Use case studies to turn prospects into clients
According to recent marketing reports over 70% of B2B marketers consider case studies to be effective and use them in their marketing mix. Here’s an important reason that sets case studies apart from any other tool in your mix. Over 70% of buyers state that their decision to buy depends on the credibility of the company.
And case studies do just that: they build trust in your capabilities to deliver meaningful, practical results. Case studies use “the voice” of a customer and unlike in ads, advertorials or brochures, the customer is not paid to sell the product. They are a great way to reach out to prospects, without giving them the impression that you are constantly trying to sell them something.
Testimonials directly focus on the Action and Result. For a case study, it is important to build up the story, starting with the beginning or The Situation (S). It includes background info about the company such as the type of business, perhaps statements of their objectives and goals.
The Obstacle (O) describes the problems the client faced and how they affected him, perhaps ways in which they tried to fix the problems but failed.
These two stages are important because they help prospects identify themselves with the topic and recognize that they have the same problems and challenges. Companies in the same field or industry most likely encounter similar problems and the content will make them more receptive to the content.
Following the typical plot structure, this sets the stage for the appearance of “The Hero”: your company and solution. The next two sections make up the core of what you would like to communicate to your prospects.
The Action (A) focuses on showing how your solution was able to solve the client’s problem. Provide important details, show rigor, knowledge and ease of use and implementation for the client.
The Result (R) are the benefits the client has after using your solution. They could be rational (quantitative), emotional or ideally a blend of both. Make this section more engaging: a picture is worth a thousand words still stands: statistics and charts are easy to understand and remember.
At the core of a case study is the problem-result duo. Companies screen for the Obstacle and the Result to determine if this is something that may be beneficial for them and it may interest them.
Case studies require resources and time to produce so be strategic in your choices:
Unordered & Ordered Lists
- Focus on broad challenges common across a wide range of your potential customers and focus on up-to-date topics. The problem should stand out from your case study, so prospects facing similar issues pay attention to what you have to say.
- If you have more products or areas of expertise in your portfolio try to have a distinct case study for each and one of them, especially the revenue drivers
- Focus on reputable, recognized clients. If they agree to do a case study with you, it will boost your credibility and give you a halo effect through their brand
Case studies don’t have to be written text. They can be an infographic that depicts SOAR at a glance: client logo and relevant information such as industry sector, size, location, challenge, intervention and solution.
We all judge books by their cover so choose a powerful title that makes the reader want to read more
Once produced, don’t keep it under wraps. Make the best use of the new tool!
- Promote it through your sales reps
- Post them on your website to help reinforce your solutions
- Include them in brochures or promotional material and presentations
- Popularize it through your blog or newsletter
- Share it on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare are obvious choices
- Encourage the client company presented in the case study to share it as well
- Increase awareness for your company by finding creative alternative uses for your case studies: enter them for different awards and be open about providing them as information for business students