Creating case studies should be at the top of your “to-do” list if you need content that turns B2B leads into customers.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 40% of B2B marketers said that case studies are the #1 type of content for converting late-stage leads.
Although case studies are effective, you may struggle to get them produced. Many B2B marketers have a hard time finding customers who are willing to share their stories.
Why Customers Don’t Take Part in Case Studies
You’ve probably heard many reasons why customers won’t participate in a case study.
One of the most common reasons is that it’s against their company policies. They may need to adhere to regulations that make it impossible for them to discuss their challenges and successes publicly. Or their legal teams might veto all case study requests, as they don’t like to disclose their third-party vendors.
Some companies say “no” to success stories because they want to keep their internal processes, technologies, and best practices private. They fear that their competitors will read about what they are doing and then steal their ideas.
Other customers may believe that they are too busy to take part in a case study. They often think that the process is long, complicated, and too much work.
In some of these instances, your customers might agree to a case study if you don’t name their company. But a case study without names and direct quotes can appear fake. It’s better to put your “nameless” customers on hold and find others who are happy to share their experiences.
5 Perfect Moments to Ask Customers for a Case Study
Finding happy customers to share their stories isn’t as hard as you may think. You just need to reach out at the key moments when they are primed to say “yes.” Ask a customer for a case study immediately after they:
- Recommend you to someone on social media or send you a referral.
- Post a rave review online.
- Send a glowing message to someone in your company. Ask your sales and customer services teams to forward you these emails so that you can reach out promptly.
- Upgrade their package or renew. If they want to buy more, they’ve likely seen success with your product or service.
- Express happiness.
3 Ways to Get Customers Excited About Sharing Their Stories
Many B2B marketers approach case studies from a “what’s in it for me” perspective. They want great content that will fill their editorial calendars and drive sales.
But you also must consider what’s in it for your customers.
Here are three secrets to getting customers to say “yes” to your case studies:
1. Show them the benefits of helping you.
Let your customers know that you will do everything you can to make them look good. For example, you can help them:
- Display their thought leadership. A case study can highlight a customer’s expertise. They can share it on their blog and on social media to show how they have successfully overcome common challenges in their industry.
- Gain recognition within their companies. They can show their boss the case study as proof of the great things they are doing for the business.
- Build their personal brands. They can post the case study to their LinkedIn profile and receive recognition from their peers and future employers.
2. Address their concerns.
Your customers will want to know how you will use their success stories. Be sure to send them a release form that describes all of the details. Also, send them samples of your other case studies so that they can visualize their final story.
3. Make it easy for customers to take part.
Tell your customers that they won’t need to devote tons of time to your case study—just 45 minutes for the interview. Mention that your copywriter will write their story, and the only thing they’ll need to do is give their final approval.
Also remember to prep your customer for an interview so that they don’t feel ambushed by questions they weren’t expecting.
Let your customer know the types of questions you will ask and what success metrics you would like them to collect. That way, they can look up the data in advance and won’t need to dig around for additional information after the interview. Collecting this information before the interview allows you to complete your case studies faster, as you won’t need to wait for vital data.
Just don’t send customers all of your questions in advance. Some customers may prefer to complete your form instead of attending the interview. Your case study will be more compelling if you interview your customer and ask follow-up questions as they share their story.