How Case Studies Build Credibility for Your Business
Marketing collateral is a great tool to use when you want to shake up your B2B sales strategy, but one of the most factual, information-based pieces you can have in your marketing arsenal is a case study. This tool not only tells a story of success, but it also uses hard evidence to prove why your company’s claims are innovative, effective, and, above all else, credible.
What Is a Marketing Case Study?
A marketing case study is a type of marketing collateral that showcases how a business used its products or services to help a customer. Case studies outline a problem, a solution, and the result of that solution. They also usually contain a small excerpt about your business. Creating case studies is a great way to showcase your successes as a business. They’re also powerful sales tools—by showcasing results, you can demonstrate to potential customers why they should work with you.
Case studies show that your product or service is legitimate and that other customers have seen success with it in the past. It is essentially a piece of evidence for the prospect to know that they are making the right decision when partnering with you.
How Do Case Studies Build Credibility for Your Business?
Credibility stems from evidence and reputation. When prospects are moving through the buying journey, they don’t want to be told hypotheticals of how game-changing your product or service could be—they want facts. Case studies can provide those facts in a concise way, giving credibility not only to your process but also to the company as a whole. Truthfully, case studies are one of the most powerful forms of marketing collateral when converting prospects to buyers. They combine both factual and emotional appeal in a narrative that is sure to hook your prospects.
Here are a few specific reasons why marketing case studies build credibility:
They Provide Proof for Your Claims
The proof is in the pudding— case studies show that a business’s methods have worked in the past, and therefore it can do the same for new prospects. Case studies typically consist of three main parts: problem, solution, and results. Since case studies are real stories and focus on a specific goal related to a product or service, they’re more likely to resonate with your prospects.
Problem—By identifying a problem one of your customers had, you can capture the attention of other potential customers. The people in your target market probably have a lot in common, and a case study can demonstrate how your business takes unique problems and uses innovative solutions to solve them.
Solution—Your processes are unique to your own business, and they can be difficult for an outsider to understand—that is, until you present them with a case study. Showing a potential customer how you went about solving a problem step by step can help them learn more about how your product or service could solve their unique problems.
Result—The result portion of the case study shows that you know how to solve a common problem that your target market is experiencing. Data is great, but telling a real story can make all the difference when trying to close deals with new prospective customers.
Pro tip: For added credibility, ask customers for a quote to include in your case study. A testimonial can really take your case study to the next level because it shows, in their own words, how satisfied an existing customer is with your service offering.
People Like Peer-Reviewed Services
Have you ever gotten the same thing as your friend at a restaurant because you didn’t know what to order? We’ve all done it! If you hear that something is good from someone who has already tried it, you automatically feel better about your selection. The same is true for case studies. If a potential customer sees how much success you’ve had in the past, they’re more apt to trust you and believe that your product or service will work for their business.
Not sure where to start? Download one of our case studies for inspiration!
Creating case studies helps frame your brand as a leader in your industry. Your prospects will love seeing testimonials from current customers that show return on investment and tell a story. Plus, the more case studies you have, the more experienced you look. For example, if you’re an HVAC company trying to generate HVAC leads, create as many case studies as possible for different types of businesses you’ve worked with. If one of your prospects is a school and you’ve worked with another school, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a case study. In sales, if you can show your prospects that you have experience working with companies similar to theirs, your credibility will go up big time.
Not Many Businesses Use Them
The psychological value of case studies often gets overlooked when we only consider them from a data-driven perspective. In fact, even though 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, only 13% of marketers name case studies as one of their primary mediums of marketing collateral. This is because they take a lot of effort to create, and they take more time to generate between the steps of research, analysis, and drafting. That said, case studies can do something incredible that other marketing collateral can’t— they can emotionally resonate with an audience using a powerful, relevant narrative. After all, who doesn’t love a feel-good success story? And who wouldn’t want one of their own?
Case studies provide an opportunity for you to show off the context behind your data. They provide meaning for the quippy statistics you may find elsewhere and add to the credibility of not just your claims, but your company’s reputation as a whole. This, backed with the emotional resonance of a narrative, makes case studies the perfect weapon to add to your marketing collateral arsenal.