Tressa Sloane

Blog posts and eBooks are great, and your site contains a lot of information about what your brand does.

But how do you convince a prospect to pull the trigger and work with your company? You do it with bottom of the funnel content: case studies and testimonials.

Your existing customers know better than anyone else what it’s like to interact with your company. So why not leverage their positive feedback to bring in new business? After all, consumers trust each other more than they trust your brand.

By showcasing the great experiences your existing patrons have had, you increase your chances of building trust with prospects and encouraging them to convert.

Don’t believe us? Here’s some data to back it up:

  • Reviews are referenced by almost all consumers: 92 percent of people say they read online customer reviews while researching a business.
  • Reviews are a key factor when it comes to consumers buying products and services: 90 percent of prospects say their purchasing decisions are impacted by customer reviews.
  • Positive reviews are one of the best tools for building trust: Nearly three-fourths of consumers say good reviews play a role in making them trust a brand.
  • Online reviews are just as powerful as personal recommendations: 88 percent of people trust customer reviews as much as word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family.
  • Happy customers = more customers: 89 percent of marketers say that customer testimonials and case studies are the most effective content forms for influencing purchases.

Your offerings and marketing content go a long way at establishing your expertise in your industry, but the stats above show that your existing customers’ positive experiences will serve as the final step in your prospects’ decisions to become your customers. Basically, if you have great customer reviews, you’re only hurting yourself if you aren’t using them as part of your content marketing strategy.

So what’s the next step? Get started on leveraging those successful experiences and positive feedback into case studies and testimonials.

Case studies or testimonials: Which is right for you?

Not sure whether to choose a case study or a testimonial? A case study is a written form of content that works best for showcasing data-driven stories. If you have information that demonstrates your value to a customer, it’s best to use a case study.

A testimonial is ideal to show first-hand how your product improved your customers’ operations or helped them reach a goal at a higher level. Testimonials can be written, such as interview-style blog posts, but they are often best presented as videos that allow the customer’s voice to literally be heard. Ask them questions about your products or services as well as their experience. For example, what was it like to work with your brand? What did you accomplish together? How do they benefit from your product or service?

The power of case studies and testimonials

Here’s how to get started on an exceptional case study or testimonial that your customers will be excited to with you on:

Create a list of your happiest customers as well as those that have benefited from your offerings

This one seems like a no-brainer. Feature your most satisfied – and if possible, most recent – customers in case studies and testimonials. Consult with your account managers and customer service department to find those customers who are praising your company, consult your data to identify great success stories and check out feedback you’ve received on social media or review sites to create a list of companies or consumers to reach out to.

Show them what’s in it for them

Your business will reap a variety of benefits from a case studies and testimonials, but your customers will want to know there’s something in it for them, too. Be sure to highlight the advantages when presenting the idea. For example, a case study showcases the customer’s brand and accomplishments. It also puts their company in front a new potential customer base. And sometimes you might need to grease the wheels, so toss them a bone for contributing, such as discounts on future purchases or an extended subscription to a service.

Decide what you need from them

Get all of your ducks in a row before you approach a customer about creating a case study or testimonial. Create interview questions to pull the right answers for your customer. For case studies, consider the story that you want to tell – what was the problem, what was the solution (hint: your brand) and what was the outcome? For testimonials, ask why your company in particular was so valuable. For instance, what did they enjoy about working with you? Why would they recommend you to others?

Give them final approval before publishing

It’s only fair that your customer should get final approval once you’ve created the content. After all, their brand, logo, employee names and faces, and proprietary information are the main features, so they should have a say in how it’s presented. If they ask for something to be removed or changed, try to understand where they are coming from and implement their requests. Treat the case study or testimonial as an asset that both you and your customer own.

When you need to white-label a case study

What happens if your client prefers not to be named or has a non-disclosure agreement? It doesn’t mean you can’t feature their story in a case study. Offer to white-label the content. Essentially, you’ll remove any mention of the customer by name and broadly touch on their information. You’re still able to highlight the benefits they received from your product or service this way without jeopardizing the relationship with your customer and giving away their competitive secret.

Keep in mind that just because a client has agreed to be featured in a case study or testimonial doesn’t mean their satisfaction is a given. Working with them to create this asset should be an extension of the great customer service you’ve given them in the past, and it should build upon your successful relationship with them so they stay a loyal customer.

Your satisfied customers are one of your greatest marketing tools, so use their positive feedback and experiences to create new ones for new business.