If you’re a business owner, chances are you have happy customers willing to give you some great testimonials. You might be wondering how you can take these success stories further and use them as conversion tools to increase your leads and sales.
Case studies are one of the most versatile and effective marketing tools you can create for your business. But how can you use them to generate leads for your business? And how do you convince customers to let you publicly share their pains and challenges?
It’s all about using a process that makes it as easy possible for your customers to say “yes”.
What are case studies?
At their heart, case studies are stories waiting to be told.
Best of all, they are always stories with happy endings (hurrah!).
Case studies provide an opportunity for prospective customers to get to know you. They can see what it’s like to work with you, empathize with the challenges faced by the customer in the success story, and visualize how implementing your product can solve their issues and deliver measurable results and increased revenue for their own business.
77% of B2B buyers state that case studies are the key piece of content that helps them make a purchasing decision.
What’s the process for creating customer success stories that convert?
Choosing the right customer to tell your product story, and then getting buy-in from them is key. These initial steps are what deter many companies from adding case studies to their marketing strategy, because it all seems too difficult.
Customers need to be selected carefully and approached with a view to helping you create a case study that will be beneficial for all parties.
While customers may initially be nervous about exposing their vulnerabilities and struggles, this is the most crucial point in the narrative journey. It serves to build trust in your business and positions the customer as being resourceful, honest, and successful by facing and overcoming their challenges.
When the process is managed correctly, creating a case study is a fast and frictionless experience for your customer that should take no longer than an hour from start to finish. The process and results can help to build a stronger relationship between the customer and your business.
Once the customer has agreed to share their journey with your product, someone at your company (or a professional case study writer) will prepare a short, targeted questionnaire. This is the basis for a short, 30-minute interview. The writer combines hard data with the before-during-after story told during the interview, and a draft case study is given to all parties for edits and approval.
The final copy is then delivered. It can be presented as raw text for website purposes, or in a ready-to-market PDF format with logos, photos, and data illustrations for stronger visual impact.
As a case study differs from the format of other content pieces such as white papers or blog articles, it is important that the writer understands the hooks and structure that create a strong, compelling storyline.
A bad case study that has no narrative flow, no concrete metrics, and doesn’t take the reader through the customer journey will be less likely to drive conversions.
Why are they so effective?
You might be wary of using case studies in case they come across as looking too ‘scripted’ to potential buyers. But according to Marketingprofs statistics, an estimated 73% of B2B marketers use case studies to optimize leads and conversions. 65% of marketers rate them as being an effective part of their overall strategy.
Case studies are more credible than other marketing materials due to their factual nature and are more effective due to their emotional connectivity with potential customers. Video case studies are particularly effective.
When customers are interviewed correctly and the story is backed up by metrics, the resulting case study provides powerful social proof to attract new leads and persuade customers who are evaluating a purchase.
Each case study can be used multiple times at different touch points in your marketing, e.g. website, emails, trade shows, and promotional packages.
The content within a case study can be repurposed and used for ads, social media campaigns, videos, webinars and blog articles for maximum ROI.
The study will invariably contain keywords that potential customers will be searching for as they seek to solve their problems. This will, in turn, give your website SEO an added boost.
Regular case studies provide original and fresh content for your business so you don’t have to rely on coming up with a raft of new blog ideas. No two case studies are ever the same, and each one will produce unique data for use in your marketing campaigns.
Can they help any type of business?
Any business that has customers (which is, hopefully, your one!) can benefit from using case studies.
Potential buyers in any industry vertical can empathize with the challenges and pain points that were experienced by previous customers and can see themselves in the position of having their own success stories to tell if they work with your business.
If you’re curious about using case studies to generate more leads and sales for your business but have no idea where to start, or no time to do all that writing and interviewing stuff, click the button below to contact me for a quick 15-minute call.