Many businesses search for a secret weapon to include in their marketing arsenal. One such weapon exists: the marketing case study.
What’s a marketing case study, you ask?
It’s the story of a problem your customer had before they met you, and how you solved their problem with your product or service. I look at it like an extended testimonial. It takes quotes from your client about how much they love working with you, then surrounds the quotes with information about your business and how you can help others get the same result.
Now that you know what it is, here are seven reasons you should use case studies to amp up your marketing efforts.
1. Case studies rank second in effectiveness among marketing materials
According to the B2B Content Marketing 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from the Content Marketing Institute, case studies rank second only behind the e-books/white papers category for the most effective at helping a business achieve its specific objectives. That ranking is based on content distributed across all formats: digital, paper and in-person events. Pretty impressive.
2. Case studies lend credibility to your product or service
When a current customer takes the time to explain how your product or service solves problems, others listen. Someone who’s been considering doing business with you can see an example of how they’ll come out ahead by using your product. In today’s world, the word of a happy customer is like gold to potential customers.
3. It’s another version of the sales technique “feel, felt, found”
If you’ve ever had any type of sales training, you’re probably familiar with these words. When a salesperson is faced with an objection, they use this method, which goes something like this:
“I understand how you feel. Other customers have felt the same way. What they’ve found is….(fill in with how your product or service solved the same problem).”
That’s an abbreviated version of course, but the idea is to connect the objection to the way another customer overcame that objection using your product or service. This is exactly what a case study does—without the salesperson. And it does it over and over again without having to pay a commission.
4. Your customer tells the story
There’s nothing better than a testimonial, except a case study. Because of the extended nature of the case study, the potential customer is drawn more fully into the story. They have greater opportunity to connect with the experience of your raving fan—and today’s world is all about connections. When they make the connection, they’ll want to have this experience for themselves.
5. They don’t expire
Unlike many ads, case studies don’t have an expiration date. Unless you stop offering the product or service, they can be used indefinitely. Well, unless you do something very bad to the customer who did the case study, and we all know that would never happen.
The fact case studies don’t expire adds considerably to their value as well. Pay for the case study one time, and you have a marketing piece that can be used over and over. That value increases further with the next reason case studies are such great marketing pieces.
6. Case studies can be used in many different ways
One of the best reasons to have case studies in your marketing arsenal is their versatility. You can use them anywhere. Pop them into a white paper, e-book or brochure. Feature them on your website. Send them in a direct mail piece or an email blast.
You can even use them in presentations or tell the story at a networking event. Who says they have to stay on paper? These guys travel well. Put some miles on them!
7. The customer participating in the case study spreads the word for you
To create the case study, you will be reaching out to one of your biggest fans. It’s always good to have another reason to connect with them. They will be so tickled to have been included, often they’ll tell everyone they know about it. Talk about free advertising!
By the way, don’t forget to show your appreciation to them for taking part. They won’t forget it.
Boost your business with a case study
Are you ready to get a case study going? It’s one of my specialties. Contact me today to find out how to add it to your marketing arsenal.