Case studies are an often-overlooked tool in the marketer’s arsenal. Sure, they can be a little tedious to create, but once you have it, a case study can be one of the most persuasive pieces of content you have.
So what do you do with it? Most marketers slap a CTA on their website, put the case study behind a form to act as a lead magnet, and call it a day.
There’s a lot more you can do with them, though.
How to Use Case Studies in Your Marketing: 7 Actionable Strategies
What’s It Good For?
A case study is an analysis of one particular instance of a customer using your product or service, with concrete results and a map of how they got those results.
Case studies are fantastic social proof – that is, it establishes your product’s legitimacy and ability to deliver top tier results in a real-world setting. This is a powerful way to remove roadblocks and motivate possible customers to choose your solution.
Create Gated PDFs
The most common thing to do with a case study is to put it in PDF format and then gate it behind a form. The idea is that it will attract people who want to see the results and will fill out the form in order to access the document – this is called a lead magnet.
However, the PDF version of your case study can be a springboard to all kinds of other content and strategies.
Alternatively, Don’t Gate It
If you put some legwork in and generate multiple case studies, you can use them more for persuasion than as lead magnets. This can be wildly effective, especially if you’re able to create studies based on customers that represent a cross section of your target audience.
If you have a page on your website solely dedicated to providing access to resources, you can let visitors pick what’s most interesting to them. For example, if you have a bunch of case studies and a page labelled “Our Results” or even just “Case Studies”, visitors can (and will) look and see what kind of results your other customers have achieved.
If you highlight what industry and size each company is, directly on your downloads page, you’ll have a high-value resource that prospects can use to convince themselves that you’re the best solution.
Promote It on Your Blog
Most businesses these days are blogging heavily as a way to generate traffic and SEO. Take advantage of that audience you’ve built and write a blog post about your case study! Think of it as a sort of abstract for your document, with a short description of the hurdles, results and process (without going into too much detail, you still want people to download the actual study!).
Another thing you can do is to implement slide-in CTAs or a slightly-animated button on your blog sidebar. It doesn’t have to be huge and disruptive. The slide-in, or a little occasional button wiggle or shimmer, will do the job of drawing the reader’s eye automatically.
Do It on Product Pages Too
Speaking of clever CTAs, why not use that tactic on your product page? If someone’s looking at your product, they’ll naturally be interested in seeing real-world results with it, so letting them know that there’s case studies available about that product is a natural fit.
Repurpose Case Studies as Videos
People love video content. If you’ve got an especially awesome one that you feel is extremely persuasive, turn it into a video!
There’s a couple different ways to go about this. You could do an animated video where you discuss the case and highlight points using on-screen visuals. This has the benefit of being very doable in-house without needing to actually grab a camera and go film things.
That said, a presenter and a green-screen could also be a great way to go about it.
Another option is to ask the customer in question whether you could do a bit of filming for a video version of the case study. Ask them to talk about their results on camera and add that into your visual story – that adds a whole other layer of persuasiveness.
Don’t Forget Social Media
Whenever you create something awesome – whether it’s a case study, a video-ified version of your case study, or something like an infographic – share it on social channels. Particularly if you’ve created a video for your study.
Don’t forget to tag your customer, and include a tidbit about what sort of results were achieved in the body of your post as well. You want it to be immediately enticing to people who have the same problem your customer had and are hunting for a solution.
Use Case Studies in Email Marketing
Social proof is important across pretty much every marketing channel, and email is no different. When you’re using email lead generation, you want as much persuasive power as you can get, so including a case study is a no brainer.
This is especially true if your target audience is very similar to the customer in the study. “We can boost your revenue” is a lot less impressive than “Company X achieved a 227% revenue growth using our product, and I believe we can achieve similar results for you” – particularly if Company X is in the same space as your contact.