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Transcript: Best Practices for Case Studies pg. 3

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Eight Creative Ways to Use Your Case Studies

Now, we’re going to get into eight ways you can use your case studies. Some of them are more obvious than others, and some we’ve already touched on, but this is a really good checklist to make sure you’re getting the most possible mileage out of your case studies, once you have them.

1. Quotes & Testimonials

First, use the direct quotes from your case studies in other marketing materials. It’s pretty standard for the company that’s drafting the case study, you, to also draft a few quotes that will be reviewed by and attributed to your customer. As you’re writing these quotes, try to make sure that you’re phrasing them as complete thoughts. That way, when they’re approved, you can use them in other marketing materials.

Here’s an example. A bad way to do it is saying something like, “We knew Hostway had that covered for us.” That makes no sense out of context. Here’s what we went with, instead, “We develop applications because we’re good at that. We trust Hostway to ensure the infrastructure we need to grow is available and quickly accessible. That’s their core competency.” As you can see, that really paints the complete picture and is really strong, even out of context. It gives you a look at the story without having to read the whole story.

2. Press Releases

Next, press releases and case studies are both written in third-party voice. That’s part of why they’re more credible than a lot of other types of marketing materials. Along those lines, you can actually link to case studies to reinforce certain ideas you refer to, in your press releases.

For example, you can use case studies to back up certain claims. Here we introduce the idea, this was a couple of years ago, that Hostway had a niche as a “cloud provider for cloud providers.” We back it up not only with a stitch and stick, but with a link to a case study about a cloud provider reselling Hostway cloud. That gives you an example of how you can use it to back up some of your messaging.

The second example is of a press release that mentions a product Hostway previously released. We had a case study about a customer using that product, so we were able to link to that case study from that section of the press release.

3. Webinars

You can also turn your case studies into webinars. Remember, if the case study is written well, it won’t feel self‑promotional. It’s more about how a customer solved a specific challenge by using your products or services.

You have the opportunity to turn that content into a webinar on the topic of how to solve XYZ problem, whatever it may be. If you can get the customer to participate in the webinar, that’s ideal, but it’s also not totally necessary. You can take that content and run with it yourself.

4. Sales Collateral

This goes back to that bar chart we saw at the beginning. Case studies are incredibly powerful sales tools for B2B companies, but we all know that marketing and sales departments aren’t always as collaborative as they should be. I recommend going to the extra effort of training your sales team on how to use case studies to close deals.

This means not only sharing them with the relevant prospects but also reusing the information in quotes in their sales presentations, which can be really strong, and also possibly even putting direct quotes from case studies on the lists of customer referrals that they provide to prospects.

If someone asks, “Can I have some referrals”? then you can hand them some quotes along with phone numbers and contact info, that sort of thing.

5. Product Pages

This is one that might seem pretty obvious, but I just hope it’s a good reminder. You can link to your case studies from relevant product pages on your website.

You don’t want to exile them to a resource center where a prospect would have to really sit down and look for them. It’s great if you put them right there on the relevant product page. As the person is trying to learn more about the product, they can validate the claims using one of your case studies.

6. Newsletters

We touched on this earlier. You can use your case studies as newsletter articles. It’s not only great for you, because it puts this wonderful feedback about your company front and center. It can be a selling point when you’re asking customers to participate in your case studies.

7. Social media

As with all of your content, it’s smart to promote your case studies on social media if you have that option available to you. You’ll get more engagement if you frame the story in light of the customer facing a problem to be solved. You can see these examples here.

Don’t just say, “Check out our new case study.” You want to say something like, “Customer XYZ needed a way to handle a seasonal increase in Web traffic. See how we kept them up and running,” something like that. You should also link to the customer’s social media profiles so then they can retweet or share the post with their own followers.

8. Media relations

Number eight goes back to the media relations piece we discussed earlier. You want to pitch the case study as a story to your customer’s industry media, but also your own.

You might wonder, “Will the media really be interested in this?” In my experience, some actually will, but they might not want to run your case study as is. They might prefer to conduct their own interviews with your customer and then a few appropriate personnel from your company. Be ready to accommodate that type of request, and make sure your customer is willing to participate in advance.

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