How often do you purchase without looking at reviews?
I always check customer reviews before I buy. It’s so easy to do nowadays, why wouldn’t I? In actual fact, 9 out 10 consumers read reviews online before they go ahead and purchase. Social proof has become part of the buying process and customer endorsements are invaluable when it comes to creating trust. If you are selling a high value proposition that is quite complicated, perhaps a technology solution or a service that isn’t particularly tangible, for instance training or marketing - a customer case study is the perfect way in which to illustrate how a product or service works when applied to a specific problem. At the same time a case study can very effectively convey your expertise and establish you as an authority within your niche.
In my experience, case studies are often produced, but then they are just posted onto the company website.
Sound familiar? Let’s take this scenario… You’ve recently sold a product or service, your customer is delighted with the end result and so you have asked if he or she is willing to say some positive words about you and your company. You have then followed this up with a professional case study that demonstrates how this has benefited their business. The case study is finally approved and you post it to the resources section of your website.
Fantastic, you have a great cast study! So now, what are you going to do with it?
Well, first of all take a look at your marketing plan and I’m sure you will be surprised at just how may different ways you can use it to actively generate more business. Here are some ideas to get you started…
1. Use it as the basis of a targeted social media campaign. You can promote it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to specific customer bases. Or create a blog about a particular customer challenge and then use the case study as the hook to visit your website to show in more detail exactly how the product has helped your customer.
2. You can warm up relevant people already on your subscribe list to remind them of what you can do for them.
3. You can nurture existing customers and send the case study to them as part of an email campaign. This can be very targeted and aimed at relevant customers and is particularly useful if you have released a new product or an upgrade.
4. Case studies are perfect as support tools on partner portals or as part of a training package or an educational event aimed at sales and technical people who sell your products.
5. Why not incorporate customer testimonials from your case study into your customer presentation slide deck? Again, you can tailor these for specific vertical markets and customers.
6. Include testimonials and hard-hitting statistics from existing case studies to say how the product has improved operations. These look great on exhibition stands and signage.
7. Use printed copies as giveaways at trade exhibitions and events, they will help instil confidence on the spot and reiterate how the products can be used.
8. Ensure your sales people have pdf copies that they can send out to their customers to help them learn about the product and how it can be used in different scenarios.
9. Case studies can be used as part of an email or telemarketing campaign - relevant case studies can be sent out as a follow-up piece to endorse the product and show how it works in different business scenarios.
10. I have used particularly interesting case studies to form the basis of a technical white paper, as it perfectly describes how the different features of the product can be utilised effectively to solve an industry challenge or help develop new technologies within the industry.
11. Webinars are also very popular now – companies use them to help educate potential and existing customers. Case studies provide a great framework for these and again, what better way to promote the product.
12. Create a video out of a case study – these are perfect for social media campaigns.
13. If you are going to post it on your website, create a dedicated page for case studies, have a landing page for campaigns and highlight strong testimonials as a moving slider on your home page.
14. One of my favourite uses for case studies is Email Signatures. These are great, click here to find out how you can embed a link into your email signature Free Email Signature Generator. This is a particularly good tool for sales staff or customer services, or actually anyone that interacts with potential clients.
15. Last, but by no means least, and my absolute favourite – you can use a case study to generate some valuable PR for your company. Journalists love real life examples of how products are actually being used, particularly if it’s for a charitable/good cause or a well-known name.
So, there you go. There are so many different ways to get more mileage out of your case studies. A good reputation and rapport with your audience goes such a long way. By publishing high-quality, informative case studies regularly, you will help to strengthen your brand image and build confidence and trust in your customer base.
Why not start warming up your customers now? Perhaps write it into your sales process so that your sales staff always remember to ask happy customers if they are willing to work with you. Also, don’t forget, the case study will benefit your customers too, as it will highlight their strengths and services and they can use it on their different marketing platforms.
If you need any help with writing case studies, or incorporating them into your marketing plans, please let us know. We would be very happy to help you.