Customer marketing is the great connecting force between customer success and marketing teams and is a fantastic knowledge for making customer relationships work for you. 

There are a few great types of content that big brands use time and again to connect with their audience; we’ll go through a few examples in this article. 

If you know how to connect with an audience by promoting them and your products simultaneously, and then making that the heart of your content marketing strategy framework, you’ll be creating ads that truly connect to the heart of your audience. 

In this article, we’ll go through how to deepen audience connection with: 

User-generated content

User-generated content is anything that has been created by your customers that supports, celebrates, or recommends your brand to others. This can be anything from a photo on social media to contributed articles, case studies, testimonials, and reviews. 

These are a great way to connect with audience members as such content promotes your brand through the eyes of someone who has already experienced the value of your products but also promotes and supports your customers as well. 

Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign

Apple has been the top brand in the tech industry for years since the first introduction of its iPhone in the 2000s. One of the key features that put this phone above others was the introduction of a camera on the device. 

This was part of what kept the company in the top spot until questions about the quality of its camera came out with the introduction of higher quality phone cameras from other competitors like Samsung. 

In response to this, Apple launched a campaign with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone. This campaign launched in 2022 by Apple now has nearly 30 million tags, and is almost exclusively user-generated. 

This rather underwhelming first advert sprung into action a huge variety of interactions with this tag. 

Apple had aspiring and professional photographers taking part in the hashtag to enter the competition connected to the hashtag. The company also had many others turning the ads format - the song and end title card - into a meme format with wildly varying footage preceding it. 

Such a format seemed to be key to success, as millions of people used the hashtag, and about 70 million interactions were recorded with posts that used the hashtag.

Customer-inspired content

Customer-inspired content comes in many forms but is usually something created by your brand, inspired and using customer stories, comments, or sentiments to create a more genuine and impactful feel to the campaign. 

This is a good way to connect with an audience, as it proves you’re listening and reading things your customers say without needing to have invested and concrete interactions with all of them. 

KFC’s Christmas turkey advert

In 2023, KFC used customer tweets and social media comments to add to the message of this advert. Each of the customer comments was asking when KFC was going to release a turkey burger for Christmas. 

In a satisfying twist, the ad ends with this tag: “We saw you, we heard you… and we ignored you”. This ad was actually promoting the Stuffing Stacker Burger instead but used the build-up of customer anticipation to create a humorous twist from the original advert format. 

The reaction to this advert was incredibly positive. Many found it a funny way to prove KFC is listening to its audience while sticking to one of the core parts of its brand identity: chicken! 

Authentic customer demos

Product demos make up a large bulk of traditional advertising formats. Showing how a product works and the solution it solves are the most important things to show to any potential customer. But there are ways to make these demos more authentic and interesting. 

Demonstrations at events, having customer advocates present how they use your product, and other demos work well. Involving customers in these demos means they’re getting first-hand experience on how easy/hard the learning curve is for your product. 

With customer advocates and customer ambassadors, you can even introduce these demos before the official launch, offering exclusive beta-testing sessions for those invested in your company's success. 

Fbreeze ‘Breathe Happy’ experiment

Fbreeze has an added challenge with its product, as it’s notoriously difficult to demonstrate small in a visual format. However, the ‘Breath Happy’ social experiment offered a unique solution to this issue. 

In this ad, gone are the crystal clean white home sets, and colorful scent lines. Instead, Fbreeze brought selected people into disgusting and dirty settings and had them smell their surroundings. 

In the ad, you can see these people leaning in to smell the dirty food and objects surrounding them, but only smelling the nice floral scent of the Fbreeze sprayed in the room. 

Using reactions from real people, as the ad states, and the contrast of their reactions to the dirty surroundings worked well to emphasize the effectiveness of the product. 

Utilizing customer stories

After that initial purchase, customer marketers are dedicated to following and encouraging customers through the customer journey lifecycle and helping them come out on top as advocates for your brand. 

Keeping an eye on particularly positive customer experiences, and reaching out to learn more about the positive changes impacted by your products, is almost guaranteed to get you some great customer stories to share with others. 

Customer stories also offer a chance for your customers to promote themselves too, particularly if you’re working in a B2B space. Showcasing how your brand’s product and services have improved their work processes also promotes the improvements they’ve been making in their own company. 

Slack’s “So yeah, we tried Slack…” advertisement

Slack and Sandwich video worked together to create this advert promoting the use of Slack in the workplace as an alternative to email. 

With over 1.3 million views, this video works on the premise of the ‘If it ain’t broke, why change it?’ mentality and turns it on its head. Sandwich is an advertisement production company, and this video showcases its skills and humor as well as promoting Slack at the same time. 

It is accompanied by an extremely simple caption: 

We tried to get Adam and the Sandwich video team to make us a video. They didn't want to because "products like that never work." Six months later, they were using it. Seven months later, they were in love. A month after that, they were shooting this video …”

This encompasses the ideal customer to case study pipeline if ever we’ve heard it, and the results of this genuine video that imbued both the customer’s and the brand's personalities, values, and sentiments make it the perfect example of how to use customer testimonials and stories in the most effective way. 

The fundamentals of compelling product storytelling 

Storytelling is an essential part of customer marketing - it's pivotal to introducing your product, service, and value proposition to your target audience, and reinforcing it for your existing customers.

‌This eBook focuses on six areas that’ll help you and your team tell compelling stories that’ll resonate with your audience. Download your copy and learn how to tell a story that’s impossible to ignore...