A Content Marketing Idea For Small Businesses: Customer Success Stories

By Donné Torr

Social

Image by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung via Flickr

Recently, we have been talking in depth about content marketing and how it is an integral part of online success for any business. Once you have a handle on what falls under the proverbial “content marketing” umbrella, the next step is to brainstorm content ideas. In this post we will focus on one possible content marketing idea that has helped industry giants such as Google, and made a big difference when implemented here, at Hootsuite.

As we all know, businesses active online are under a lot of pressure to create content that converts to sales leads. To help alleviate this pressure, the focus in this post will be the Customer Success Story.

What are customer success stories?

Think about it, if 9 out of 10 people are looking at online product reviews and posts on social networks before making a purchasing decision,then the more positive content about your product from consumers out there, the better.  With that in mind, a customer success story usually takes the form of a case study in which a customer’s positive experience with your product is showcased. In other words, usually a case study sheds light on an issue that the customer had, and how your product helped solve this problem.

How to gather customer success stories?

Let’s focus on gathering customer success stories through social media. The first step is to pay attention on social media. Get your social media monitoring game in check. Monitor what is being said about your product, take note of the hashtags customers are using that relate to your product and find people that are doing remarkable things with your product. Learn about how customers use and talk about your product – focus on the language they use and adopt it.

The next step is to reach out to them. Ask them if they are interested in participating in a case study or filling out a questionnaire about your company.  If they choose to participate, it’s a nice gesture to follow up with them after the case study has been released and thank them for their insight.

A prime example of finding people doing avant-garde and remarkable things with your product was when our Freemium Marketing Manager, Jess Wakeman, came across the the Saving Lincoln Twitter profile. She noticed that the profile was tweeting out story parts instead of bland promotional content. Once she dug further and reached out to the Saving Lincoln team, we ended up publishing a case study that showcased how a team of writers, with a limited budget, launched a Twitter storytelling campaign aimed at building an audience for the release of the independent film “Saving Lincoln”.

Hootsuite Customer Success Stories - Saving Lincoln - content marketing ideas for small businesses

What is the benefit of writing customer success stories?

Customer success stories are an invaluable asset when it comes to establishing proof that your product is valuable. Customer success stories drive impact, build awareness, influence decisions, grow brand loyalty and end up driving sales. They also strengthen a company’s relationship with their customers, and provide readers with valuable content they can relate to. Even though Google has more marketing resources than a small business,  their Think With Google case studies are a great example of showcasing customer’s success. Their copy is engaging, clear and provides value.

Content marketing ideas - Customer success stories

One last thing to keep in mind. Though it will be tempting to get as many customer success stories out there as you can, remember that trust from your reader is only granted when the case studies are authentic. Quality trumps quantity in this regard.

If you are interested in taking your social media activity to the next level, try Hootsuite Pro for free for 30 days!

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