Why do case studies and testimonials work?

September 10, 2020 7:22 pm

One thing that we’re really proud of at Collective Content is the number of referrals we get from clients. It’s the highest vote of confidence to recommend us to a colleague or friend.

Similarly, many of our clients produce case studies on how their customers are benefiting from using their goods or services. Even if they don’t do a full case study, they may get testimonials that can be used in blog posts or white papers or web pages.

This is important because testimonials and case studies work. In a B2B context, nearly all buyers (97 per cent) consider content more convincing if it includes peer reviews and user-generated content.

A testimonial is a short comment, often no more than a sentence or two, from your customer saying something about your product, your service or their experience with your company. A case study is longer, ranging from a few hundred words to dozens of pages. It will discuss a problem or need your customer had and how you helped them successfully deal with it. A case study will often contain testimonials, where customers speak about their experience.

Sounds great, right?

The problem, as you might already know, is getting customers to agree to give testimonials or participate in case studies. There can be many reasons for this. But one of the main ones is the same reason testimonials and case studies are so valuable: customers are putting their reputations at stake. They have to show confidence in you.

So, the first rule of getting customers to agree to a case study or testimonial: be excellent. I have every confidence you have that one covered, so let’s look at a few other tips that can help you gain participation:

  • Ask for participation: It’s unlikely a customer will approach you requesting you do a testimonial or case study. Don’t be shy.
  • Explain context: Knowing what your message is and how they will look gives customers confidence it is right for them
  • Give control: Assure them they will participate in the process and you won’t release anything they are not happy with.
  • Don’t forget existing customers: It’s natural to think of getting a testimonial or asking for participation in a case study shortly after a project has wrapped up and is running well. And by all means, do those. But don’t forget your loyal customers who have been using your product or service for years.
  • Get the inside story: Encourage your sales staff, account managers and project leads to identify satisfied clients who might be good candidates for a case study or testimonial.

Finally, don’t forget the most important thing: make sure there is a benefit to your customer for participating.

You can even line up a case study at the start of a relationship with the client. Make it part of the negotiation, offering a discount or other extras if they agree to participate. At the very least, make sure they come off looking good. Publish a photo of your subject. Get their job title right. Spell the name of the company right. Provide links to their site and social media. With their permission, mention them in your social media promotions of the case study.

If you’re ready to learn more about how case studies or testimonials can benefit your organisation, we’d be happy to have that conversation with you.

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