A ”case study” in the context of marketing is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that identifies a situation, recommended solutions, implementation actions and identification of those factors that contributed to failure or success.1 Case studies showcase your solution from a real customer’s perspective. The 3 critical areas of each case study include the problem your customer had, your solution and the results. Quotes from your customer are also helpful. We are often asked if it is still worthwhile to publish a case study if you work in industries with clients whose corporate communications or legal departments will never give permission. The answer is yes! Case studies are too important to miss. With those companies, rather than using the company name, use a generic descriptor of the company such as, “A leading pharmaceutical company”.
So, why are case studies important? They help you obtain leads. And those leads are probably further into their research phase.
In the ranking against other content types, buyers are most willing to register for and share information about themselves in exchange for white papers (76 percent said they will share information), eBooks (63 percent), webinars (79 percent), case studies (57 percent) and third-party/analyst reports (66 percent). They’re less willing to register for podcasts (19 percent), video (19 percent), and infographics (24 percent).2 This means that you will get marketing qualified leads for each case study you produce.
We like specifics
Find a customer that had a great result with both your product or solution at a general level and then also more niche or specific uses. For this reason, always be developing case studies from different angles and with different solutions. This helps prospective buyers identify their own situation and see that it can be solved. And that you can solve it. Select customers that showcase your most common solutions. And if they left a competitor, it’s even more helpful to you.
It's social proof
Today’s buyers are more risk adverse than ever and downward pressure on budgets only amplifies risk aversion. We feel safer if we know something will work. This is where case studies are most effective. Case studies are the top content type for buyers, with 78 percent accessing this format type when researching purchases in the past 12 months (vs. 72 percent in 2016).2
You Need Them For Your Lead Nurturing Campaigns
We love to deliver case studies when prospective customers have moved past the initial research phase and are considering their options. For this reason, we consider case studies to be at the consideration or even decision making stage of their research and we want to be sure that we have a case study that matches their problem, preferably in the same country and perhaps even in the same industry.
Now that you know you constantly have to create case studies, don’t forget that you have to make them readily available. And that you need to promote them over time. Place case studies on your website home page and have a page dedicated to them. Promote them on your social channels, landing pages and in your email marketing. Add them into your lead flows for your nurturing campaigns. You’ll quickly see the high engagement they offer, the new leads they generate and the increase in sales.