Stories that Sell

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

Stories that Sell

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. Customer (or brand) advocates are five times more valuable than average customers because they spend more on your products. And they do even more: they willingly promote your products to others.

FAQ 58

The Risk of Stripping Down Customer Case Studies

Stories that Sell

If someone is going to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on buying a product or service, then they assuredly need plenty of information to support the decision. The same goes for buyers of B2B products and services, as well as consumer purchases. Keep it about the customer''s journey and not filled with product description, which buyers can find in many other places.

Another Idea for Getting No-Go Customers off the Fence

Stories that Sell

Essentially, he uncovers why an organization chose – or didn't choose – to buy a product or service. It’s been 15 years since I wrote my first case study. And year after year since then, I hear the same challenge  from organizations as the main reason they don’t create more case studies. "We can't get customers to agree to do them!". The truth is, you have to sell the idea to the customer.

7 Companies Boldly Leading with Customer Stories

Stories that Sell

That’s why prospects considering your products and services need to hear the stories of your happiest customers. And way more engaging than some boilerplate product description. As I rummaged around online for examples such as these (and had fun doing it), I found that nearly every site kicks off with marketing language and information about its products or vision. Microsoft.

Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report

Product and research divisions can provide dynamic. When Marriott began production on Two Bellmen, its award-winning short film, Beebe largely gave director Miguel Cabrera full reign to exercise his creativity. and crisis management, or even productivity. your product and brand message. market for relevant and/or similar products and. Content. Methodology: A Best.

Customer Videos 101: How to Score a Killer Sound Bite

Stories that Sell

” The “reality” of reality television is this - capturing killer bites that promote your product, solution, or service TAKES WORK. For example, if you need a strong bite promoting a particular product, ask the customer to repeat a few words and then “fill in the blank.” People seem SO articulate on television, right? Not to mention patience. Excited?

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

Stories that Sell

However, I''ve also created cases for clients over the years so that their customers can demonstrate to upper management the reason to KEEP funding a product or service. I have a not-quite-two-year-old, and thus, spend a lot of time reading nursery rhymes and fairly tales. Take the story of the Ugly Duckling, a tale released by Hans Christian Andersen in 1843. Here''s how. How about you?

Survey Says…Case Studies Still Influential in B2B Tech Purchases

Stories that Sell

Product brochures/data sheets. Eccolo concludes. "Purchasers expect you to offer collateral that provides information they can use — not just information about particular products. We all work hard to create attractive content. But just how useful is it in actually influencing buyers? Of course, I want to know, what's going on with customer case studies? Podcasts. Video.

Calling ALL Customer Reference Programs – Become Relentlessly Efficient

Stories that Sell

Just make sure you pitch the boss on why you’ll be more productive and increase results. It’s amazing what level of productivity fireworks occur when your voices meet instead of someone easily shuffling/ignoring your email into the cyber circular file. ’d love to hear how you use it to be efficient and productive. (F for favorite, S for suspect). Normal. 0.

Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness

emerged with smart products that offer features like. attention from a high level of production to. increase productivity. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.comBy Jordan Teicher Content. Marketing. 2016 STAFFING, MEASUREMENT, AND. EFFECTIVENESS ACROSS THE INDUSTRY 2Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry I.

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

Stories that Sell

As software, it is a technology product, but the audience doesn''t really want to know about the technology. needed to understand some product and industry lingo, but that was pretty simple. 2. It''s a technology product and the audience is technical, or it’s made up of business decision-makers AND technical people. By Casey Hibbard. And if so, how technical?

8 Traits of Sales-Win Stories

Stories that Sell

Create a rich database of sales win stories to help train new reps and keep current reps sharp and productive. 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. Who did sales reps talk to? How long was the sales cycle? What approaches did they use?

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 decision-makers need to know what it takes to use and maintain the product once it's in place. Often, the technology must integrate with existing products or applications in the customer’s environment. Decision-makers have to know the details.

Happy Customers Tell Their Stories – Live and In Person

Stories that Sell

Keep the focus on the customer's success, not your product/service – Know that a presentation is not intended to be a stand-alone customer case study just about the vendor’s solutions. It was a productive collaboration that resulted in a presentation that pleased – and provided positive exposure for – both sides. 3. Here’s how this might play out.

Kronos Spotlights Dozens of Customers through Expanded Reference Program

Stories that Sell

By exploring the customer's story, Kronos knows if the customer fits a current gap in the reference program regarding industry, product usage or company size. 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.

Study: How Much of Your Content Marketing Is Effective?

products.” I’d imagine that sentiment rings true for many marketers in all. Copyright © 2015 Contently. All rights reserved. contently.com By Jordan Teicher Study: How Much of Your Content. Marketing is Effective? What’s working—and what’s not—for over. 700 content marketers. CONTENTLY STUDY: HOW MUCH OF YOUR CONTENT MARKETING IS EFFECTIVE? Content marketing is having a moment. content.

Can You Doctor Customers’ Quotes?

Stories that Sell

Remove the "ums" and "ahs." You might add a detail or two to be more specific, or a product or company name if the customer just said "they" or "it." I also merge non-consecutive sentences , something said earlier in the interview and something said later. In journalism, a person's direct quote is sacred. It's marketing. There's what the customer said.

Customer Quotes That Compel and Sell in Case Studies

Stories that Sell

For example, quote several people that were involved in the decision and usage of the product. 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. Don't Over- or Under-Quote. Who to Quote. Keep it Concise.

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

Stories that Sell

The primary focus is one customer's experience with a product, service, solution or person. 3. This educates readers about how a product/service/other solution looks in action. Focuses on one customer's experience with a product, service, solution or person. Educates readers about how a product/service/other solution looks in action. Why the confusion? Don't cheat! 1.

How to Cue Up Hard-Hitting Customer Quotes

Stories that Sell

• You can add the vendor''s product/company name. They should also have the vendor''s name or product name in there so that the audience knows what the quote is referring to. There are times when, magically, customer quotes are exactly what you dreamed they would be. Fortunately, you do, in fact, have some control over the quotes you collect from customers. Don''t over-edit.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

Eek, My Own Process Broke Down!

Stories that Sell

Study the featured products and services to truly understand how they work and benefit customers. 2 - Know the Key Messages. 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.

Chase Those Customer Stories – Before Treasured Contacts Leave!

Stories that Sell

Knowledge and experience about working with your products and services resides with people, and when those people leave, so too goes the information. What a difference a couple of months makes. Earlier this summer, I was talking with a friend/associate about customer stories. When I caught back up with my friend a couple of months later, the story was dead, a no-go. What happened?

How to Cut Case Study Approval Times by 75%

Stories that Sell

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. When it comes to customer case studies, there is a worst-case scenario. Then, slam. The project hits a brick wall when it reaches the customer. Case study approval can take weeks, or months. Or worse, the customer declines to approve it at all.

Are You Leaving the Icing off Customer Case Studies?

Stories that Sell

During and after delivery and deployment of your products and services, maintain close ties to the customer. 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.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

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

Stories that Sell

You’re featuring a customer’s success with your products and services. They fall more into the realm of content to give away, as you would product datasheets and brochures. 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.

6 Steps to a Strategic Shortlist of Featured Customers

Stories that Sell

Choose the products and services you need customer stories for. Perhaps a competitor is introducing a product and you want to show your edge. Or maybe you have a product or service with a number of new capabilities not represented in current case studies. "We have tons of happy customers. But how do you decide which customers to feature? Small, midsize, large? An executive?

The Triathlon of Freelance Writing

Stories that Sell

My husband does triathlons for fun - small, medium and the biggest of them all, the Ironman. It takes months of training and lots of planning and organization for race day. "Where do I stash my energy gels on the run? Do I need a clean pair of socks before the run? And I can''t forget my nipple Band-Aids?!" I, on the other hand, do not race triathlons. Take last week for instance.

Customer Case Studies: Above All, It’s a Conversation

Stories that Sell

Some case studies are commissioned by a team of people, and everyone wants the story to include details on his or her part of a product. By Martha Maroney, Principal, Trimar Communications. Of the various projects I’ve tackled in my 25-year career as a marketing-communications writer for technology clients, case studies are among my very favorite. So I set the questionnaire aside.

B2B Marketing Trends for 2016

Manage the customer experience: great content alone won't save a lousy product or cumbersome experience. Don’t just talk about your product or service. time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production. Define your business strategy: products, prospects, distribution, sales and. develop a highly productive online lead generation system.

How to Showcase Customer Stories – in Context – on Your Web Site

Stories that Sell

Too often, you find them buried on vendor websites, under isolated headings like "Resources." To get them into the "conversation" on your website, ensure customer stories and case studies are connected directly with talk of your products, services or solutions. Just as anecdotes don't stand alone in conversations, customer anecdotes shouldn't stand alone on your website.

Getting Measurable Results on the Hard-to-Measure

Stories that Sell

But not every product or service is easy to measure. Instead of nebulous discussion about improved productivity, the survey showed exactly where and how much of a leap the customer made. In customer case studies and success stories, specific results impress. If you think you can’t measure what you do, there’s hope.

How to Repackage Precious Case Study Content

Stories that Sell

Try submitting a story about your new product and see how that goes. Then try submitting a story about how a specific customer has succeeded with your product, and it changes things. Just make sure it focuses on best practices and approaches without heavily talking up your product or service. 3. When you announce news, such as a new product offering, pull an anecdote into your press release that ties the news to a customer’s success. Here are just a few ways: 1. Blogs. An estimated 77% of active web users read blogs. Here’s a great example. Newsletters.

Dear Vendor: You’re Not Helping Me Buy from You

Stories that Sell

Last month, we did what we never expected: we bought a fixer-upper home – we, who can change a light bulb but do little else. Only a few square feet have been updated since our home was built nearly 30 years ago. Ideally, we’d land on some reality-TV show where the renovators would swoop in and fix it all lickety-split while we are on vacation. I’ll call HGTV. Yet, we’re barely moving forward.

B2B 2

When Customers Won’t Give Up Measurable Results for Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Look at other indicators of progress such as releasing new products, opening new locations, moving into new markets or winning awards. The proof is in the numbers. If you ask companies what’s most important in their customer case studies, 9 out of 10 would likely say measurable results. But drawing metrics out of customers can be agonizing. You ask a question. No go. Very cool.

An On-Ramp to Writing Better Case Studies

Stories that Sell

Here’s the step-by-step on how to study a new client’s products and services: 1. Study any relevant product datasheets, brochures, press releases, white papers, existing case studies, demos, videos and any other materials. As you study, look for answers to questions such as… What product names and industry terms does the company use? Who uses them?

Being a Successful Freelancer: 25 Things I Learned the Hard Way

Stories that Sell

They can’t expect you to be a subject matter expert on their products and services but you can learn quickly. If a product like a cell phone or computer is a lot less than another one, don’t you wonder why? Normal. 0. false. false. false. EN-US. mso-add-space:auto;line-height:normal">. mso-add-space:auto;line-height:normal">. It’s absolutely true for freelancing.

The “Leave-Behind” Doc for Asking Customers for Case Studies

Stories that Sell

By providing the sales or account rep with the right information, you can equip them to persuasively approach the customer, just as if they were selling a product or service. Throughout our lives, we rely on relationships to help us get where we want to go. The best way to get customers on board for case studies is to tap into those with the closest relationships with the customer.

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

Stories that Sell

YOU will have final approval of the finished product before anyone else sees it. They are selected as an “exceptional client” who uses your products or services “to better serve their clients.” In other words, you will show how your services create value for your customer’s customers! By Bill Metcalf. Asking for testimonials from clients – yuck! no, let’s be honest here. Victory?