Stories that Sell

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The Small, Big-Impact Piece Missing from Case Studies

Stories that Sell

At age 16, I walked into my small town's local newspaper and asked if I could write for them. The owner had no staff writers, and she agreed to turn me loose on a story. wrote about a local business and went on to write about many more. At the time, I regularly studied good writing, in school and in everything I read. But while I have been working IN writing, I haven't always worked ON my writing.

Why You Should Never Interview Your Own Customers

Stories that Sell

A few years ago, high on the belief in the power of customer success stories, I set out to create some of my own. I'd already created hundreds of case studies for others, so why wouldn’t I create my own to show the value of working with me? The "why not?" Sure, I was inquiring about their positive experiences, but still, it was strange for both of us. Get Some Distance. Get Over Hang Ups.

The Small Marketer’s First Steps to a Customer Advocacy Effort

Stories that Sell

A few years ago, I delightfully observed as a client started a customer advocacy program. What’s that, you might ask? It’s an effort to go beyond one-off case studies and reference calls to engage with customers who are willing to serve as advocates for your products and services in a variety of ways. Impressive. Why Your Business Needs an Advocacy Program. How Advocates Engage with Your Business.

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The Risk of Stripping Down Customer Case Studies

Stories that Sell

In my household, we''re having a newspaper war. At least once a week, a kerfuffle breaks out over a particularly engaging article in one of the publications we regularly consume. We''re not debating the content of the article. We''re fighting over who had it last and where that person left it. With a 3-year-old sharing the house with us, it''s rare to finish a feature story in one sitting.

150 Content Marketing Tips

Drive traffic—and leads—with these tips for SEO, social media, content optimization, email marketing, and more.

5 Trends in Customer Case Studies – An Interview with Projectline

Stories that Sell

What's new with customer stories and where are we headed? That's the question I recently asked Erica Hansen, director of customer engagement at Projecline. The fast-growing marketing services firm has built a solid reputation by assisting companies like Microsoft with customer references and evidence. I've followed the firm and gotten to know a few folks via social media the past few years.

Arm Your Sales Team with Customer Success Slides

Stories that Sell

It''s 9 a.m. and your sales rep is preparing for a big meeting with a hot prospect in two hours. The rep is building a PowerPoint with all the key differentiators about your company. What examples can she share of current customer successes? Although she''s got a good written customer case study that fits the prospect''s situation, she needs a slide to represent it. What to Include. Voila! meeting.

Are You Prematurely Aging Your Case Studies?

Stories that Sell

During a workshop I attended in LA last spring on oral storytelling, we discussed the elements that signal the beginning of a story. story sets us in a time, a place and with a subject. •    “It was Christmas 2012 and we were sitting at the dinner table when all of sudden…”. •    "Wright Mechanics deployed SuperSolution in the spring of 2014.".

Supercharge Your Sales Conversations with Story

Stories that Sell

A guest post by Andrew Nemiccolo. We hear a lot these days about the importance of storytelling in business – especially for sales people. But if you’re a sales person, you may still be wondering how exactly you’ll weave stories into your next face-to-face sales call. Much of this apprehension is due to some misunderstandings about story. After all, humans are wired for story!

Stop Killing Your Content: 3 Reasons Your Content Falls Flat

Each year B2B organizations spend more than $5.2 billion on content creation – and yet, many assets fail to provide true ROI. Download the eBook to avoid the three top problems that keep content from living up to its potential.

Case Study Copywriters: Juggle More for Your Clients

Stories that Sell

When we want to stock our kitchen, our family shops at three different grocery stores. We visit one store for seafood and organics, another for the kind of tortellini my son likes, and another for our favorite brand of salsa. High maintenance? Probably. We want what we want. But at times it’s exhausting. It’s more stops of the car and more items on the to-do list – and more time out of the day.

Customer Videos 101: How to Score a Killer Sound Bite

Stories that Sell

People seem SO articulate on television, right? News flash: We’re not including Honey Boo Boo here.) Flip on the Amazing Race, Real Housewives, or the Voice - and you rarely see any of the characters stumble, stutter, or slur. In fact, they keep us on the edge of our seats with their riveting sound bites. Truth – these people are rarely this articulate in real life. Excited? Positive?

Video 73

You Look Good When Your Customer Looks Good

Stories that Sell

A guest post by Val Stephen. www.linkedin.com/in/valoriestephen. Many things can motivate a customer to be a reference for your company. "Free PR" is just the beginning. Customers are increasingly seeing other answers to the question, "What''s in it for me?" Reference activities can help customers communicate with a number of audiences. Normal. 0. false. false. false. EN-US.

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Do Buyers Still Read Case Studies?

Stories that Sell

The written case study still reigns. realize that I’m not the most unbiased authority on the supremacy of the written customer case study. earn my living writing case studies and teach other writers to do the same. But a recently released survey from Eccolo Media backs me up. And it''s excellent news for writers looking to help companies create their customer stories. Eccolo also revealed.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

We surveyed 2016's content marketing leaders on their biggest issues, hurdles, and goals.

One Case Study Helps Land FIVE Major Customer Awards

Stories that Sell

Never doubt the power of a single case study or the positive impact for the featured customer. Last year, United Airlines racked up five major awards - and countless resulting PR - for its CRM and direct marketing efforts for the MileagePlus loyalty program: • 2012 Gartner and 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards – Silver. • 2012 DMA – Marketer of the Year. How about you?

Survey Says…Customer’s Voice Most Effective Content Marketing Tactic

Stories that Sell

I''ve seen the influence that customer stories have on potential customers time and again, but a new survey provides validation straight from marketers. Customer testimonials and case studies lead the list of most effective content marketing tactics, according to the newly released B2B Content Marketing Survey for 2013. It makes sense. Check out the full survey here. How about you?

Enter to Win – One Free Ticket to an Online Storytelling Conference

Stories that Sell

Stories are everywhere these days. And while businesses have always used stories to connect with their audiences, we seem to be in the midst of a story resurgence. New books, blogs and articles regale the power of story to win friends and influence people, and are filled with examples of organizations doing just that. I'm excited to attend. And I just happen to have one extra ticket to GIVE AWAY.

Customer Case Studies: More Effective, Loss Costly

Stories that Sell

Time and again, I've posted on the effectiveness of customer case studies. But now, there's more evidence that they not only work, but also that they're one of the least expensive content marketing options out there. In a 2011 survey by TechValidate , 126 B2B marketing and sales professionals weighed in on their challenges and strategies for content marketing. Conclusion.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Between November 5 and November 17, we surveyed 601 marketers with an 18-question online survey. A few weeks later, Adweek sent the questionnaire to 144 additional marketers. As the survey was answered by nearly our entire population target, the calculated margin of error was approximately 1 percent. Here's what we learned.

The Ugly Duckling of Case Studies – The “Not-for-Public-Use” Story

Stories that Sell

I have a not-quite-two-year-old, and thus, spend a lot of time reading nursery rhymes and fairly tales. Most of these catchy or intriguing little stories pre-date our great-great-grandparents, but the lessons are still valid today. Take the story of the Ugly Duckling, a tale released by Hans Christian Andersen in 1843. Here''s how. For Use BY or WITH the Featured Customer. To Name or Not to Name?

Calling ALL Customer Reference Programs – Become Relentlessly Efficient

Stories that Sell

Normal. 0. false. false. false. EN-US. guest post by Jamie Diamond. Do you lead an intergalactic customer reference program for a Fortune 500 company, or maybe you’re the one-stop-shop, all things customer reference at a start-up? Based loosely on the book, The 4- Hour Workweek , by Timothy Ferriss, the following tips are for reference pros desiring to become RELENTLESSLY EFFICIENT.

How Customer Case Studies Drive Traffic to Company Sites

Stories that Sell

A glowing customer success story is a coveted piece of marketing collateral, but case studies are not always easy to create. If you manage case studies, or write them, you know the challenges: getting a customer to agree, conducting interviews, writing and editing the story, and getting customer signoff. Nearly every organization posts a completed case study on their website. LinkedIn and Facebook.

Want to Write Case Studies? How Technical Do You Need to Be?

Stories that Sell

By Casey Hibbard. Before I started writing about technology as a business reporter, I had zero technical background. The closest I''d come to technology was a high school computer science class that I''d barely passed. But this was different. I was writing about technology in layman''s terms, not about the bits and bytes behind it. Pretty soon, I was the newspaper''s tech columnist.

Content Strategy for Marketing

Learn about the benefits and key considerations in developing a content strategy for marketing that's sustainable, scalable and sale-able.

Survey Says…Case Studies Still Influential in B2B Tech Purchases

Stories that Sell

We all work hard to create attractive content. But just how useful is it in actually influencing buyers? Each year, I look forward to The Eccolo Media B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report , which opens the lid on how B2B technology buyers consume marketing content. Of course, I want to know, what's going on with customer case studies? Again, this year's just-released report didn't disappoint.

Why Some Buyers Don’t Look at Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Locked. Let''s suppose, for a moment, that you''re in the market for a new car. You probably don''t just get up in the morning, head to a dealership, drive one and buy. Before that, you might spend months - or even years - thinking about what type of car you would like. You look at other cars on the road, you notice car ads, talk with friends, and you go online to learn more about specific makes and models. Then you head to the automaker''s website and notice they have a link for customer success stories. Toyota does this nicely.). You follow the link to see the customer stories and. 10 fields!

The Resume is Dead: The (Story) Bio is King

Stories that Sell

Note from Casey Hibbard:While I’m out on maternity leave until the end of July, this blog will feature a summer guest blogger series with content from experts in marketing, organizational storytelling and writing. By Michael Margolis. Gone are the days of “Just the facts, M’am.” Instead we’re all trying to suss each other out in the relationship economy. Do I share something in common with you?

Zahmoo: The Online Story Bank

Stories that Sell

In an organization, a single, powerful story can help land new business, get PR, win awards, train new sales reps, and reinforce the company's vision among all employees. Yet so many stories go unrecorded - and lost as people leave the company. You need a process for capturing them, and a place to do so. It lets you. Collect stories from folks throughout your organization in one place.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

If you're concerned that your organization's content marketing isn't as effective as it could be, this report is for you.

How HP Case Studies Cater to Readers and Skimmers

Stories that Sell

Over and over, we hear that most buyers don't really read marketing copy, but rather skim it. So how does that affect the way you present customer stories? First, that may not always be true. Some skim while others want to read more. Or, someone might intially skim but read more closely further into the buying cycle. On a web summary, do the same. Skimmers have all the info they need right there.

The 4 Elements of a Technology Customer Case Study

Stories that Sell

It's no wonder that customer case studies are a staple in marketing and selling technology products and services. Technology is complex, pricey and usually requires decent time to ramp up. On top of that, it demands ongoing support when something goes awry. The customer case study uniquely demonstrates that a technology works well in a customer's environment and the experience has been positive.

The #1 Question to Ask Before Starting Any Case Study

Stories that Sell

A customer story can't just be interesting or results-oriented. It also needs to sell. Even more critically, it needs to influence the intended audience. Before beginning customer success stories or case studies with a new client, I ask a LOT of questions of my marketing contacts - well before ever talking to one of their happy customers. What do they do, for whom and how?

Case Studies: When Measurable Results AREN’T Necessary

Stories that Sell

"Chris Strouth tweeted "sh*t, I need a kidney" then got one." Whoa, what? That's the headline on one of Twitter's new success stories , one of many about how the social media site has made a difference for people. Twitter features a number of stories, but out of all of them, I needed to read that one - to know the rest of the story.

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Brand voice? Editorial calendar? Approval workflow? Learn how to craft the crucial parts of a content marketing program. In the third installment of our five-part playbook series, discover the necessary steps to execute a content marketing program.

4 Tips for More Seductive Customer Stories

Stories that Sell

(This week, we lost a treasured filmmaker, Nora Ephron. This post is a tribute to her.). If you've seen Ephron's classic '80s comedy, When Harry Met Sally , you know the most famous scene. Friends Sally (Meg Ryan) and Harry (Billy Crystal) are talking over sandwiches in a deli. But the punch line comes from a woman at a nearby table. Showcase their stellar experiences in customer success stories.