Crafting compelling customer stories
Updated: Jan 7, 2020
If you need to develop a compelling customer story, such as a case study or a founder story, I have three steps to developing a compelling original customer story. If you find the post useful, please share [hyperlink to share widget] it with your colleagues and peers.
STEP 1: Research & Discovery
While sales people tend to ask questions first, marketers ask for market research instead. As important as research can be (when available), tapping into insights from key stakeholders often yields stronger results.
Every customer or founder story we create follows PACT’s content development process. This ten-step process ensures the content we create meet PACT standards before it’s presented for review.
Go deep where possible
A successful customer story conjures more effectively the desired image in the reader’s mind with 360-dimensionality. PACT achieves this richness in storytelling by processing as much available background material as possible (for example websites, social channels, current research reports and studies, press releases, and even competitors). Consuming background and peripheral content first, a richer story emerges.
STEP 2: Map Your Journey
Think of your outline as the scaffolding for your story, a bird’s eye view of the logic your story will follow. Effective story writing requires a start, middle, and end.
Start with the big picture
Contextualize the problem for the reader. Create some common ground between you and your reader before jumping into your product or service pitch. Focus your story on a universal pain point or challenge your audience faces regularly. Avoid sounding salesy or repetitive.
Vary your phrasing
Construct short punchy sentences and avoid run-on sentences. Even in business writing, you must capture the reader’s interest with style.
Keep it relevant
Avoid introducing too much information in one story. Leave your reader wanting more.
STEP 3: Push for Quality
Many professionals, executives, and marketers believe they write well, but alas, don’t. I offer this advice to improve your writing skills.
Start with George Orwell’s five rules of good writing
Avoid regurgitating the same boring concepts and clichés. Refining your work by inviting a co-worker to review, edit, and possibly inform your story.
Trust content specialists and put your time to better use
Add a human element and visual interest to your piece. Take advantage of the publishing opportunities created by modern digital media by introducing relevant videos and appropriate imagery where possible.
Step 1: Research & Discovery -> Review website, Wikipedia, social landing pages, press releases, and market research on the industry, if available
Step 2: Map Your Journey -> Create a story outline that gives your story structure. Start by talking about a problem and then connect it to your product/service
Step 3: Push for Quality -> Follow the principles of good writing. Work with professional editors if you can. Enhance your story with great visuals and videos