Toot Your Horn Every Chance You Get

Toot Your Horn Every Chance You Get
Stephanie Tilton - Tue May 12, 2009 @ 04:09AM
Comments: 19

hornAre your case studies collecting dust? Well brush them off. Prospects turn to case studies more than just about any other type of content. Makes sense – they want validation that your solution can solve their issue. Here's how to make sure prospects see your case studies at every turn.

Draw a map. Beyond maintaining a dedicated case-study page, you should map case studies to the relevant sections of your site, such as the product or service page. If you've gone the extra step of walking prospects through your site based on their roles and stage in the buying process, make sure you tee up case studies in the same way. For example, technical evaluators making a short list of possible solutions want to read different details than a business user who is just starting to explore her options.

Sprinkle them around. Your case studies don't need to be standalone pieces. Excerpt customer quotes and summaries to include in white papers, webinars, presentations, prospecting emails and voice messages, and on relevant Web pages. Consider rotating featured quotes on your home page. Share a compelling story in your company blog.

Shoot your customer. Not everyone will invest the time to read a case study. Whenever possible, shoot a video testimonial to accompany the written version. Not only will you reach prospects that might not bother reading your case study, you'll convey the customer story in a compelling way. As Keith F. Luscher explains in his blog post, "video can capture the emotion of those happy customers in a way that cannot be expressed in written word alone."

Pitch the press. Journalists are eager for interesting stories. Identify publications and sites of interest to your prospects, review the editorial calendar, pinpoint the appropriate editor or journalist, and find out how the he or she likes to be pitched. Then submit your pitch to numerous publications. If the story is interesting, more than one outlet might just pick it up.

Spread the news. In addition to pitching to a publication or site, promote the case study in your newsletter and in a press release. Including a teaser in your newsletter is a great way to highlight a customer success while filling out your newsletter. (Always a challenge, right?) And featuring it in a press release is just one more way to help prospects find you in their searches. Besides, as David Meerman Scott says in The New Rules of Marketing & PR, companies should write press releases that appeal directly to their buyers. What better way to lure in a prospect than by showcasing the success of an existing customer?

Make an event of it. Have an opportunity to speak at a trade show or conference? Instead of pitching your solution or company, highlight a customer success that will resonate with the audience. You'll likely draw in a larger audience by inviting the customer to help tell the story. Depending on the forum and audience, you may find it makes sense to share the kind of details that often don't make it into published case studies, such as best practices for implementation. As I mentioned in a previous post, technical evaluators are hungry for this information.

Develop a playbook. Okay, this one is geared toward arming your sales force. But they're often the ones to point prospects to your case studies. Make sure your sales reps know which case studies to share at any given point. Collect your case studies in a playbook categorized by industry, as well as by prospect role, challenges, and place in the buying process. Then deliver it to your sales team and send them on their way.

What other ways can companies get customer stories in front of their prospects? Share your ideas.

Read more Savvy B2B posts from Stephanie.

Comments: 19


1. Michele Linn  |  my website   |   Tue May 12, 2009 @ 08:12AM


Great post. When I was a marketing manager, customer case studies were gold. Another suggestion, similar to pitching to the press, is having some customers willing to speak to the press in case an opportunity presents itself. There were a number of times when reporters came to us, not looking for what we had to say but looking for a customer who could describe how they are using and benefitting from our solution. As a freelancer, I subscribe to HARO (Help a Reporter Out: to see if there are opportunities for my clients to get some press. There have been recent instances where the reporter is looking for customer success, which can be a great way for a company to get some exposure.


2. Stephanie Tilton  |  my website   |   Tue May 12, 2009 @ 08:43AM

Thanks for the great contribution! HARO looks like a fabulous resource for freelancers and B2B companies.


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