The best validation for B2B businesses is their customers. Case studies make great press releases and I work with many companies that don’t even realize how often industry trade magazines are looking for content that validates product offerings, especially in the enterprise. An easy way to make your customer your #1 fan is to help them gain recognition and do some free PR.
Leveraging customer case studies to do PR is a great way to get press for you and your customers. Here are four keys to getting a great case study from your customer for media relations.
When do you ask your customer?
Typically when you just win a customer you are excited and may want to announce the relationship. If it is a big brand that people know that may make sense (if they let you announce it). Otherwise, if you’re using this customer as an industry validation then you’re going to want to wait to do the case study until you see some results.
However, the key advice we give our clients is to build a case study and press release into your contract. This is critical because as you see successful results they will already have an expectation that you may be using them for media relations. They will know upfront your intentions to leverage them for marketing and if they are marketing savvy, they may want to work with you to get this done quicker.
The right time to visit the actual case study/press release process is about 1-2 months into your engagement when you know that 1) the relationship is working 2) the customer is happy and 3) they are seeing positive results that you can leverage.
What do you include?
Aside from being proud of your customer and your results, you want to make sure that your case study is solving an industry pain point. Make sure you are highlighting the top pain points for customers in that industry in your headline. This will make it much easier to pitch media as a relevant hot topic. As a bonus, you’ll be able to attract potential customers that share that pain point or pain points.
Turn your case study into a press release.
The first step in getting ready for media is to create a press release from your case study. If your case study is packed with awesome results this won’t be hard. Always go for a killer headline that will attract the readers you are looking for.
You don’t have to include all the details of the case study in your press release, focus on the highlights and make sure you get a customer quote to validate your story.
When do you share with the media?
I typically will share with the media about 1-2 weeks before we plan on issuing a press release around the case study. If your plan is NOT to do a press release (which is an option always) you can shop around the case study to industry trade magazines. They typically will want an exclusive and maybe even to interview your customer, so make sure that you have the green light and the right spokesperson.
Before going to media always know:
Who your internal spokesperson is.
If your customer is willing to be interviewed for media opportunities
Who your customer spokesperson will be and who can schedule
How you’ll share the case study (dropbox, PDF, etc.)
Where your media kit is located
With all this in place, you can successfully create and pitch your customer case study as an amazing validation point to your brand. As always, good luck and let us know if you have any questions.