In today’s oversaturated market, how do you make your company stand out from the crowd? Eighty-eight percent of B2B marketers currently focus on content marketing as a way to drive business. But all content is not created equal.
While social media, advertising, infographics, videos and blog posts are all written from the perspective of your business, case studies establish legitimacy by relying on the perspective of your customers. Case studies take more time and work than the average blog post, but the potential benefits can be much greater.
The 2016 B2B Content Report from the Content Marketing Institute ranks case studies as the third most effective type of content marketing, falling only behind in-person events and webinars. Case studies, when leveraged properly, are an especially effective tool for B2B tech startups.
Clients face high stakes when it comes to finding and purchasing tech solutions for their business, as tech products are often expensive and time-consuming to implement and manage. Additionally, because clients are often seeking out tech solutions to solve problems regarding highly sensitive data, choosing an effective solution the first time around is paramount.
Here are a few reasons why case studies can be one of your strongest marketing tools as a B2B tech provider and how to leverage them to their fullest potential.
Case studies tell stories about your brand
While your website and other marketing collateral may tell potential customers what you do, case studies tell them how and why your business can benefit them. They’re more effective in creating conversions than statistics or product details alone for a few reasons.
Case studies employ real customer experiences to explain how your product or service can be implemented. They paint a visual story that makes your business easier to remember. Once potential customers can visualize exactly how your product has solved real problems for a real company, they can more easily begin to envision how your business could tangibly help them solve their own problems.
Decision makers rely on examples
Well-written case studies draw readers into a narrative, and the supporting statistics you use to make your case can be the turning point for decision-makers in giving you their business. According to a study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, nearly two out of three B2B buyers (62%) search for content to learn about new market developments, and 60% search for content to find new solutions to address specific business needs.
Any tech startup can claim to have the most innovative product on the market or be the “number one choice” when it comes to a service. When you can provide palpable and specific details of how your service positively impacted a client, you are providing indisputable, real-world, and both qualitative and quantitative evidence that your business is legitimate and effective.
Social proof is powerful
When was the last time you bought something online without at least glancing at the overall customer rating score? You’re not alone in wanting a bit of third-party authentication — 78% of Americans say online product reviews help them decide whether they should make a purchase.
Think of case studies as well-structured, pre-approved customer reviews. Potential clients expect to hear you boasting about your own business; it’s much more persuasive to hear positive reviews and quotes from real clients, even if in truth you wrote the case study yourself.
At Dreamtown Creative, we often write case studies for clients of all sizes but notice they sometimes go underutilized. Don’t just stick case studies on your resources page and forget about them; maximize their power by referencing them across various mediums online and offline.
1. Pull powerful quotes to use in print and online collateral. A good case study includes at least a few illustrative and supportive quotes from your customer. These quotes can be repurposed for use on your website, email drip campaigns or ads. You could also create a video version of the case study.
2. Include them on relevant product pages. As stated earlier, case studies provide value in a similar manner to customer reviews. By placing case studies on relevant product pages, you may find potential customers refer to these as they would customer reviews and receive that extra final push to convert.
3. Use them to engage your audience on social media, or in webinars or newsletters. Like customer quotes, stats and stories from case studies make for great content that can be shared with your audience in multiple situations. Newsletters and social media are great places to share narratives in order to engage online audiences. Case studies also are great backbones to webinars, in which you can use them as support in how to solve or achieve certain business goals.
4. Incorporate them into your sales strategy. Too often, there is a lack of cohesion between a company’s marketing and sales strategies. Creating a unified strategy is especially important for less-established startups in order to appear trustworthy and legitimate. Train your sales team on properly utilizing the information in your case studies to make a strong pitch to future clients.