Any small or mid-sized business (SMB) can publish content without heavy investment to try to build a loyal audience. However, random acts of marketing are seldom as effective as creating a content marketing strategy.
According to a 2016 benchmark report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), fewer North American business-to-business marketers have a documented content marketing strategy compared to last year (32% vs. 35%), even though the research consistently shows that those who document their strategy are more effective in nearly all areas of content.
With a solid road map, you can begin to identify the content marketing tactics that make sense for your business. Behind social media content, case studies ranked second as a preferred content marketing tactic for 82% of people surveyed by CMI. That’s no surprise. Today, most of us ask the opinions of others and spend some quality screen time researching our options when preparing to make a purchase decision.
And while buyers are looking for opinions, they aren’t looking for your opinion of your products or services. Instead, they want to hear from people who’ve used what you offer.
Enter the case study.
Case studies are a great way to illustrate the real-world results that customers want to see in a compelling and engaging way.
Here are three quick tips to get you started:
- Understand your goals and audience. What are you trying to accomplish? What’s your message? Who are you trying to share it with? And what do you want them to do once they’ve read it?
- Write from the customer’s perspective. Focus on the customer’s success story instead of your marketing message. This is about them, not you.
- Think: action and engagement. Make the story readable and relatable. Address the customer’s challenges. Talk about the solutions provided and how they met the customer’s needs. Then show off their results.
BONUS TIP: Share, share, share. Publicize the availability of your case study. Post it on your website. Share it on social channels. Include it in your email marketing efforts and newsletters. Blog about it. Create videos from your case studies. And share the stories with your sales team.
Need help with creating a content marketing strategy or case study? Let us know.