Looking for win-win content that benefits your client and your firm? Then look no further than B2B case studies!
At AMA Madison’s February 25 Craft Marketing event, Greg Mischio, owner of Winbound, presented on “Turning Case Studies into B2B Social Proof and Top-Notch Content.” A packed crowd attended the program at the Vintage on Whitney Way in Madison.
Greg shared recommendations for developing case studies, from client selection through the writing, approval, and promotion process. He’s the owner and chief strategist at Winbound, a content marketing firm specializing in manufacturing and B2B clients. He’s also a co-founder of AMA Madison’s Craft Marketing series.
So, Why case studies? According to a Demand Gen Report, “78 percent of companies surveyed said they used case studies to research B2B purchasing decisions–more than any other type of content.”
Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios confirmed their value. “If you say it, it’s marketing. If your customer says it, it’s social proof.”
Case Study Strategy
Before you begin working on a case study, know your goals, Greg advises. Answer the following questions, and you’ll be ready to start:
- Who are you targeting?
- What do you want to promote?
- Where in the marketplace will you focus?
- When did you help them?
- Why did your efforts help the clients?
- How will you create the case study?
Getting Client Buy-In
After you win a great project, “plant the seed early” for preparing a case study down the road. Some marketers insert a contract clause that allows firms to create case studies upon project completion. Clients know they’ll have content approval.
Some clients may consider participating in a case study, but have objections. They may worry that their participation will take too much time and won’t provide any benefits to them.
Greg explains to clients that a case study will allow them to share their project success and will require minimal time on their end. All they need to do:
- Participate in a 30-minute Zoom interview
- Review the case study with the freedom to edit content
As an incentive, Greg informs clients they’ll receive:
- A backlink to their site from Winbound
- Future links to the page when his firm writes guest blogs
- Brand awareness by sharing their success through social media channels
- Increased networking because Winbound will tag a client’s relevant partners
And, don’t forget to set a deadline in an initial email and thank the client for their consideration.
Creating the Case Study
After you’ve obtained client buy-in, get ready to create your authentic case study!
Greg reminded attendees about the importance of highlighting the client’s voice.
Check out these additional best practices:
- Provide interview questions in advance
- Don’t interview more than to two people, and record the interview for future reference
- Ask the client for graphics and videos to enhance the case study
- Use metrics or a goal in the headline
- Include a call to action
Break Up Copy
Add visual interest to your case study so you don’t have walls of gray. Accomplish this goal by:
- Using a sidebar to offer valuable information and metrics about the company
- Enhancing your story with charts and graphics
- Including photos of the client and a staff photo of an individual(s) from your organization
Promote Your Case Study
Case studies offer lots of value, but there’s little evidence they’ll be found via organic search, Greg says. After your compelling case study is approved by your client, consider how you can repurpose it.
Check out the following ways to share your study, depending on who you want to target in your sales funnel.
Top of Funnel
- Tag in social media
- Q & A for a blog post
- Print for trade show handouts
- Insert pull quotes for website
- Use on email signature line
Middle of Funnel
- Include in proposals
- Give to the sales team to distribute
- Share in pitch meetings
- Add to newsletters
- Drip the story with an email series
Bottom of Funnel
- Place case study metrics or quotes at key locations on your website (pricing areas or landing pages)
- Feature in paid ads
Also consider how to repurpose your case study. Use the content in a video or share it through audio snippets.
Expand Your Reach through Case Studies
Use case studies to earn B2B social proof for your organization. When prospects are making their purchasing decisions, they often turn to case studies. Many consider them their most valuable content.
See you at March Craft Marketing!
Join us for the March 31 program “How to Build a LinkedIn Profile that Attracts Jobs, Leads & Joy” at Vintage Brewing on Whitney Way. Jared J. Wiese of #Profiles That POP!™ will present. Tickets are just $10 for AMA Madison members and $15 for non-members. See you soon!
Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architectural/Engineering/Construction industry.