Last year 63% of marketers said generating traffic and leads was their top challenge (Hubspot 2017) – which can be tackled with a strategic approach to content marketing. “Storify” isn’t a proper English word, but it’s out there, and I’m willing to bet we will identify 2018 as the year of stories. When written well, they support human-to-human content messaging – geared towards customers’ emotions – replacing traditional approaches in the business to business market.
Creating consistent content is still a big ask for SME marketing managers. Many businesses struggle to keep up a continuous flow of digital marketing and social media posts to reach their ideal audience. Email marketing has to be tested and tweaked, and social media algorithms are reducing organic (non-paid-for) reach. Then there’s the explosion of new platforms and automation tools. Regardless of where or how you share your story, it can only provide value for your audience when you keep your customer needs at the heart of it. But it can seem like an endless task, making it easy to lose sight of your goal to help and inspire customers.
Look again at your business data and your strengths – who you serve, where they find you and how your processes are working to support existing customers. When you focus on things that are going well, you can build trust and establish yourself as an expert because you are solving genuine problems for your customers.
Once you’ve built loyal relationships, your customers offer a rich source of stories to support your content marketing in so many ways. Writing up the case studies gives you a foundation to develop multiple versions of the content to share in different ways. Let’s take a look at the benefits of case studies and how to re-purpose the stories in your content marketing strategy:
What are the benefits of spending time on customer case studies?
When planned carefully, you’ll cement stronger relationships with your existing customers when you take the time to help promote them – delivering mutual marketing results. Your customer case studies highlight the foundations of your business success and theirs too. Depending on your marketing strategy, and how you create the content, customer case studies drive three key outcomes:
Increased website traffic.
Improved engagement within your networks and email marketing database.
Greater reach to wider audiences via online press and social media.
Search engines are content hungry; generating traffic for businesses who refresh their page content and signposting regularly. Google My Business posts and LinkedIn articles summarising new case studies or blogs are a simple tool to attract the major player’s attention. A long copy case study article on your website is a great opportunity to include select keywords and create a landing page for targeted pay per click advertising.
Your social media networks and contact database don’t necessarily know all your capabilities. (I recently had a client who didn’t realise I could organise video testimonials as part of their case study program.) By producing case studies from a range of relevant industries, readers are more likely to trust your abilities based on where you specialise and who you have helped previously. Sharing your customer case studies showcases everything about your business. Your audience can learn how it feels to work with you, what your customers love about your service and relate it back to their own pain points. We all love a story, and the best ones inspire people and invoke an emotional response.
Generating traffic by turning case studies into other content types
Providing your customers are willing, you can start by writing up the situation and describing the case study scenario in detail. Once you have the story, you can re-purpose case studies into different formats for generating traffic back to your site:
Develop the pain point into a helpful blog topic.
Include credentials in an online event brochure.
Capture visual photos or voice clips for podcasting.
The tough challenge when creating your case studies is time – getting hold of your customer after you’ve moved onto another project and completing the story. It’s also hard to listen objectively to your clients, when you’re close to the situation. That’s why 27 Marketing specialises in planning, writing and sharing case studies for businesses. Learn more here.