There’s been considerable debate about where customer case studies fit in the content marketing funnel. Are they middle or bottom? For some buyer personas, could they even be near the top?
It may seem ridiculous, but the excellent Radix Communications even took the CMI to task about this in a recent blog. Do case studies still count as content? Highly recommended – both Radix and the blog!
So, here’s an irreverent pitch for case studies getting renewed focus in your content marketing plans:
Q: How can you tell if a software salesman is lying?
A: His lips are moving.
Admittedly - an old joke told by SAP about Oracle, and by everybody else about SAP. But there's a serious point to this. Who tells the most believable story. You or your clients?
Believable content marketing - from the lips of your customers
Customer stories provide the proof that your technology really delivers. And they're the feedstock for successful, believable content marketing. And of course each story can be repurposed and promoted in so many different ways, at all stages of the marketing funnel:
- Written case studies
- Blogs and social media posts
- Sales presentations
- Conference presentations – where videos are so much more interesting and valuable to attendees than PowerPoints
If you think providing your prospects with authentic stories direct from your customers, might be the best way to start a conversation then you’ll enjoy this portfolio of examples:
Content for different personas and buying styles
Lastly consider the research and buying style of different audiences. Some people find infographics toxic, and are allergic to trite-marketing-spun ebooks.
Given a choice – senior B2B buyers who are researching for a solution like yours - often want to read some evidence of prior success*, before parting with their contact details to download marketing collateral like eBooks or white-papers.
* "Who have you helped that's like me?"
So, frankly, I don’t buy the idea that case studies are just bottom of funnel conversion tools.