I’ve sat through my fair share of messaging meetings over the course of my career, and more often than not, each one tends to lead back to the question, “well, what would the customer say?”
It’s an important question. When we leverage, in the words of our customers, what problems we’re solving, and why they chose our solution, we build a framework that attracts the right audience. It’s a tried and true practice. It’s authentic.
And it generates real results: Forrester claims from a Q2 2019 B2B Marketing Panel Online Survey, that 63% of marketers met or exceeded their goals when their website included clients and case studies with evidence of business outcomes.
If that statistic surprises you, it shouldn’t. Take a moment to consider the way you interact with B2B websites. As a consumer myself, I’ll only dig deeper on a company’s website if they’re serving me photos and quotes from real customers. I’m really turned off by boring stock photography and buzzwords. You could say that buzzwords kill my buzz.
But how businesses deliver this voice of the customer matters.
Customer Content Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum
But painful as it is to admit, you’re probably not driving a zillion web visits to your case studies section on your website. (Sadly, it’s one of the least clicked-on pages on ours.) Rather than ignore this fact, let’s learn from it. What does it tell us? It tells us that writing yet another customer story is not going to get us anywhere soon. That’s because most customer advocacy content is, let’s be honest, pretty predictable. So consider: Should customer content be siloed in a single section of your website? I don’t think so.
Instead, I vote we all play this game of capturing the customer voice to create guiding messaging pillars.
As your marketing team grows and there are more people lending a hand in content creation, it starts to get exponentially harder to align messaging around common themes. Multiply that with the challenges that come into play when you’re working with large enterprise clients, and you have to do multiple rounds of edits and approvals just to publish a single article. There really is no easy solution here, other than a friendly reminder that your customer marketing team must collaborate with your content editorial team and work together to share insights and learnings.
What are some of those insights you ask?
- Align your product messaging to customer needs
- Build a brand story that resonates with your audience
- Bring customers—and their successes—to life with captivating visual stories
- Create relevant interactions across the entire customer lifecycle at scale
Let’s Talk Technology
Keep reading if you’re curious how Upland’s technology may come into play. It’s a bit of a pitch, I’ll admit, but I really believe in it. I wouldn’t be here to tell you our secret sauce otherwise.
Let’s say you’re an RO Innovation customer. By now, you know RO has made your life a heck of a lot easier by organizing all your references and activating the voice of your customers. You have your sales team ramped up on using RO to find new references. Even better, they’re actually using the platform to find more than just who to get on the phone with a prospect. They’re sharing case studies and testimonials, and they’re creating spotlights with all the juicy reference-able content you worked so hard to get published.
If you’re not an RO customer, never fear. Here’s a quick visual of what I’m talkin’ about:
But we all know that content didn’t magically create itself. So where did the rubber meet the road?
My guess is it probably took a ton of time and effort (and literal teams of people) to put together customer-voice content, whether that content be a quote, a blog, a case study, or a video testimonial. Every single asset took time, from crafting the headline to writing the first draft to checking off approvals to finally getting it out the door and hitting publish. And even then the work wasn’t done! Sales needed to be enabled to use the darn thing, and demand gen or campaign specialists needed to be looped in, in order to work their magic and amplify promotions.
All that orchestration is a process. A step-by-step workflow. And something, I’ll be honest, I can do in my sleep by now.
And that’s where I bring you Kapost.
Kapost specializes in B2B content operations at scale. With a couple of clicks, you can lay out this entire workflow, set up logic on who owns what, and integrate with your website/CRM to start publishing and sharing. Kapost is highly customizable, so I can really only speak to how we’re leveraging it on our side, but I can tell you it’s really changed the game on how I look at creating customer stories. I can finally see what stories are at what stages, what’s bottlenecked and what’s ready to publish. It’s keeping my team on track and it’s igniting us to produce even more customer content at scale.
And we’re able to align our customer content to our broader corporate messaging, making both more valuable than they ever were before.