How Customer Case Studies Help B2B Technology Companies
Ever wanted to clone your best customers?
The ones with problems your technology can solve. Where you make a major difference to their business. And they’re happy to talk about the results.
Sadly, there’s no magic spell to copy your ideal clients. But your best customers can become a powerful marketing tool for you as case studies.
Here are the reasons why case studies work for B2B technology companies.
Show Concrete Evidence of Your Positive Results
“You would say that, wouldn’t you”.
That’s often the thought that goes through the mind of your potential customers when they read bold claims in marketing or sales copy.
A natural scepticism is not unique to buyers of B2B technology. In fact, it’s human nature to be wary of something that’s unfamiliar. Which is why winning over new customers takes so much effort.
For your marketing to work, it has to show proof of what you’re promising from your product or service.
That’s where case studies come in.
Because case studies provide hard evidence to back up your claims. Your customer success stories let you quantify the results of your work with real examples.
These could be the number of hours your customer now saves each week. The lower costs to onboard new customers. Or the extra sales they’re now able to make.
Case studies help to connect your business to the positive results of your customers.
Convince Your Prospects With Your Customers’ Help
Word of mouth is the simplest marketing tool. But it works.
Because you trust someone else’s experience of working with a company. And in every business, including B2B technology companies, the key buying decisions are still made by people. Research shows that word of mouth drives 20-50% of all buying decisions.
And your customers’ experience counts as much as the numbers in swaying their decision on whether to work with you or your competitor.
That’s why case studies are like word of mouth marketing. Because you use your customer’s own words to describe their experience of your service. Which makes them more believable.
As Gartner’s Todd Berkowitz said,
“content being delivered by the provider is not going to be as compelling as when it comes from a customer.”
Your customer’s positive experience becomes an independent endorsement of your business. Even when you’ve created the case study yourself.
In short, case studies allow you to say “Don’t take my word for it, listen to our happy customers.”
Create Evergreen Assets, Not Throwaway Adverts
Did you have a piggy bank as a kid?
A money box or a savings account helps children to learn about their choices with money. To spend money today on a toy or sweets. Or to save it for the future where it could buy them something bigger.
Businesses have similar spending decisions with content marketing vs advertising.
Pay for advertising with the aim of instant results. Or invest in marketing assets to produce long term results.
Advertising is often the first step businesses take to get more sales. Because you can click a few buttons in Google and your adverts are up and running.
But there’s a problem with adverts. They’re limited by time and by money.
Because with an advert you’re only renting space in front of your audience. So your advert will only run for as long as your budget lasts. And when your budget runs out, your advert disappears.
So even the best-looking advert is going to have a limited life.
But when you create your own content, like a case study, you own it. So it’s yours to use as many times as you like. And in as many different ways as you like.
With a compelling case study, you’re investing in an asset for your business. A valuable tool to give you benefits over time.
That’s why each new case study you write is like dropping a coin into your piggy bank.
You’re building up your own marketing assets to use when and where you want to. Rather than creating disposable adverts.
Repurpose Your Case Studies into New Content
Most marketing is like Ronseal. It does what it says on the tin.
Website copy goes on a website. Google Ads show on Google. And email campaigns appear in your inbox.
But case studies are different. Because with a case study you can use it in many different ways:
- Publish it as an article or blog post on your website
- Use a snippet for your email newsletter
- Turn quotes and statistics into punchy social media content
- Create a PDF version for your sales team to send to prospects
- Film a video to give you engaging content for your website and social media
This makes case studies a vital piece of any content marketing strategy. Because they’re one of the most versatile types of content you can create.
Case Studies Make Complex B2B Technology Easy to Understand
“What’s in it for me?”
That’s what your customers are thinking when they read your marketing.
You may want to talk about all the features in your latest product. How it’s been developed. Or why it’s better than the competition.
But your customer wants to know how your technology solves their problems. That’s why your marketing has to focus on the benefits your customer will see.
Hank Barnes from Gartner explains that case studies do this particularly well because
“The focus is on the issues, not the products.”
And for larger buying decisions, you’ve got to persuade people in different roles within your customer’s business. Some may have the technical knowledge, but most of them won’t.
As Kim Moutsos from the Content Marketing Institute points out,
“real-world examples can help bridge the divide between the complexity of the solution itself and the technical understanding (or lack thereof) by the many different roles of the people involved in a significant tech purchase.”
Writing about the challenges your customers faced and how you helped improve their business makes even the most complex B2B technology understandable.
Improve Awareness with Your Audience
New leads are essential for future sales.
To keep your sales pipeline full you’ve got to build an engaged audience. Businesses who may not know about you to start with, but over time become aware of what you do and how you can help them.
Case studies improve your visibility because you’re able to tell the stories of customers you’ve worked with.
As you show your experience in a particular sector it helps you to gain credibility with other businesses in that industry. As Hank Barnes says,
“The power of case studies come from helping buyers build confidence in you as they move through the buying cycle.”
And your customer success stories also have an emotional appeal that makes them memorable.
Long after your audience has forgotten the details of your product or service they’ll remember you solved your customer’s problem and made a difference to their business.
Give Your Future Customers What They Need to Know
Customers want to read case studies.
78% of customers used case studies to make a B2B buying decision in the previous 12 months, according to a 2017 survey.
For businesses buying IT or technology services case study reviews are a key part of the buying process, especially for senior decision-makers. That’s why 82% of tech content marketers use case studies, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
So if your future customers expect to see case studies, make sure you supply them. Because you can be sure your competitors will share case studies about their customer success stories.
Convert More of Your Leads into Sales
Case studies are the tipping point for tech content marketers.
Because they’re the highest-performing content for converting leads into customers.
They show the results your technology can deliver as well as the positive experience your customers have working with you. And they help to overcome your leads’ objections by showing how similar businesses benefited from working with you.
Above all, case studies work for B2B technology companies because they tell your success stories with your customers’ voice.