The marketing landscape is wide and marketers are increasingly finding it difficult to create a foothold in the crowd. Companies big or small posts on social media, enhancing their website, blogging and promoting their content effectively to new prospects. With so much information available, it is challenging for a company to get people to read the content.
Well, to grab the eyeballs of the readers, marketers need to exhibit the value of the product and service and not do only talking. This means don’t just hype about your company or products but share real experiences of your customers with your products in the form of CASE STUDIES.
Case studies take time and money to create but the results can be tremendous.
Why are case studies so valuable?
Every business has its marketing materials like brochures or sales copy for promotion and sales. But is it sufficient to close sales? Well, not really!
Do you know case studies are more effective than any traditional sales collateral? Why? Here it is:
According to Ascend 2 survey, 60% of marketing influencers prefer case studies as the most trusted content type by the target audience.
Image Credit: Marketing Charts
Case studies tell stories about your product and company. It is under-optimized but wholly effective. As the saying goes, “ A picture speaks a thousand words”, the same logic applies to sales and marketing. You narrate stories of your brand, weave pictures and evoke emotions and logic.
People connect to stories and case study is an apt marketing tool to boost your conversions and increase your sales. When you release content which is a case study, you emphasize a particular problem that you solved using your product or service. They are simply testimonials for your brand.
Research by Content Marketing Institute, case studies are the second-most preferred B2B content marketing tool by marketers and are amongst the top 3 effective types of content used by B2B marketers. So, a well-crafted case study should highlight ‘this is exactly what we are looking for’ from a prospective target after looking or reading it.
Case studies are flexible and don’t have a single format to follow. You can choose any type to present your facts and observations:
- Video: An interactive format for a prospect where you interview a customer who shares their story.
- Blog Posts: Publish your written case story as a blog post.
- Ebooks: An Ebook for a lengthy written case story.
- Infographics: Time consuming but visually appealing to share the information in a precise manner. You can share it easily on social media.
- PDFs: A professional and easy-to-read format with detailed information and facts. You can e-mail it to your prospects.
Why your business needs case studies?
After a clear understanding of the value of case studies, let us comprehend the benefits of case studies for your business to increase website conversions and drive sales directly.
1. Brand positioning as Market Authority
Case studies are built on the premise of facts and statistics with actual conclusions. Therefore, documenting a case study with researched numbers and facts helps you to position your brand as authoritative in your industry.
It doesn’t matter if you are in a software service or pizza delivery business. What counts is the number of pizza baked and delivered or software downloaded as these facts and figures will help you to be the market leader in your industry. Publishing insightful case studies will help you to become a thought leader and first advantage mover in your niche.
For example, in the App Annie case study, it helped FDG Entertainment with the aggregation of data and have all their apps and ad platforms in a single dashboard. As a result, advertising revenue has grown its bottom line by 50% compared to the previous year.
A case study with a renowned brand uplifts your brand value as well.
2. Target Niche
By niche, we mean a specific target/ prospect. If your case study is well crafted, it will not be vague or general.
Companies may have a wide range of services and products. The general information about it might be suitable for your webpage to show the array of products or services but an effective case study should be specific and in line with the goal of your product offering catering to your target market.
Super Top Secret created a design and develop every new character for the gaming company Riot Games. It was a success with massive visitors on the site and millions of hits in a short span. A classic example where the company has a perfect sales pitch for the target prospects from the gaming industry.
3. Be prospect focused
Most companies focus only on their products and services, mission and vision, and achievements. It’s all about them like other companies and not their prospects.
However, the motive of case studies is to provide optimal solutions to your customer’s problems with your expertise, resources, and efforts. It answers your prospect’s question “ what can you do for me” before making any buying decision.
A well-crafted case study can reach different prospect or personas. For example, your company produces a conveyor system for a manufacturing company. The project is an overall success and you can write one case study that is relevant to the different people involved in the buying decision-making process of the equipment.
- Heads Operation Manager: the case study will focus on the seamless working of the equipment, connection with the existing ones, and easy maintenance.
- CFO: the case study will focus on the financial aspects including costing, productivity, feasibility, etc
- CEO: the case study will focus on how the equipment enabled the featured customer to have a competitive edge, improved productivity and technological upgrade.
In B2B marketing, there are several people involved (especially in high capital investment) looking for role-specific information to consider the options.
4. Social Media Proof
In this digital age, customers need more proof to be convinced.
In the early years, a sales copy would suffice to convince a customer to buy a product. If an ad said that this woolen sweater will keep you warmer than the competitors’, the customer would buy it on face value.
Today, times have changed with technological advancements and social media, customers have more access to find information about the product at a lightning speed before purchasing it.
As a result, peer reviews and product reviews are very important. 92% of online consumers read product reviews before making a purchase decision with the majority of shoppers reading product reviews between one and six (see the chart)
Image Credit: Bizrate Insights
5. Case studies independent of sales material for online and offline
You may have different sales materials like brochure, website, portfolio of clients, or samples depending upon the nature and type of business.
But your prospect is still unsure between you and your competitor? What to do next?
Present your case study. It can persuade the prospect and convert into a potential customer who wants to buy your product. Feature the case study on your website and other social media platforms to gather more eyeballs.
A key point to remember, after any sales meeting or follow up call send a pdf of your case study to the prospect and for a high-value deal, present it in person.
Maximize your sales conversion
Case studies are time-consuming and can take weeks or months to develop depending on the data, process, and format. It can be an expensive affair too.
Having said that, only creating and publishing data isn’t enough but for high returns and sales conversion, make sure that the readers enter your sales funnel to get converted into your customers.
Harvard Business Review has found in a study of 34 million interactions between buyer and content that case studies have an 83% completion rate- orders of magnitude higher than any type of marketing content. Therefore, case studies are remarkably an effective marketing tool and commonly used as a testimonial in B2B sales. Case studies act as a credibility builder for the brand.