4 elements of compelling customer success stories

We’ve talked about what it takes to write amazing case studies that sell your offering without coming off salesy in any way.

But what if there was yet another way for content to help your business sell itself? You’d be able to create a steady stream of qualified inbound leads and even make your marketing efforts more efficient.

This content tactic is none other than the customer success story, and it can tick multiple content marketing boxes.

Read on to learn how to tell compact, compelling success stories that convert readers to customers.

Half case study, half testimonial

While case studies are mainly about proving your company achievements, customer success stories live somewhere in between a testimonial and a full-length case study with a focus on storytelling.

As the name implies, a success story includes a narrative and story arc with a clear beginning, climax, and end.

A success story may feature typical elements found in movie screenplays, fiction novels, and short stories. For example, you’ll want to describe:

  • Who your typical customers are
  • How everything was fine until one day… they had a problem(s)
  • What problems your customers encountered
  • What solutions they attempted that didn’t work 
  • Your customers’ doubts about using your business 
  • And finally, how much your product or service ultimately improved their business

The 4 elements

Success stories relate to prospective clients’ problems, fears, and objections, and what they can overcome by using your product or service.

Success stories serve a dual purpose. They describe a typical customer journey that might win over prospects who are on the fence about working with you. And they compliment your sales and marketing efforts, using a softer approach to selling in lieu of aggressive sales techniques. 

The following tactics can help you create a stellar success story:

  1. Cover the beginning, middle, and end. Start by describing the problem your client was facing, how your product or service solved it, and their real benefits and results. You can also break it up into a 3-part challenge, solution, and result series.
  2. Focus on overcoming objections and your client’s reservations. These will build confidence with your readers by letting them empathize with the kind of customer featured.
  3. Include complimentary client feedback and quotes. If you don’t have these, consider interviewing the client and nudging them to provide answers that can help shape your story. Let HubSpot show you how it’s done.
  4. Consider multiple ways to display the story. This can be through an email newsletter, video, or blog. And, as always, work in your company’s value proposition.

Check a few quick-reading examples from the Salesforce team, and then follow the tips above to create compelling success stories that sell.

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