It was about 18 months ago when our team realized we were sitting on a gold mine. The currency: customer compliments. Positive words from clients would come in the form of thank you emails, Facebook and Twitter shout outs and phone calls. One day it dawned on us that it would be a good idea to translate these comments into customer case studies. Our team is wild about video, so we opted for on-air testimonials over written stories.
Today, we have a robust success story section on our corporate YouTube page. It showcases clients from all over the country chatting on camera about the usefulness of our products. The results have been tremendous; almost every day an account representative receives a lead generated through one of our videos.
Here’s how to make this happen in your business.
Solicit the right way
The act of soliciting a case study is delicate. You don’t want to ask too soon because you will look overzealous. Depending on your product, I recommend waiting a few months to allow your customer time to experience your offering and appreciate it. Wait for them to come to you with positive feedback. Once you receive consistent feedback from the same client, consider sending them a personal email asking if they’d be interested in participating in a case study.
Haven’t heard from clients lately? Your sales representatives are your front line to customers, so ask them for a few names.
If the customer is receptive to the idea over email, call them to follow-up. Explain that you are interested in sitting down with them for a few hours and that the conversation will be recorded on video. This may freak them out at first, but assure them that the chat will be casual and nothing will go into the final product that will make them uncomfortable.
Tip: Make the process easy on your customer. If possible, travel to their office to record them in their traditional environment.
Rules for recording
A few days before your arrival (if you can’t travel to them, opt for a recorded Google Hangout), send your client an email to prepare them for the recording session. Tell them to wear solid, dark or neutral colors (Tip: stay away from red and stripes) and offer list of sample questions. Explain that while it is good to start thinking about to say, the conversation will not be scripted. Instead, it will be an informal chat with the camera rolling.
Once you are sitting in front of your client, start by asking general questions, such as: When did you launch your business? How did you get started? How many employees do you have? What makes your company special? How do you stand out from the local competition?
Over time, your client will get more and more comfortable. As part of the conversation, ease in a question about how they decided to contact your company for help. Use questions like: What was your process of selecting a vendor? What was your experience with our customer service employees? What is your favorite part of working with our company?
Tip:Internally establish the objective of the case study going in, and tailor your questions to the information you’d like to convey to future prospects.
As example, this clip of the CEO of Fanology, a social media consultancy, was extrapolated from a much longer on-camera interview:
Thank them, then get to work
Following the interview, return to your office and send your client a heartfelt thank you card for his or her time. Then, huddle with your video editing team to make the case study shine. Although you may have hours of footage, edit it down to no more than two minutes. Yes, that may seem short, but so is the attention span of most website viewers. You want to grab their attention and keep it until the last second of the video.
Note: If you can hire an employee strictly dedicated to video, do it. Facilitate and post on-air case studies as often as possible. The more testimonials you have in circulation, the more likely a dream client will find you and reach out.
Short on resources? Purchase a hand-held video camera (you could also use your iPhone video recorder) and do it on your own. Just make sure to record in natural light and with a steady hand (better yet, use a tripod).
Start marketing your video case study by sending it to the customer on-camera. That person will likely be so proud of his or her performance that they will want to share it with their contacts online or over email. From there, promote the video on your social media pages. Create a customer case study section on your corporate website and post the video there, too.
Make sure to share each video with your internal sales and marketing teams. Ask your staffers to send videos to customers and potential leads. Then, consider working the public relations angle by identifying local business writers and industry-specific publications. The more work you put in, the more traction your videos will get.
В трех тысячах миль от Вашингтона мини-автобус мобильного наблюдения мчался по пустым улицам Севильи. Он был позаимствован АНБ на военной базе Рота в обстановке чрезвычайной секретности. Двое сидевших в нем людей были напряжены до предела: они не в первый раз получали чрезвычайный приказ из Форт-Мида, но обычно эти приказы не приходили с самого верха. Агент, сидевший за рулем, повернув голову, бросил через плечо: - Есть какие-нибудь следы нашего человека.