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Hey SaaS Marketers – Here Is How Your Target Audience Feels About Case Studies

Written by: Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Kristen DeGroot

Just because we are in marketing doesn’t mean we have to keep shooting in the dark regarding what does or doesn’t resonate with our target audience.

team working on new business project

If we get scrappy and put ourselves in the shoes of our target customers, it’s pretty easy to identify what’s going to make an impact. Last time you made a big business decision, what made you convert? It’s likely that you sought out forms of social proof to get an idea of how customers like you used a service and experienced positive results. Aka, case studies.

I have been in the SaaS space for 12 years and the B2B space for even longer. Based on a few clues, which I’ll dive into momentarily, case studies have always been the best tactic to leverage when it comes to landing a customer close to converting.

Just like you’ve probably sought out case studies in the past, so is your target audience. So, let’s dive into all things case studies in the SaaS industry.

Getting a pulse on your target audience

Understanding what motivates and converts your target audience will identify the angle and pain points your case studies should address.

There are a few ways to get a pulse on your target audience.

  • Learning what businesses like yours are doing and reverse engineering their strategies

  • Consulting with colleagues in your industry and ask them how they’re landing customers

  • Some good old-fashioned research in the form of a survey to your target audience

  • Analyzing how you got the customers you do have and how they found and chose your company

What you will find when you look at what your competitors are doing and analyze what your target audience wants is that one thing will be very clear. You need to publish case studies continuously.

One thing to keep in mind is that case studies are usually used to convert a lead close to becoming a customer to actually becoming a customer. Meaning, you still need all your thought leadership and other lead gen efforts.

Gold mine: I found an industry report on SaaS case studies

Not only do you need to keep up with marketing trends in your industry, but it’s also essential to keep up with case study trends as they change as customer preferences change.

This report from Uplift Content on 2023 trends and insights on case studies in the SaaS industry gave me a few “aha moments.”

  • According to an overwhelming majority of SaaS marketers, case studies are their 1 tactic to increase sales

  • Small companies need at least 18 case studies, and large companies should have at least 64

  • This year, SaaS companies are making more of an effort to publish video case studies because potential customers prefer video

  • 62% of SaaS marketers say that they have trouble getting customers to participate in case studies because their legal team advises against it

  • The number one way SaaS companies are getting case studies in front of their target audience is via the sales team

My aha moments that I just listed are only a fraction of the fascinating data points in the report, so I hope you read it for the sake of your case study strategy.

How to get your clients to participate in a case study

You know you want to produce a few case studies, and I will tell you that the most challenging part is getting customer permission and participation.

However, with a little incentive, getting participation is easier than you may think. Remember that case studies are extremely valuable and worth the budget to offer incentives.

In the past, here are a few incentives that have worked for me:

  • A $100 Amazon gift card

  • Giving them the option to answer your questions via their choice of a call or email

  • Free access to your platform or services for a month

And I have a tip. Don’t rely on the CEO or higher-ups at the company to participate in your case studies. They’re pretty busy. So, a lower-level employee using your company's platform or service is often more willing to participate and has just as good insights.

Best practices for leveraging case studies

Once you or your copywriter has created your case study, it’s time to shout them from the mountain tops. Here are the ways I leverage case studies:

  • Case studies are meant to convert leads, so don’t gate them with a lead capture form

  • Make them easily available on your website

  • Email them with a personalized note to leads who are about to convert

  • Guest post on relevant publications talking about your case studies and link to them

  • Ensure that sales are in the loop so that they can send relevant case studies to leads they’re working

  • Ask participants to share them on their channels to get more visibility

Summary: I want to do better with my case study strategy

Now that you know your target audience is craving your case studies, it’s time to start pumping them out.

Not everyone has the writing skills or a solid understanding of how to produce a case study, so there are options. You can hire a freelancer on UpWork or you can go with a professional service like Uplift Content.

I own an agency for agencies, so if you’re a SaaS agency, I would love to help you with your case studies, and you can contact me here.

If you want to take case studies on in-house, that’s great! Just follow the best practices that I outlined, and you’ll be on your way to converting more leads than ever before. When I started writing case studies for a SaaS company I was at, it really helped me to read examples and come up with a template that worked for me so here is a list of great examples.

Does your company have a case study you are proud of? I’d love to check it out, so please share in the comments below!

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and visit my website for more info!

Kristen DeGroot Brainz Magazine

Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kristen DeGroot is the CEO of The Campfire Circle, an agency for agencies. She has been helping agencies grow for over a decade. Kristen has an English writing degree so a lot of her strategies that she implements for her clients are content driven. Basically, Kristen grows agencies so that agency owners can spend more time on what matters: Doing awesome client work.



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