Few things are as powerful in business as a compelling customer story. In fact, nearly 85% of business-to-business decision makers begin their purchase process with a referral or a reference, and have as much as to 59% higher lifetime value once they are customers.
As a reference manager, it’s easy to get excited about the variety of customer reference assets you can create for your sales and marketing teams – testimonials, social media posts, online reviews, blogs, and success stories – and the multitude of channels you can use to promote them. However, producing so many high-quality marketing assets can get expensive, quickly exceeding a customer references program’s budget.
The cost of hiring a team or using external resources to produce reference materials can make it difficult to decide which stories to pursue and the best medium through which to distribute them. And without an extensive list of confirmed customer references, you also run the risk of customer fatigue if you’re asking too much of them too often.
Resourceful reference managers have discovered that re-purposing customer content is the most effective, efficient, and profitable way to scale their customer marketing efforts. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time a customer agrees to a reference or advocacy request.
This guide will provide a blueprint for leveraging a single piece of reference material to create a robust library of high-value customer marketing assets for a fraction of the cost and in far less time. OK, it's maybe not forever. But certainly for many months.
It Starts with a Video
Increasingly, businesses are using video testimonials as a preferred marketing and sales enablement tool. Buyers love videos because they offer a multi-sensory experience that is not possible with written content. Videos content is also easier to share, generally more engaging, and faster to consume. Studies show that videos are 12 times more likely to be watched than text is to be read.
What’s more is that seeing and hearing the reference coming directly from your customer is far more impactful on a prospect’s opinion of your brand than reading a blog post or white paper about it.
Videos also have a longer lasting impression on the viewer, meaning it is easier for prospects to remember what they watched over what they read. In fact, one study by Vidyard concluded that 80% of viewers recalled a video ad they had seen in the past 30 days. Reference managers want to make their content memorable, right?
However, creating videos can be pricey and can quickly drain your budget. Costs include renting the equipment, hiring a director, securing a location, plus the cost of editing, all of which can quickly add up. But there are other ways to have a video created without doing a full-out production.
For example, many conferences and events include video filming in their sponsorship packages, providing the perfect backdrop for creating a customer-focused video. If this option isn’t offered, there may be a video production company already planning to attend the event that may be open to doing an interview onsite. This option can provide some savings and also result in a terrific video.
You might also consider hosting a video day, for which you’d invite customers willing to give a video testimonial to visit your office or a production facility. By scheduling time slots for several customers to film several videos all in one day, you can easily eliminate a significant number of line item costs while also saving time and energy.
High-impact, memorable customer video testimonials are more than just standalone pieces of marketing content. They’re treasure troves of quotes, insights, and customer input that enable you to gain extra mileage out of each customer interaction and scale your content library without breaking the bank.
Re-purposing Video Content 101
You have invested time, energy, and brainpower into your project and so has your customer. It is not easy to have it all come together, but once it does, be sure to amplify your new creation beyond just a social share or an addition to the website.
On their own, your customer’s words are gold. But you can greatly increase their worth by repurposing customer comments into other formats and assets. With so many channels to fill with new content, it is easy to feel that there is no way to get things done without expelling most of your marketing budget. Repackaging content that you have already created is a fantastic way to reshape what may feel like the old, into the new. This can easily be done from one single video testimonial or interview.
Here are some ideas to help you amplify and morph your content into a prospect magnet.
Create additional videos of your source material
- Edit the testimonial into one-minute videos that focus on a single topic.
- Add a piece of the video to a string of other video testimonial pieces to create a montage.
- Edit your videos down to fit social media restrictions: Maximum length for Facebook videos is 1.3 minutes; for Twitter, 30 seconds; and 60 seconds for Instagram.
Write a blog or customer success story from your transcript
- Since you have spent time and resources creating the script for the video, use the final content to create a compelling blog post or flesh it out a bit into a customer success story or case study. These written versions of your video will be great for SEO, social media sharing, and prospect nurturing.
Use the video as a proposal for a case study to get speaking events
- If your customer is open to speaking at events on your behalf, sending the video testimonial to event planners is a great way for them to see how compelling the customer’s story is and how event attendees could benefit from your customer’s experiences.
Share blurbs on social media
- Use social media to share the best things that were said in the video testimonial. Pick one line to quote and highlight, then share it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to tag your advocate in the post.
Create a slide show
- Choose stills from your video testimonial that show your advocate looking engaged. Then you can add some of the best quotes next to their picture on SlideShare. This is great to have on loop with other customer testimonials at events.
Create an infographic
- Take some of the statistics mentioned in the video and create an infographic about the customer’s industry, how they benefit from being your customer, or their comments about future outlooks. Combine these with other customer quotes.
Use quotes in online banner ads
- Pick a fantastic short quote to include in online banner ads. This is particularly effective for retargeting campaigns.
Add the best takeaway quotes to your website
- Be sure to add the strongest quotes from your video to your website. Keep it on the short side, as people do not spend much time reading websites. Make it quick and easy to see and understand.
Use the video transcript for printed brochures, case studies, and banners
- The transcript can be made into a strong case study for printed materials at events. Prospects want to hear from others why your business is great. Having your customers say it for you will make your business shine.
Use customer quotes to enrich presentations and close deals
- A slide that includes a testimonial blurb from your customer is a strong opening or closing to any presentation.
Exponentially Higher Conversion Rates
Nearly 90% of B2B buyers say that content has an impact over vendor selection and brands who use content-rich marketing have six to seven times higher conversion rates than their competitors.
Reference managers have a huge task in trying to take advantage of these buyer behaviors. They need to consistently produce fresh content to attract new prospects and engage with others already in the pipeline as quickly as possible, while minding ever-present concerns about budget and time.
Paying for new content creation can quickly add up and take hours to get it just right for their brand and audience. There is no denying the power of well-executed content for marketing purposes. With so many strategies and tactics out there about how to obtain new content, it’s easy to overlook the simplest one of all: recycling, reusing, and repurposing a single existing video source into a library of compelling stories and engaging messages.
Now is the time to take your content strategy to the next level. Transform your best video content into an emporium of short videos, blogs, case studies, and social media posts to fuel your content strategy plans and give your audience what they are looking for.
Our multilingual team of journalists, media producers, and marketing communication consultants develops written and video content across the entire information technology stack to support your global reach. We focus on creating advocate-initiated content that your evangelists proactively share with their social network giving credibility to success stories and enhancing your marketing message.