Stories that Sell

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

Stories that Sell

If you follow this space, then you probably already know that satisfied customers – willing to talk about their experiences – are one of your greatest marketing assets. They’re way more believable than your marketing promises. With zero to little budget as a small organization, you can start a sustainable advocate marketing program that will help create extraordinary content.

FAQ 58

The Small, Big-Impact Piece Missing from Case Studies

Stories that Sell

In a tech case study, adding detail looks something like this: Say this. “It took marketing teams days or weeks to pull all the data they needed for a campaign.”. Marketing teams were slow to get campaigns out the door.”. At age 16, I walked into my small town's local newspaper and asked if I could write for them. wrote about a local business and went on to write about many more.

The Risk of Stripping Down Customer Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Will busy business people - on a mission to solve their challenges - read marketing content if it''s more than a page? In this age of content marketing, they want content. But there''s a reason why case studies have become a marketing staple in many industries. Marketers need to look at what brings in leads, website traffic and sales. And not just in printed material.

Why You Should Never Interview Your Own Customers

Stories that Sell

At a minimum, get a marketing contact within the company to conduct interviews – not sales or account reps. 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?" Get Some Distance.

150 Content Marketing Tips

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

Do Buyers Still Read Case Studies?

Stories that Sell

It goes on to say. "Small business buyers show a slight preference for one-page summaries when compared with mid-market and enterprise respondents, but even they prefer traditional written case studies over other formats." That''s good news for companies because high-quality video case studies can be expensive and usually require more logistics to pull off. Eccolo also revealed.

Supercharge Your Sales Conversations with Story

Stories that Sell

The marketing team has provided you several written case studies of client success stories, and your sales boss has asked you to “throw in a few personal anecdotes, too.” Andrew gives keynote talks, leads classes, and works with sales and marketing teams on projects to align story strategies. A guest post by Andrew Nemiccolo. After all, humans are wired for story!

One Case Study Helps Land FIVE Major Customer Awards

Stories that Sell

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. Never doubt the power of a single case study or the positive impact for the featured customer.

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.

Evangelizing a Content Marketing Program

Content Marketing: Why 7 IV. Content Marketing: When 12 V. Content Marketing: How 17 VI. Conclusion 25 Table of Contents ULTIMATE CONTENT STRATEGIST PLAYBOOK CONTENTLY3 “ Content marketing is the atomic particle of all the. rest of a brand’s marketing campaigns.” of marketing legend. content marketers are faced with a task of consistently. brands.

Customer Case Studies: More Effective, Loss Costly

Stories that Sell

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. Time and again, I've posted on the effectiveness of customer case studies. Conclusion.

Survey Says…Case Studies Still Influential in B2B Tech Purchases

Stories that Sell

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. That list alone shows the diversity of marketing content that buyers consume. Marketers, how does this information affect your content marketing plans moving forward? Case studies/success stories. Podcasts.

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. The company helps organizations market effectively with postcards. For marketing to existing fans, PostcardMania posts teasers to its success stories on Facebook. Nearly every organization posts a completed case study on their website. Print Advertising.

Calling ALL Customer Reference Programs – Become Relentlessly Efficient

Stories that Sell

Whatever tool or system you do use, make sure you’re only using the features and functions that get stuff done. S CRM Systems - If you’re in marketing and you use the sales people’s version of Salesforce, stop the madness. Normal. 0. false. false. false. EN-US. guest post by Jamie Diamond. STOP DROP and ELIMINATE. Yes, I said stop, which is the opposite of doing.

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

Stories that Sell

Now as a freelance marketing writer, 90 percent of my clients for customer case studies are technology companies. First, there is a market for case studies with companies/clients that are not technical. But if you open up your market to tech companies as well, you''re nearly doubling the potential pool of clients. By Casey Hibbard. And if so, how technical?

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

Marketing is Effective? 700 content marketers. CONTENTLY STUDY: HOW MUCH OF YOUR CONTENT MARKETING IS EFFECTIVE? Content marketing is having a moment. billion dollars on content marketing this year, and that number is growing fast. As marketers dedi- cate more and more of their budgets to content, we wanted to understand more about where their. marketing.

The #1 Question to Ask Before Starting Any Case Study

Stories that Sell

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. Then, whether you're a writer or marketer, make sure those points get into every story. A customer story can't just be interesting or results-oriented. It also needs to sell.

Why Some Buyers Don’t Look at Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Let''s suppose, for a moment, that you''re in the market for a new car. Then why is it so rampant in business-to-business marketing? In their journeys of seeking new solutions and service providers, prospects also don’t expect or want to arrive at a locked door - especially for content that markets a vendor''s solution. For major purchases in the B2B world, marketing content helps buyers in their journeys (the sales funnel) by drawing them in with valuable insight and resources. Locked. Toyota does this nicely.). The door''s locked. Put Out the Welcome Mat.

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.

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. How do we relate to each other?

Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program

Playbook No. 3: Staffing and Launching Your Content Marketing Program Copyright © 2015 Contently. Conclusion 35 Table of Contents ULTIMATE CONTENT STRATEGIST PLAYBOOK CONTENTLY3 On the evening of March 2, our content/marketing team. Platforms,” “7 Keys to SEO for Content Marketers,” and. What’s the Difference Between B2B and B2C Market- ing?” Marketers are humans too.

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. But what really needs to go into a technology case study to satisfy the audience's questions and concerns? What and who was involved?

Kronos Spotlights Dozens of Customers through Expanded Reference Program

Stories that Sell

Instead of recognizing a few, we are now able to spotlight any customer that is willing to let us share their story," said Ciana Abdollahian, customer marketing specialist at Kronos. The leading maker of workforce management solutions featured award winners at its annual user conference, KronosWorks. Those customers received significant exposure at the event and in the media.

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?

Can You Doctor Customers’ Quotes?

Stories that Sell

It's marketing. 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. 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.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

Marketing. EFFECTIVENESS ACROSS THE INDUSTRY 2Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry I. Introduction 4 Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry Red Bull has long been the strongest example of this. marketing technology into a seamless process. YOUR CONTENT MARKETING IN 2015.

4 Tips for More Seductive Customer Stories

Stories that Sell

Swayed by what she thinks is Sally's endorsement of the sandwich, she tells the waiter, " I'll have what she's having." It’s a reminder of one of the most powerful marketing concepts around: Other peoples' ringing endorsements convince us to buy – better than just about anything else. (This week, we lost a treasured filmmaker, Nora Ephron. This post is a tribute to her.).

Customer Quotes That Compel and Sell in Case Studies

Stories that Sell

This could then be the quote that you pull out to highlight in other marketing collateral. 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. Here's your chance to get in some emotion related to the customer's challenge. Add More for Emphasis. Other quotes can reinforce more benefits and customer experiences.

Quiz: Is it a Case Study or a White Paper?

Stories that Sell

People frequently call case studies "white papers," and vice versa - even marketing folks. Customer case studies and white papers are both narrative forms of marketing that focus more on how challenges are solved rather than on heavy promotion. Every couple of weeks it seems, I see someone confuse customer case studies and white papers. Why the confusion? The answers follow.

How to Cue Up Hard-Hitting Customer Quotes

Stories that Sell

But it''s a common practice to do this in marketing and PR. Customers appreciate it when we make them sound good but I''ve seen customers get a little uncomfortable when we market-ese the quotes too much. That means that, if you want to pull quotes out of the story for other marketing materials, you can do so. The rest depends on the person you’re interviewing.

Marketing Optimization Toolkit: The Science behind Marketing Analytics

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

Eek, My Own Process Broke Down!

Stories that Sell

Usually, I ramp up on a new client's solutions and marketing messages before ever talking to one of their happy customers. So whatever your role in customer stories - whether you're a marketer, small business or writer - don't underestimate the value of these steps in creating stories that aren't just well done, but actually drive your sales and marketing goals. 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. shouldn't have been surprised.

Customer Case Studies: Are We Just Being Lazy?

Stories that Sell

When did the rules of good journalism and marketing stop applying to our case study writing? - "The most important part of a story is the lead" - "Each sentence should serve to keep the reader moving on to the next sentence" - "Choose the most compelling angle for your audience" Those are just a few tenants. I'm bored. The back story. It's easy to be lazy.

“Stories That Sell” B-Day – 2-Day Sale

Stories that Sell

If you're a writer, marketer or business owner interested in the marketing power of customer success stories and case studies, here's a great chance to learn more and refine your skills. This week, Thursday and Friday ONLY , we’re celebrating the birthday of the book, “Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset.”

Chase Those Customer Stories – Before Treasured Contacts Leave!

Stories that Sell

Contacts can leave abruptly, and most marketers juggle much more than just customer case studies. 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. What happened? Call your contacts NOW.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

B2B Marketing. Trends for 2016 Edited by Tom Pick and Tony Karrer 25 Thought Leaders Weigh In 0 Executive Summary B2B marketing practices are in the midst of profound change, driven by three powerful trends: • Changing expectations of buyers: as Baby Boomers retire and Millennials move into and up within the ranks of B2B enterprises, buying. Marketers need to take the. content.

How to Cut Case Study Approval Times by 75%

Stories that Sell

Nearly all seasoned marketers and case study writers have a horror-story of this sort to share. When it comes to customer case studies, there is a worst-case scenario. You can spend a healthy sum and 1-2 days’ worth of work crafting a beautiful tale of a customer’s positive experience with a product or service. Then, slam. The project hits a brick wall when it reaches the customer.

Are You Leaving the Icing off Customer Case Studies?

Stories that Sell

For the sake of creating the most meaningful stories for your marketing, don't try! By some cruel twist of fate, I have a restricted diet. No dairy for me, and right now, no wheat. So I have to find alternatives, and often those alternatives are lesser-than versions of favorite meals. I can have a hamburger, but only without the cheese and bun. It's just not the same.

Doubt the Power of Customer Stories Today?

Stories that Sell

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. Why do customer success stories work? Why are they more important than ever? 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.

Why Companies Need to F-R-E-E Their Case Studies

Stories that Sell

So what content should be "curtained?" It’s a tough balance that marketers face, giving away some content freely and requiring registration to access other things. A small software company recently ran an experiment… The company, which had been requiring registration to download its customer case studies, decided to unlock those stories on their website.

Content Marketing Playbook: Strategy and Roadmap

planning for a future in which GE would be a publisher, not just a marketer. redefine the role of marketing,” Comstock reflected in. When you hear marketing, most people. more we expect from marketing. sure that marketing has been redefined as innovators. in their content marketing journey, GE went above and beyond in their. successful content marketers. B.