For many organizations, including the majority of our clients, in-person events such as trade shows, user conferences or sales meetings are an essential component to connecting with customers, attracting prospects and engaging sales teams. While some have taken innovative approaches to hosting virtual events or are planning hybrid models (part in-person, part virtual) in 2021 and beyond, the lack of traditional in-person events in 2020 has underscored the importance of other content and digital marketing strategies.
In the absence of in-person meetings, events or speaking engagements, case studies – those tried and true customer success stories – have become an even more valuable. These content pieces can showcase the customer voice and shine a light on customer achievements, innovations and implementations. Of course, best practices for written case studies should always be followed. They can help drive engagement, impact and garner that all important legal approval. Let’s take a closer look at ideas for your next case study.
The most effective customer case studies put the customer’s unique set of challenges and innovative approaches to a solution at the heart of the story. Consider focusing more on your customer’s point of view and less on the “speeds and feeds” aspects of the technology deployed. This can position your customer as a leader in their field. Also, it will showcase your solution as having a deeper business impact. When possible, include ROI figures and business outcomes or results.
Case studies don’t have to be “one size fits all”. They can – and should – take various forms, such as Q&As, video, long or short form written and even veiled customer success stories. The format of the case study depends on many factors and how the content will be utilized. Some stories and customer personalities lend themselves well to video. But proprietary concerns may lead other customers to prefer a veiled customer reference story. Being flexible will help you create a more robust case study library.
Case studies position your company as a market or solution leader, guide prospects through their buying journey and provide powerful “proof of concept”. So, don’t hide them in your content library! Case studies can and should be showcased on your website. Think about a designated space on the site, as well as linked on related product pages. Consider promoting them via social media channels, adding them to email nurturing and including them in sales enablement programs. These success stories also lend themselves to multiple reuse opportunities, such as blog posts, thought leadership articles, infographics or application briefs.
Case studies can fill the gap created by a lack of in-person or event-based opportunities to showcase the customer voice. And, often, they’re the content gift that keeps on giving – providing many long term opportunities for use and reuse across the marketing spectrum.
Author: Andrea Ryan, VP, Message Development & Customer Validation Practice
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