September 22, 2016
The Secret Weapon You Didn’t Know You Had in Your Content Marketing Arsenal

Today’s post comes to us from Jessica Mehring – make sure you check out her bio at the end of the post to learn a bit more about who she is, what she does and why she’s worth listening to!

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “marketing content?”

White papers? Blogs? Brochures? E-books? Maybe the odd infographic or downloadable guide?

What if I told you that case studies are also a valid marketing content medium?

It’s true.

And too many businesses are missing out by not adding this to their content marketing repertoires.

Writing a case study is often one of the last items on a project manager’s to-do list. Let’s face it – sometimes that task never gets checked off, because the project is done and you’re ready to move on. And what good does a case study do anyway? It’s just one more document to compile and file away.

Right?

WRONG.

Put in the hands of a savvy marketer, that case study can attract your next customer. Here are 4 ways marketers can use case studies to fill the pipeline with quality customers.

Put Up the Case Study as a Blog Post

There’s a lot of value in putting your case study in a pretty PDF — and Case Study Buddy does a beautiful job of this.

A great presentation like that builds credibility and ensures your marketing assets are all branded consistently (which provides a better customer experience).

The content of the case study, however, doesn’t have to stay inside the confines of a PDF.

Turn the case study content into a blog post to squeeze extra marketing juice out of that already-valuable asset.

You can do this in one of two ways.

  1. Copy and paste the text into your blog software, format it so it works as a blog post, and add/remove images as needed.
  2. Give an executive summary of the case study in the blog post, then provide a link to the PDF for the full story. This is a clever way to gather more information about your readers, too. You can track downloads or use a service such as DocSend to get even more insights about who is downloading that PDF.

Bonus: This tactic has SEO value in that the blog post provides search engines with more awesome content to crawl.

Share Your Case Study on Social Media

I hear this from businesses all the time: I don’t know what to post about on social media.

Well, you can post about your case study on social media!

Turn content tidbits like brief (or thoughtfully shortened) testimonials, compelling numbers and concise statements of powerful results into tweets with links to the full story.

Write a super-short post for LinkedIn summarizing the results you achieved for your client, and link to the case study.

Do you have more of a visual brand? Make an image out of the front page of your case study PDF and post it to your Pinterest or Instagram account with a link back to the PDF. Or create images with the most compelling stats from the case study, and post those to social media with a link back to the PDF. (A tool like Stencil or Canva makes this really easy.)

Send Out the Case Study to Your Mailing List

What content are you sending to your mailing list right now? Let me guess …

Company news … event notices … the occasional discount or sale announcement …

Now let me reframe this situation for you:

Unless you bought your mailing list, your list is comprised of people who have voluntarily opted in to it.

They signed up to hear more from you because they were interested in something you had to say.

They have an awareness of your brand.

So why are you boring their pants off with content that gives them little to no actual value at the point they’re at in the buying process?

Every time you create a case study, you create value for those buyers who need that last little nudge to go from “evaluating” to “purchasing.”

Give them that value. Hand it to them on a silver platter. Email it to them.

Write a personal (read: not jargon-heavy corporate speak) email with a high-level intro about why you’re so excited about the results you got for this customer, give it a “this could be you” spin, and give them a link to read the

Use the Case Study as a Sales Enablement Tool

Yes, case studies can be sales enablement tools, too. They’re like marketing Swiss army knives!

When a sales rep is talking to a customer, it’s important that they have the right content on-hand to help make the case for buying or answer the customer’s questions.

Thanks to email, cloud storage solutions and awesome new sales enablement apps, sending content to prospects has become much easier. But the content needs to be well written, nicely designed and clearly branded in order for that sales rep to feel comfortable sending it on.

This is where that beautiful PDF that Case Study Buddy produced for you really comes in handy in the sales process.

“We helped a customer just like you achieve 200% revenue growth in just 6 months. I’d love to send you the case study so you can see our process in action. What’s your email address?”

Aaaahhh. Music to a business owner’s ears.

Take That Case Study Off the Shelf

When you create an e-book or infographic as part of your content marketing strategy, you don’t just put the final file in a digital folder and call it done, do you?

No.

You share that stuff.

You get it in front of your customers.

You send it to partners and peers to share with their audiences.

So why are you creating case studies and letting them collect dust on your website?

A case study is a valid content type. Treat it as the content marketing asset that it is, and you’ll easily see a return on your investment – and more prospects in your pipeline.

About the Author

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Jessica Mehring the creator of The Content Lab, where she trains copywriters, marketers and business owners how to master the art of profitable content creation. She is also the CEO of Horizon Peak Consulting, where she combines sales-focused copywriting with content creation to help her IT, software and tech clients turn content into revenue.

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