Authentic Customer Content Converts Quicker—Here’s How to Do It at Scale
Content marketing is stuck in a rut. We keep asking the same customers to produce branded case studies and white papers, our B2B buyers are tired of being sold to and they tune it out. See how one new company is helping business harness the voice of their customer to produce authentic content that converts—at scale.
Customer content is broken.
We know it’s vitally important—it helps potential buyers see the real-world value of our products and services through the lens of an existing customer. But that’s about all we know.
We don’t know how to track its value, and we don’t know how to make the process efficient. Our current system of discovering, sourcing, and creating authentic customer content is so tedious, often the results fall far from our expectations.
But this is no one’s fault. Marketing teams work hard to keep up with the ever-growing content demands. However, they have no direct line to their customers, so they ask the same ones again and again for quotes, case studies, and guest blogs.
If they’re lucky enough to actually find a customer who will agree to produce content, the back and forth of the approval process—the red-lining by each company’s legal team, the endless drafting and redrafting—drains precious hours and resources until the final piece is so far off from the original idea that it may never see the light of day.
Brands produce branded content; it’s in their DNA. They have guidelines and language that must be upheld—and that brings us to the next fail point in the current customer content workflow: lack of authenticity.
Decision makers can smell branded content from a mile away, and content marketers know this. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 54% of content marketers say that producing engaging content is the hardest part of their job.
Let’s take case studies as an example. Businesses spend thousands of dollars to produce a case study chocked full of use cases and defined results, but by the time is makes it into the hands of a potential buyer, it reads like the back of a cereal box. It lacks the true personality of the highlighted customer, and it feels like marketing collateral.
No one likes being sold to. We want to arrive at our own decision based on unbiased information. But when we’re so immersed in our own brand, it can seem impossible to write about our successes without sounding like we’re pushing for the hard sell.
As we’ve seen the rise of review sites like G2Crowd and TrustRadius, it’s becoming apparent that third-party content is the key to breaking through the noise. The problem, however, with only relying on customer reviews to get your message across is that you have no control over the content, or frequency.
You can’t match it to your overall strategy, ensure it fits in line with the overarching theme or pillars you’re highlighting for the month or quarter, and you can’t track it’s impact directly to core team metrics like lead gen, reach, and exposure.
So what’s the solution? How do we fix this broken content system?
First, we have to widen our pool of potential customers we depend on for customer-generated content. We have to acknowledge that every happy customer has an amazing story—they just might not realize how great their story is, or how to share it.
As marketers, it’s our job to show them how, to validate that their message is important, and that many of their peers could greatly benefit from their experience and expertise. Then we have to find a way to help them share and build their reputation as an expert.
Our customers have spent years developing their focused skill set, and when we ask them to do something outside of their comfort zone, like write a guest blog post or testimonial, often that can be a scary experience.
This fear of having to produce a piece of content that the whole world will see that often leads to “no.” It’s incredible how many people don’t understand how powerful or inspiring their story is and what it would mean to be read by their peers. Plus, many customers understand their company’s approval process and know if they volunteer to produce a branded case study, they’ll be met with a level of resistance in their own chain of command that makes the whole process just not worth it.
So we must give them a way to create this content that allows them to be open and free from the restrictions of in-house approvals. A way to be honest.
Then we need to make it easy for you, the busy marketers to be able to create the content without adding to your already heavy workload. Many times marketers are so bogged down with their day-to-day tasks—like managing the corporate blog, updating sales collateral, etc.—that it’s difficult to just find the time to generate customer content.
Lastly, we need to be able to track the results and the impact that this powerful content has on each stage of the marketing funnel. Progressive marketers understand the value of data, and they’re hungry for new ways to show their value, but until now, it’s been almost impossible to show the impact of a piece of customer content in real dollars and cents.
That’s why we created Upshot. What is it? It’s the answer to all of the questions above. It’s a way to produce authentic customer content that converts—at scale. And we’d love to tell you all about it. So if your content process is broken, and you need a solution that ignites every point in your funnel without adding to your current workload, check out Upshot, read a few of the stories we’ve already produced for companies just like yours, and then shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us show you how we can make creating authentic customer content effortless.