90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions, while 86% said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. (Dimensional Research)
The above statistic demonstrates how much of an effect a customer testimonial or online review can have — in both a positive and negative direction. The reality is that customers will find reviews for your product or service whether you want them to or not, so why not take the reigns when it comes to case studies and reviews by incorporating them into your marketing? This gives you ultimate control over the reviews that your customers are exposed to, while simultaneously boosting your conversion rates.
Think about it: why do you peruse the reviews on Amazon before making a purchase? Because the reviews lend credibility to the purchase you’re about to make — and the same is true for B2B marketing. Like it or not, your buyers are going to put more weight on word of mouth marketing than the meticulously crafted copy on your website.
So what form should these case studies take? And how can you effectively use them in your marketing? Take a look at some ideas below.
1. Sales Collateral
Case studies make great resources for your sales team because of their applicability to specific buyers. For example, if you know your buyer is in a specific industry, a case study of a client within that same industry can give the buyer a better idea of how your product would work for them. Remember, buyers are looking for personalized content, and case studies certainly fit the bill.
2. Event Handouts
Case study PDFs also make great event collateral. If you’ll be attending an industry event and will have a booth or a speaking engagement, print out some case studies to use as handouts at your booth. This will give your buyers, clients, and other attendees something tangible to walk away with after an event.
Let’s face it: client speakers will often be more of a draw in your webinar program that an internal speaker. That’s because buyers want to hear more about how other companies are using your product — and if they’re hearing it straight from the client, the credibility of that testimony skyrockets.
4. Email Signatures
An often overlooked place to feature a case study is in your email signature. Especially if you’re in a sales position, having a quick (tracked!) link underneath your signature can give your buyers an easy way to start checking out your marketing content. For instance: “Learn how company XYZ increased their revenue by 78% with our product. Check out the full case study here.”
5. Logos on Your Website
Picture this: you’re browsing a website (and are likely uncertain what the company does or whether their product will be worth your time), when you see a series of well-known client logos featured on the sidebar or in the footer. “Aha! So there are other really cool companies using this product — it might be worth my time after all,” you think to yourself. This is exactly the same phenomenon you can create on your website by featuring client logos or quotes across your site.
6. Logos in Your Emails
The same logic applies to your emails. Adding logos or a quick client quote can pique a buyer’s interest in your product, or prompt them to take further action by driving them to additional content.
7. And Logos on Your Landing Pages
And let’s not forget about landing pages! Featuring logos and quotes on a landing page can be an easy win when it comes to increasing your conversion rates. In fact, an endorsement from a client can be just the thing to persuade an uncertain buyer to take the plunge and submit their information.
8. Blog Articles
A great outlet for some of your longer-form case studies is your company blog. Showcase some of the successes that your top clients have had in a short Q&A article, or outline some best practices tips learned from their experiences. This is a great educational tool for both new buyers and current customers looking to learn more about what your product is capable of.
9. Social Testimonials
When people have opinions, they often take to the social sphere to voice them. Tap into some of the praise your company may be garnering on your social profiles by embedding Tweets or Facebook posts on your website. You can even devote an entire page to the love you’re getting in the Twittersphere!
10. Gated Resources on Your Website
While client logos can be used to enhance the effectiveness of a landing page, the case studies themselves can become important lead generation tools as gated resources on your website. For a few of your higher-value case studies, consider placing them behind a form in order to encourage further conversions on your website.
11. Video Testimonials
One of the more engaging options for a case study is to present it as a video. For the buyers who don’t have the time to submit a form and read a full case study PDF, videos are a great option for quick consumption (and you can still place a form halfway through the video if you’d like to create a conversion opportunity). Again, the testimony is coming straight from the client, so video testimonials can be very persuasive.
12. Speaking Gigs
Last but not least, consider tapping into your client base when you’re looking for speakers at your next event. Ask them to share their stories with your product or brand, and promote the session as an inside look at your product from the view of a current client (just make sure they’re a happy and satisfied client first!).
What other ways have you used case studies in your marketing? Let us know in the comments!