It’s a fact that 9 out of 10 people respond better to a product or service recommendation than to a sales pitch (tweet this stat). But of course we already knew this on a personal and business level. From choosing your car mechanic to selecting an SEO service for your business, your interest is turned up a notch when you receive a recommendation from someone you trust, whether it be a friend, business associate, social influencer or industry expert.
With this in mind, it becomes apparent that companies, both large and small, need to give their clients the opportunity to offer their recommendation. In this digital age, it’s possible to shout out your successes to the entire world – offering great brand exposure. We recommend the client case study, an age old marketing technique that is perfect for the online world. As long as you choose the correct case study, package it correctly and promote it using the correct channels, you can capture the interest of potential clients.
The answer here is less obvious. Instinctively, you want to choose a client for your case study that experienced the best results…I guess it’s the law of bragging rights. However, think carefully about what leads you want to entice with your case study. If you’re a web design company, perhaps you are looking to attract small start-ups. In this instance it would be worth your while to highlight a relatable success story. Perhaps you want to showcase the versatility and creativity of your business – here you could choose a client that came to you with a very specific problem, to which you found an awesome solution.
Hubspot outlines three useful steps for creating a case study. The first step is to address the challenges, so potential leads can associate themselves with similar issues. Next you should talk about the solution, which will hopefully help your leads imagine what you could do for their business or brand. Finally, you need to be able to show your results effectively. Use graphs, charts and fact bites to highlight your successes and make them accessible with a glance – after all, in case studies it’s often the numbers that do the talking.
This is where the digital world becomes so important. Think about the content and the packaging of your case study. Besides needing to garner attention online, this content should also look great, be easily sharable, informative yet concise, and authentic. Thus, how you package your case study will affect its success. All of your case studies should be accessible on your site, but you should also consider sharable infographics, slide shows and videos.
This is where social media becomes so important for getting your case study in front of the right audience. LinkedIn in particular, being the more white-collared platform, is great for branded marketing. Google+ is also a hot platform for business engagement. Firstly, be sure to get your client excited about the case study, after all its free exposure for them, and they could be the trusted recommendation for hundreds of potential businesses in their network. If you are listed on any business profiles or content sharing sites, such as Scribd.com, Isuu.com or Slideshare.net, keep in mind that these platforms are also great for sharing glossy material. Finally, get your brand noticed in your industry and package your case study within a press release.
Depending on your client case study, you may find other avenues for promotion. For example, if your client is a local business you may be able to get featured in a community e-zine. Perhaps it’s a success story that bloggers would be interested in.
In general, digital promotion requires lateral thinking, and you should never be limited by what’s outlined in a guide or even a post such as this. Take a step back, focus on your audience and think creatively.