Case studies are one of the most popular tactics that B2B marketers use. They allow you to dig into common pain points, share the benefits of your solutions, and counter objections in story format. These stories engage prospects’ emotions as they identify with their peers. Prospects can easily see how others have overcome the very challenges that they’re currently facing.
Despite the proliferation of new marketing technologies and platforms, B2B marketers continue to rely on case studies — because they get results.
According to LinkedIn’s research, 59% of B2B marketers who are using content in their marketing strategy say that lead generation is their number one goal. And 64% of B2B marketers say that case studies are the most-used tactic that their companies are employing to generate more leads.
In this guide, we’ll look at why case studies work to attract new clients, and then I’ll share twelve ways you can use case studies in your marketing.
Why case studies are so powerful
There are four reasons why case studies work so well for SaaS brands and other B2B marketers.
1. Case studies showcase your solutions for each niche
Many companies serve more than one niche, and they need to make it easy for prospects to see what solutions can help with their specific challenges. By nature, a case study tells the story of how a client in a particular niche solved a problem. A case study is an ideal way to provide prospects with messaging and information that’s directly applicable to them.
2. Case studies explain how problems are solved
At 700-1200 words, a case study provides enough space to explore pain points and describe point-by-point how those problems were solved and how prospects can expect to benefit.
Before prospects are ready to buy, they want to know how a company plans to resolve their issues. Case studies offer a non-salesy way to communicate that information in a way that feels good to the prospect.
3. Case studies provide credibility
Case studies are built around verifiable data and statistics. They tell the stories of real companies solving real problems with real, quantifiable results. Anyone can claim they meet their customers’ needs, but case studies prove those claims.
A case study that details the percentage of time saved, the dollar amount of money generated, or other specific business metric achieved, will convince prospects that a company can do what it says it can.
4. Case studies offer social proof
Another form of proof is social influence. When prospects hear others in similar situations saying positive things about a company, they’re more likely to be persuaded.
Companies with clients who are leaders in an industry will gain additional credibility. Prospects will see that respected peers trust the company and value the product or service.
12 ways to use case studies in your marketing
Get more mileage out of your case studies with these ideas.
1. Feature case studies on your website’s home page
The role of your home page messaging is to capture a prospect’s attention. Once you generate interest by sharing how you eliminate common pain points, you’ll need to provide proof to back up your claims. You can accomplish this by featuring a testimonial that points the prospect to a related case study. Or you can create a graphical CTA that prompts prospects to read relevant case studies.
2. Collect case studies on a dedicated page on your website
Prospects who are in the consideration stage of the buying journey will be looking for case studies to see what your company has done for other clients. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for with a main navigation link that takes them to a dedicated page on your website. This page should be easily sortable by industry, problems solved, and solutions provided.
3. Use case studies on your landing pages
Feature relevant case studies on product or service landing pages. Prospects who are reading these pages are probably further along in the buying journey and interested in learning how you’ve solved problems similar to theirs. Within the copy itself, you could link to case studies that illustrate the solutions in action. Or you could create graphical CTAs that direct prospects to case studies that relate to the product or service. Linking to a case study from a testimonial that describes results is another great option.
4. Create a blog post from each case study
Share your client’s story via a blog post. Create a post that focuses on the pain points your client was experiencing and how your company solved them. Posts that include specific results in the title perform particularly well. At the end of the post, you could prompt prospects to download the full case study.
5. Share a link to your case study blog post on social media
Once you’ve created that blog post from your case study, share it on your social channels. You’ll get more traction if you include a testimonial that mentions results or if you highlight the goal the client achieved. You may get additional mileage if you tag your client in the post.
6. Create an exit-intent CTA
While popups can be a turn-off to prospects, exit-intent CTAs statistically perform well, especially if they’re contextually relevant. Exit-intent CTAs don’t interrupt prospects while they’re trying to find information. Instead, they suggest related information that prospects may be interested in after they’ve finished reading. Use exit-Intent CTAs strategically on product or service pages and on blog posts that discuss topics related to a particular case study. Suggest that the prospect check out a case study that features a client who solved a problem using the product, service, or strategy.
7. Feature case studies in your lead nurturing emails
For mid-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel leads who’ve gone cold, an email with a client success story may be the trigger that reengages them. Segment your cold leads by industry and/or product interest to send case studies that will be most relevant.
8. Include case studies in your e-newsletter
When you feature case studies in your e-newsletter, you attract the interest of prospects and you make featured clients feel special. While you’re telling the story of how the client achieved a goal, take the opportunity to highlight the exciting things they’re doing in their industry.
9. Link to a case study in your team’s email signatures
Adding a little blurb to your team’s email signatures is an easy way to spread the word about how you’re helping your clients. Something as simple as “Read how we helped [Company Name] achieve [Result] here,” with a link to the blog post or case study PDF, will generate attention.
10. Work case studies into your cornerstone content and lead magnets
Cornerstone content (a.k.a. pillar pages) and lead magnets are also excellent places to link to case studies. Referencing relevant case studies within the text itself or via graphical CTAs gives you an opportunity to guide prospects further down the marketing funnel.
11. Provide your sales team with case studies to share with prospects
Your sales team needs valuable and interesting material to send to leads they’re working. Sending a case study that explains how your company solved a similar problem for a client in the same industry is much more effective than “just following up.”
12. Use case studies in presentations
When your team members are speaking to industry groups or other audiences where prospects may be in attendance, case studies will add interest to their presentations. Presentations provide the opportunity to tell a story about how your company helped a client solve a common pain point — making the presentation more engaging and attracting prospects at the same time.
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Case studies are a powerful marketing tool
Case studies are one of the most powerful tools in a B2B marketer’s toolkit. They capture readers’ imaginations with a story, provide a real-world view of how your solutions help clients and offer proof to back up your marketing claims. Case studies are also an easy way to guide prospects further down the funnel, leading them to inquire how your company can help their specific situation. As you start integrating case studies into more of your marketing, they’ll become one of your favorite marketing tools!
By the way, here are three ways I can help you attract and convert your ideal customers:
1. For marketing teams at B2B SaaS companies, take the free Content Strategy Quiz to see how your strategy measures up and learn how you can improve.
2. For tech startups, grab my free workbook on how to craft a messaging platform that gets prospects excited about what you offer.
3. Schedule a call to share what’s holding you back from better marketing, and I’ll let you know if I can help and how. If I can’t help, I’ll recommend someone who can.