The success of many customer evidence programs is usually measured by the number of stories produced/published. But as the saying goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it…”, was the customer story ever published?
Every published story needs to travel. So how do we make sure it does? What are some assets that will help it do that?
We can consider the following:
Deal review - whether it is called winwire, deal insight or win report, it usually involves an internal email but has the potential to be more. Deal reviews are assets that explain how the sales team landed the deal. They explain why the customer chose your service/solution. This can help your sales teams ask the right questions and offer the right evidence to prospects.
Testimonial teaser - the awareness asset, describing the customer challenge. A gif or video is great for social media, a static graphic is fine too. Keep in mind, that the goal is to showcase real challenges and that somebody (you) solved them!
Sales slider - a customer story summary that focuses on the challenge, solution, and results. These can be bullet points or a paragraph. The main goal is to make it easy to plug the asset into ongoing sales or marketing activities (such as sales decks, ebooks, etc.).
Thought leadership article - a research + customer interview-based asset that dives deeper into a common challenge of the industry, leveraging one or several customer stories as examples. This can be live on your blog or can travel with the PR team.
Written or video customer story - a good customer story should include the ups, the downs, and even the obstacles in between (like something not going according to plan). The main goal is to attract organic search traffic and have something to link from all the other assets above. Apart from the assets that can help customer stories travel and get more leverage, let’s also look at some tactics that can be done to make noise. Over the years of launching and relaunching customer evidence programs with clients, we found some quick-win tactics to make noise, get more nominations and leverage the stories:
Distribution lists: make a list of stakeholders that would benefit from knowing about published customer stories. This might include sellers, marketers, PR, comms, and product colleagues. Then, further segment the list by market, region, industry, etc. Each time a new story is published, send an ‘announcement’ email to the relevant distribution lists to ensure your story gets noticed!
Customer evidence repository: many people spend a lot of time searching for the best content distribution tool, but all you need is the right service to deliver your objectives. Whether it's SharePoint, Sheets, Seismic, or others, what makes the repository awesome is the right ‘metadata’ - the right data that your stakeholders would actually use, not fancy academic terms that sound cool, but no one will use in a real-world search.
Social media integration: the role of social media platforms and the influence they carry is almost undeniable. So, if you have already created testimonial teasers, for example, put them into the “My Company” section of LinkedIn. Include quotes for Twitter with a link to the case. If you have a social media team that runs an editorial calendar, set up a monthly rhythm to promote your customer stories.