This is part 2 of a series talking about my simple 3-step process to develop online marketing strategies for my clients. I call it the 3 Cs of Social Media: Customer, Content, Capabilities. In the first installment, we discussed Customer and creating your Ideal Customer Profile.

We are on to the next C in this post which is content and more specifically what do you have to say.

Content is a big topic, and it’s something that I love to talk about. And it is the biggest question I get about social media marketing. Some business owners don’t know what to say, and others have a lot of content but they are not sure how to distribute it and get a response.

Remember the goal is to deliver content that elicits a response from your audience. Simply posting to Facebook or another social media site is not enough. You want to get engagement that leads people into your sales funnel.

With that in mind, creating an editorial calendar is a major part of what I do with my clients and in my small group trainings. I’m hoping that this series will give you direction on your online strategy.

Here are some questions to get you started with content:

  • What do you have to say and share?
  • What formats will work best for this content?
  • Can you make your information visual in the form of product images, infographics, or video content?
  • Can you make your calls to action simple to complete?

Be sure to offer value to your audience as a rule and sprinkle in your marketing messages. No more than 1 in 10 messages should be blatantly promotional.

Customer Testimonials

This is such a big topic, but you know I want to give you something actionable. So let’s talk about the number one piece of content that every business owner has or can develop relatively quickly — customer testimonials and case studies. Nothing is as effective in getting a new customer interested in your product or service as hearing another customer sing your praises.

Where can you find them? Yelp Customer Review on Facebook Page

  • Look through your emails
  • Reviews on online sites like Yelp! are public. Sometimes I just screenshot a review and post that image on my client’s Facebook page.
  • Surveys at time of service like events or immediately after the engagement in the case of a home remodeler.
  • Capture people when they are singing your praises. Use that smartphone and snap a quick video (see an example from a recent conference) or get an audio recording of their voice that you can transcribe later. Don’t let the moment pass. Because even if someone fully intends to give you a glowing testimonial, it’s unlikely that they will get around to it, so you need to capture that enthusiasm as soon as possible.

Interview Strategy

If getting testimonials is a challenge for you, you can try my interview strategy. I have a colleague call my customer and talk to them about the service I provided and the results they experienced. My colleague makes notes on what my customer says and then puts together a nice succinct quote based on that conversation using the customer’s own words. We send the quote to the customer for approval which they always give. This makes it very easy for my customers to provide that testimonial they were willing to give, but were too busy to create on their own.

Case Study

A related piece of content to the customer testimonial is the case study. Telling the story of how you solved your customer’s pain point is very powerful. Specifics and numbers are really important here. Even just one or two good nuggets that people can hold on to will make a great impact.

I often talk about one of my customers — an auto repair shop. When we started working together in 2008, they had 3 bays in one location. They now have 20 bays across 3 locations.

I like to use this example because it includes numbers and growth, but I didn’t have to get into revenue or any specifics on what I did for them. I can dive deeper with prospects who want to know more.

This is not only a great testimonial for my services, but customer testimonials through online review sites are one of the big reasons that the auto repair shop experienced such strong growth.

If you don’t have any testimonials on hand today, start collecting them immediately – maybe try my interview strategy. This is the single most powerful type of content you can share so make it a priority in your online marketing.

Let me know your thoughts on content, specifically on getting customer testimonials. We will pull this into a strategy when we look at the last piece – Capabilities.