When potential customers are looking for a supplier or partner to work with on a new project their first port of call is usually to do a search online.
If your web team has done its job, your company will appear in the first couple of pages of results. Preferably on page one.
At this stage, what do you think the searcher is looking for?
Search intent is vitally important. If they are just doing initial research, they’ll be happy to visit a few different sites from which they’ll likely gather information and possibly draw up a short list.
On the other hand, if they’re at the stage of comparing or deciding who to contact for an initial meeting or quote, they’re close to committing. Before they do, however, they’re going to want to see some proof.
Can your business do what it says it can? Have you got experience in their industry? Will you be able to deliver your product in time and on budget?
Jump in B2B case studies. These third-party referrals are powerful tools to have in your armoury. They give potential customers peace of mind that your business is capable of delivering on its promises.
We live in a digital world, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for traditional formats. Printed case studies are great for enclosing with a written quote, handing out at exhibitions or leaving behind after a face-to-face meeting.
Online PDF case studies help to bring your website and email marketing campaigns to life. They offer proof that your business is an expert in its field and has delivered many similar projects over the years.
Your website needs to be littered with B2B case studies extolling the virtues of your offering. These case studies need to include quotes from your customers underlining the benefits of dealing with your company.
Videos take B2B case studies to another level. A short three-minute video which includes an interview with your satisfied customer brings the story to life. It is informative, entertaining and easy to consume. The power of sound and moving pictures is hard to resist.
Creating a convincing case study is not the work of a moment. It has to sound believable and avoid the pitfall of coming across as just another paid-for advert for your business. Asking your salesperson or junior to write it is unfair on them and likely to result in a less than convincing document. You need to employ a professional writer.
The same goes for photography. Yes, it’s true, almost everyone has a mobile phone with a built-in camera, but that doesn’t make them David Bailey or Steve McCurry. What makes a great photograph is the eye behind the camera and the knowledge of what makes a good photograph, not to mention the need for almost anal attention to detail.
When you get professionals like Leapfrog to organise your photoshoots you not only get a professional photographer, but you also get an art director. He or she will ensure that all the right shots are taken and there’s nothing in the photograph that shouldn’t be there, such as rubbish and other paraphernalia.
The same goes for video. Although more forgiving in many ways, video requires a unique skill. The videographer has to have a picture of the completed video in his mind before he starts. If he doesn’t, there is no way he is going to be sure to get all the right ‘B’ roll footage; the essential video material that will tell the story.
Competition is tough. We live in a world where so many things appear the same; you need something that your competition can’t copy. Case studies are the ideal vehicle.
Not only do stories about how your customers have used your products and services to solve problems set you apart, but they’re also great credibility builders, providing evidence of your performance.
Technical details and specifications are all well and good, but we want to hear about others’ experiences because if the product or service is poor, the tech spec is irrelevant.
Buyers are drowning in information, so it’s getting harder to capture their attention. Good stories cut through that ‘noise’. They appear more real, engaging us on an emotional level which means it is easier for us to remember them and their messages.
If you’d like help creating powerful B2B case studies, give Alan Myers a call on 0116 278 7788 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org