Case studies are one of the most powerful weapons in your B2B marketing arsenal.
According to the CMO Council, nine out of ten B2B buyers say that online customer success content has a major effect on their purchasing decisions.
Meanwhile, a hawkeye study found that 71% of B2B buyers in the awareness stage and 77% in the evaluation stage cited testimonials and case studies as the most influential types of content.
However, many B2B marketers don’t get the most value from their success stories. They put lots of effort into interviewing customers, writing their stories, and getting approvals … but then they bury the content on their websites and hope leads will find it.
The sad truth is that if you don’t have amazing SEO, no one will find your case studies.
B2B Buyers Don’t Trust You
Another problem with only posting your case studies on your website is that B2B buyers don’t trust what companies say about themselves. They are bombarded with sales messages and simply don’t believe what you say in your marketing.
Instead of going to your website to learn about your products, buyers turn to their peers for referrals. They often turn to third-party, peer recommendation sites at the end of their buying process – when they want validation that a product or service delivers results.
One B2B marketer says, “We have 50 pieces of customer success content on our website, but buyers don’t want to view them on our site. They want to see them on a third-party site.”
To connect with today’s ad-wary customers, you must get in their inner circles. This means promoting your case studies not just on your website, but on other trusted channels.
The Problem With Third-Party Review Sites
Many B2B marketers ask their customers to post reviews on third-party review sites.
While good reviews can help you stand out from the pack, you can’t ensure that all of your reviews are positive. Just one bad review can turn off potential customers – even if you have 20 amazing reviews.
And, reviewers on third-party sites tend to speak of software from their personal, user experience perspective. They don’t tell the whole story about how your technology helped them solve a business challenge.
A New Way to Get Your Case Studies In Front of the Right Leads at the Right Time
Posting case studies on your website and seeking user-generated reviews can benefit your marketing.
But, you should also consider uploading your customer success stories and testimonials to a third-party case study directory. These sites serve as a neutral third party who validates your content. They give you a platform that goes beyond your website – helping you reach a wider audience and close late-stage sales leads.
When a case study directory has great SEO, sales-ready leads will find you. Most buyers who visit these directories are late-stage leads who search for terms such as, “Company XYZ + case studies, customer success stories, or testimonials.”
And, third-party case study directories let you showcase your best side. You control exactly which content you post, and you don’t need to worry about a bad review killing a sale.
How to Get the Most Value From a Third-Party Case Study Directory
To get noticed in a third-party case study directory, you must keep your content fresh. Google likes new content, so you can improve your search results by posting customer success stories, videos, and testimonials on a regular basis.
Also be sure to upload case studies about customers in different industries and roles. This will make it easy for sales-ready leads to find stories that align with their needs.
Turbocharge your ROI from your customer success content by sharing it on FeaturedCustomers.com, the largest customer success reference directory for testimonials, case studies, and customer videos. Sign up today and gain access to qualified software leads who are ready to buy!
Rachel Foster is a B2B copywriter and the CEO of Fresh Perspective Copywriting. She helps B2B marketers improve their response rates, clearly communicate complex messages, and generate high-quality leads.
Rachel has taught white paper, sell sheet, and case study writing for MarketingProfs and was one of the Online Marketing Institute's Top 40 Digital Strategists of 2014.