Case studies work. They can effectively capture the attention of a prospect unfamiliar with your brand, demonstrate value to an engaged lead and differentiate you from your competitors. What makes them especially effective content marketing tools?
No matter if you market to a B2C or B2B audience, case studies resonate because they are storytelling vehicles that can explain, in a compelling way, how a practical problem was solved with your product or service.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing Study, people access case studies more than any other type of content when researching purchases. So, it’s no surprise that more than 75 percent of companies surveyed for that study indicated they use case studies as part of their content marketing activities.
“Case studies have their place as a top-performing addition to the content marketing strategy and work wonders in your sales funnel,” explains Daniel Threlfall, content marketing strategist in an article for Crazy Egg.
Here’s how to make sure you craft case studies that work harder for you:
Tell a Good Story
A convincing case study is relatable. It tells a story from the customer’s point of view by explaining the struggle or challenge the customer faced. Then it explains how the customer discovered your solution and overcame their challenge. Finally, measurable data is offered to prove success and illustrate ongoing benefits. Notice that the customer (not your product or service) is the hero in the story.
A good story has a defined beginning, middle and end, and so should your case study. Tell the story concisely and provide data points visually (think: charts and graphs). If you have complex information to relate, break it down into small portions. And remember that people tend to skim case studies at first glance, looking for the information they are most interested in. Make their job easier by using plenty of subheadings and bulleted copy and providing a sidebar summary.
Offer Format Options
Your case study should be available in the format your customers and sales force prefer. Produce your case studies as PDFs (for simple download) and as text on your website. Consider producing some case studies as videos or slide shares. Making your case studies available in different options increases usefulness.
Market Your Case Studies
Your case studies will be a boon to your sales staff if you offer them a brief synopsis of each new case study and a list of the best types of prospects each case study would resonate with. In addition, keyword-optimized case studies can help prospects find your website and shorten the sales cycle.
But you should also market your case studies for maximum impact. Blog about each new case study and include a link, then promote it on social media. Email prospects or clients with a summary of a relevant case study and a link to where it resides on your website. Break out quotes from the case story to use as testimonials. You can also include case study links in press releases, sales proposals and as pitches to trade publications.
Not enough time or staff to help you craft compelling case studies? We have an entire team available to help. Just reach out online.