Telling stories is a wonderful way to build trust, the customer’s story or experience always “trumps the facts” by:
1. Engaging the reader. Educating businesses/consumers about services and products in the context of a story is dramatically more compelling than straight facts.
2. Giving the reader a movie trailer opening. A good story can draw the reader in to a white paper or article that is primarily designed to inform and educate. And it’s a good way to let the audience feel like they’re hearing from someone other than the marketing department.
3. Integrating the voice of the happy customer. It’s a basic journalism rule; people love to read about people. With stories people encounter challenges to overcome, find solutions, become heroes, and ultimately triumph.
4. Providing mental software. Case studies and success stories can uniquely demonstrate that a technology works well in a customer’s environment, and that the experience has been positive. The more a story sounds like a prospective customers’ situation, the more relevant and valuable it becomes in the decision making process.
5. Going viral – Great stories encourage social sharing and lead readers back to your website. And they can continue to attract traffic; one Microsoft case study attracted 234,000 views in a 10-month period.
Technology companies can use customer stories in a wide range of marketing platforms, including social media, direct mail, and targeted email marketing; focusing attention on the customer’s implementation experience, ease of use and maintenance, integration with other applications and compatibility, and ongoing support and service.
Casey Hibbard sums it up nicely in her book Stories that Sell; “From your website, to mailings, to events; all your marketing messages should move your audience into deeper lever of trust and understanding of your solutions… Customer stories easily work into most marketing communications media for nearly all audiences”