Case studies are great for digital marketing. What other piece of content showcases the authentic, awesome work you did for a customer?
What if I told you there’s something better?
Instead of having your case studies blocked by forms, you should turn your case studies into blogs. Yes, your case studies can be used for lead generation, but they could be doing more. It may sound counter-intuitive from an inbound marketing perspective, but if you make your portfolio of successful client work accessible for every site visitor, you’ll benefit.
The Importance of “Ungated Content”
You might have case studies that have been successful, in that they are heavily used in your sales cycle or that they are heavily downloaded, but they have the potential to do more for your digital marketing efforts. Check out this blog post from the Content Marketing Institute on ungating content.
If you have a PDF-styled case study that site visitors need to submit a form to access, you will never have 100% of the traffic on that landing page view the case study. There is, and always will be, people who immediately bounce from that page. Why? Because they don’t want to receive emails from you. Your prospects already receive thousands of emails and don’t want to sign up to receive another one unless it’s absolutely necessary.
If your case study is ungated, your website traffic can easily end up visiting that page and scanning it to understand how you solved a problem for your customer. In addition, you have another website page that can be indexed by Google, which is a way of increasing Google search rankings. The best part: no emails or form submissions required.
I’ll walk you through steps so you can follow a tried and true digital marketing strategy to creating an effective case study blog post from scratch.
Much like a normal blog post, you need to do the proper amount of research to truly understand the needs and challenges of your client, and what results your company’s work generated for them.
Before you get too far along, make sure your client is okay with you writing about the digital marketing solutions you provided for them. If you have orchestrated success, they will most likely not have a problem with it.
Once you get permission, be very conscious of how you talk about your client. They don't want this article to tell the world how badly they needed your services or how you uncovered a flaw in an aspect of their corporate communications. Rather, they want to see how your software or service solved problems and drove results. I suggest you write about how the strategy fit the needs of the client, and why it was successful.
Take the time to have a physical conversation with everyone involved. Make sure you take notes and record any quotes.
It’s best to start by asking your sales team why they reached out to you in the first place. Get a feel for what their objectives were/are, and their challenges in reaching those objectives. Whoever helped that prospect turn into a client will be able to provide that information.
After that, interview the account manager, client success manager, or the person managing client interactions. They will be able to provide more details about what the client wanted. Ask what tasks they completed to provide value for your client (get them to provide details, as needed), and inquire about any statistics or analytics that you can use later on in your article.
At this point, it’s a good idea to interview your client. But don’t ask them the same questions that you asked your coworkers. Your client is already familiar with what you’ve done to help them. Instead, ask them more concise questions about how they feel about the results. If their response is impactful, consider compiling his or her feedback in a quote for this blog post.
If there’s anyone else to interview, make sure you include them. They can help you make sense of your client’s perspective, and they might be able to give you feedback or be available for questions when you’re actually writing your case study blog post.
Do your own digging
After you’ve interviewed everyone, spend some time finding data worth showcasing. There’s a big difference between data that is indicative of success and raw data.
For example, you could be proud of a marketing campaign that generated thousands of likes on Facebook, but is that truly providing value for your client? Most likely not.
Instead, showcase how you increased lead generation by 250% through inbound marketing, or how you increased organic traffic by 350%. Those are metrics that indicate success and are evidence that you create value for clients.
Organic traffic is traffic from Google. Someone entered in a search term and found you in search results.
You’ve done your research, you have evidence of accomplishments, and you know all about your client. Now you’re ready to sit down and write your blog.
Unfortunately, I can’t help you write your actual post. It’s up to you to accurately to use your mastery of content marketing to describe your client, why they came to you, and how you solved their problems. However, I can help you make sure you don’t forget anything in your writing. Be sure to include:
- Basic information about your client
- Their challenges
- Describe the solution to their challenges
- Display the solution
- Share the results that provided value for your client
If you don’t have upwards of one thousand words in your blog post, then you’re not trying hard enough. Provide details, educate, and give your readers plenty of evidence that you have happy clients from your results.
Lastly, don’t forget to follow best practices for SEO. Make sure you’re linking to your client’s website, and double check that you have alt text if you include images or screenshots.
Once the blog is finished, make sure you let your client know when it’s up on your site. They will be eager to see what you’ve written, and can help promote your work.
Case studies are the perfect piece of content to give people the understanding that you drive results for your clients. If you create multiple examples of your successful client work and reduce the barrier of entry to view that content, you’re putting more eyes in front of those case studies. Ungating your case studies is a great content marketing strategy that you can use to show off your own expertise. Even more, there’s a SEO benefit.
Need inspiration or example of a case study blog post? Check out our portfolio of successful client work.
Creating a successful blog post involves two things. SEO techniques (looking for keywords, internal and external links), AND stylistic techniques that go into the actual writing of your blog post. Click here to learn about art and science of blogging.