As marketing managers for B2B companies, we already know how important it is to have an inbound marketing strategy in place. Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content allows us to attract and retain our target audience, which, when done right, translates into profits.
Among the many content marketing tactics being used nowadays, one type of content continues to be trusted by B2B marketers – and B2B buyers - all over the globe: success stories. According to Content Marketing Institute's 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, 77% of B2B marketers still use case studies as a marketing tool, up from 71% back in 2013. In fact, 58% of marketers say that B2B success stories are effective for marketing their brand, along with white papers, research reports, and e-newsletters.
This shouldn't be a surprise since 85% of B2B buyers say that they first research their options for solutions and products online before even contacting a vendor. Other findings report that 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews and case studies to determine the quality of a business, with 39% of them doing so on a regular basis.
With such telling figures, there is no doubt that the power of success stories should be leveraged in B2B marketing. Here’s 5 more reasons why customer success stories are great for marketing brands:
1. Success stories provide brand credibility and are a powerful tool for sales.
There is one main reason why customers look for B2B success stories—they want to know if our brand has already worked successfully for others.
Rather than simply talking about the benefits of our products, customer success stories allow us to provide evidence of how our products and services have been used by real clients. A well-written case study shows that a brand can accomplish what they say based on real stories and real results.
2. Success stories showcase not just the brand but the customers as well.
One of the marketing mistakes that businesses make is talking too much about themselves. If we really want to resonate with our consumers, we should focus on them, not us.
Success stories are a great way to focus on the experience of our customers. Other customers can easily relate because they would want to achieve the same results as the success story example. Case studies allow us to offer benefits (such as further brand awareness) to participating clients too.
3. Success stories increase engagement through compelling narratives.
Stories are one of the most powerful ways to activate our brains and help us remember things. By simply telling a story, we can plant ideas, thoughts, and emotions into our listeners' brains.
A great narrative brings a case study to life as it illustrates an example, rather than just explains it. As a result, our consumers end up more engaged than when we simply explain the benefits and advantages of our products and solutions.
That is why one of the best tips for engaging case studies is to treat it not as a business document, but as a story complete with a beginning, middle, and end. For global companies, creating different success stories for different regions and languages can help them reach and engage more consumers.
4. Success stories should be tailored for local and regional audiences.
We can learn a lot about our products and customers through our customer evidence. It helps give us a better idea on what tickles the fancy of our consumers, in different markets. If you’re an international brand, consider the languages and needs of your non-English markets. We improve our marketing communication when we place the needs of the customer first, and considering their requirements and providing materials in their language is a good step often overlooked.
5. Success stories are sources of unique and reusable content.
The great thing about case studies is that we can leverage their value by reusing them in various marketing tactics. As well as a dedicated success stories page on the company website, consider placing some on the homepage to draw attention to them. Video, infographics, visuals and blog posts – all can be created from customer success stories to further prove your brand’s relevance. They make great content for newsletters and social channels too.
No doubt about it: Success stories are proven as an effective and inexpensive B2B content idea. And in this rapidly evolving world of business, with products and solutions improving all the time, case studies will continue to be relevant and required. Continue to seek out the best client stories to share; their value is still of great worth to smart brands.