15 Ways To Show Off Your Organization’s Success Story

by jdn74 on August 29, 2011

 

 

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Especially if what you’ve got is a satisfied customer. 

In my previous post, I listed 15 reasons why success stories are a valuable and effective marketing tool for your organization.  Part of the reason they are so effective is that once you’ve got one, the story can be showcased and shared across a wide range of media.  Here are 15 formats to consider:

Publish your Success Story as:

 

1. A Web Document – This is by far the most common means of showing off your success story.  Most companies throw it up on their website as a dedicated web page or a downloadable PDF, sometimes both.  But if you go this route, make sure your site’s visitors know that it’s there.  Add a “Case Study” button or “Success Stories” menu option on your home page that takes them directly to your win stories.

2. An Audio Testimonial – Any good success story requires getting the details directly from a satisfied customer. Whether handling the story in-house, or hiring a freelance writer to do it for you, always make sure to get an audio recording of the interview(s).  With your customer’s permission, these can be repurposed as audio segments embedded to enrich the text version of the story, or used as stand-alone testimonials to the value you provide.

3. A Video Testimonial – These take a little more planning and resources since you’ll need the ability to video-capture the interview in person or via the web, and the skills to edit it for a quality presentation. Despite this extra effort, use of video for online marketing is on the rise and some prospects are simply more likely to watch a video than read a story.  Videos can also be uploaded to hosting sites like YouTube or Vimeo to generate additional exposure.

4. A News Release – The point of a success story isn’t to have a success story, it’s to share that story as a means of building credibility for your organization’s products and services. So to publish a success story to your website without an accompanying press release is just plain silly. The press release need not rehash the details from the story itself, but can either approach the material from a different angle or announce other relevant news from the company while integrating a mention of and a link to the recently published case study.

5. An Advertorial – Given the narrative nature of the success story as a format, it works well as a mock-article in the “paid advertisement” section of print publications. Is there a magazine that your target audience reads regularly?  Give them exposure to your product through an advertorial.

6. An Article in a Trade Publication – Ditto here for the narrative format, only instead of a mock article, you’re publishing your success story as a real one in one of your industry’s trade publications.  Editors at these publications are often on the lookout for material they can use, so get your case study in front of them.

7. Material for a Presentation or Speech – Incorporating your success story into a speech or presentation is a great way to fill up the time while letting the audience see and hear about real world applications of your organization’s solutions.

8. Content for Your Newsletter – Do you have a loyal subscriber base for your company’s weekly or monthly newsletter?  Give them a reason to click “open” by including a success story with the rest of your content.

9. Promotional Material for a TV or Radio Ad – Instead of talking about yourself in a radio or television advertisement, why not let your customers talk about you instead? It’s much more credible than tooting your own horn and a better way to spend your advertising dollars.

10. Landing Page Content – Are you running an SEM, QRC, PPC, or other acronym-laden marketing campaign and need something to keep your visitors’ attention at the landing page.  Showing the benefits of your product or service through the lens of a success story gives your visitors someone to relate to (your featured client) and a reason to stay on the page long enough to be convinced to take action.

11. A Discussion during a Podcast – One way to do this would be to simply tell the customer’s story yourself as the subject of the podcast or as related material during a broader discussion. But you could also plan ahead for your interview with the customer to be published directly as a podcast and format the interview in such a way as to make it interesting listening.

12. A Source for Stand-Alone Testimonials – Ideally, a success story, and the customer interview on which it is based, will provide a rich source of quotes about the effectiveness of your product or service.  These can be extracted as stand-alone callouts to place on website pages and other promotional materials.  They are not the full story of your win, but they offer glimpses of your success.

13. Source Material for Print Ad Copy – Tell your success story in a nutshell so that it fits into a print advertisement.  Once again, letting your customers speak for you is better than tooting your own horn and a wiser investment of ad dollars.

14. A Topic in Social Media Updates – Most of the fans and followers who engage with your company didn’t sign up for hard sell promotional messages. If you want them to listen, and to spread your content, give them something worth reading and sharing.  A success story that is long on benefits and short on features and promotion is a good place to start.

15. Proof of Concept in a White Paper – While I personally cringe a little to open up a white paper and find it full of case studies, if you’re determined to combine these two formats I think there is at least one reasonable way to do it.  After making the argument for your solution to a particular problem in the main body of the white paper, only then include the success story at the end as a proof of concept.  My recommendation, however, would be to leave the case study out completely and instead make your white paper’s Call to Action a directive to the reader to go get more proof by downloading the case study from your website, thereby gaining another touch point and keeping them in the sales funnel.

Well, that’s 15 (again) and I’m done talking! Agree? Disagree? Know of a good format that I forgot? Sound off below.

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