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Transcript: Best Practices for Case Studies pg. 1

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Eight Creative Ways to Use Case Studies to Grow Your Business

Christa Henarie:  Hostway’s first Snack Break Webinar, “Eight Creative Ways to Use Case Studies to Market Your Company.” This will be a short, 20‑minute information session where we bring professionals in to give you tips for success.

[silence]

Christa:  My name is Christa Henarie. I’m a marketing specialist at Hostway, and I’ll be your moderator today. Before introducing our professional, I’d like to go through a couple of housekeeping items. You can participate by submitting questions through the portal. We will answer as many questions as we can at the end of the presentation. Also, a recording of today’s presentation will be emailed to all registrants. You can access a copy on our website.

Today you will learn how to turn case studies into lead generation and marketing tools and how to use case studies to define or affirm your brand’s story, close deals, get free publicity for your company and your customers, and strengthen your other marketing content.

Now let’s introduce our speaker for today. We have Amanda Farmer from Austin Freelance Writer. Amanda is a freelance content writer and marketing strategist based in Austin, Texas. She provides B2B and B2C companies nationwide with content that helps them drive Web traffic and sales including case studies, white papers, e‑books, newsletters, videos, and Web content. Now let’s begin. Amanda, you can take it from here.

Amanda Farmer:  Thanks, Christa. Hi everyone. Since this is a snack‑break webinar and we’re trying to keep it short, I’m just going to zoom through this pretty quickly. There’s a lot we could say about case studies. If you have any questions, feel free to follow up with me after the webinar. My email address is amanda@austinfreelancewriter.com, you’ll also see that on one of the last slides.

Why Should We Create Case Studies?

Let’s get started. The first thing we’re going to talk about is why you should create case studies. You have a million things going on, and maybe you’re already struggling to create content, so why is it important to take the time to create case studies?

Re-Usable Content

One reason we’ll go into in more depth in a few minutes, is case studies can actually give you some fodder for some of your other marketing content, and really make your life a little easier.

I’ll tell you more about that in a moment.

Make Sales

Another major reason to create case studies that I wanted to tell you about is that out of all the types of content you can create, case studies are proven to be the most credible and valuable to your prospects, especially if you’re a B2B company.

Here you can see that case studies are valued by B2B decision makers at levels close that of unbiased third‑party associations, as well as industry groups and analysts, and they’re actually even more effective than product reviews.

What it boils down to is that case studies are the most credible and effective sales content that you as a company have control over, because all these other examples here are from third parties. So that’s very important.

Create or Reinforce Your Brand Messaging

As you search over case studies you will notice that a brand message will take shape. When I started working with Hostway we weren’t quite sure whether we would find commonalities among the customer stories or not because so much of what Hostway does is customized.

But as we started interviewing customers, it was amazing how their stories started to reveal a common theme, and it also supported some of the messaging we tried to incorporate in our marketing approach up to that point.

There is an idea that’s surfaced in the social media age that says the company no longer determines its own brand, the customers determine the brand. Getting customer feedback is really the first step for shaping your brand story.

For Hostway we started to hear a lot of common themes about the datacenter teams and how approachable and adaptable they were and how nothing that predetermined boxes, they were great at problem solving, stuff like that. So it was really interesting to see how so many of the customers said the same sort…

Amanda:  …hopefully if you weren’t already convinced that you needed case studies you now have a better idea, their value. Now I want to give you a brief high-level overview of some best practices for writing a case study.

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