Not sure when a press release should be written?
Have a new customer, new product or new service to announce, or perhaps a new employee, new office location or new partnership? Recently recognized for your success with an award or other accolade?
Each of these “news” items merits coverage with a press release (aka news release), drafted by our professional copywriters and ready to share.
A well constructed press release should include facts about the news you are sharing, including names, dates and locations, as well quotes from executives representing the firm or firms sharing the news. A press release is not the time to share opinions or facts that cannot be verified or sourced by the business publishing the announcement.
Professionally composed news releases, placed on the newswire (like AP, Businesswire or PRWeb) and distributed to the press, keep your company name in front of media, influencers and prospects. They also help to amp up your SEO, because Google likes “news” items. And, sharing them via email or social media with your customers, prospects, vendors, investors and community helps you earn respect and awareness, providing quantifiable benefit for your efforts.
Customer Success Stories and Testimonials Can Be Your Best Sales Materials
When the story warrants, a fully developed case study documenting a fruitful customer relationship or successful project carries the torch for your value message even further.
Here’s why you need to write a case study.
Case studies are often your single best piece of collateral. For some businesses, they may be the only collateral they need. Customer success stories — captured via phone interview with your happiest clients — describe not only how your product or service operates but also how it made your customer successful. Far better than you can tell the story yourself, they capture the spirit behind why your customer made the purchase decision, how they aligned with your firm and ultimately why the outcome delighted them.
Michael Mackenzie Communications simplifies the case study process for clients by assigning and following a strict development approach. We recognize that not every client will be willing to participate, but after decades of experience we have defined a process for capturing and publishing stories from and about members of the most closely held industries and organizations.
Why Authentic Customer Case Studies Work Best
Whether you call them case studies, customer profiles or testimonials, the reality is that spotlight pieces far outshine other marketing communication materials in terms of persuading people to buy because they quickly move past what your business does to how your business can make others successful.
Product brochures simply explain how your product (or service) operates but well-planned and produced case studies walk the reader through the buyer experience beginning with problem identification and following all the way through to measurement of success.
A great customer case study outline looks like this:
- Business profile
- Problem identification
- Solution overview
- Solution in action
- Business impact
- Future plans
Strong customer case studies are ideal tools for the pillar or centerpiece of most marketing campaigns.
Once a solid story has been captured, it can be delivered in print or considered as script for a video. A pitch can be developed for a speaking gig at a conference, or you can use the content to deliver your own webinar or lunch and learn. It can be attached to a proposal, reside as the center piece of a landing page, used as link bait for an email campaign and have highlights extracted for social.
If I had a nickel for every client who argued against revealing the names of their best customers, I’d have a big pile of nickels!
For businesses with significant contracts with Fortune 100 brands and/or other compliance issues, there is a legitimate reason not to ask to use their name in print: because in most but not all situations, this use will not be a permitted activity and the mountain you have to climb to gain permission from their PR and legal far outweighs the value you’ll receive (we just waited 16 months for approval for one global firm). Every business who has worked with a certain Atlanta-based beverage company or big box home improvement store knows this holds true but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask your other customers.
For 99.9% of businesses, there really isn’t a valid reason for not making the ask.
If your excuse for not documenting customer success in a case study is that you don’t want your competition to know the identity of and subsequently make attempts to poach your best customers, then it is time to buck up. If you don’t have a solid enough relationship with your best customer to deflect attempts from the competition to run away with their business, then you need to work harder to solidify your standing.
A well-crafted case study is one that you and your customer should be proud to create and publish.
This post is courtesy of MMC Principal Jennifer Koon.