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10 A/B Test case studies and their convincing results 0

Posted on July 24, 2016 by Rob Petersen

a/b test

An A/B Test is a strategy in marketing where two versions A and B, are tested against each other. Half of viewers see one version and half the other. Both are sent to the same destination page where an action is required.

This is done to learn from real behaviors which versions does better at getting visitors to do what you want. An A/B Test is used for webpages, landing pages, marketing emails, and ads.

Need examples? Here are 10 A/B Test case studies and their convincing results.

#1. ADEXPRESSO

a/b test

AdExpresso, an optimizer for Facebook ads, used different copy in this A/B Test. Copy in Version A said you get “pro tips” versus “daily tips” in Version B which also mentioned “increase your ROI.” After a few days, Version A drove over 70 new Likes while Version B drove 0. Very quickly, this A/B Test isolated the message that was more appealing.

#2. BARACK OBAMA

a/b test

Even the President has done an A/B Test. In this test, the objective was to see if a shot of the President or a photo with the First Lady and two dinner guests would be more likely to convert. The thinking was if people could see just how close they would be sitting to the President, this would increase their interest. The photo on the right lifted conversions by 19%.

#3. BLIVAKKER

a/b test case studies

BliVakker is one of Norway’s leading online cosmetics retailers with about 20,000 visits per day. A developer pointed out that the Facebook login was adding significant complexity to their internal systems and processes. So was it really worth it? The login page without the Facebook Connect increased conversions by 3%, which at Blivakker’s scale translates to about $10,000 in extra sales each week.

#4: BODY ECOLOGY

A/B Test

An eCommerce store offering health-related products, ran an A/B Test where they eliminated their drop-down menu for products on the homepage. They thought that presenting a product category page in place of a drop-down menu would improve sales. They were right. When they removed the drop-down menu for products, revenue soared by 56% in just two weeks.

#5. CALIFORNIA CLOSETS

A/B Test case studies

In this A/B Test, Version B looked as if it should be better: the headline copy was snappier, the sub-head clearer, but instead Version A increased leads by 115%. Why? Simply because the copy in Version A was designed to tie in with and complement the PPC ads that drives users to the next page. The lesson was the sales funnel consists of many elements, making them work together increases their effectiveness.

#6. COMSCORE

A/B Test

ComScore, a cross-platform measurement company, ran an A/B Test for their product pages. Their original product pages displayed the minimum viable product for social proof: a customer quote. They experimented with different designs and orientations, plus the addition of a customer logo, to see if a different visual treatment would make their social proof convert more visitors into leads. Using a vertical layout with the client logo displayed prominently on top of the testimonial in Variation 1 increased the conversion rate of the product pages by 69% compared to the original.

#7. HUBSPOT

a/b test

It might too minor to make a difference, but HubSpot, an inbound marketing and content marketing company, found that changing the CTA button color on a landing page from green to red increased clicks by 21%. Red may connote warning or stop but it is also known to be eye-catching. Red, in general, is not used as a button color nearly as often as green. And the 21% difference was huge.

#8. MEDEINREICH

A/B Test

MedeinReich, an online computer training company, ran a A/B Test of the service offering on their homepage. Their hypothesis was by replacing ‘course categories’ with ‘best selling courses’ on the homepage they would boost engagement. They found that introducing their hottest-selling services on their home page boosted engagement by 41% in just 20 days.

#9. PAPERSTONE

A/B Test

PaperStone deals in office supplies. They found out that if they display competitors’s higher prices for specific products made conversions jump. They showed competitors higher prices on product pages to increase clicks on ‘Add To Basket’ and their overall website conversion rate. It worked. Conversion Rate jumped +10% on this A/B Test of 12,000 visitors over 2 weeks.

#7. REGONLINE

 A/B Test

A good landing page communicates information quickly and efficiently. That’s what RegOnline, a software solution for events, proved. It used good copy and also good typography to achieve this. Version B did this much better than Version A. It had three bullet points, each reinforced with a tick, as opposed to words in speech bubbles. The removal of the tabbed navigation also helped Version B. It achieved a +89.9 lift in free account sign-ups versus Version A.

Do these case studies convince you of the results your business could be seeing with an A/B Test? Do you need a partner to help create and measure A/B Tests?

33 inspiring B2B digital marketing case studies 0

Posted on November 15, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

B2B Case Studies

  • 86 percent of B2B companies say they are doing content marketing
  • Just 38 percent say it is effective
  • 21 perecnt are able to track a return on investment (ROI) (source: Content Marketing Institute)

Benefits from marketing and attribution of results always seem harder for B2B companies than B2C. Maybe it’s because the buying cycle takes longer, more people are involved in purchase decisions and sales are made for rational, not emotional, reasons.

Is it harder or are we not looking hard enough?

If you need convincing, here are 33 inspiring B2B digital marketing case studies.

CONTENT MARKETING

  1. ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch.
  2. CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. 778 contacts were engaged with a 70% open rate (vs. 10%), 2 engagement worth $250k in revenue.
  3. DEMANDBASEA B2B marketing cloud, helped B2B marketers make the right content technology investment by using a white paper, infographic, webinar, Slideshare and a live presentation to spotlight tools that can maximize the power of content. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business.
  4. FISHER TANK: Makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks. With clients in the fuel industries, waste water, pulp & paper and other industrial and municipal areas, projects tend to be big (multi-million dollar) and take a long time to sell (12 months and longer). For more than 60 years, the company has made its sales primarily through cold calling and referrals from existing clients. So it took some moxy to launch a content marketing strategy online. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million.
  5. LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed.
  6. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities. The campaign also included a two phase nurturing program. 1,700 new contacts were identified along with 31 new opportunities worth $1.8 million.
  7. OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested.
  8. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
  9. SAP: The global strategy was aimed at enabling cross-cultural information to be efficiently shared around the company. SAP Latin AmericaOne year after implementing this strategy SAP Latin America had more than 100,000 fans and followers (an increase of 900%) and achieved a 17% interaction rate across  the region, while a campaign featuring a social app targeting specific buying centers drove more than 12,000 visitors and a 15% engagement rate. has four Facebook pages, four Twitter feeds and two LinkedIn accounts. These profiles are split out by language (e.g. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs. 80% of interesting, engaging content for its community.
  10. XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. CISCO: Established a social media listening center. It listens to more than 5000 social mentions a day on Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels. Cisco has been able to control outside agency fees, avoid other customer and partner interaction costs, increase team productivity, and identify new sales opportunities. The social media listening center has had an ROI of +281% in 5 months to generate an annual benefits of $1,596,292.
  2. MAERSK: Danish shipping company Maersk first began using social back in 2011 to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market, increase employee satisfaction and get closer to its customers, It focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados and where its staff come from. Its presence on each network is tailored to that platform, so for example on LinkedIn it promotes job vacancies and publishes articles about the work culture within the business, while on Instagram it encourages followers to post photos of its ships using the hashtag #Maersk. Maersk now has more than 1.5m Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Google+.
  3. DELL sought to go where its customers are — on social media — by offering technical support, responding to customer concerns and building business digitallyThe company launched @DellCares, a program that uses social media platforms and online communities to address customer questions and reply directly to customers through tweets and other response methods. According to Amy Marquez Bivin, Social Media Outreach Manager, 98 percent of customer issues responded to through @DellCares are resolved without customers needing to work with an agent and 85 percent of social-media-assisted customers with negative initial opinions of Dell reported a positive opinion following the support experience. The program is also generating an average of $265,000 in additional weekly revenue.
  4. SHIPSERV: It’s difficult to imagine the maritime industry getting to grips with social media, but Shipserv one of the leading industry marketplaces, proves that in can be done very successfully. As part of a wider marketing strategy and customer engagement strategy, various social approaches were taken, resulting in greater site traffic, alongside increased brand awareness and lead opportunities. From an initial $30,000 social media marketing investment, it’s estimated the overall results achieved would have cost more than $150,000 through traditional media.

SOCIAL CRM

  1. ALLINA HEALTH: Used CRM to manage its data warehouse. It’s identified benefits that include reduced patient length of stay, reduced admissions, and improved health outcomes in stroke, depression, and angioplasty treatments. Within 2 years, the CRM initiative had an ROI of +152% and generated $1,052,828 each year.
  2. GET SATISFACTION: A leading online customer community platform that companies use or customer support, idea submission, marketing and sales questions, and capturing positive feedback, focused traffic driving strategies on search, social media, blogging, and building a content community. The CRM strategy achieved an ROI of +104% in month one, +168% in month two and +248% in month three.
  3. TYROIT: is Europe’s largest manufacturer of bonded grinding, cutting-off, sawing, and drilling tools generating $416 million in annual revenue from more than 70,000 unique products produced in 19 plants for 60 countries. Tyroit used CRM to integrate products and solutions to reduce the number of contact points and transaction costs. It increased bottom line costs by +25% and produced an ROI of +183% within 2 years.

SOCIAL SELLING

  1. AT&T:  Put together a new sales team to re-build business relationships with a Fortune 100 company in Atlanta. They decided to take an entirely new approach that heavily favored building relationships through social media. They had to try something new.  Relationships with a key client had suffered in the past five years, creating strain and sales had dried up. With training from Mark Schaeferand support from our internal team, they began implementing a content strategy aimed at strategic “persons of interest” from the former customer. Inside of 18 months $47 million in brand new business was awarded to AT&T, directly attributable to social media outreach.
  2. IBM: Traditional ways of finding B2B customers for hardware and software products – telemarketing and email – were not producing the same results when applied to selling web-based services such as cloud computing and data security. IBM launched a program called “intelligent listening” within social media to learn what conversations about cloud computing were going on, what trends and issues were being discussed, and what the hot-button topics in the field were for users. Sales reps could simply check an RSS feed, find some content that fit the context of any discussion they were seeing, and upload them to social media and also to their new individual rep profile pages within the IBM site. The result was 10 orders the first day, and orders for product during the quarter that were 4X higher than during the same time the year before.
  3. INCONTACT: A call center software company, trained half their team to learn and engage with customers through Social Selling using LinkedIn and the marketing automation software, Eloqua. Within a year, the half of the team that was trained saw a 122% increase in revenue for those sales reps using LinkedIn; 157% increase in revenue for those sales reps using LinkedIn & Eloqua. Now the entire company is trained in Social Selling Here is a brief video to explain the story.
  4. INDIUM:  Social Media in manufacturing is a rarity. Several of their engineers (17 or so, and 73 blogs.) write blog articles to share their expertise with customers, prospects and people with questions about the technical applications related to solder. They shifted from traditional white papers to blog articles, supported by extensive measurements. Video is part of the mix too, to develop high value conversations, and this rolls over into trade show attendance. The video highlights key points for success and insights. SEO improved significantly. Leads increased significantly while trade-show costs decreased 75%.
  5. HUBSPOT: Focused social media on solving customers’ problems as a way to earn leads. For example, HubSpot is first to release guidebooks their target market needs to create success. When something changes in online marketing, HubSpot is there with a guide to manage the change. They share the best advice, fast and have earned a reputation as THE educational resource for the market they serve. They give knowledge and advice (content) away free and make sure it’s the very best stuff possible. This (now) famous software start-up exploded onto the scene in 2006. Two years later they hit $2.2 million in sales and $52 million 4 years later.
  6. LINKEDIN:  Had to be converted to social selling. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. Ralf VonSosen, the company’s head of marketing for sales solutions notes, “We started seeing a 50% increase in leads to meeting conversion rates.”
  7. LOGMYCALLS: A call tracking service, practiced a“150 Blog Posts in 50 Days” effort. “With a company our size, the commitment has to be significant in order to produce 3 unique and useful blog posts a day,” says Inbound Marketing Manager, McKay Allen. “After all, we also produce 2 original marketing webinars each week, monthly case studies, a variety of marketing White Papers, and some humorous and awesome marketing call tracking videos.” The result of this original and relevant content: A 400% increase in leads within 90 days.

LINKEDIN MARKETING

  1. AXWAY: Is a software service that manages, runs, secures, and monitors all your business interactions – emails, files, messages, services, events, and processes. Although Google Adwords was successful at generating leads for Axway, competition for top keywords was fierce and drove up conversion costs. Axway used LinkedIn Ads specifically targeting the job titles, industries and job functions. They tested over 30 ads with custom landing pages. The LinkedIn campaigns generated +25% conversion rate with the lowest cost per conversion ever achieved.
  2. JMF INTERNATIONAL TRADE GROUP: Is a business consultancy and contract manufacturer run by James Filbird. What Jim did is something any of us could do to grow a business but most of us don’t. He: 1) kept his profile up-to-date, 2) joined 50 LinkedIn Groups, 3) scoured Group Digests, 4) engaged in discussions, 5) connected, 6) moved the conversation offline, mostly through Skype and 7) re-evaluated his groups and contacts, regularly. He attributes the company he built to $5,000,000 in revenue largely to LinkedIn.
  3. GOSHIDO: a software solution that makes is easier for people around the world to work together and collaborated, used LinkedIn to find seed capital for its own creation.  This was done by identifying and leveraging connections who could be potential investors. Approximately $150,000 was raised.
  4. HEWLETT PACKARD: is the first company to hit 1,000,000 Followers for a Company Page. They also set up a specific Discussion Group to attract small businesses that has 5,500+ members; 75% who actively engage in discussions and who are 2X more likely to recommend HP. Since a video tell more than 1,000 words, here’s the story.

WEBINARS

  1. INSPIRED MARKETING: Sells digital materials and online training programs about using social networking tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to create and market a successful business. In 2010, the partners presented more than 300 webinars (both their own and through other people). They investment could be tracked to over $2.5 million in sales for 2011. “In January 2011, we had sales of $250,000 from just seven GoToWebinar events,” says President and Co-founder, Lewis Howes.
  2. LUMEDX: Is a small healthcare technology company with 100 person staff. It needed to stand out in the face of large brand competition. Lumedx used webinars to cost effectively build awareness of its cardiovascular information and imaging systems product, drive lead generation campaigns and build customer rapport. Lumeds increased contact with over 500 clients, gained competitive edge over much larger companies and drove over$600,000 in annual sales.
  3. MARKETO: Is a leading provider of marketing analytics software. The company recognized webinars as a key piece in the marketing tool kit to promote thought leadership and generate leads. As with many webinars, people registered but didn’t always attend. They used a simple, recorded phone message reminder in addition to email. Although th ephone reminder added $2 for every registrant, it increased conversion of people who attended  from 26% to 48% and, according to Marketo, was well worth the investment in terms of sales results according to a company rep.
  4. PINPOINTE: Is  a provider of on-demand email marketing automation services for mid-market and large enterprises. Pinpointe depended upon free,15-day trials of its service together with traditional sales outreach to generate leads and win new customers. However, the company wanted to find additional ways to increase awareness, leads and sales. When webinars were added, 1000 new leads per month are added; 25 become customers who each generate $200/month in Pinpointe services adding $6,250 and $75,000 to the bottom line.
  5. SEAGATE: Is a large 52000+ staff technology company, Seagate wanted to bypass traditional B2B channels and market its new product directly to end users. Webinars facilitated a B2C product launch and attracted 1500+ attendees with zero advertising budget. Seagate also used webinars to assemble far-flung speakers for webcasts without travel costs. Seagate exceeded initial sales unit goal by 300 percent, doubling sales forecast within one week of launch. Once they put the webcast on YouTube, a viral marketing effect created 38,800 within 4 months.

This post was originally featured on the {grow} blog from Mark Schaefer’s Businesses Grow. We’re grateful for the significant exposure it received. We’re republishing for our readers.

Did you find one relevant to your business? Did these B2B digital marketing case studies convince digital marketing can work for your B2B business?

10 case studies where web analytics insights drove ROI 0

Posted on August 09, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

web analytics

What good is data if you don’t know what to do with it?

Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for the purposes of understanding consumer behavior, improving user experience and optimizing web usage.

This might sound intimidating to some but the reason why companies do web analytics is simple: To find insights that help make better business decisions.

Who does it well?

Here are 10 case studies of companies that used insights from web analytics and drove ROI.

  1. BT FINANCIAL GROUP: Is a leading provider of superannuation, investment and insurance products. The BT website focuses on service and usability with an online application form as one of the key conversion points. Landing pages with different combinations of the design elements for testing are created to optimize the user experience and maximize conversions. With conversion testing, BT increases form completions by more than 60%.
  2. BUILDDIRECT: Does business in more than 100 countries with an expanding portfolio of building materials. Though the company is growing rapidly, management is eager to improve the efficiency of its online spending. Through web analytics, BuildDirect finds home buyers who purchase a sample have a 60% likelihood of returning to the site within the next 30 days and placing a full order,  BuildDirect uses GA’s A/B testing capabilities to perfect its marketing approach. With insights from web analytics, BuildDirect increases sales by 50%.
  3. HARVARD UNIVERSITY: To expand the digital reach of two established schools, Harvard Summer School and Harvard Extension School, Harvard ran a 12-month SEO and PPC campaign. They use web analytics as an audit to identify technical setbacks, content positioning, to create new landing pages for search traffic, and top-of-funnel paid search awareness campaigns. The result are: 1) 89% increase in visits from organic search, 2) 75% increase in registrations from organic search, 3) 30% increase in CTR with AdWords and 4) 124% increase in ROAS with AdWords.
  4. KEEN FOOTWEAR: Is an outdoor shoe manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon. The company needs a better way to measure, analyze, understand metrics that mattered on their social network provide meaningful insight. A framework involving reach, engagement, influence, sentiment and effect is developed. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within each area are established. Using the metrics: 1) Page Likes increase by 92%, 2) Post Reach increase by 342%, 3) Post Engagement increase by 137% and Active Users increase by 213%.
  5. MOTOREASY: Is a company that sells extended auto warranties. Motoreasy’s Web site is re-designed to give you a quote for an extended auto warranty on your car. This involves: 1) Tell people what you want them to do (fill in the form) and 2) tell them the benefits of doing so(you’ll get a quote which could save you money). The telephone number is featured prominently at the top, making it easy for them to call if they found filling out the online form too tedious.  These changes reduce the drop out rate from 65 percent to 29 percent overnight. This increases the completion rate of the sign up page from 31% to 69%.
  6. NIKE GOLF: Is the golf-specific retail branch of Nike. Although there is the benefit of the Nike brand, there is also the lack of a focused keyword strategy on the Nike Golf website. It is very difficult for search engines to crawl for content. Research helps make decisions like whether target keywords should be “golf apparel”, “golf clothing”, “golf clothes” or “golf sportswear.” As a result of the research, Nike Golf sees a 169% in total increase in organic search traffic.
  7. ON THE BEACH: Offers value for money flights and hotels to the world’s most popular beach holiday destinations, providing consumers with a huge selection of travel products, including 50 million airplane seats and more than 30,000 hotels. On the Beach finds that their generic search is undervalued under last click reporting, a discovery that allows the company to build a custom attribution model and increase budget on generic campaigns. This helps drive a higher volume of site traffic, holiday sales and market share in the travel sector, which in turn led to a 25% increase in ROI.
  8. PBS: Helps individual PBS producers and local PBS stations create and promote each section within PBS.org. PBS wants to develop a coordinated approach to analysis and reporting that would inform their future strategic decisions. Analysis of search engine trends leads to an increase in PBS traffic by 30%. Web analytics is set up to allow PBS to evaluate the way users consumed video. As a result, PBS increases both conversions and visits by 30%.
  9. PUMA: Has rich, dynamic web site; but, just as PUMA constantly improves its products, it also believes in making site changes that help visitors easily achieve their goals. While testing its web site header, it finds a variation that increases online orders by 7.1%. Puma more than doubles the amount of time visitors spend interacting with PUMA brand content, such as news, videos, and photos. It results in 47% more traffic.
  10. RYANAIR: Is Europe’s largest low fare airline. 99% of Ryanair’s bookings are made through its website making it the company’s single most important marketing tool. Web Analytics helps understand email and visitor behaviour. Ryanir is able to increase click-through rates by 200%, decrease bounce rate by 18%, increase visitor traffic by 16% to strategic pages and double revenue generated from their email campaigns.

We, at BarnRaisers, are big believers in how data-driven results helps make better business decisions. Helping companies connect the dots between strategy, execution and results is a big part of what we do.

To these case studies help you see how insights from web anlaytics can drive your businsess’ ROI?

 

10 compelling characteristics of great case studies 0

Posted on August 03, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

case studies

Case studies are a form of problem-based learning, where you present a situation that needs a resolution. Case studies are a great way to improve learning, gain involvement and encourage immediate use of newly acquired information and skills.

But case studies are also grounded in stubborn facts that must be faced in real life situations. A case study can be a couple of paragraphs or 20 pages or more.

Case studies may differ in length, depth of research and market situation, but great case studies share similarities.

Here are 10 compelling characteristics of great case studies.

  1. TELL A STORY: Case studies stories are told to make a point or teach a lesson. They explain a journey. One that has a clear beginning and end. In this journey, the audience learns of heroes, villains, obstacles, extraordinary actions and imaginative thinking. In the end, meaningful change results.
  2. HAVE A LOGIC FLOW: Instead of chapters, case studies follow an outline that establishes a logic flow. The right outline is one that teachs the lesson you want the audience to learn. It can be as simple as: Situation, Solution, Results or Customer, Challenge, Journey, Discovery, Solution, Implementation, Results or one that is more customized to your desired result.
  3. RESOLVE A PROBLEM: The logic flow explains a problem that is resolved. At the beginning, great case studies provide perspective and context that fully explain the problem. Who is company? What do they do? What is the problem they were facing? How is this situation different for the past? Why is this relevant to your business? This establishes credibility and relevance with the audience and makes the resolution have more impact at the end.
  4. FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER: The problem and the resolution always has the customer at the core, especially their relationship with the company or brand. In most cases, the company’s relationship with the customer has changed. Maybe the company stopped listening or customer needs changed or they have outgrown the product or service the company offers. But there is something that has been lost that has to found in a new way.
  5. PRESENT INSPIRING ACTIONS: One of the most important part of case studies is the action the company takes to overcome their problem. It should be logical but profound; smart, imaginative and showld motivate the audience to do something similar for their company.
  6. AVOID JARGON: Case studies should avoid terms such as “market leading” and “unique.” No one believes them. They diminish credibility and relevance.
  7. ARE GROUNDED IN HARD FACTS: The conclusion for all case studies is results. They should include statistics to show the difference made and benefits gained. Hard fact demonstrate how the application of the actions produced real-life results. Ballpark figures and/or indexes (if figures are confidential) are fine.
  8. ARE SKIMMABLE: More than one case study is generally given to make a point and teach a lesson. You may be presenting them or your audience may read them without you. Organize and write case studies so it’s easy for your audience to get the information you want them to take away.
  9. WORK AS SALES TOOLS: Case Studies are not about praising past work as much as courting new prospects. Whether you are responsible for the case study or merely telling the story, case studies are a reflection of the type of challenge you rise to, thinking you admire and results you recognize as important.
  10. HAVE A CALL-TO-ACTION: The lessons in case studies are meant to inspire others to action. It’s best to help them take the first step with a call-to-action with what you or your company offers.

If you spend any time on the BarnRaisers website, you’ll see we are big believers in the power of case studies, In fact, we’ve written a book you invite to download our free ebook, 166 case studies prove Social Media ROI.

Were these components of great case studies convincing to you? Are there any other you would include?

15 B2B case studies show how content marketing drives ROI 1

Posted on January 25, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

B2B Content Marketing Case Studies

  • 70% of content marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 35% say they have a documented content strategy (source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 21% say they are successful at tracking ROI (source: Ad Age)

Content marketing is more important to B2B businesses. Who is succeeding and why? Below is a infographic that details B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015.

Here are 15 B2B case studies. They show how content marketing drives ROI with B2B businesses who:

  • Know their audience
  • Don’t create content for the sake of creating content
  • Use specific content solutions to impact different stages of the buying cycle
  • Integrate internally with their teams
  1. ADP: Developed a content marketing campaign to connect and engage with their target audience on a ADP solution using white papers and a diagnostic assessment tool. The campaign generated over $1 million in new sales opportunities with several deals closed within the first 3 months of launch.
  2. CISCO: Has long been engaged in social media activity, often running campaigns alongside its ongoing engagement strategy. To demonstrate the extent to which this has impacted the company, it launched a new router using only social channels and saved an estimated $100,000.
  3. CROWE HORWATH: the public accounting firm used 48 pieces of content in 4 different topic areas, this campaign targeted C-level prospects in financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets across the buying cycle. Content tactics included: executive briefs, case studies, infographics, checklists, Q and A, and Brainshark video. 778 contacts were engaged with a 70% open rate (vs. 10%), 2 engagement worth $250k in revenue.
  4. DEMANDBASEA B2B marketing cloud, helped B2B marketers make the right content technology investment by using a white paper, infographic, webinar, Slideshare and a live presentation to spotlight tools that can maximize the power of content. The results of the campaign generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar participants, 5,000 views on Slideshare and $1 million in new business.
  5. FISHER TANK: Makes giant, above-ground welded steel tanks. With clients in the fuel industries, waste water, pulp & paper and other industrial and municipal areas, projects tend to be big (multi-million dollar) and take a long time to sell (12 months and longer). For more than 60 years, the company has made its sales primarily through cold calling and referrals from existing clients. So it took some moxy to launch a content marketing strategy online. The plan including sprucing up the website, integrating a blog and social sharing, and offering some valuable content by free download. The campaign increased web traffic by 119%, traffic from social media by 4800%, lead conversions by 3900%, quote requests by 500% and new qualified sales opportunities by $3.4 million.
  6. IBM: developed a social sales program for their inside sales team. They identified their target audience and monitored social media platforms for relevant topics and conversation. The company trained their sales team to nurture online relationships and drive prospects to team members’ websites. As a result of this focus on social sales and personnel training, IBM saw a 400% in sales.
  7. LINKEDIN:  Had to be converted to social selling. After the release of tools such as Sales Navigator and TeamLink, LinkedIn’s own sales team began seeing significant results. Ralf VonSosen, the company’s head of marketing for sales solutions notes, “We started seeing a 50% increase in leads to meeting conversion rates.”
  8. LOGICALL: A company that focuses on inbound and outbound customer management solutions, uses content assets such as emails, microsite and ebook, Logicalis developed a thought leadership effort that supported sales teams by enabling custom messaging based on the prospects interaction with the campaign. With a target audience of about 2,000, nearly $8 million in new pipeline business was closed.
  9. MAERSK: Danish shipping company Maersk first began using social back in 2011 to raise brand awareness, gain insight into the market, increase employee satisfaction and get closer to its customers, It focuses on the stories that emerge from within the business, such as how it is helping fuel a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados and where its staff come from. Its presence on each network is tailored to that platform, so for example on LinkedIn it promotes job vacancies and publishes articles about the work culture within the business, while on Instagram it encourages followers to post photos of its ships using the hashtag #Maersk. Maersk now has more than 1.5m Facebook fans (of which around 15% are customers) and 12,000 Twitter followers, as well as active accounts on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+ and
  10. OPENTEXT: A software solution for enterprise information management, created a personalized new customer onboarding site offering a variety of assets (white papers, checklists, product pages, ebooks, case studies) and content to welcome new clients and provide upsell, cross-sell opportunities. The campaign also included a two phase nurturing program. 1,700 new contacts were identified along with 31 new opportunities worth $1.8 million.
  11. OPTUM: A health services business, created an integrated marketing campaign to support the launch of a new solution, support sales and build thought leadership. The content marketing mix included: advertorials, display ads, email, direct mail and a campaign website. The successful campaign earned a 23.5 lead to conversion rate, 475% increase in website traffic, 2,500+ resource downloads, 28% increase in YoY blog followers and $52 million in contract value of new business with less than $ 1,000,000 invested.
  12. RS COMPONENTS: The electronic product distribution company created a specific social hub, spanning four different languages, having the purpose of being a collaboration and engagement hub for Electronic Design Engineering. One of the centrepieces of the site is the free tool store, which includes a free design tool that’s been downloaded more than 60,000 times and the site itself gathered more than 45,000 members within its first 12-month period.
  13. SAP: The global strategy was aimed at enabling cross-cultural information to be efficiently shared around the company. SAP Latin AmericaOne year after implementing this strategy SAP Latin America had more than 100,000 fans and followers (an increase of 900%) and achieved a 17% interaction rate across  the region, while a campaign featuring a social app targeting specific buying centers drove more than 12,000 visitors and a 15% engagement rate. has four Facebook pages, four Twitter feeds and two LinkedIn accounts. These profiles are split out by language (e.g. Portuguese and Spanish) rather than country and aim at achieving a split of 20% promotion material vs. 80% of interesting, engaging content for its community.
  14. SHIPSERV: It’s difficult to imagine the maritime industry getting to grips with social media, but Shipserv one of the leading industry marketplaces, proves that in can be done very successfully.As part of a wider marketing strategy and customer engagement strategy, various social approaches were taken, resulting in greater site traffic, alongside increased brand awareness and lead opportunities.From an initial $30,000 social media marketing investment, it’s estimated the overall results achieved would have cost more than $150,000 through traditional media.
  15. XEROX: Created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, added 20,000 new contacts, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.

Do these case studies convince you of the value for content marketing for B2B businesses. Do the trends below help you with direction with your business? Does your B2B business need to learn how to use content marketing effectively?

B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2015

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