Category Archives: Case Study Promotion

How To Convert More Readers Into Leads With Calls To Action

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After a prospect finishes your case study, what do they do next? If you don’t tell them, you’re missing an opportunity to generate another lead. (Tweet this) In this article we’re going to look at how four different companies use calls to action to generate more leads with their case studies.

Make the next step logical and easy

Let’s start with this case study from AlienVault. They have a ‘Start Your Free Trial’ button immediately below the description of the client on the first page, and again on the second page.

Offer readers multiple opportunities to take the next step.

If at any point the prospect decides they would like to know more, the option is right there. In this case, clicking that button takes readers to a simple sign-up page.

Make it as easy as possible for your readers to become leads.

Having various calls to action on your case study means that you catch the reader’s interest in the moment. (Tweet this) Then, make it as easy as possible for them to take the next step.

Give readers the option to learn more

Next stop, Yubico’s case study. At the bottom of the introductory section, they invite us to watch a thirty-minute presentation or to read the summary of that presentation: the case study.

Give your readers a choice of content consumption.

Most visitors would much prefer to read a three-minute summary before ‘committing’ to a thirty-minute presentation. It’s good that Yubico includes that call to action, in case someone wants to consume the extra content, but doesn’t force all readers to do so.

If we scroll down to the bottom of the case study, we see another mention of that presentation, along with an article that was written about Yubico’s success with Facebook. This is a really smart way to leverage social proof and provide more detail.

Take every opportunity to add social proof.

Make your calls to action clear and visible

The last line of the case study calls readers to “Find out more about YubiKey for Businesses,”
but there’s no design element here to call the reader’s attention.

Make your case studies’ calls to action stand out.

Yubico hasn’t used a text box or larger font size. I suspect many readers would miss that link. Yubico would benefit from having a colored text box, a different font, or some other design element to draw the eye, like we saw with AlienVault’s green-box CTAs. (Tweet this)

Include your product’s name

Next, we look at Tenable’s case study. Here, they only mention their product (Security Center CV®) a few times, which is good practice. However, they do include that name in the call to action, a very clever move.

Connect your call to action with your case study.

The reader can get a demo of the very product that they have been reading about in this case study. This is a really subtle way to encourage readers to take the next step in a smooth, logical transition.

Peg your calls to action with a fixed bottom bar

Let’s finish with Mimecast’s case study. They fixed a bottom bar to the the page. As readers scroll down, the calls to “Chat with sales,” “Schedule a demo,” or “Get a quote” persist. Mimecast really wants readers to get in touch, and they’re very clear about how they want you to do it.

Make your calls to action impossible to miss with a fixed bottom bar.

However, as with Tenable, since Mimecast mentions a particular product in the case study, they should include that product’s name in the calls to action. That would make for a more natural progression for the reader.

Make it simple for your reader to take the next step

The PDF version of Mimecast’s case study features the same three calls to action as clickable links at the bottom of the page.

Give readers multiple CTAs to improve your chances of a conversion.

Mimecast make it very easy for readers who are even a little bit interested to take the next step in the sales process, however they may prefer.

Apply these five lessons to convert your readers’ interest into strong leads.

  1. Include a call to action in your case studies.
  2. Draw the reader’s eye with visually distinct design.
  3. Include the product’s name. (Tweet this)
  4. Make the transition from reading the case study to taking the next step in the sales process as smooth and logical as possible.
  5. Don’t limit yourself to one call to action. Suggest that the reader schedule a demo, start a free trial, or call your sales team.

HTML vs PDF – Making your Case Studies Accessible in the Mobile Era

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When a prospect decides to read one of your case studies, you want to give them the best reading experience possible. Readers on mobile devices need responsive content that adapts to the size of their screen. That’s just one reason why PDF case studies are now giving way to web-based versions.

In this article we’re going to look at two companies’ best efforts at creating case studies for the mobile era. You’ll come away with a handful of actionable tips that you can apply to your case study production process today.

Make your content accessible on any device

Let’s start with this example from Mimecast. It’s in HTML, which means it will adapt to any web browser, making it easy to read on mobile devices.

Use HTML to allow your reader to access content on any screen size.

HTML doesn’t require a PDF reader or other plugins. The case study just renders in the browser and it looks great.

In contrast, PDFs are an annoyance on small screens. No one wants to pinch and zoom that much!

Cross-promote other case studies

Web-based case studies make it very easy to cross-promote other content. (Tweet this) Mimecast takes great advantage of this with three additional case studies in the sidebar, all inviting the reader to continue reading.

HTML allows for easy and effective cross-promotion of other case studies.

Also in the sidebar, they cross-promote a PDF version of the case study. If you still want to offer a PDF version, no problem.

Promote your PDF case study on its HTML equivalent.

(By the way, as we saw in an earlier video, Mimecast has three calls-to-action at the bottom of the case study. This is great practice.)

Always include calls to action in your case studies.

Give your reader plenty of content.

Next, let’s look at this example from Tenable. They present an HTML version of the case study, including a summary of the client, the key takeaways and then a lot of substantive content.

That’s a great idea. Readers who are farther along in the research phase want that kind of detail. (Tweet this)

Give your reader plenty to compare you against your competitors.

Cross-promote versions

At the bottom, Tenable cross-promotes a downloadable one-page version of the case study. However, they don’t cross-promote from the one-page PDF back to the longer HTML version. They’ve missed an opportunity to lead readers back to their domain. (Tweet this)

Don’t miss a chance to invite readers back to your domain.

For that matter, there’s nothing in the longer HTML version to tell the reader that the PDF case study is a single page. Tenable should mention this fact, so that it will come across as easier for their reader to share.

Four reasons to switch to web-based case studies today.

  1. They’re responsive; your reader can access them easily from any device.
  2. They require no plugins. The reader can just open the page in a browser and start consuming the content immediately.
  3. They present an opportunity to cross-promote your other case studies. When your reader’s done with one case study, they can switch over to the next. What’s more, you can alternate the options that they see over time, or use a tagging function to present case studies related by industry, geography, company size, etc.
  4. If also including a PDF version, keep it short and sweet: a condensed version of the HTML page. Invite readers to return to the longer HTML version.

Case Study Download Pages – Hacks and Inspiration

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Before your prospects can read your case studies, they have to visit your case study download page. That’s your first opportunity to give them an excellent experience.

In this video, you’re going to see four companies’ best efforts at optimizing their case study download pages and you will learn about a ton of hacks and inspiration for your own page.

Begin with a strong value statement

We start with Shape Security. This begins with a sharp value statement: “Shape has deflected over $1 billion in fraud losses for major retailers, financial institutions, airlines, and government agencies.”

Summarize the value you’ve brought to the clients featured in your case studies

Next, they list their clients by industry. This is probably because clients can’t go on the record to endorse Shape Security. That’s not a big problem. In Shape’s industry, clients have a legitimate concern about exposing tools that provide them with a strategic advantage.

Use clear and conspicuous cross promotion

The bottom of the page cross-promotes Shape’s free automated vulnerability scan — that big red “Get threat assessment” button. It’s a great way to move readers along in the sales process — from reviewing case studies to free engagement.

Tell your readers what they should do after they finish reading your case studies.

Directly address the reader’s needs

Instead of focusing on the client and the logo, Shape Security lists:

  1. the client’s type of industry
  2. the top benefit that Shape Security brought to the company
  3. a description of the threat that the client was facing

Summarize the benefits of the service

This is a clever use of space. Tweet this: Readers care less about other customers and more about the problems those customers were facing. Kudos here to Shape Security for focusing on the problems that they helped to resolve.

Keep your design coherent

Next, there’s this pseudo headline — the featured result for each of the case studies. By the nature of the page’s design, my eye interpreted this as a sidebar, separate from the main content. One more design element — perhaps a thin line, or alternating shaded rows — would better connect this featured result with the problem summary to the left.

Clearly connect featured results with their summaries.

Also, notice that each of the case study descriptions has at least one internal link to another page. This is a clever SEO play from this case study download page.

Use client logos consistently, or not at all

Next stop, Threat Metrix. You’ll see in the overview of their page that they don’t show any logos either.

Perhaps no logos look better than some logos

Logos give an immediate ‘hit’ of social proof. However, the page will look strange if customer logos appear sporadically. Assuming Threat Metrix didn’t have permission to display logos from all the ‘heroes’ of its case studies, it makes sense to go for a cleaner, more consistent look.

Sell the case studies with original teaser statements

Threat Metrix shows the title of the case study along with the first few sentences of the study’s text. However, this is clearly not original content. In some of the examples, the description trails off in ellipses, leaving a poor impression.

Create self-contained descriptions for the benefit of skimmers

They may as well go to the effort of creating an original teaser statement on this page so that even if the visitor doesn’t read the case study, they will at least get the gist of how Threat Metrix helps its customers. It’s only an extra sentence or two for the case study writer to produce and that’s not a big ask.

Tweet this: Create original teaser statements for each of your case studies on your case study download page.

Pre-populate sharing links

Including download and sharing links below each one of the descriptions is a shrewd way to get your case studies in front of your visitors’ networks.

Allow your readers to easily share your case studies

By clicking on these links, we can see that the tweets and LinkedIn shares are auto-populated from the descriptions of the case studies. However, in some cases, the tweets exceed the maximum character count, which is a missed opportunity. Put a little extra effort into creating content for the tweet so it fits within Twitter’s character limit.

Make content for sharing links a part of your case study writing process

Do the same for LinkedIn article sharing. It lacks an image, so it should at least show the Threat Metrix logo instead of just a blank screen.

Some of the titles of the case studies are benefits-driven, which enhances ‘skimmability.’ They could be easily adapted into material for a pre-populated tweet.

Demonstrate social proof

Next, we’ll move on to Yubico, which has a really effective study download page.

At the very top, they greet readers with a summary of their social proof. It tells us that “Yubico products secure access to computers, network, and online services for thousands of business and millions of users in over 160 countries.”

Greet visitors with a summary of who you help, how, and – if applicable – where they are

They’re wise to show the range of users who use their products: from independent developers to world-leading enterprises. This is a nice way to demonstrate that their product is very accessible and popular.

Provide filters to maximize ‘skimmability’

Moving down the page, each one of the case studies or customers represented has a logo and client description. Then there’s a statement about, or from, the client, followed by a link to the related case study and any related press mentions in industry publications.

Give the gist: logo, client name, description, testimonial and link to the case study

This format is very skimmable. However, given the number of clients shown, adding filtration — either by industry, geography, or by company size — will make the ‘wall of case studies’ easier to navigate and digest.

As readers scroll down, they’ll be curious to know if Yubico has helped companies in their industries. At the top of the page, Yubico mentioned that their “customers range from consumers to developers, governments, and global enterprises,” so why not filter according to those groups? That way, the visitor can hone in on what they really want to read about.

Feature customer testimonials

Yubico features testimonials from their customers underneath each of the case study descriptions. This way, skimmers who don’t actually read the whole case study will still see the name, title, company, and testimonial: a strong combination for an element of social proof.

Tweet this: Feature testimonials on your case study download page to grab skimmers’ attention.

Avoid too much blank space

That said, look at the first example from Facebook. These two testimonials create an untidy white space.

Avoid messy white spaces

To avoid this, Yubico could list all the case studies with longer customer endorsements in one row, thereby creating a greater sense of consistency. That said, it’s understandable that they would want to show the most prominent and renowned customer logos at the top of the page.

Include as many client logos as possible

On closer inspection, not all of these are actually linked case studies. For example, Dropbox and Salesforce are linked to pages about how they use Yubico’s product. Though they aren’t case studies, they’re still listed on this page — a departure from what we saw earlier with Shape Security and Threat Metrix.

Having these logos strengthens social proof. Apparently, it’s not important that Yubico lacks a case study for these two clients. They’re still benefitting from showing the logos.

If you scroll down to the very bottom of the screen, you’ll see that there are a lot of customer logos that don’t have any case studies or press mentions at all. However, Yubico still has permission to list the logos on their page and they’re smart to do so.

Add logos to increase social proof

Use video testimonials to engage your visitors

Finally, we have Okta, which is by far the strongest and probably the best funded of the companies we’re looking at today. The page shows lots of smiling people, all of which are links to customer testimonial videos.

Video testimonials make for easily digestible content

Videos are very engaging and easy to consume. It’s a very smart play to show all of these video customer testimonials. It’s a nice touch to display the clients’ logos on the thumbnails.

Link to material other than case studies

Each of these video boxes reveals a hover state with basic ‘customer journey’ stories, so presumably a case study. They may as well just say ‘case study’ instead of ‘customer journey,’ since that’s the common nomenclature.

Some of the customer endorsements also feature blog posts, presentations, and press relations. This is a very sensible way to organize all of the material that relates to each customer.

Link other relevant material to enrich the value of the endorsement

If a visitor is interested in one of these companies, they can read all of that company’s endorsements of Okta’s services. This effectively wrings more value out of each piece.

Tweet this: Add content customers have created about you to your case study download page (e.g. PPTX)

Don’t forget to include client logos

Just as with Yubico, Okta also displays customer logos even if they don’t have a client testimonial. Again, just the number of logos is great social proof.

Add all the logos you can get away with!

Apply these six lessons to your case study download page today:

  1. Include sharing links on your download page.
  2. Aggregate your customers’ endorsements. Include their blog posts, presentations, and any other material that endorses you publicly.
  3. Show company logos, even for customers who haven’t actually given you a case study.
  4. Summarize the benefit that you brought to the customer or the problems that you resolved for them.
  5. Lead with a benefit- or results-driven title. That way, even if someone doesn’t read the whole case study, they’ll still get the gist of the benefit you’ve brought.
  6. Start with a brief benefit statement summarizing the key outcome you bring your customers. Bonus points for weaving in your value proposition!