Case Studies: Why Are They so Important for Content Marketing?

Case studies provide you with a powerful way to connect with your target audience and they can be highly effective at helping you generate leads and close deals. According to recent research, over 50% of B2B buyers engage with case studies, citing them as one of the most valuable sources when they’re researching for a B2B purchase.

Given this, let’s look in more detail about why case studies should be playing a crucial role in your marketing strategy.

Case studies are a ‘show’ and ‘tell’ experience

In the B2B sales world the sales cycle is often lengthy, and the buying process requires more commitment. That’s why it’s essential to make a strong case to illustrate the value of your products, services and solutions. One of the best ways to do this is to help your target audience envision the impact of your business on their bottom line.

Case studies can help you do this. An engaging study can make your value clear, and the clearer your value, the easier your prospect’s buying decision becomes. Case studies ‘show’ that you can deliver tangible results for a business, thereby giving the prospect confidence to move forward in their buying journey.

They position you as a market expert

Case studies help to illustrate that you understand your potential customers’ pain points in an authentic and relatable way. They position you as the expert in your industry, making them an excellent marketing tool.

Case studies make the complex understandable

If you sell products that are complex in nature, or require some time to implement, case studies can help. Using a case study you can show potential customers exactly how your products can meet their needs, and how they can get the most benefit from them. Case studies provide you with an opportunity to explain, using real world examples and visual aids, the more complicated elements of your products or services.

Case studies can strengthen existing customer relationships

By agreeing to participate in a case study, existing customers are reinforcing their satisfaction with your products. The fact that you’re asking them to take part in a case study will make them feel like a valued customer too. It’s also an opportunity for them to gain some free PR for their own company.

They provide prospects with social proof

Potential B2B customers will gather information about your company before buying from you, and according to Gartner, over 40% of B2B buyers now use social media as a research tool.

By linking to your case studies on social media, prospects will learn that other B2B buyers like them buy your products and services. Case studies are about your customer – not you – so they provide readers with peer–to-peer proof that you can solve their problems. By giving them the impression you’re the ‘real deal’ can help propel them down the sales funnel and convert them into customers.

The trade press love case studies

Trade press publications are always keen to publish case studies. Why? Because real original stories about individual businesses with specific challenges and goals are more interesting to their readers than directly promotional pieces. Again, it’s all about the ‘show’.

Your case studies give readers a thorough insight into what it’s like to work with you and use your products. A case study comes across as informative rather than salesy, so (through the trade press) it’s a great way to get yourself on potential customers’ radars.

Flexible content marketing tools

You can use case studies in a variety of exciting ways. For example, you can create a dedicated case studies page on your website, use case studies in blog posts, or deliver them as downloadable (gated) PDFs. You can also create hard copies to hand out at trade shows, or you can create video case studies.

When it comes to being creative, the sky’s the limit. You can use colourful infographics, as well as graphs and numbers to present your customer’s success (how they benefited from what you do) succinctly and appealingly. Case studies also provide you with valuable testimonials you can use across all your marketing collateral.

If you don’t already use case studies in your content marketing, we hope this post has inspired you to do so going forward. While their creation does require effort, they’re a proven way to raise engagement levels, and push prospective customers further down the sales funnel.

If you don’t have the time to create a case study yourself, it could be worthwhile reaching out to a marketing or PR expert in your industry to help you.

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