There are times in our lives when we buy a good idea. Early adopters of consumer tech are a prime example, many of whom buy into the thrill of trying the next big thing.
There are also times when buying a good idea isn’t enough. And B2B technology procurement is typically one of them.
Why? Soaring IT spending has led to greater scrutiny over purchasing decisions. Expectations have also increased. Business leaders want to see near immediate ROI, while employees desperately crave a better experience. And old habits play their part; they used to say no-one got fired for buying IBM, well maybe now that’s Microsoft or Apple?
Taking a bet on a new technology is high stakes for those making purchasing decisions, which means they need to trust both the product and the people they are buying it from.
It is therefore little surprise that the preferred marketing content for B2B buyers is case studies and customer stories. Real testimonials validate a brand’s claims about their product or service to build buyer confidence at later stages of the funnel.
But how can brands better highlight customer success stories and translate this advocacy into future sales?
Start with the story
Create the hero piece of content which is going to underpin all of your future marketing and comms activity – the case study. Focus on the problem that you are solving – the WHY – rather than the product and its capabilities – the HOW. Consider your buyer personas and show them how your solution overcomes the challenges they face – not forgetting quantifiable results that demonstrate it worked!
Once you have nailed the story in the case study. You are then ready to translate it into the owned content. Testimonial videos are a particularly powerful approach as the story comes directly from the customer.
Give it an editorial boost
A press announcement maximises the reach of the story by communicating with your buyers in the publications they are already reading. But it also gives it a credibility boost – 92% of consumers trust earned media.
And get those customers who are comfortable doing so speaking directly with journalists. This is the holy grail for many technology journalists that want to offer their readers honest accounts of what is actually working for their peers and what could work for them too!
Go heavy on the PDAs
Don’t shy away from public displays of affection (PDA) – use social media to promote the great relationship that your brand has with its customers. Create dedicated social assets with your brand logos, key metrics and standout quotes. And share them beyond your dedicated channels by creating content packs for your customers and employees to promote through their own networks.
Make it work for sales
Create a customer stories playbook that gives sales teams a snapshot view of the key customer information, the problem that was solved, and direct links to all the available resources. You can take it one step further by creating template emails for use at different stages in the funnel, to help them understand how the different assets can help spark or support a conversation.
Get out there!
When speaking at industry events, the audience doesn’t want to hear your sales pitch. It has to be interesting and relevant to them if they are to stay the course – whether it’s their mind or their feet that start wandering. Put customer stories at the heart of your presentations. Or go one better and have them on stage speaking for or with you. No one is better placed to credibly shout about how great you are than satisfied customers!
Would you like to dig deeper into how you can better spotlight your customers to maximise their impact on your brand and sales pipeline?
Reach out to at [email protected] to discuss what a bespoke programme could look like for you!