Before you can expect to win the business of a prospective customer, you will need to prove your product or service can deliver on its promises. One of the most convincing ways to do so is a compelling case study.
A case study is more detailed and data-driven than a customer testimonial. Testimonials empower your customer to share their feelings and offer sincere praise, but a case study can more comfortably house the body of evidence surrounding your success story.
According to Hubspot, where video and text are both available on the same site page, 72 percent of people would prefer to use video to learn about a product or service.
So why not use a B2B case study video to demonstrate why your company is the right choice for your buyer personas?
Inbound marketing case studies add authenticity to your business, as well as credibility. They rely on the premise that customers undertake online research believing it could spare them from a bad experience or poor investment.
Product reviews, real-life user stories and case studies are more relatable and trustworthy than a catch-all sales pitch.
Comments about your business from your customer base are unbiased and often rooted in a shared experience. The power of social proof can drive sales.
Each case study is unique - every customer has a different story to tell. However, there will be strong parallels between them and your prospect’s experience. Exploring shared barriers will enable your prospects to envision doing business with you.
Find the right participants
The best candidates possess good product knowledge and have experienced fantastic results firsthand. Delighted customers convey genuine enthusiasm, and a grassroots understanding of your product or service will enable them to speak with confidence about the unique value of your offering.
So, what about the origin of your story?
Sure, a case study could come from your most longstanding client, someone who you have developed a relationship with and repeatedly proved your worth to. However, it could also come from somebody with whom you exceeded expectations - somebody who was moved by your support.
The strongest testimonials come from clients that have been surprised and delighted.
Perhaps you have clients outside of your target audience with whom you had unexpected success - they too could help alleviate your prospect’s doubts. The reason for that success will have core similarities to your buyer persona’s pain points, different as the circumstances may be, which you can easily illustrate using video.
You may see people switching to your services after becoming disillusioned with your competitors. These stories translate well to screen, and their history can be used to highlight your competitive advantage, ultimately swaying purchase decisions in your favour.
Approach your candidate
You will need to request permission to feature your customer in a case study video. Your sales team will understand your customer’s personality best, and that should dictate whether you use phone or email to kick off with.
A phone call is more personal, but it is advisable to send documents outlining the project for your customer to process the contribution you are asking for.
As ever, clear and open communication is imperative. Your customer deserves an outline of your expectations. These are some things that may need to be explained:
- The reasons you are creating this case study
- How the video will be used and where it will be placed
- Why you would like them to feature
- The project timeline
- Information and trademarks you wish to include that may need special permission (name, company, job title, logo, images)
- Their input beyond the completion of the case study video. Do you wish them to act as a referee? Will you have their permission to provide contact information for that purpose? Are they happy to share or host the video?
- A guideline of what you require from them on the day of the shoot. This includes things for their comfort (timings, lunch arrangements, dress code), as well as anything they will need to do in advance to prepare for the shoot.
- An indication as to whether or not they will be compensated for time or travel.
- What it means to your business
After your business case study speaker agrees to join you in your video marketing campaign, it would be courteous to send them a collection of interview questions so that they feel prepared.
Ask open questions
When it comes to the day of the shoot, there are some simple interview techniques that can help structure your video.
Ask open-ended questions and encourage your customer to answer in full sentences. If they can include the question you have asked in the answer they give it will make it easy for the editor to work around.
Asking your interview to complete a questionnaire before to the shoot may help you refine your question selection. Where appropriate, consider asking for supporting data.
After introducing your advocate, a narrative for your case study video can be split into four key points: the decision-making process, onboarding, your solution in action and then, most excitingly, the results. These details are what elevate passionate customer testimonials to a comprehensive case study.
Here are some sample questions for each section of your case study:
- Tell us about the challenges you were experiencing before to finding us
- How did you hear about our product or service?
- What attracted you to us?
- Can you describe your decision-making process?
- What was most important to you while you were comparing options?
- Did you look at alternative solutions, and if so, what were their perceived shortfalls?
- What is likely to have occurred had you not found us?
- Describe how you have you benefited from using our product or service
- How long did it take to implement?
- Did our team meet your expectations?
- Who was involved in the process?
The Solution in Action
- How the customer is using your product or service
- Is there a particular aspect of the product or service that you rely on most?
- Who uses the product or service, and who benefits?
- How is the product or service helping you today?
- What has changed for you?
- How much have you increased metrics X, Y, and Z?
Make them look good!
Your customer agreed to help spread the word about your business. It’s important that you go out of your way to make them comfortable on the day. It’s also kind to respect their public image and make sure they look good on screen.
This may require a dab of makeup, professional lighting and tissues on hand. The camera doesn’t lie, plus it can be hot and stressful on set.
Pausing to correct appearances between cuts will improve your final product.
Send the case study video to your customer for approval before you publish online. At the end of the video marketing campaign, you want all parties to feel good about it.
Video is and will continue to play a special role in content marketing: according to Cisco, 80 percent of web traffic will be video by 2019.
Use this interview structure to craft a compelling case study video that will persuade potential customers to choose you.