Written by Josh Westerman
A case study details an opportunity or challenge a client was faced with, the process undertaken to best respond to the situation and the successes which were achieved as a result of the work. Essentially, these are tools to – if we use the classic sales funnel model – drive potential customers from the awareness to the consideration stage.
According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report 2020, 13 per cent of respondents indicated case studies were one of most important types of content to include within their strategy. Overall, case studies were only ranked behind visual content, blogs, and ebooks when it came to creating content. Plus, with 95 per cent of people saying reviews influenced their purchasing decisions, making your case through case studies is more important than ever.
I’ve offered four reasons why case studies should play a key role in your business’s content marketing efforts.
1. Showcasing your knowledge to support lead generation
For those customers at the top of the sales funnel and deciding which provider to opt for, they’re going to want to get an idea of how good you are. Yes, word of mouth and Google rankings can help point potential leads in your direction, but to really entice them to convert, you need to show them your knowledge and that you’ve got a proven track record.
A case study provides you with the perfect platform to show that you have the solution to solve a problem a potential customer may have.
Through using a “Situation > Objectives > Results” model within your case study, you can showcase your ability to tackle challenges that others within your target sectors have had, and champion your successes. If a potential lead sees you’ve got more than enough to cut the mustard, they’re more likely to take that next move down the funnel.
2. Quotes and testimonies to sing your praises
Picture this: you’re going out for a meal and want to take a look at the reviews a restaurant has received. If it’s got excellent reviews from other diners, you’re more likely to be inclined to try it out.
The same rules apply to other businesses. If you’ve delivered an excellent piece of work for a client, having a quote from them to support your case study is priceless and can act as a hook to reel prospects in. Those who are interested in your business will be able to read the case studies and see how good you are straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
3. An asset to be used time and time again across your content activity
Case studies aren’t just there to live on your website in one format. You can use these across a whole suite of owned assets to really promote your success stories and show prospects why you’re the provider of choice.
Referencing the key headlines, quotes or results from your case studies within any blogs and whitepapers you’re creating also extends its reach through your wider marketing activity. This, in particular, works well when discussing any topics or themes which relate to a project which you’ve got a testimonial for.
Your case study doesn’t just have to stay in the written form either. 62 per cent of B2B marketers rate video as the most important format they will use for content this year, and 79 per cent of people say they have watched a video testimonial to find out more about a company, product or service. This visual approach can prove to be a more digestible format for the key decision makers you’re looking to target. You can read our full piece on why video should be a key part of your content marketing strategy here.
4. Power up your social media channels
Like with any piece of content, getting the good word out there is key to its success – and case studies are no exception. This piece of marketing collateral allows you to not only showcase the challenges your business can handle, but also the results you delivered, which makes them perfect for sharing across social.
Including your case studies as part of your organic social strategy is almost a given, but to really make your case studies to hit the sweet spot, utilising paid social plays an integral role.
From a B2B perspective, LinkedIn will most likely be your channel of choice and its ads manager capabilities allows you to really hone in and target specific job roles and sectors with the case studies you’re amplifying. In short, you can get your case studies in front of the key decision makers you want to see the excellent work you can do!
Making your case through case studies
If you’re truly wanting to show of your business’s services and expertise, look no further than creating case studies as part of your content marketing activity.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this success story will just sit on your website in one format. Your successes can be used as an integral part of your marketing collateral, referenced in your blog posts, whitepapers and video content, as well as across your social media channels.
Looking for some expert support in creating case studies which really showcase your brand’s services, knowledge and expertise? Contact our head of content Josh today and find out how we can help you create a case study strategy which compliments your content marketing activity.
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