How Not-to-Waste the Opportunity with your Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Page ?

Our-Customers (or Our Clients) page is where you would showcase your Marque Customers and their Success on your website. Today Social Proof is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have in your company website from a buyer perspective. Unfortunately, this very Our-Customers page is one of the most “under-utilized” page for most businesses. Therefore there is lot of scope here for making them work for you – in terms of converting your visitors – to leads and customers – by providing credibility and proof to your marketing claims.

Lets see how to make this work for you.

In this article i would be analyzing the Our-Customers page of some impressive companies looking for best practices. We will do this based on below 5 factors. When i say Our-Customers Page – I mean any page or tab where you would list all your social proof, including Customer Names, Testimonials, Videos, Stories, Case Studies, Social Mentions, Social Counts, Media Mentions, Badges, Reviews, etc etc (for more about the different kinds of social proof – read this)

5 Factors to Evaluate Our-Customers (and Our-Clients) Pages

1. Well Organized  – Show Where to Start !

Organizing the content such that it is difficult for visitors to figure out where to start is a bad design. Therefore make it clear which is your featured customer or content. Don’t give choices to the visitor ! An A-Z list or filters to start with is a bad idea. Not all your customers are equal. Make up your mind as to which story you want to showcase, and make that clear.

2. Engaging – Make it Interesting !

The content needs to be engaging so that the visitors are inclined to continue, and not close the page.  Enough has been said about how visual content is more engaging compared to text. Make it interesting with Photos, Videos, Charts, Graphs, etc.

3. Compelling – Does it Convince to Convert ?

Make sure that the messaging in terms of benefits and value to the customer is clear and it does stand out. Highlight the key takeaways. Make sure it is in sync with your marketing copy. Use metrics and bullet points to show the results post your solution.

4. Credibility  – Does it sound Credible as a Social Proof ?

There are many many different kinds of social proof you could collect and show. And it could be company generated or user generated (UGC). I would recommend a mix and match. The more varieties you can show – the better. It helps provide assurance by showing consistency in the opinion across your audience base. Which means less skepticism and more credibility. (for more on which kind of social proof is more credible – read this)

5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) –  What is the Next Step ?

The worst thing would be to have a page with dead-ends – the ones where the visitor does not know what to do next , and has to search for a path. I mean in the fortunate case where he/she sticks along. Make sure to connect them to your lead funnel via CTA (Calls To Action) buttons or links.

 

Now, Lets analyse the Our-Customers Page of some awesome companies, and rate them on a scale of 1-5 for each of the above factors.

(Author’s disclaimer – I am in no way associated with any of these companies. These are hand-picked form the 2014 Forbes Most Promising and Most Admired Companies. Mostly. )


 

Example 1 – AirPush

AirPush is #2 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #1 in the Media category. It is a platform for Mobile Ads, with many big names like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Volkswagen, Hotels.com, LG, etc as its customers.

Home Page

Their Our-Customers page is a section in the Home Page. They have 2 sections

1. Logo banner followed with

2. Testimonial Quotes.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example AirPush

Case Studies Page

They also have a case studies page with 3 case studies.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example AirPush

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – There is a limited set of assets, but it is well organized
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – There is limited content. And the case studies could have been crisper. Interestingly, the PDF versions of the case studies are much better, but given that it is another click away, i am not sure if has been put to good use.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is clear and therefore compelling.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – The brand names are very impressive. They also show some usage and reach statistics like total # of live campaigns, # of mobile apps, etc which is impressive.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 3/5 – The “View Case Studies” CTA on the home page does stand out, but the real one – ‘Create Account”  within the case studies page is somewhere at the bottom of the page. Something worth testing.

Overall Score – 15/25 = 3.0


 

Bonus Tip 1 : 

I personally hate PDFs because they are dead ends by design. There is no scope for CTAs. PDFs do allow users to download and read offline, but i do have my doubts on how many people will go back and read offline something that they did not manage to do online, unless of-course you have created something super super engaging. The negatives of PDFs far outweigh the positives.

For more on why not PDFs read this interesting post in The Washington Post – PDFs that Nobody Reads


 

Example 2 – HireVue

HireVue is #10 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #4 in the category – IT Software and Services. It is an online platform for screening and hiring employees.  It has Hilton, eBay, Dunkin, GE, etc as its customers.

Our Customers Page

The website has Customers tab as one of it primary tabs. There are 4 sections in the Our-Customers page

1. Featured customers

2. Overall customers/reaped benefits stats

3. Story snippets with logo and shoutout

4. Sea of logos

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue - Customers

Case Studies Page

The story page typically has a logo, a video, a benefit shout-out (which is cool), and the actual story in the problem-solution-results format. It also has some relevant testimonials quotes. all making it an interesting page.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example HireVue Customer Case Study Page

 

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – Though there is a clear focus on the featured stories, they are taking all the space and making the rest of the content inaccessible. Added to it the whole image (photo of the customer’s business) is hyper-linked to the respective case study. You cannot avoid not clicking on it. Making it highly unlikely for people to have seen all the nice metrics in the rest of the page.
  2. Engaging – 4/5 – There is a lot of content in the form of photos, videos, case studies, shout-out metrics, quotes, etc. Everything making it more engaging.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  I liked the idea of providing the overall average benefit metrics – Improved quality of hire, Increased speed and productivity, Stronger engagement and satisfaction. I am almost sold on just this 1 section. In my opinion this should have been the top section. It is a shame that no-one would have got to see it because of the issue i mentioned in #1 above.
  4. Credibility  – 4/5 – The combination of the average benefit metrics with the case-studies/testimonials detailing it makes it a great combination. In addition there are those big brand names.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 – There is a clear and prominent CTA – for taking the Live Demo

Overall Score – 19/25 = 3.8


 

Bonus Tip 2 : 

Showing statistics related to the usage of the product or service is one of the very effective social proofs. Especially if you have some impressive numbers.

Read more about how to use social proof in marketing here – 25 Ways of Using Social Proof in your Marketing


Example 3 – OnDeck

OnDeck is #11 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #2 in the category – Financial Services. It is an online marketplace for business loans trying to disrupt the dominance of traditional banks by easing out the complete process. It has lent ~$825M so far and has many many small businesses as its customers.

Home Page

The home page showcases the featured testimonials along with a photo, which is cool. It makes it very homely and welcoming for the small business owners since they are the target segment. customer persona matched.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck

Testimonials Page

The Testimonials Page is the equivalent of the Our-Customers page. It has 3 sections

1. Link to Reviews on TrustPilot

2. Kudos mentions/posts in social media, and Yelp

3. Testimonials by Industry

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck - Testimonials Page Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example OnDeck - Testimonials - Page 2

 

  1. Organized  – 4/5 – It is organized well from a visitor perspective, but maybe the ones that link to 3rd party platforms should be lower down to reduce the risk of link leakage.
  2. Engaging – 4/5 – There is a variety of content making it interesting.
  3. Compelling – 4/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is clear and compelling
  4. Credibility  – 5/5 – In addition to the testimonials, the addition of the reviews from the 3rd party platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and TrustPilot makes it very credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 –

Overall Score – 21/25 = 4.2


 

Bonus Tip 3 : 

I love it when companies don’t limit themselves to just company generated content like testimonials, videos or case studies. User generated content (UGC) like reviews on 3rd party platforms, social media mentions, etc add a lot of credibility, and it works magic when you showcase both.

for more on this read my article on What is a Better Social Proof – Company-Generated OR User-Generated ?


Example 4 – Tapad

Tapad is #12 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #5 in the category – IT Software & Services. It helps online advertisers to track and target consumers across various devices – desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Home Page

The home page gives a summary of their Our-Customers. they have 2 sections

1. Badges of Top X out of Y Companies in Z Industry Segment

2. Interesting mix of Media Mentions, Influencer Endorsements and Testimonials

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Tapad - Home

Case Studies Page

The Case Studies page has a listing of 6 anonymous case studies from 6 different industries each. And each of the individual case studies look like the one below.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Tapad - Customer Case StudiesTapad - Case Studies page 2

  1. Organized  – 5/5 – The section on the home page gives a very good start. I love the way they have made an interesting mix of all the social proofs – Top X out of Y Companies Badges, Media Mentions like the Forbes Ranking, Frost & Sullivan Award, Endorsements from Influencers (like the one from Evidon CEO), Testimonials (like the one from Dell)
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – There is not much details after the great summary.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 –  The benefit metrics and the message is fair but not outright compelling.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Tapad is using “privacy” as their USP, and as a result there are no customer names.  So from a credibility perspective, the proof points score low. They could have made up for it by displaying other social proofs that don’t involve naming a customer.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 1/5 – No clear CTA.

Overall Score – 14/25 = 2.8


 

Bonus Tip 4 : 

If you are in a business where you cannot take the names of your customer, either due to the nature of the industry or because for your own reasons, you can still showcase credibility by using social proofs that does not involve customer names. examples would be –  endorsements from 3rd parties or influencers in the industry, usage statistics like # transactions, benefit statistics like average improvement, media mentions, awards, partnerships, etc etc. see all the 22 different kinds of social proof here

 


Example 5 – CollectiveBias

CollectiveBias is #18 on the 2014 Americas Most Promising Companies, and #1 in the category – Business Services & Supplies. It is a platform to connect freelance blogger with companies for creating content. It has an impressive lineup of customers like Nestle, Walmart, Starbucks, Sears, Walgreens, etc

Home Page

The Home page showcases the featured testimonials.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Home

Our Work Page

The Our Work Page is the Our-Customer equivalent here. It showcases the case studies.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Our Work (Our Clients)

Case Studies Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example CollectiveBias - Customer Case Study

 

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – The featured testimonials and the featured case studies gives a good start.
  2. Engaging – 2/5 – Given that CollectiveBias is a content platform, the social proof content showcased falls short in terms of the opportunity to engage.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 – The metrics are good to give an idea of the reach of the content, but does not really provide a competitive edge. Not compelling enough to take that next step.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Impressive names like Nestle and Disney make it sound credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 2/5 – the CTA that is visible is the “Subscribe” to the newsletter, which is probably not a very good use of the Customer Successes.

Overall Score – 13/25 =2.6


 

Bonus Tip 5 :

It is a proven fact that people pay more attention to visual content than just text. Adding visual elements to the content makes it more interesting and hence engaging. Therefore add more photos, videos, charts, info-graphics, screenshots, etc to your Our-Customer pages.

see this article in Under30CEO on why visual content makes sense

 


Example 6 – Google Adwords

Google is #1 in the 2014 Forbes Most Admired Companies. Of-course ! We are interested only in the Google Adwords business for this exercise since that is the selling angle.

Home  Page

The Home Page shows 2 featured testimonials – one each for the Adwords (for Advertisers) and Adsense (for website owners who rent out advertising space)

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Home

Success Stories Page

The Stories page consists of customer success stories in the form of videos or case studies. The page is divided into 2 sections

1. Small and Medium Business

2. Fortune 500

 

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Customer Success Stories Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Google Adwords - Customer Success Stories - Fortune 500

  1. Organized  – 3/5 – Google does highlight some of its success stories in other pages, which is good. In the Success Stories page it has tried to organize it based on the customer persona – small/medium businesses versus big enterprises.
  2. Engaging – 3/5 – The videos look interesting and good therefore making the small/medium business section more engaging than the Fortune 500 section. The case studies could have been much better.
  3. Compelling – 3/5 –  Given that it is Google and it has access to a lot of resources, the content could have been better in terms of showing the BEFORE-and-AFTER scenario. None of the material do a great job of explaining why you should do Ads in Google. If it is not for the proven fact that search ads work, it would have been a challenge to compel people to go for it with just these stories.
  4. Credibility  – 3/5 – Many popular brands
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 4/5 – The CTA of “Get Started Now” along with the 1-800 number is clear and stands out.

Overall Score – 16/25 =3.2


 

Bonus Tip 6 : 

Customer Videos is a social proof that can be very effective if done right. The key would be to keep it short, make it interesting by storytelling, having the right CTA, providing a preview and promoting it in all places.

To know more read this article – How to make your Video Testimonials Work ?


 

Example 7 – Twitter 

Home Page

The Home Page features a prominent section linking to the success stories. It also showcases some featured stories of popular brands like Nat Geo, Adidas.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Home

Success Stories Page

The Success Stories Page is the Our-Customers page for Twitter. It showcases a summary video which is cool.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Customer Success Stories

Case Study Page

The Case Study page is very interesting consisting of the typical problem-solution-benefits. In addition it has some related “tweets”. Also it has some relevant testimonial quotes. Twitter also takes the opportunity to highlight the features/offering and ties it to the challenge-benefits. Overall, it is engaging.

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Advertising - Customer Success Story Page

Best of Our-Customers (Our-Clients) Pages : How To Make Customer Success Marketing Work For You ? Example Twitter Business - Customer Case Study Metrics

 

 

  1. Organized  – 4/5 – All 3 pages are organized well – The home page section, the success stories page, and the detailed story page.
  2. Engaging – 5/5 – The content is made interesting by including tweets, testimonials, takeaway shout-outs, key success factors, photos and feature description.
  3. Compelling – 5/5 – The Take-away shout-outs and the best practices do a good job of explaining the value proposition.
  4. Credibility  – 5/5 – The popular brands and the tweet embeds, along with all the detailing make it look credible.
  5. Calls-To-Action (CTA) – 3/5 – the “start advertising” is kind-of lost at the top. this could have been placed better. Needs testing.

Overall Score – 22/25 =4.4


 

Bonus Tip 7 :

Customer Case Studies and Success Stories are very powerful as a Content Marketing Tactic because it has the added advantage of having the power of 3 –

1. Informative (as a Content Category)

2. Credible (as a Social Proof)

3. Selling (as a Marketing Copy)

Read more about it here How to Make your Case Studies and Success Stories Boost your Marketing ?


Conclusion

Now if you are wondering why none of them got a 5 ? well ..this is a reason

That is because there is scope for doing a lot with your Our-Customers Page. What you saw above were some great ideas, but there is definitely lots more. Watch out this space for the “Perfect Our-Customers Page” !

Meanwhile, if you have some awesome ideas please do share by commenting. And if you find this article useful, please SHARE it.

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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Self Brand Marketing : Social Proof To Boost Your Career

How to boost your career ? What are the skills that will help you become successful in marketing yourself ?

First, let me give you the bad news.

There is no such thing ! The marketplace is dynamic and saying you will need A,B,C skills is short-sighted and it will always come with an expiry date, because by the time you master something there is always something new. Lets accept that it is a continuous learning process and accordingly the window of opportunity keeps shifting. What is hot today need not remain hot a few months later, and that’s a fact you need to get used to.

But, there is good news !

Here, Let me not give you the fish, but rather teach you how to fish. If i had to pick one skill that is critical to a professional success, that would be Social Proof.

But first what is Social Proof ?

In very simple terms – Social Proof is a marketing term used for “herd mentality” of human beings. We get positively influenced by what others like us are doing, and the influence is very compelling if these people have become successful by doing whatever they are doing. We want to become like them by copying their methods. (also see my recent article on the 21 different kinds of social proof used in marketing)

This can help you in 2 ways in your career –

1. To help you know what are the right skills at any moment.
AND
2. To assure potential employers (or buyers) that you have these skills.

Let’s see what this means –


 

How can Social Proof help you know –  What are the Hot Skills you should Acquire ?

 

Self Marketing : How To Boost Your Career With Social Proof - How to Know What Skills are Hot

Get a sense for what are the hot trends in the market by doing any/all of the following

1. Following the trending news topics on popular sites – Example –  Mashable, Huffingtonpost, Steamfeed, etc

2. Watch out for what influencers’ and prominent personalities in your field are talking about – Example – Seth Godin, Dharmesh Shah, Guy Kawasaki, etc

3. See what prominent companies in the field are saying and doing.

 

Now lets take two examples related to fields close to my heart – Marketing and Technology.

 

Example 1 –  Top-3 trends in ‘Marketing’

If you look around you – these are the top trends in marketing.

1. How to keep producing a pipeline of content for the insatiable  needs of marketing ?

2. How to use sponsored content in facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc ?

3. More and more people are using smartphones to do things – how to reach them ?

so correspondingly the hot skills would be – content marketing, native ads, mobile marketing, and social media marketing

 

Example 2 – Top-3 trends in ‘Technology’

Again here if you look around you – these are the top trends in marketing.

1. Wearable Technology – everything from wrist watches to glasses can be a device.

2. Internet of Things – every gadget or device can be connected to the internet.

3. What Actionable Insights can you derive from Data ?

 

so correspondingly the hot skills would be – Wearable technology, Internet of things, Big Data, and Analytics 


 

How can Social Proof help you – Assure Employers that you have the Skills ?


 

Personal Brand Marketing - How can Social Proof help you - Assure Employers that you have the Skills ?

Of-course, you will first need to acquire the skills, and do a good job at it. But as you are doing that, you need to build your social proof – 3rd party proof that can vouch and assure future employers that you have got the skills.

It can be any/all of the following

1. Endorsement from past/present employers – Example – LinkedIn recommendations.

2. Popularity – Example – Social Mentions ( Tweets, LinkedIn Updates, FB posts, etc) about you in kudos posts by people who have worked with you.

3. Sphere of Influence – Example – Connections in LinkedIn, Followers to your Blog, Twitter Handle, FB Page

4. Expertise in Subject Matter – Example – Blog articles, Your Comments in Blog threads related to the subject, Sharing in social media, etc

In today’s world – rest assured that no-one will hire you without doing a background search of your digital footprint. A simple google search would bring out a lot of interesting facts ? Therefore make sure what people see is what you want them to see.

 


 

Summary

By making sure you are paying attention to Social Proof – you could accomplish 2 important things –

1. You will always be on top of the hot skills (and therefore working towards acquiring them )

2. You will be able to market yourself effectively to your prospective employers for those hot skills.

And this is applicable universally, irrespective of your field of interest.

 

I would love to hear about your experiences and 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

 


 

Special Thanks to Bob Clary, Marketing Manager at Webucator for offering free online training to our readers as part of their Most Marketable Skill Campaign. This month’s topic is Microsoft Powerpoint.

Feel free to write to Bob ( bobclary@webucator.com) or visit their Twitter Page for any questions/clarifications


 

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

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

……………………………………………………………

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

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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

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