2011

Stories that Sell

Trending Sources

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.

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.

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?

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.

150 Content Marketing Tips

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

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 #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?

8 Traits of Sales-Win Stories

Stories that Sell

Savvy sales teams share customer success stories to move prospects further toward a purchase decision. But customer case studies aren't the only type of story that can help a rep close a sale. Many companies create sales-win success stories to document what was behind a particular sale. Who did sales reps talk to? How long was the sales cycle? What approaches did they use? Document the details.

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.

Can You Doctor Customers’ Quotes?

Stories that Sell

In journalism, a person's direct quote is sacred. What's said is said, and any journalist with integrity doesn't change a word. While customer case studies have many similarities to journalism, they're not. It's marketing. And customers have the chance to review and approve their stories and direct quotes. That single fact alone is why it's OK to change quotes, but not TOO much. In short, a little.

Kronos Spotlights Dozens of Customers through Expanded Reference Program

Stories that Sell

The book Stories that Sell , and a recent blog post here , lauded Kronos Incorporated for its Best Practices Awards Program, an annual program to recognize customers that achieve value and success with Kronos solutions. The leading maker of workforce management solutions featured award winners at its annual user conference, KronosWorks. Need a refresh on what a customer reference program is?

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

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

Case Study Design – Turn it Sideways

Stories that Sell

It's easy to get into a rut with design, especially when a marketing piece like a case study contains all the same elements every time. Headline. Subhead. Photo. Steelcase , known for its office designs and furniture, has brought its design inspiration to the customer success story. But more than that, the company added a simple twist - turning the success story horizontal. The result? Share

Customer Quotes That Compel and Sell in Case Studies

Stories that Sell

In a customer story, quotes are the very voice of the customer, your sound bites. Without them, a story can feel flat. Studies have even shown that people who skim tend to read text that's called out in quotes more than the rest of a story. How do you use quotes for maximum impact? Here are a few tips: Get in Three 'Marquee' Quotes. In every case study, if there’s space, try to include at least three key quotes that cover these topical areas: Challenge/Pain - Show the pain or challenge the customer faced before the solution came along. Add More for Emphasis. Don't Over- or Under-Quote.

Chase Those Customer Stories – Before Treasured Contacts Leave!

Stories that Sell

What a difference a couple of months makes. Earlier this summer, I was talking with a friend/associate about customer stories. The web developer was excited to capture a case study on one of his customers who had a great experience with his firm. Not only did the web site deliver for the company but the main contact was a dream - eloquent, intelligent and very happy with the web firm's services.

Eek, My Own Process Broke Down!

Stories that Sell

In the customer story process, you can't miss any bases on your way to home plate. After 11 years of working on customer stories, I've become set in my ways. And with good reason. I've refined my step-by-step process for creating case studies and success stories and usually stick to it religiously. One step happens before the next, and if not, the story might suffer. I've blogged about my process, featured it in my book, and preach and teach it to other writers. shouldn't have been surprised. Due to circumstances out of my control, the order of steps on stories for a client got flip-flopped.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

745 marketers told us how effective their content marketing is. Here's what we learned.

Doubt the Power of Customer Stories Today?

Stories that Sell

Why do customer success stories work? Why are they more important than ever? And how do you create quality video customer stories for your marketing efforts? I am honored to be a featured expert for The Light Group , a digital media company. Check out the video interview above, where I talk about the power of customer stories, key elements of good stories, and the role of video today.

Remember, and Be More Memorable – with Stories

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 Shawn Callahan. Andi Bell is a lean, 30-something Londoner. He looks like one of those bicycle couriers who zip past you in Soho. How did he do it? Andi has a method. since 2004.

Avoid ‘The Kiss of Death’ When Asking for Your Next Testimonial

Stories that Sell

By Bill Metcalf. 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. One of the most powerful tools in any marketing arsenal is raving testimonials from your happy clients. Asking for testimonials from clients – yuck! It’s embarrassing.

How Kronos Finds, Showcases its Best Customer Successes

Stories that Sell

It's a common conundrum for companies today.How do you uncover the best stories among your customers, and then get them to share those stories publicly? Software company Kronos Inc. , a global provider of workforce management solutions, takes a creative, relationship-focused approach to finding its best customer stories and getting them out there: an annual customer awards program.

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.

Customer Stories Q&A – Live on Facebook

Stories that Sell

This Wednesday, I'll be the guest expert on a live Q&A on Erin Blaskie's Facebook page. Come join me and Erin at 1 EST on Sept. 28, and bring your questions about marketing with customer case studies and success stories! Click over and like Erin's page to join in. Learn more about Erin , entrepreneur and owner of BSETC. Share: customer case studies Customer success stories

Thesis vs Genesis – Comparing Premium WordPress Themes

Sazbean

Over the Labor Day weekend, I had the pleasure of working on my first website using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. I say pleasure because it happened to be my husband’s new photography site, and it was the first theme he’s chosen that didn’t lead me to using a string of obscenities that might actually shock people who regularly watch HBO. Thesis vs Genesis. Enjoy! 59.95.

Price 155

The Trouble with Klout

Paul Gillin

Estimating influence is a delicate balance of art and science. People are drawn to quantitative methods because scores are easy to understand. The downside of reducing influence to a number, though, is oversimplification. Lately, I’ve been looking at  Klout , the popular new tool that bills itself as “The Standard&# for influence measurement. The more I look at it, the less I like it.

7 Reasons Why Business Websites Are Still Important

Sazbean

With all the hype around Facebook, blogs and Twitter, I often get asked whether a business still needs a website. seriously) Having a good website for your business is even more important now that technologies like Twitter and Facebook make it easier for more people to find you. People search through search engines like Google or Bing, not via Facebook for fan pages. What do you think?

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.

The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011

Webbiquity

Few phenomena have ever spread as far and grown as rapidly as social media; obviously, this has tapped into something essential to our nature. What is it? The answer may come from the email marketing field. According to a recent study by email service provider Aweber, four simple words virtually guaranteed to get an email opened are: “You are not alone.”. Jennifer Aaker. aaker. Diana Adams. Ambal.

Connect Your Blog to Facebook Automatically

Writing on the Web

Are your blog posts fed automatically into Facebook? The other day I was horrified to learn that a dear client was manually posting his blog articles to Facebook. Yikes! No wonder blogging seems tiresome and time-consuming. took my pencil and rapped him on the knuckles, gave him a virtual scowl and promised to write a post about how to do this. How to Automatically Link Blog Posts to Facebook.

Content Marketing in a Blink: The Content Grid v2 [Infographic]

It's All About Revenue

by Joe Chernov | Tweet this Last June, Eloqua published the first infographic on the then-nascent content marketing industry. We called it The Content Grid.  The public seemed to like the visual. It earned six awards, sparked dozens of speaking engagements, and triggered a number of “how do you _&# calls from Fortune 500 companies. What a difference a year makes. Enter June 2011. Facebook.

Social CRM and Return on Marketing: Customer Life Cycle Value

Conversionation

No marketing activity is an island. No customer-centric business process should be isolated. Every business should be working on integrating all data platforms, silos, marketing channels and businesses processes right now in order to have a single customer view and 360 degrees social CRM approach. Smart campaigns and branding are crucial for every business. Integrated. People-centric. Why now?

CRM 130

Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

Marketers are well-versed in the art and science of optimization.

The Myth of Business vs. Personal Profiles in Social Media

B2B Marketing Insider

Like most people I started out using social tools for very distinct purposes. LinkedIn was for connecting with current and former colleagues. Facebook was for friends. Twitter took me a little longer to figure out but basically I decided it was where I would share professional content and opinions. So the question is: can we be distinct people or personalities on different social sites?

50 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Insights of 2011 (So Far)

Webbiquity

Social media marketing has gone well beyond the hype stage and is now mainstream business practice. Still, questions remain: how do I use social media most effectively across the enterprise? Which social media monitoring tools should I use? What should I monitor for? How do I use my time and resources most effectively? What social media developments and trends should I be watching? What to do?

6 Reasons Social Media Sucks, But You Need to Use It Anyway

Webbiquity

Amid all of the hype, conferences, and rapid adoption of social media marketing by organizations from sole proprietors to the Fortune 100, there remains an undercurrent of skepticism. This surfaces in posts like Social Media Skepticism , 5 reasons why social media skeptics maybe right and Business social networking: where’s the ROI? Image credit: Spin Sucks. Reasons Social Media Sucks. 1.

Why Klout matters. A lot.

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

Yes, this is a real invitation. If you hate Klout … and you probably do … try to take a deep breath and read ahead with an open mind. And, unlike every other blogger on the planet it seems, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a very important development. In fact, a historically important development. Never has. Never will. Now, for a different perspective. Even me. Right?

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

Every brand’s content roadmap is different; each path to success is unique to that brand’s story, perspective, assets, and goals. But there is an overarching approach that’s proven to work—one we’ve refined after helping hundreds of brands reach their content marketing goals and after speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

Are we killing our customers with engagement?

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

By Neicole Crepeau, Contributing {grow} Columnist. Facebook is seeing a decline in use. Studies show that users are un-Liking business pages. Consumers are getting savvy and more jaded about businesses use of social media—and they’re responding negatively. The thing is, it’s our own fault. So, lots of companies have done just that. Sure, there are exceptions. Those customers are a minority, though.

Monitoring vs Analytics [Infographic]

Buzz Marketing for Technology

After two years at the helm of Avaya’s social media strategy which produced a very strong ROI in the Social Customer Support area, I am happy to say we finally got that strategy institutionalized within the Support organization so I found myself with a rare opportunity to evolve our strategy from brand monitoring and reputation management to something higher order like Social Insights.

7 ideas to turn PowerPoint slides into social media marketing gold

grow - Practical Marketing Solutions

Although PowerPoint has been around for years, it is still the king of presentation software tools.  It is an absolutely critical arrow in my business marketing quiver … and for some reasons that might surprise you! Here are seven ideas to use PowerPoint slides to create new value for your social media marketing efforts: 1. Populate Slideshare. Do it. 2. Spice up a blog post. Make an eBook.

20 Experts, 1 Awesome Resource: The Social Media ProBook

It's All About Revenue

by Joe Chernov | Tweet this You may have noticed that over the past month or so, several influential social media professionals changed their profile pictures to funky avatars of themselves.  Edelman’s David Armano went so far as to name his digital persona Vector David (I didn’t have the heart to point out his digital doppelganger’s unfortunate initials). That project goes live now. Right now.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

25 B2B marketing thought leaders answer the question "What do you expect to B2B marketers to be doing more of or differently in 2016?" The results are amazing insights around content marketing, achieving business results, alignment, employee advocacy, new technologies, customer experience and more.

20 Quotes To Inspire Your Marketing

B2B Marketing Insider

I intended to sit down this weekend and write a completely different blog post. But the weather was nice. There are lots of folks enjoying their vacations here in the lazy days of summer. And some people like to use this time for reflection. So in light of this, I pulled out some old scraps of paper that used to litter my desk as a younger marketer. Which ones did I miss? Drucker. Photo Source.