Let’s accept it. Selling isn’t easy at all, especially in a world where everyone is digitally connected. Buyers are the ones in control as they have all the information they require at the click of a button.
The decision-making process of a buyer consists of three phases. They are as follows:
- Awareness Phase – At this stage, a buyer realizes they have an issue or a problem and needs it to be addressed.
- Consideration Phase – During this phase, the buyer understands the problem and is looking for help or a solution.
- Decision Phase – The buyer knows what the best option is, and he or she is now looking to invest in it.
As a business owner, how can you produce the right types of content to accelerate sales? Case studies, testimonials, client examples, quotes and success stories are some of the ways in which your marketing and sales efforts can be bolstered.
The importance of customer stories in content marketing strategy
Incorporating customer stories into different types of content can help you gain your audience’s trust and direct them to the sales path. If you’re interested in learning about how to incorporate customer stories into your content marketing strategy, read on.
But, first, here are five reasons why customer stories are essential for your content marketing strategy:
1. They can boost sales
Using customer stories in your content marketing strategy can help you launch a stellar advertising campaign. Customer stories prove to be effective because they show real people with real problems. When you accommodate customer stories in different types of content, your potential customers will relate more to your posts. The results you get are almost instant as your new customers can see the advantages of your products.
2. They can enhance your service or product
When you share customer stories with your sales and marketing teams, they can reveal issues that can be immediately addressed and your products and services enhanced accordingly.
3. They can help with marketing campaigns
Sales and marketing teams perform the vital tasks of attracting new audiences, generating leads, converting leads and retaining customers with innovative strategies. When you use customer stories like case studies, testimonials and quotes, they can add value to your content marketing strategy.
4. They can identify common issues
If you have clients in different industries with problems that you’ve helped them solve, you must have individual customer stories illustrating those efforts. You can use your business website or blog to speak about the common issues and talk about the solutions you offered. It’s better to have customer stories that stress buyers’ problems and how you’ve solved them.
5. They can build stronger relationships
Most people like to be in the limelight, and the truth is, very few get the opportunity. So, when you approach a loyal customer to share his or her experience or journey with your brand, chances are he or she will be excited and ready for it. When you have a talented writer to pull off a good feature revolving around such experiences, customers will feel more special. This in turn can help you forge a stronger bond with them.
How you can use customer stories smartly
Customers are the core of your business. After all, they are the fuel to your engine.
Peer-to-peer marketing is shown to have tremendous success, and you should be considering it for your business if you want to improve your marketing strategies.
Here are a few content marketing examples that will show you how to incorporate customer stories into your content.
1. Case studies
Case studies can be your ideal starting point. When you have a customer, who is willing to be a part of your article or blog, you can interview that person and focus on the ways your service or product has helped him or her attain his or her goals. You can also include statistics that show how your brand has helped him or her. This will add more credibility to your case studies.
2. Video testimonials
On video testimonials, your customers speak in their own words about how your services and products have helped them deal with particular problems. By doing this, your audience can see and hear about the benefits of your brand. To help you reach a larger audience, you can share these video testimonials on your brand’s social media channels.
3. Blog posts
Featured articles and blog posts using customer testimonials can also help with brand storytelling. The trick is to make your content relevant and exciting to your audience. Customers look for reviews and testimonials before buying a product; hence, incorporating real customer stories into your posts can be a great idea. For example, Shopify shares customer success stories on their blogs that focus on telling entrepreneur stories. These help in promoting their services using innovative and emotional storytelling strategies.
4. Targeted emails
If you’re using targeted emails as part of your content marketing strategy, use customer stories in your emails too. Highlight statistics and other essential points in your email subject lines to capture the audience’s attention. Make sure that you keep your messages short and simple in order to engage them. Also, include a call-to-action that can drive them to your product page.
If your organization is hosting an annual event, you can invite your customers to participate in lead or panel sessions. It is a compelling way to get your customer success stories to a broader audience. Also, since your team members will be present at the event, it will be easier for a prospect interested in your brand to connect with them and learn more about your company.
Sharing customer stories sends out a message that your organization is not tooting its own horn. Hearing the benefits from real-life customers makes the experience more authentic and trustworthy. Also, sharing such stories increases brand awareness.
Looking at all the above points, it’s clear that customer stories should be a part of your content marketing strategy. There are no hard and fast rules regarding them as such, just keep the purpose of each customer story consistent.