Want to know how your content marketing team could stand out from other departments by advancing the company’s goals in an unexpected way?
Offer the executives a virtually no-cost way to get employees satisfied, engaged, and eager to help the company skyrocket, and a way to attract talented new staff.
Your content marketing mission? Turn your employees into brand advocates with well-developed case studies. Share with employees the kind of impact your brand has – they have – on people and companies. Share with job candidates the impact they could have once they start working with you.
Also known as success stories, case studies are a proven way to convince prospects to make a purchase. After all, they feature your customers describing how your product helped them. Excerpts from one case study can be used across your content marketing channels – from website copy to blog posts and landing pages.
But many companies neglect to share those success stories with the people who made them possible, thus ignoring their No. 1 growth resource – their own employees. Here’s how to use case studies as a critical tool for your new brand advocates, from HR and finance to production and distribution.
Recruit the best people
Increasingly, people want to work for companies that make a difference, and the youngest generation is leading that revolution. Ensure that your recruiting team has success stories to share at job fairs and interviews:
- Create content focusing on what the new employees would be accomplishing and the incredible feeling of helping customers achieve their goals.
- Talk about specific employees who came to do just another job and ended up feeling fulfilled because they received a thank-you letter from a customer who shared how her life or business was better because of their work.
- Incorporate thank-you letters, emails, etc., into your content marketing for candidates to read. You could create a booklet of customer stories, and include before-and-after photos if appropriate. Or create a booklet of employees sharing what it’s like to work for a company that cares about the value it delivers, each one detailing a customer success story.
- Focus your stories on detailing the benefits and results, and mention features (like comfortable working hours) later.
You want to help your colleagues get people excited to work with your brand. When they understand the impact they could have, they’re more likely to invest in their job and become your newest brand advocates.
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Train employees better
Continue to showcase your success stories during orientation. Work with your HR team to incorporate the case studies in training materials and presentations.
When training employees who will come in close contact with customers – like customer service and social media agents – you might want to build simulations of customer interactions. In this case, share real-life examples of how the brand dealt with the situation to make sure your new recruits are better equipped to succeed – but stay open. They might just come up with better solutions.
Incorporate in office culture
While you integrate case studies throughout your brand’s website and marketing collateral, you should do the same at the office. Here’s how:
- Make your success visual – Create a customer success photo album and place it in your kitchen or conference room so employees can browse through it. Add quotes from case studies to your employees’ screensavers or hang them on office walls. Consider installing screens and displaying case-study videos.
- Turn case studies into interactive content – Create a trivia game, incorporating questions such as what are most common sales objections, what are the weirdest products mishaps, or what are the brand’s most creative solutions to a customer’s problem.
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Improve customer retention
Develop case studies specifically to prove that your product or service not only works, but is the go-to solution for your customers’ challenges:
- Make a special effort to share them with your customer service representatives who are the face of your company, the ones capable of bringing preservation rates up and turnover rates down.
- Help your salespeople by giving them the content in a format that they can use to prove your product works. Diversify your case study content to ensure that it addresses the diverse objections that your sales team hears.
Host live events
In CMI’s latest B2B research, more than 80% of marketers use in-person events and they’re rated the most effective tactic by this group. Why not create in-house live events?
- Invite satisfied customers to your office so your non-frontline employees can meet and interact with them. To entice customers to come, offer exclusive premium training or a consultation session with one of your top executives. Give them an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour or host an “ask-us-anything” lunch with key employees.
- Hold a press conference to announce a customer’s outstanding achievement made possible by your company.
- Honor your customers and employees in a special awards ceremony as part of a bigger conference or workshop. For example, recognize the customer with the best implementation of your product or service and invite the employees who helped them achieve it. Consider offering prizes that are product-related, like personal mentorship or an additional service to help them take their success to the next level.
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Grow your new brand ambassadors
While you have access to potential success story sources through social media discussions, don’t underestimate the value of your employees’ input, particularly those who work at the point of sale. To encourage your employees-turned-brand-ambassadors to help in this process:
- Ask them to make the introductions, strengthening their involvement in the content creation process.
- Feature employees in the stories – incorporate their names in speeches, use their images on your website, interview them for your videos.
- Ask employees for their input such as suggesting challenges to address in the case studies, analyzing drafts of the success stories, etc.
- Show your appreciation for their assistance. Read case studies in team meetings and praise those who were involved. Write generous recommendations on their LinkedIn profiles. Recognize them and their contributions on Twitter (include a link to the case study).
- Share how the case studies are being used by your company and are contributing to content marketing ROI. Show how they support the company’s growth and customers’ success.
Position marketing team as a star
At the end of the day, every company’s success depends on its employees. The same is true for your content marketing program. If your employees are involved in the creation of the case studies, they’ll want to be part of making it a reality, work harder to make their ideas a success, and be eager to share those stories.
And your marketing team will become a star in the company – all by turning your customer marketing powers inward.
Looking to score big points with your target audience? CMI’s 2016 Content Marketing Playbook has tips, insights, and ideas that can help increase your success with 24 of the top content marketing tactics.
Cover image by mconnors, Morgue File, via pixabay.com