According to Demand Gen’s B2B Buyer Content Preferences Survey for 2018 (and one of our favorite sources of information at the moment), case studies are still considered a valuable content type. Not by some small contingent, either—79 percent of respondents say they prefer case studies over other types of content. And 64 percent share case studies among their colleagues—that’s more than infographics, webinars, or white papers. You can already see the lead generation potential.
But before we get to lead gen, let’s quickly review why case studies are important for businesses to leverage in the first place.
In its simplest format, a case study is a story of how a product or service solved a customer problem. It takes a potential buyer through each step of the customer experience, including:
- The setup of the customer’s problem.
- An outline of any challenges the company had to providing a solution.
- A detail of the company’s approach to solving the customer’s problems.
- An explanation of the results and ROI from the company’s solution.
Case studies aren’t just useful, they’re an essential part of the B2B buying cycle.
B2C vs. B2B Buying Cycles
Most of us are familiar with the typical B2C buying cycle: someone goes to the mall to shop for a new 4K television. They browse the electronics departments, read online reviews from both tech publications and other buyers, and get a good idea of what they want to spend their money on. Once they have enough information, they make a final decision and buy.
B2B buyers go through a similar buying process. But when you’re making a decision to invest in complex products or services that can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars, the buying process requires more research and more depth. B2B buyers need proof that a given product or service will both meet their needs and provide a positive return on their investment.
Case studies provide that kind of insight. They detail a real-life use case for how a company’s product or solution works out in the wild, and they build trust and confidence between a company and a potential customer.
Leveraging a Business Case Study for Lead Gen
Once you’re armed with case studies that showcase your company’s ability to get strong customer results, how do you leverage these assets to help drive lead generation efforts?
1. Make Case Studies a Part of Your Sales Collateral
Sale collateral explains to prospects the value of a company’s different products and services. Along with one-pagers, tutorial videos, and capabilities decks which all give an overview of your company’s history and offerings, include case studies as a key part of your sales team’s sales collateral to build credibility and trust with clients. To avoid information overload in these kinds of packages, personalize the data to only what the client will find relevant. For instance, case studies that are similar in scope to what a lead is looking for or case studies from similar industries.
2. Distribute Case Studies on Owned and Earned Channels
According to Campaign Monitor’s 2018 Email Marketing Report, 59 percent agree that email generates the most ROI for their organization. With that in mind, distribute case studies through your owned and earned channels, including email and social media. Add a blurb from case studies in email marketing newsletters with a links to their landing pages to increase leads and clickthrough rates. Have trusted employees share case studies through their own social channels, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms prospects may view it. By concentrating on multiple distribution channels at the same time, you’ll gain a greater chance of reaching the right people.
3. Make Case Studies Drive Search Traffic
Case studies can also drive organic search traffic to your website. Publish them online as gated content on a well-optimized landing page to drum up additional contact info for leads and prospects. Leveraging in-depth case studies and other types of downloadable content can help ensure a steady stream of leads that can keep your sales funnel full (and your sales team busy).
4. Find Other Ways to Repurpose Case Study Content
We always encourage our clients to repurpose as much content as possible, since different content formats work best for different channels. Ebooks can be repurosed into a series of blog posts or informative videos. Likewise, case studies can be repurposed too. They can be turned into more visual content, such as infographics or client video testimonials. And they can also become the basis for blog posts that dive deeper into solving specific customer problems.
Long story short? Sharing the success stories of your service helps both you, your previous customer, and future clients as well. If you have a story you want to tell, let us know and we’ll help get the word out.