Are you having trouble influencing your customers’ purchasing decisions? Or do you think you could be better at generating and nurturing leads?
Well, your products and services pages are great and everything, but information can only be so convincing when it is coming straight from the manufacturer or distributor. What you need to realize is that your customers trust word of mouth recommendations more than most other marketing tactics.
In fact, a Bazaarvoice survey revealed that more than 80 percent of people say opinions and recommendations from people they don’t know indicate brand quality and influence what they buy. It’s the same as shopping on Amazon and eBay – we look to user reviews and ratings to gain a firmer grasp on the items in our shopping cart. User reviews offer unbiased, experience-driven information.
And according to the American Marketing Association, the elasticity of word-of-mouth referrals is about 20 times higher than it is for marketing events. The study suggested that word-of-mouth marketing “may be among the most effective of marketing communication strategies.”
Here are the five main reasons to use case studies:
Case studies are much more effective in showcasing your work than project portfolios, partner lists or product pages because they are able to provide explanations and quotes. Reading the benefits, applications or specifications of your products and services can tell your customers the “what” and “why,” but a case study explains the “how.” Case studies influence your leads’ decision-making process and inspire them to take the next step because they can see how and why your product or service was able to help another business, which helps them envision how it will meet their specific business needs, too.
Case studies are an important part of your marketing efforts, because they are meant to benefit your customers, not you. Your leads aren’t stupid. They know that your content often doubles as a sales pitch (whether thinly-veiled or not), because it’s coming straight from you. They will appreciate a resource that explains the benefits of your products or services from the mouth of the consumer, especially if it includes direct quotes.
When members of your sales team communicate with leads that have very specific needs, they can use a related case study to demonstrate your expertise with those challenges. This could play an integral role in closing leads.
Is there a project that you are especially proud of? Is there a specific client that you are proud to work with? Case studies are a great way to showcase or “brag” about some of your best work. The fact that your customers are willing to speak highly of your business will reinforce the quality of your product or service for your leads.
For example, if you distribute products from some of the best manufacturers in your industry, that’s something that your potential customers ought to know. And not only that, but as a vendor or “value-added reseller,” it’s important to show how you go above and beyond – to show how you provide value to your customers during the implementation or deployment process.
Case studies explore the purpose behind your work – something that is vital for you to understand for your future marketing endeavors. They help you understand what your customers need, what they expect and what you’ve been doing right. Not to mention, your customers may explain your work in a way you never thought of before, or uncover hidden potential. A great case study could even inspire a new product or service.
It’s time to discover your business’ evangelists – help them help you. What do you have to lose?