Case studies remain incredibly valuable for marketing B2B products and services. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than three-quarters of B2Bs use case studies, along with blogs, articles, email and social media. These marketing methods are great ways to share case study findings.
Case Studies Versus White Papers
B2Bs often develop white papers to introduce a new product or service and explain how it will help customers build or support their businesses.
White papers lean toward the technical side. Case studies, however, lend a personal touch that demonstrates the value of that product introduced for customers who use it. Determine your strategy.
Use case studies to build upon the marketing initiative that began with a white paper. Present them as follow-ups to the earlier white paper and invite customers to download both from your website.
Case Studies Force You to Pay Attention to the Product
One benefit of incorporating a case study into your marketing strategy from the start is that it forces the company to pay attention to the product.
Too often, a director assigns a case study to boost sales for a product that’s suffering. There is often a reason behind a drop in sales: the product has become stale as competitors surge ahead with upgrades, or worse, product support is lacking. Or, perhaps, it just hasn’t been marketed well.
A better strategy is to plan ahead for a case study. This forces someone to follow the product’s post-launch record and make sure problems are recorded and discussed. It’s best to involve product development staff in monitoring customer feedback to see what’s working and what not. This also brings customer service issues into the heart of the company and possibly avoid outright failure.
Identify a Loyal Customer for Your Case Study
Look for a loyal customer to work with you on a case study.
How can you do this? Review your loyalty program statistics and match active participants against the product line you will write about. If you find a really great client, consider doing a pre-launch beta test with the client and an accompanying case study.
If you don’t have a loyalty program, you’re missing out on an opportunity to encourage repeat customers and develop the kind of relationship that lets you approach customers for case studies and endorsements. Flint Mobile offers some interesting insights in customer loyalty and loyalty plans on its blog.
A well-written, engaging case study that features your company and a satisfied client puts you both in a most positive light. It’s free publicity for your client, and re-energizes a marketing campaign you started with that white paper.
Let Writers Speak Directly with Case Study Subjects
A good case study requires the writer to speak directly with the customer, as CMI points out. Customers can sense when a case study is written from secondhand knowledge and toss it aside.
Give your writers the tools they need to develop a good case study. This means letting them speak with sales staff and the product development team before they meet with the client. Don’t worry that they will be slammed with too much technical information; good writers understand more than they may get credit for and anyway, they know how to ask questions.
Use Different Media to Disseminate Case Studies
In addition to sharing the case study in the reading format discussed above, Kissmetrics suggests repurposing the content in different formats for different kinds of learners:
- A podcast with the writer (or salesperson) and client
- A video interview
- An infographic