In part one of this article, we looked at how to write the perfect case study. Now, I’ll share with you the secrets of how to maximise its return-on-investment (ROI).
Never under-estimate how amazing your case study is. It’s the ultimate evidence of your skills, knowledge and experience told through the words of a happy customer. It’s a real-life example of your product/service/solution in operation, which demonstrates actual results delivered with a third-party endorsement.
And don’t forget the investment it’s taken to get it finalised. First, you had to get your client to agree to participate in the case study (a mammoth undertaking in itself, since most companies don’t like to, or aren’t permitted, to speak in the public domain), then you had to arrange interviews, draft the copy, and get it approved and signed off to be published. Let’s take a second to congratulate you on a job done well.
Given the time, effort and resource it’s taken to get to the stage, are you really content to just publish your case study on your website and be done with it?
Here I share with you my experience of how to give your story the exposure it really deserves…
1. Issue a press release
As a professional marketer you will of course be aware of the key publications your target audience is reading (if you don’t, I suggest you start asking your customers to get this valuable insight asap). Draw up a database of the editorial contacts, which are located on the publications’ websites, and draft a press release to send to them. Case studies make great news stories, and you’re sure to secure some fabulous coverage. If you aren’t confident of how to write a strong press release, always seek out a PR professional.
2. Pitch an article
Within your targeted media list, there will be one or two publications that are most popular, or hold the most value to you. Here you want to treat the editorial contacts with a bit more love and attention. Pick up the phone, or send through a synopsis, offering an exclusive article based on the case study. In the article, you can wrap more industry context around the story, and possibly add an exclusive interview with a key figure in your organisation or with your client.
3. Send to customers
Hopefully your sales and marketing teams are closely aligned already, but ensure that your sales team is aware of the new story and ask them if they have any clients/prospects that are in a similar position or looking to implement the same solution. If so, draft a communication to summarise the key points of the case study with a link to the full story, which you can send to them and help speed up closing the sale.
4. Email marketing
Known by marketing professionals as a ‘drive-to campaign’, here you can use email marketing to drive traffic to your website where they can read your case study. Hopefully you’ll have a targeted, opt-in list of prospects in your CRM system already. Write a short, sharp communication (150 words is more than enough), highlighting the results and stating why they need to click through to your website to read the story in full. Then track the click-throughs and get your sales team to follow up.
5. Tweet all about it
I love Twitter. It’s great for making connections and reading some excellent marketing content and industry insight. Research relevant #hashtags, which you can include in your Tweets to help get you noticed. Then draft a string of Tweets using key facts and figures from your case study, including a link back to your website where they can read the full story.
6. Enter an award
Case studies make great award submissions, again, because it’s your story told through your customer’s words. There are hundreds of award ceremonies that take place throughout the year. Take some time to research the awards and categories that are relevant to your case study, and the ones that would be most valuable to your business if/when you win. I discovered an amazing awards list from Boost Marketing to help get you started.
7. Pitch speaking opportunities
Don’t forget about events. There are lots of small events and larger conferences and exhibitions taking place every month. Hopefully you already know the ones that are most relevant to your target market. Take a look at the programme of events on the website and see whether there are any sessions that your case study could be relevant to. If so, contact the event organisers and pitch your case study. Occasionally you can get a speaking slot for free, but be prepared to pay a fee.
8. Share in LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for reaching business professionals as it’s the place they’re guaranteed to be wearing their ‘business hat’. As well as sharing a link on your profile, why not share it to the groups that will be of interest to your target market? It’s completely free and has the potential to reach millions of people you’ve never spoken to before. Also, don’t forget to encourage your colleagues to do the same to help expand your reach.
9. Ask a favour
Ok, your customer has already given you one amazing gift by agreeing to the case study, but perhaps you can ask them for one more favour and see if they’re happy to share it with their contacts. Most industries are quite incestuous; after a while, everyone knows everyone and has worked everywhere. This is great news for you, as chances are, your client knows a new potential prospect for you. Ask them to share your case study, either via email or social media, and identify who that hot prospect is.
10. Reference in future campaigns
Finally, don’t forget to keep using your case study throughout your future campaigns. Your case study should be timeless and remain proof of your amazingness for many years to come. Use it as evidence time and time again to keep driving ROI and securing new business from it.
Need some help?
The great thing about all of the above tactics is that they are all highly measurable, which means you can track the results and determine the exact return your case study has generated, through increased brand awareness, and new sales.
If you need help writing an amazing case study, or developing a plan to secure the exposure it deserves, why not contact me? I have 10 years’ experience in B2B marketing working both in-house as a marketing manager, and agency side for marketing and PR companies, so know how to write a story that gets you noticed and secures the coverage you deserve.
One final thought…
Now you have this amazing case study, and are on the road to securing some great results from it, don’t forget to give your client a massive ‘thank you’.