The Importance of Customer Storytelling
Is your brand using customer storytelling in its strategy? It is an essential part of any marketer’s and business development specialist’s toolbox.
Customer storytelling is a powerful tool for any brand. These stories are actually part of the types of stories every brand should have and tell.
Customer storytelling brings social proof.
Social proof is an important part of influence levers because it helps to build trust with potential customers and strengthens a brand’s reputation. People are more likely to believe the opinions of other people, so by providing positive customer stories and reviews, brands are essentially creating social proof that can be used to sway people in their favour.
Potential customers compare themselves to your current customers.
In addition, it can help to strengthen customer loyalty as customers feel they have been given an inside look at how others have experienced the brand’s offering. By utilizing customer storytelling as part of its strategy, a brand can create powerful influence levers that will ultimately lead to higher sales and greater success.
Customer testimonials generate insights for the organization.
Brands need to create an emotional connection with their target audience and build trust. Using customer storytelling does not only create assets that can be used to attract new customers, it also becomes a source of actionable insights by allowing the organization to have a better understanding of their current customers’ needs, challenges and what worked to get them on board and happy about the brand.
Customer storytelling tells the world how your product or service works.
Connecting with customers through storytelling allows them to relate to the brand on a personal level. This in turn helps boost customer loyalty and encourages word-of-mouth marketing. Telling stories of how existing customers have achieved success through using a company’s product or service is one of the most powerful tools a brand has at its disposal. It shows potential customers that they are not alone in facing challenges or trying to reach goals – by demonstrating the tangible solutions available through your product or service, you can provide reassurance that other people have found success too.
Moreover, customer stories help create an emotional connection between the brand and its audience. People respond more strongly to stories than they do facts or figures; by telling stories about real people who have benefited from your product or service, you can evoke emotion in your audience and create a deeper connection with them. This emotional connection will help foster trust between your brand and your customers – after all, if someone else has trusted you enough to use your product or service successfully then so should they!
Potential customers want proof that what you are offering works – customer stories provide just that. They show potential customers tangible examples of how others have achieved success using your product or service, which helps build credibility for your brand and encourages them to make a purchase decision quickly.
Customer stories are not all video.
When thinking about testimonials and customer stories, many always default to video production (and you can find tons of articles that show you great examples of customer storytelling). We are used to seeing customer testimonials shot in offices, or against black backgrounds, but it is not always necessary.
As outlined in a Gartner article on the subject, customer storytelling can be done in text, a single image with a great quote, or even in audio through podcasting. The ways to deliver stories are limitless. What is key is the quality of the story itself. Is it engaging? Is it relatable? That’s what makes a great story.
3 great examples of customer-led storytelling
With all the above information in mind, here are 3 examples of customer-led storytelling from Marriott, Shopify and a B2B brand called Nutanix. We sprinkled some notes on how each brand tackled the deliverable.
In the example below, Nutanix shows how a customer testimonial can become a great story, with great twists and context. Even better, this one does not cost much as it is entirely in written format.
In our second example, we show that when doing a video with a customer, you can go way further that the usual interview. In this case, Shopify tells the story of a customer opening an online store and getting their first sale. Great energy and an engaging script that last just under a minute.
In our third example, we go longer form, with an 11-minute film produced by Marriott under the StoryBooked series. This might not be the type of production that all brands can produce (both from an industry standpoint, but also from a budget angle), but it is a great example of yes, telling the story of the customer and their use of your products and services is key, there might be a subculture or niche audience that could really connect with the characters through their passions and stories.
Your brand should have, in its content assets arsenal (what we love to call the Content Library), customer stories. And lots of them. That cover what your product or service solves from all angles.
Be sure to check out our resources and guides on brand storytelling.