In ancient days, your great, great (add as many greats as you want) ancestors could only share stories through the grunts and utterances that made up their language. They shared their stories face-to-face, one-on-one, or in groups, around campfires in caves.
Then, around 3,200 BC, we started writing things down, which greatly expanded the reach of our stories. That led to books, magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, printed ads, and other forms of printed materials. And for many, many, many (add as many manys as you want), those two systems comprised our means of sharing stories, whatever those stories were.
Then came movies (the first being “The Horse in Motion,” created in 1878—see the video below) and television. Then, in the 1990s, means for sharing stories exploded thanks to expanding use of the Internet. Now, we can share stories through social media sites, websites, online publications, online videos, gifs, YouTube, and so on. Stories can be easily shared in many different ways, often without the storytellers even having to push them themselves.
Why does that matter to you? Because those many different means of storytelling are also your avenues for advertising to your audience.
For marketers, there are so many avenues for telling stories today. B2B case studies let marketers take advantage of nearly all of them. With a case study, the value doesn’t end when you put the finished product out into the world. The content in case studies can morph into different materials that can be easily shared throughout all of your marketing channels.
Producing case studies may cost a bit more than a simple ad, for example, but because they’re such versatile marketing materials, they also bring increased ROI.
Beyond the B2B case study
Here’s a list of ways you can repurpose your B2B case studies to get more mileage out of them:
- Use it, or a shorter version of it, on your blog or as an article in your corporate newsletter to increase its reach
- Create a slide deck version of the case study for quick presentation during meetings with prospects (one of my clients does a great job of this—every case study I write includes an abbreviated version that they put into a nicely designed slide)
- Take the topic and build a webinar around it, including the customer journey as part of the presentation
- Pitch the success story for an article trade magazine; that’s a good way to get your name in the publication, even if they write the story so that yours in only a small part of the article
- Use it as a press release; many companies keep up with industry news and press releases, and maybe a local business journal will pick it up or use it as the basis of an article
- Turn the journey into an infographic you use as a lead magnet (“How one client solved this vexing problem—have you been struggling with it, too?”)
- Use points or statistics from the case study in social media posts; that gives you something relevant to say to your audience
- Make subtle revisions to older case studies to update them for today’s SEO changes so that new audiences can find those older success stories
- Use quotes from the case study on your website and other promotional materials
- Turn it into a video success story or testimonial to post on your website or in presentations
- Use customer quotes, statistics, and other information from the case study in white papers, brochures, and other advertising materials
- Use customer quotes on your website—particularly on landing pages to help convince site visitors to give your offering a chance
- Combine data from multiple case studies to build logical conclusions you can use in other marketing materials
- Use customer journeys to create tips sheets to help prospects solve their problems or walk through a process more efficiently
- Weave your most compelling stories into your direct mail pieces to get prospects’ attention and convince them to buy
- Put the story in a marketing email to capture the audience’s attention
In today’s world, there are so many ways to tell stories; take advantage of them to spread your success stories
Storytelling makes your business relatable. It makes your content more memorable and compelling, increasing the likelihood that prospects will eventually become customers. B2B case studies are a great way to tell the story of how your company helps its customers, and how it can help the prospect reading the story.
But the power of the success story doesn’t have to end with the published case study. Always be looking for ways to repurpose its words or theme into additional compelling marketing content.
And if you need help telling your story, in whatever form, I can help.
And here’s “A Horse in Motion.” Gripping, isn’t it?