Where Do Case Studies Fit into Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Case studies help you build a story around your customers, products, and services. You can prove – through brand storytelling – that what you offer consumers works.

In 2020, 87% of consumers read local business reviews online. 95% of people say reviews influence their purchasing decisions. And 90% trust what other customers say about a company over what the company says about itself. Clearly, people care about what others have to say about businesses they’re considering.

Source: BrightLocal

Case studies are one of the most powerful forms of content to have in your marketing repertoire. They take online reviews and testimonials to another level. The longer-form content goes more in depth to describe a problem, solution, and outcome – all while keeping the customer at the center of the story.

People will not only learn about the emotional connection consumers have with your brand. They’ll also gain valuable and memorable insights into your business strategies.

Quick Takeaways

  • Case studies go more in depth than reviews and testimonials, describing how you addressed a challenge head-on by offering a solution that empowered your client to achieve positive results.
  • Your target audience should see themselves as the protagonist (hero) in your stories. Creating deep connections with people will help them remember you better.
  • Case studies can help your business generate leads, educate consumers, boost your credibility, and display your success.
  • You can incorporate case studies in content marketing in a myriad of ways. Place them in strategic locations and repurpose them to get in front of a larger audience.

What are Case Studies in Content Marketing?

A case study breaks down the process your business went through with a client to help them achieve the results they were seeking.

It proves to other consumers that your product or service works, including data to back your claims. You can include quantitative and qualitative data in your case studies to logically explain how and why you helped someone find success.

Our case studies generally follow this outline:

  • Introduce the client, and give some background about their situation.
  • Present the problem or challenge the client is facing.
  • Share the specific solution your offering provided.
  • Describe the outcomes your offering helped the client achieve.

Case studies should be relatable and compelling to your target audience. They should also help lead readers to the next stage in the buyer’s journey.

  • Start with an attention-grabbing title.
  • Include visuals (like graphs, charts, quotes, and other graphics) to engage readers.
  • Explain how your solution to the problem led to tangible results.
  • Don’t forget to include a strong call to action at the end to encourage readers to work with you so they can achieve similar results.

What Role Can a Case Study Play in Content Marketing?

Brand storytelling is a powerful marketing tool. Your prospects should see themselves in the shoes of the protagonist. If done right, you’ll tell stories that will stick in readers’ minds. In the future, they’ll know they can come to you for solutions to their problems.

Source: Gartner

Case studies act as social proof – giving prospects the peace of mind they need before deciding to work with or buy from you. It will help confirm that your business is the right choice for them.

13% of marketers say case studies are a primary form of media in their content marketing strategy. To me, this statistic is surprisingly low. But it means you can start creating something most businesses aren’t. It will help you stand out from your competitors.

Source: HubSpot

Let’s say you’re considering signing up for a subscription to a keyword research tool. You find two online services for the same monthly price with almost identical features.

You notice one key difference. The first subscription service has 5-star reviews placed strategically throughout its website and has sent you two case studies via email. The other service provider hasn’t. Which one would you choose? The first one, of course!

My favorite case studies will:

  • Position your business as an industry leader.
  • Educate consumers on the value your product or service offers.
  • Empower your sales and marketing teams to share real client success stories and understand how their efforts affect positive change.
  • Guide prospective customers through the buyer’s journey.
  • Generate quality leads.
  • Display your success in a powerful way that connects with people and proves your value.
  • Boost your credibility.
  • Share your brand values and purpose with your target audience to connect with them on a deeper level.

8 Ways Case Studies Fit into Your Content Marketing Strategy

When it comes to sharing your case study content, you have many options. You can share your case study not only in various strategic locations but also in multiple formats. Repurposing case studies to appeal to audiences across different channels is a smart and cost-effective way to make your content go further.

Here’s how you can incorporate case studies into your content marketing strategy to glean the most value from them.

1. Add Case Studies to Your Website

92% of people will look for social proof before making a purchase. When someone interacts with a review, they’re 58% more likely to convert. Your business is also more likely to generate 62% more revenue per visitor.

In other words, having social proof like case studies, reviews, and testimonials on your website can help you move customers down the sales funnel.

Here’s an example of a client testimonial I have on my website homepage.

Place case studies in various places on your website. You could create a dedicated case study page with a library of content for visitors to browse. You can also include portions of case studies on your website homepage to prove to visitors immediately that you can get them the results they desire.

Here are some options for your homepage:

  • Publish customer testimonials that link to more extensive case studies.
  • Add clear calls to action that guide visitors to specific case studies.
  • Add a slide-in CTA that discreetly pops up and leads visitors to a popular study.
  • Use smart content to present personalized case reports to visitors based on their needs.

Here’s my dedicated case studies page, where I highlight companies I work with and clients I’ve served – with links to specific case studies.

2. Equip Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Consider creating PDFs of your case studies for your marketing and sales teams to use when communicating with prospective customers or clients. Having social proof at the right time could be the difference between winning or losing a new lead or sale.

Employees can easily share the PDF over email to demonstrate how your company has helped others solve a problem a current prospect or lead is facing. Lead individuals further down the sales funnel, taking them from one stage to the next. Neil Patel said he increased deal closing rates by 70% using case studies in his emails.

Maybe your marketing team has a case study that helps prospects move from the awareness stage to the consideration stage – where they begin comparing their options. If your case study stands out because you can prove the value you offer, you may win a new customer.

Your sales team can share how and why your product or service works, rather than merely running through a list of features and benefits. Sharing real-life examples that focus on value will help the team connect with prospects and sound more credible.

3. Incorporate into Email Marketing

Email generates $40 for every dollar spent. Automated emails average over 70% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages (Campaign Monitor). Combining case studies with email marketing can be a recipe for success.

Add case studies to email campaigns, workflows, newsletters, and even your email signature to build brand awareness and nurture leads.

  • Lead-nurturing campaigns: If you have an industry-specific case study, you can segment your email list to share the content with those working in the industry. They will relate more closely to the challenges the protagonist faced. Sending more personalized and relevant content can be a highly effective way to nurture leads through email. It can also help you diversify your content to reengage cold leads or an unresponsive audience.
  • Newsletters: Prove to your regular newsletter audience that you value your customers. Sending them occasional case studies highlighting individuals who love your brand and have greatly benefited from your offerings will stand out. You will also help contacts feel like they’re part of a valuable community.
  • Email signature: Have your sales team add a link to your most impressive case study.

4. Repurpose for Video Marketing

Did you know that 79% of people have watched video testimonials to learn more about a business? Incorporating case studies into your video marketing strategy is an excellent way to get in front of a larger audience.

Consider repurposing your case studies into videos that you can share on social media, via email, and on your website. You can create inspiring video testimonials to communicate your value proposition powerfully. If you haven’t jumped on the video marketing bandwagon yet, you’re falling behind. Your competitors likely already have.

Source: Wyzowl

5. Add to Your Blog

Another place you can repurpose case study content is on your business blog. Case studies can inspire your audience and encourage them to act by clicking a call-to-action button that leads them to the next stage of their journey. It could guide them to a landing page where they fill out a form, a PDF where they read the original case study, or a product or service page.

Case studies can also help boost SEO by adding more valuable content to your site. You can easily share the blog post links with your contacts via email and followers on social media. Optimize your posts and incorporate keywords to improve your rankings. Make sure you always focus on the customer experience (rather than your business).

6. Place on Landing Pages

It’s smart to pull quotes from case studies and add them to landing pages to persuade people to take the next step. Make sure to add quotes relevant to the stage in the buyer’s journey.

For example, suppose someone is poking around your service page or thinking about filling out a form to download a benefits guide. In that case, they’re likely either in the consideration or decision stage. Your quotes should focus on the results your service can provide.

7. Share on Social Media Channels

Social media can help boost engagement for all your content pieces. Case studies are no exception. You can share a link to a case study on your website in a social post. Tag the customer, and they may share the link on their social profiles to help you spread the word.

Be careful in your messaging. Including the right content in your posts is essential to getting the right audience to click on your link. Incorporate the challenge your customer faced and how they overcame it to find success. Add specific stats that prove they found excellent results by working with or buying from you.

LinkedIn is a great channel to utilize. You can publish case studies in various publications and share them in relevant groups. On Facebook, you can easily tag your customer so that they can reshare your post with their audience.

You can also pull quotes from client case studies and create testimonial images specifically for social media. Highlight the customer with a headshot if you can. Otherwise, include the quote, the client’s name, and where they work. These images will help you build trust and boost credibility with your social media audiences.

If you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, use a tool like Canva. It has templates for different social channels that are free to use.

8. Turn Case Studies into Ebooks

If you need some longer-form content on your website or an ebook to generate leads, you can use a case study as your content foundation. For example, you could create a guide that gives readers a framework for reaching the desired goal.

Go into more detail than you did in your case study to explain how someone can go from point A to point B to achieve outstanding results. Include statistics, storytelling, quotes, and a CTA to further engage readers after they finish reading. Again, if you don’t want to hire a professional designer, you can find free ebook templates online to simplify the creation process.

Use Case Studies to Reach and Win Your Target Audience

If you’re interested in using case studies to reach, engage, and win new customers, we’d love to help. Marketing Insider Group specializes in blog writing and subscription and content marketing strategy. We will help you take your content to the next level to improve search engine rankings, boost your online traffic, and win ideal customers.

We created our Content Builder Service to deliver clients all the content they need to win new customers. We have a team of expert researchers, writers, and strategists who will create and promote the quality content your audience is seeking. We can customize your package to include case studies and other types of content.

Contact MIG to develop a customized strategy for your organization.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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