still like to retain it here because i think this is still a best practice, and a valuable social proof as such. And nothing stops you from doing similar interviews with your customers and using them as testimonials. read more about it here – Best Practices in Video Testimonials

Bonus Tip : 

This is something that you can still try to do with your customers in cases where they are reluctant to provide any public testimonials (for their own reasons . eg. company policy).


 

And many more ……. I am sure there are other social proof that i have missed. Please share via commenting if you know them.

 

Summary:

It is a well proven fact that using Social Proof gets you more conversions, more traffic, and more leads. People always want to take the same path – the guaranteed path that others have taken leading them to success.

As you have seen above there can be 21 (and more) different kinds of social proof, and you can use them in innumerable ways across your website and content marketing. So go ahead and rock it.

Do keep one thing in mind though – keep them as real as possible because social proof is all about ‘assurance of credibility’ and any whiff of fake-ness  has exactly the opposite effect. 

 

If you have other good examples 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

………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

Social Proof Marketing: Why social proof is useless without customer proof at the top

Credibility Marketing: Why social proof is inadequate without having customer proof at the very Top ?

Enough has been written about Social Proof, and how it helps conversions and lead generation. Absolutely ! No doubts whatsoever. But how do you prioritize and what is a must-have versus nice-to-have among’st the social proofs ? where should you put your money ?

Firstly, lets start with what is social proof ?

In simple terms social proof is the power of a group. The inherent human psychology of ‘Follow the Herd’ mentality unraveled and applied to marketing in a very good way. Prospects and visitors to your website get influenced positively by facts and figures that assure them that they are in good company.

Now, what factors should you consider when you look at the various social proofs ?

There are 5 things you need to keep in mind in choosing the social proof you want to brag about .

1. Credibility

The credibility of the person or source of information is very important. There are 2 factors here –

A. Is the credentials of the person (or source) known or can be verified easily (eg. google)?

B. what is in it for the person who is vouching ? ( what is the vested interest, if any ?)

2. Quality (versus Quantity)

It is important to show volume numbers to showcase the wide adoption of your product or service, but it is much more important to showcase that what you are providing has been valuable to the people who matter the most – the ones who have been using your product or services in the past – your existing customers.

3. Buyer Persona (versus no persona)

People get influenced by what people similar to them say and do. You need to think what can help you to convince your prospects that people with similar persona as theirs have been using your services.

(to know more about buyer persona, see this informative post by Tony Zambito – What is a Buyer Persona? )

4. Storytelling

Presenting content in a story format has proven to be much more effective in engaging the audience. therefore you need to think what proof allows itself to be presented  in a story format.

5. Authority matters

According to Seth Godin, we always look up and pay attention to people who have the authority in the subject. Think who is in the best position to vouch for your capabilities as the service provider ?

(to know more about authority and why it matters, see this post in Copyblogger by Seth – Striving for Authority)

Finally, so what is the pecking order of priority in choosing your social proof ?

Based on the above 5 criteria, i would rate them in the following order.

1. Customer testimonials (quotes, photos, videos, case studies, logo, benefits metric, etc)

2. User reviews

3. Kudo tweets and posts in social media by customers

4. Endorsements by 3rd party (Influencers, Celebrity)

5. Media coverage (as seen in …)

Social Proof Marketing: Why social proof is useless without customer proof at the top - Top 10

6. Partners and awards

7. Trust and security seals

8. Social sharing stats (number of shares, re-tweets, likes, follows)

9. Product and service usage stats like emails sent, pages created, goods shipped, etc

10. Subscriber base voume stats like number of users, customers, followers,  etc

Of-course, if you can show all of these and more – should i say – go knock yourself out !

Summary: Customer Social Proof in the form of testimonials ( quotes, case studies, reviews, tweets, photos, videos, logos, endorsements, benefits metric, and more) must be on top of your social proof points showcase because they are much more effective in persuading your prospects to do business with you. Therefore it is in your best interest to make it a priority to collect them, and publish them all across your marketing.

let me know what you think ?

please share via 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

………………………………………………………………..

see some best practices on usage of customer 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

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

7.  Best Practices : How to keep testimonials real, and reasons why not to fake them

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

see other posts related to social proof

1. The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business by Andy Crestodina at Unbounce

2. 7 Things You MUST Understand When Leveraging Social Proof in Your Marketing Efforts by Gregory Ciotti from Hubspot

3. Why You Must Have Social Proof On Your Blog by Julie Neidlinger at CoSchedule

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

………………………………………………………………..