Two of our most common marketing goals are to drive engagement and build trust with our audience. But, achieving those goals can depend on how authentic and relatable your brand is.
One of the best ways to showcase those aspects is to weave in customer stories. They align your content marketing strategically with genuine voices that resonate with your audience.
In this guide, we’ll delve into how customer stories can supercharge your marketing goals. We’ll cover how they can humanize your brand, establish thought leadership, and build stronger relationships.
Why Customer Stories Are Important to Your Marketing Goals
Customer stories are a bridge that connects your brand with your audience. 97 percent of B2B customers cite customer testimonials as the most reliable form of content.
Showcasing real-life, tangible examples of how your products or service positively impact customers has multiple benefits:
- It validates your brand’s promises
- It fosters a sense of community and loyalty
- It builds genuine connections and drives meaningful engagement
But customer stories only work if you can properly integrate them into your content strategy. Let’s talk about how to align customer stories with your marketing goals.
5 Marketing Goals to Set with Customer Stories
Setting clear and impactful goals is crucial. But how do you ensure these goals resonate with your business objectives and the hearts of your audience?
Dive deep into your customers’ experiences. What delighted them? What challenges did they overcome? What aspects of your product or service made a difference?
Start by following these three steps:
- Listen actively to the customer stories
- Identify the emotional and practical value they offer
- Craft your marketing goals to echo those sentiments
Not sure what goal to set? We’ve got you covered. Here are five different goals customer stories can help you achieve:
Goal #1: Humanize your brand
Take a moment, break up with your iPhone and laptop, and pull out a good ‘ole fashioned piece of paper. Now, without the help of Google, make a list of companies you buy from regularly.
We’d bet there are a few threads that tie those companies together, like sincerity and trust, but they all funnel into the same idea: the ability to relate to a company.
As Becca Hoeft, the chief brand officer at Sunrise Banks, explains, making the goal of being more human and less corporate is an easy way to weave in client reviews. What does this look like? Well, it could be something like taking out your normal call-to-action with a customer story that’s more focused on connection.
As Hoeft explains:
These stories aren’t focused on your brand, but instead on your customers and what they bring to the table. That’s a refreshing perspective in a marketplace that’s often filled with calls to action.
Goal #2: Cement your thought leadership
Establishing thought leadership is a critical goal for brands looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded landscape. Each brand has a unique message to send. The hurdle to overcome is to tell it in a way that matters and aligns with your target audience.
How do you make sure your content aligns with your customers? Engage in meaningful conversations with them. Start by creating opportunities for feedback and open communication channels through surveys, social media engagements, and direct conversations. As you gather the feedback, ask yourself:
- What are the recurring issues your audience faces?
- What kind of information are they seeking?
- How do they prefer to consume this information?
The answers to these questions will guide you in crafting content that showcases your expertise and addresses your audience’s specific needs and curiosities.
Goal #3: Increase engagement
There’s plenty of noise on the internet — whether or not you look for it. Pop-up ads, an inbox full of newsletters, content created for the masses, the list goes on.
The smartest companies aren’t afraid to be different and bold. They know constantly pitching their sales objective isn’t the ticket to success. Rather, they know how vital it is to create shareable, interesting dialogues that keep attention.
Just think of Spotify’s Year in Review or those Superbowl commercials that always make you tear up as a real person shares how something impacted their life. This angle will likely draw someone in no matter how you use customer stories.
As Hoeft says:
Today, brands need to create content that goes beyond the sales pitch, and do so on multiple platforms to connect with an online audience. Human interest stories can also go a long way in bolstering your PR strategy — reporters will take notice if you introduce a story or idea they haven’t covered yet.
Goal #4: Expand your social media strategy
One of the lowest hanging fruits — so to speak — with customer stories is found on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, these viral destinations allow you to connect, in real-time, with past, current and potential customers.
Consider making these platforms your first goal with customer story integration. You can incorporate videos, images, or text with client journeys and then turn the camera back to the brand to give them a behind-the-scenes perspective:
Focus your goals on making those unseen parts of your business more visible and increase your marketing efforts around them. Set small, manageable goals to increase your brand’s visibility over time. Targeted blog posts and social media posts can go a long way toward demonstrating the value of your products and services.
Goal #5: Create stronger relationships
Here’s the deal: most people enjoy being in the limelight. And the reality is very few will ever be presented with the opportunity. So when you reach out to a loyal customer and explain your hope to share their experiences, their photo, or even develop a video around their unique journey, chances are high they’ll be stoked. They will feel exceptional, especially when you pair them with a talented writer who can dig deep and pull out the best nuggets for a feature.
In return, this builds an even stronger relationship and will make potential clients more likely to consider your services or products.
Creating brand journalism stories is a good way to build client relationships, and if you create a piece of content that increases engagement for your client, they’ll be extremely grateful. This strengthens a client relationship and may even lead to more business.
A smart goal can be reaching a certain amount of people through your customer stories, and finding data-driven ways to track conversions so you can make a case for further client-first campaigns in the future.
Harness the Full Power of Your Customer Stories
Remember, each customer story is a testament to your brand’s impact on individuals. By leveraging them, you’re not just showcasing your success. You’re also building a brand image that resonates with your customers.
Look no further if you need help creating content around your customer stories. ClearVoice has your back. Our expert content creators and strategists can help you produce customer story content that aligns perfectly with your goals and drives your success.