Case studies are a powerful form of social proof. A study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute found that 77% of the B2B companies surveyed ranked case studies as an essential lead gen tool.
Why Are Case Studies Effective?
- They’re credible. Rather than tooting your own horn, so to speak, you’re letting your customers’ experiences do the talking. Not only this, but you’re also supplementing your story with facts and numbers. These two elements combine to form trust.
- Prospects can envision themselves in your case studies. Because you’re not relying on abstract concepts, but instead describing real-life situations, prospects can more easily see themselves benefitting from your products and services.
- They allow you to talk about ROI “in the wild.” When prospects can see just how much ROI others in their industry are experiencing using your products or services, they get excited and motivated to sign on.
How You Can Make Your Case Studies Generate More Leads
Having case studies at all, in any form, is a great start. But if you want to maximise the results of your case studies and optimize them for more leads, try these nine steps.
- Decide which products or services you want to promote. If you sell several products or services or sets of products and services, you’ll need to decide which ones you want to promote. When you start here, you’ll be sure to cover what you need to.
- Outline all the benefits associated with each product or service. Go ahead and list everything out — you don’t want to miss anything important. Then pull out the most compelling ones.
- Focus on one or two key benefits in each case study. After reading a case study, each prospect should walk away with a very clear understanding of precisely how a product or service (or product/service set) can help them. Focusing in not only helps with comprehension, it also means that prospects will more easily remember those benefits later on.
- Create 2-3 case studies for each industry you serve. People want to see what their peers are experiencing. They want to be confident you know how to help their business type.
- Include your customers’ words. Don’t rely on your own perspective when you’re creating case studies. Yes, you need to include testimonials, but even more importantly, you need to know how the customers describe their issues and needs and your solution. Rather than using your own industry jargon, use terms and language that your prospects are familiar with and use themselves.
- Start by describing the pain. Pain is a strong motivator. People are wired to avoid it. The more you can dig into exactly how the customer in your case study was suffering before you came on the scene, the better your prospects will feel their own pain reflected, and the more motivated they’ll be to get a solution.
- Match your solution directly to the pain points. As you’re explaining how your solution solved the needs of the customer you helped, match the pieces of your solution to each of the pain points you described. Don’t leave it up to your readers to make these connections — you want to be sure they understand how you can make each of these pains go away.
- Wrap up with specific results. Case studies are more convincing and more powerful if you include numbers. Exactly how many leads did you deliver? How much money did the customer make from what you provided? How much money did they save? How much personnel time was saved? What other key results did they experience?
- Include visuals. If possible, include charts, graphs, and other visuals that will help your prospects get a clearer picture and better retain the results you’ve discussed in your case study.
Case studies are an important tool in your lead gen toolbox. And when you sharpen them up with these optimization techniques, they’ll be even more effective.