Making the Case: Why Case Studies are Critical for Building Material Manufacturers
Show Your Expertise, Share a Compelling Story
If you’re going to buy a car, you’re going to test drive it first. If you’re going to buy building materials, the same concept applies. You can’t test drive a product, but you can read testimonials and hear firsthand how products work before purchasing.
In fact, 81 percent of people conduct online research before purchasing something (Oberlo). Prospects are doing their own research on your products and your company’s reputation by reading reviews from past customers. According to the Demand Gen Report, 97 percent of B2B customers cited testimonials and peer recommendations as the most reliable type of content.
Case studies can be extremely effective in motivating potential customers by providing examples of your products in use. When you use case studies in marketing, you showcase how you’ve helped previous customers, helping potential customers make informed purchasing decisions.
According to McKinsey & Company, word of mouth marketing is directly responsible for up to 50 percent of sales. Case studies help your brand cut through the noise by combining proof from an external source, a story, and data.
So, what are case studies in marketing? Case studies take a deep dive into a specific instance to show how your product or service has been effective and has provided the optimal solution.
Case studies are important in marketing to demonstrate the impact of success on the industry, and those who read about them will surmise that the same approach will work for them.
Here are some best practices on how to develop case studies for your brand and its products and innovations. In essence, you need to tell a compelling story:
- Identify the Challenge: The best content marketing case studies include details about the problems and challenges that needed to be solved. How did your product or consultation help a customer overcome a hurdle so their project could be successful? Did your product drive greater efficiency, cost savings, workplace safety, ease of installation, or enhanced aesthetics? If you can point to multiple value propositions that have universal appeal, your case study will be that much more impactful. BLD Marketing recently collaborated with PERI Formwork Systems, Inc., to publish a case study on its integrated formwork solutions for the construction of a People Mover near Los Angeles International Airport.
- Describe the Solution: Make sure the case study you develop provides robust detail on the products or solutions that were selected for the project. What are their features and benefits? How is that relevant to the project? If there are multiple solutions, how did they work together? For Sto, BLD Marketing developed a case study that clearly demonstrated how the company’s rainscreen product created an awe-inspiring façade for a California entrepreneur’s home.
- Show and Tell: The best way to tell a compelling story about how your company and its products engineered a smart solution for a client is to demonstrate it visually, and that requires high-quality photography. Make sure the case study includes photos of the overall project itself from multiple angles along with close-up shots of your product on the building. Readers can then see for themselves what you were able to accomplish for your customer. For CENTRIA, BLD Marketing told a complete story of the project needs and how the company’s panels were the optimal solution for the environment of the Dillon Health Center, complete with images showcasing a variety of angles.
Case studies also provide an opportunity to build and nurture relationships with customers. By selecting to feature their project, you show that their work stood out and it provides a place for them to promote their company as well.
Here is a checklist on how to use case studies in marketing:
- Post Away: Make sure your case studies are prominent and easily findable on your company’s website or blog so customers can view them.
- Get Social: Share the case studies on social media. Your most engaged audience is on social media, so add the case studies to your content calendars and give your audience content they’re going to read and engage with. Social media also provides another opportunity to tag the customer for further relationship nurturing.
- In the News: Include the case study in your company’s newsletter. Choosing a project to feature for each newsletter can lead to further views of your case study and connect an additional interested audience with your content.
- Sales Collateral: Use case studies in sales presentations. While the full written versions may not be ideal for presentation format, sharing the content and the use case in a presentation can show potential customers the successful work of your company and encourage prospects to select your products.
- Pitch It: Pitch your case studies to trade publications for additional coverage in outlets with targeted audiences that fit your company’s consumer base.
BLD Marketing can help you identify case study opportunities, write about projects, and share completed case studies to build and nurture relationships with current customers and prospects.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.