Where, When, and How to Use Customer Stories
When do customers create stories?
If you’re an employer, the answer to this question is a bit depressing – most customers are creating stories during normal working hours. In fact, 57% of customer stories are created between 9:00am-5:00pm PST. It makes sense, this is when they’re in front of a computer and able to write their review, post that instagram photo of their content, or weighing in on a topic relevant to your community.
When you look at the day of the week, you see a similar trend. Over 68% of all participation comes between Monday through Thursday, with participation tapering off around Friday and the weekend. The peak time is 2:00pm on Tuesday – that must be the most boring part of the workday!
Another interesting trend to note, is that while participation during the week is predominantly on desktop, on the weekend this shifts. Mobile participation peaks on Saturdays, where 50% of all content created is from a mobile device, while it is about 20% during the week. If people are submitting these stories from the office, it makes sense that this would be from a desktop computer. However, on the weekend, when they’re on the go, it would make sense that mobile would be an easier way to participate.
Where to Use Customer Stories
The answer is simple – you should use customer stories everywhere and anywhere you’re interacting with customers. In order to provide you with a few examples of what this means, here are a few options that we see the most frequently.
- Website: The first place we see brands using customer stories is on their main .com domain. The homepage is a great place to showcase these stories, often replacing the timeless but static text “testimonials” that usually end up on a homepage. A lot of brands are starting to make the move to incorporate customer stories into their product detail pages. It’s a great call if you have product detail pages – it showcases your community using your product, and is a great way to ramp up the amount of visual content you have for each of your products. It’s also commonplace for us to see our clients take the hashtag that they’re using for their campaign, and turn it into a page on their site. So #BareSelfie becomes .com/bareSelfie – it really is worth dedicated a page for this. Lastly, the About Us page is a popular destination to showcase your community stories.
- Social: Social media experts are always complaining about their voracious appetite for new content and the lack thereof. Customer stories are a great way to not just plug that hole, but to do so with the most dynamic, relatable, and original content out there. It turns your customers into a content factory. The great thing here is that – as we discussed previously – using these stories as a shout out to customers not only improves that relationship, but can also be an incredible incentive and motivator for others to share their story as well.
- Email: Inserting customer stories into personalized, dedicated emails or sending them as part of your newsletter is also a great use of this content. If you have a system which knows the demographic information of the recipient, you can even customize the customer story you’re using to better impact the recipient.
- Digital Ads: Ads can take customer storytelling to a whole new level in terms of interaction. You can use these as static images or as video ads. You can also use them in much more interactive ways, as we do with our SoapBox interactive ad unit, which enables simultaneous displaying and solicitation of stories within the same ad.
- TV: If you’re doing television ads, this is yet another option to consider. You can use the raw stories in your ads – as our client Al Jazeera does frequently, featuring, “Man on the Street” type videos through StoryBox. These videos are displayed on air, to which anchors and costs can respond or amplify. You can also edit these stories into promos – as our clients, Levi’s, UNICEF, and Honey Bunches of Oats have all done. Or you can even use this as a casting call – as Angie’s List and the Cordblood Registry have both done quite successfully.
- Billboards: If you utilize digital billboards, this is also a great way to feature your customer stories as well
- Product Packaging or Inserts: Your packaging and well as your shipping boxes both make for other ways in which to showcase – and solicit – your customer stories.
We hope that these spark more ideas for you about how, where, and when to use these stories. Interested in learning more? Check out our webinar on The Science of Storytelling to learn more about how you can get started, or check out our Customer Storytelling Campaign Checklist to learn more about what you can do to get started today.