Case studies have proven to be one of the most effective kinds of content in converting leads to buyers. Here are 4 strategies to getting customers to participate.
The 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report found that 78% of B2B buyers used vendor case studies as part of their purchasing decisions in the past 12 months. So why are customer testimonials and case studies so effective? Because buyers value the opinions of their peers and colleagues.
In fact, 89% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials and case studies as the most effective kinds of content in converting buyers. It makes sense: User reviews offer an unbiased, credible experience regarding a company’s products or services. So potential customers do not have to rely exclusively on information the organization provides.
With stats like that, it is easy to see that case studies are compelling, but getting customers to participate in case studies can be very challenging. Here are 4 tips to help increase case study participation.
4 strategies to get customers involved in your case study
Create a formal process.
Start by getting support from your sales and marketing teams. With compelling stats about the success of case studies and customer testimonials, your internal teams will be jumping at the chance to help find participants. After all, these customers will help drive new sales.
Next you will need a formal submission process for sales and marketing team members to complete when they want to submit a customer’s name and information. You will also need a detailed document that explains to participants their level of involvement. People are busy! Keep case studies short and sweet so nominees are more likely to participate.
Be smart with your timing.
Case studies are most effective when you have happy, satisfied customers beaming about your products. Be smart with your timing and ask customers who just recently purchased your products or services. These customers are most likely excited about their recent purchase and may even go one step further in their reviews, offering tips and how-tos that will only add to the success of your case study.
Not sure if customers are happy with their recent purchase? Ask them! Send an email that asks if they’re satisfied. If their response shows excitement, ask if they’d be willing to participate.
Treat the case study as a mutual opportunity
Case studies can be beneficial to you and your participants, and should be treated as such. “Many customers already think doing business with you is a favor they did. You should not make them feel like they’re going to be doing you another favor by doing a case study,” writes Ayodeji Onibalusi for Effective Inbound Marketing.
Let customers see your case study as an opportunity for them. Explain the benefits, including publicity, they will achieve from participating. Post your case study to social media, link to your website, and send to existing and potential customers. A case study is something your participants can enjoy and won’t want to miss out on.
Find alternatives if customer polices prohibit case studies
Company policies that restrict or forbid some customers from participating in case studies are a big roadblock. Your company could have strict polices about customer testimonials, or customers might have restrictive company policies that limit their participation. These can be a challenge but don’t have to quash your opportunity to conduct successful case studies.
Get creative if you must! Conduct large group interviews and take samples of customer testimonials. Or use the average results from the interview to create an anonymous case study. If you’re still running into issues, simply ask customers for a one-sentence review that you can post without their information. These short reviews can still have a big impact on potential customers.
Case studies have proven they are worth their time and energy. Recommendations from actual customers are a powerful tool. Use these four strategies to conduct case studies that will help attract new customers and drive sales.
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