Dial up the Trust with Case Studies

Year after year studies show that 90% of people trust what your customers say about you, and according to research Case Studies are one of the most powerful forms of content. They take testimonials to another level.
Dial up the trust

No amount of money can buy you credibility… and credibility is the bedrock of trust.

Being able to publish details of a project which turned a client into a “Raving Fan” is one of the most powerful B2B marketing tools at your disposal. Also known as Success Stories, Case Studies showcase how good you really are, using your customer’s own words. They provide third party validation and insights not available elsewhere – and can provide credibility and validation throughout the buying cycle – and can create trust throughout various stages of the buying cycle.

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Case Studies are a huge opportunity to gain trust because:

  • They are more in depth than testimonials and describe a real-world situation – how you addressed a challenge and helped your client achieve positive results.
  • Your prospects can easily visualise themselves as the client in your stories and develop a real connection with you.
  • Case studies can help you to generate leads, educate prospects, and boost your credibility by humanising the customer experience.
  • They have multiple uses throughout the B2B marketing funnel as blogs, customer quotes throughout your website, emails, social posts, hand-outs at trade shows and more.

A recent study conducted by the CMO Council’s Content ROI Center has provided a superb insight into what B2B buyers value the most online, and how they are interacting with digital content.

According to the study, the following are types of content B2B buyers value and trust the most:

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The results of this study clearly demonstrate a few important points. First, it highlights the increasing importance of the role online content plays in today’s purchasing process. Second, the responses to the study draws attention to the urgent need for more customer-relevant and engaging online content.

Most importantly, it brings to light the importance of case studies as one of the most credible types of sales content – one that you have complete control over. Case studies are automatically unique and they stand out because they’re real. People read relevant case studies because they find them authoritative. If used correctly, case studies can also help to build trust and brand recognition among buyers.

The buying cycle is lengthy. Case Studies keep you front of mind.

A recent Gartner study of technology buyers indicated that buying teams spend 16.3 months on average to complete a new IT purchase. That means while some are shorter, some are even longer!

Therefore, sales teams need to have content on hand that addresses every stage of the buying process. That’s where case studies come in handy – “the right place at the right time”. When you use case studies during the right moments of the buyer’s journey (such as when they are actively comparing solutions and providers) you can boost credibility and eliminate objections by demonstrating how effective your product or service has been in the past.

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In addition, Case Studies have multiple uses throughout the B2B marketing funnel and elsewhere as:

  • A component of your B2B marketing to reassure prospects that this is not your first rodeo.
  • A source of customer testimonial statements for use throughout your digital landscape.
  • Part of your tactical marketing plan to help overcome objections or refocus a prospect.
  • Elements of a proposal, submission or presentation.
  • Handouts at conferences and trade shows.
  • Featured quotes on your website home page and associated product or services sales pages.
  • Downloads from your website to attract quality tech sales leads.
  • Part of an email campaign to reconnect with leads that have gone cold.
  • A link in new prospect nurture emails.
  • An industry-sector targeted campaign to reinforce your expertise in a specific product or service.
  • A theme for a landing page for a CTA Ad Campaign.
  • The basis for Social Media posts – and don’t forget to tag your customer!
  • Make your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn covers stand out with a happy, smiling customer with a quote.
  • Add your case study to your LinkedIn publications or pin it to your profile.

For added value

  • The layout you use for Case Studies must be strong. To ensure the result is highly polished, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a suitably qualified B2B sales and marketing agency, or content marketing agency. Make sure relevant headings, key points and testimonials stand out. Stay away from the standard problem > solution sequence. Add life to it with the customer’s own words as graphic elements.
  • Control the conversation to get real value from your client. For example, a statement like this is compelling: “COMPANY A increased our email subscribers by 80% in less than a year!” versus a generic compliment: “COMPANY is great, we loved working with them!” 
  • Where possible, use a diagram or graph to illustrate a point, or a link to video. If you have a good customer who is also a confident presenter, a short video can make a lasting impact and influence decision-makers with a similar B2B buyer persona.

Whether you decide to use a specialist B2B Sales and Marketing Agency, or your inhouse marketing team, use the power of carefully crafted Case Studies as part of your tactical marketing plan. They are an essential element in gaining trust and boosting your reputation.

Our Free eBook, ‘Write to influence’, outlines how to create compelling and persuasive Case Studies that can become a key tool in your marketing arsenal, and includes a Case Study Tracker template which can be used to track the process. So, download, make a cuppa, and get comfy – it’s worth the read!

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