Case Study Questions: “Tell Me About…”

Case studies and customer success stories don’t just happen; your questions make them happen. Here are some ideas on new ways to draw out your interviewees. You’ve scheduled a phone interview with a customer who is willing to reference your products. You’ve sent along a list of questions on the topics you’ll be covering. Now […]

Beware the Statistical Rathole

Marketing communications copy lives and breathes statistics, the life-blood of persuasion. What if your client doesn’t want anything to do with them? “I’d like to cite some figures in this paper about adoption rates for this technology,” said the marketing communications writer. “Can we find data on how sales are rising from year to year?” […]

Turning Webinars into Searchable Text

Webinars take time and money. Here’s how to get the most of each out of yours, and get search engine clout in the bargain. Webinars, videos, customer interviews, conference proceedings, panel discussions…marketing managers expend a lot of sweat in setting these events up, and they deserve to reap sweat equity from all that effort. How […]

Customer Interviewing – Some Basics

Interviewing customers for case studies and success stories is the marketing writer’s stock in trade. Some ideas on getting the most out of it. The case study or customer success story is to your Website what a recommendation is to your LinkedIn profile: an excellent addition to your trophy case. But it’s a long road […]

Want Great Case Study Interviews? Ask These 3 Great Questions

The interview’s the thing, wherein you’ll catch the conscience of the…customer. Three easily overlooked questions for your case study interviews. Want a great case study? Make sure your marketing communications writer asks great questions. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course. You need to be sure that you’ve chosen an interviewee who […]

“Who is the Audience for this Piece?”

Too much focus on your ideal reader is a good thing. It’s the marketing communications writer’s job to enforce that focus. My new client’s CTO is bright and busy, and he talks fast. I was on time for my appointment in his office to interview him on server virtualization, and before I’d gotten to my […]

3 Reasons Why You’ve Got a Bad Case of Bad Case Studies

Case studies can be low-hanging fruit for the marketing manager, but it’s easy to get them wrong and end up with ineffective content posing as a case study. “I’ve got a series of webinars that are recorded interviews with customers,” the director of marketing said. “I want to have the webinars transcribed, then turn the […]

5 Steps Your Marketing Writer Should Follow

When you hire a marketing communications writer, you should expect a description of her method. Ask for it, and be sure it makes  sense to you. You’re evaluating a marketing communications writer to do a white paper or a case study for you. “So, how do you do this?” you ask her. “What’s your writing […]

3 Ways to Make Your Subject Matter Experts Think

In a customer interview, your marketing communications writer can get more out of interviewees or subject matter experts if she can make them think. Years ago, my boss at the time, a VP of marketing, gave me the secret to working with our infuriating, inscrutable, mercurial CEO: You’ve got to make him think. Frankly, I […]

Customer Interviews in the Content Buffet

Do you know how powerful customer interviews can be to your content buffet? Have you spent time collecting testimonials and endorsements from your clients? In its report, “Social Media 10 x 10,” Beeline Labs calls these “the one social strategy with 10x the value of any other social media tactic.” An eVoc Insights study found […]