Many businesses operating today across a variety of industries fail to prioritize creating long-form versions of social proof (more typically referred to as case studies).
In this article we’ll aim to dispel some of the myths around creating case studies and why even if your client base is relatively small or if your company is quite new it is still a worthy investment of your time to create a case study creation process to send to your early clients.
Social Proof Data
We made gathering social proof (in the form of customer testimonials & case studies) an important marketing goal in 2020 in order to show potential users prior to signing up for our service, how our existing customers benefited from using our platform.
As part of our website migration, being able to include customer feedback prominently on our homepage and landing pages was a key aim from the early days of designing the new site.
Process to Gather Social Proof Data
Before we had a formal process for asking our users to provide case study feedback we undertook research on the best way to approach users, what questions to ask and what types of accompanying documents we needed to create for compliant sign-off prior to publishing their feedback.
All of this research was compiled into a process document that can be referred to in the future for any similar work to be carried out.
If as a marketer you are looking for buy-in from your management team or key stakeholders within your organization then you may also wish to compile a similar document to make it clear what resources you will require and how you wish to communicate with key clients.
Your document needs to include clear arguments on why you are conducting this activity, the potential benefits of publishing case studies can have for your organization, and statistics relevant to your industry on how social proof assists with the likelihood of conversion.
In the event that uptake of your initial outreach isn’t engaged with (as so often is the case when prompting users for feedback), you may wish to include the next steps in your case study acquisition plan to offer access to exclusive features or another benefit to incentivize user cooperation.
When it came to finding which users were more likely to be the most responsive prospects for a case study we were able to evaluate internally based on platform usage and feedback previously given to our onsite chatbot.
Marketers should aim to work closely with those responsible for measuring product and feature usage as well as those responsible for providing help and support so that you can use this data to evaluate which users show signs that they would be willing to provide feedback in their usage trends and previous feedback.
By taking this approach we were able to gather multiple testimonials and were additionally able to create our first full case study.
Once our new blog was launched in October 2020, our case study soon had hundreds of views, with over half of those views belonging to the correct in-market segment of our typically converting trials. It is likely that this will also be the case for your own organization if you make prioritizing creating your first case study an important marketing goal.
According to our Hotjar heatmap, from a sample size of 2000, 15% of our users reach the expanded testimonials section and 74% reach the first initial “your in good company” banner featuring logos of some of our most notable customers.
Social proof has continued to show its value when we’ve subsequently created partnership materials and presentations to help show potential partners what our core goals are and how we meet the needs of our customers.
Eleanor Bennett is a digital marketing specialist at managed Open Distro for Elasticsearch platform Logit.io. She writes on technology & marketing, with a special focus on informative pieces to help IT decision-makers consider tools and software to secure their operations and scale for business growth.