White papers and case studies — is there a difference? Is one better than the other? If you have a product or service to sell, there are many marketing tools you can use. A case study is like white paper’s older, amped up cousin. If you have the data on hand to create case studies for your products, you’ll find that they are some of the best ways to market your brand.
White Papers and Case Studies: What’s the Difference?
White papers are reports that present a product to their audience. The goal of white papers is to show their readers how this product solves a problem. The report is based on facts about the product and they may be written in such a way as to take on a thought leadership role, promote the business that developed the product, or generate leads. White papers are an invaluable way to boost your authority and marketing power within your industry.
Case studies, on the other hand, are a dream come true for report writers. Not only do they contain some of the key characteristics of a white paper — such as the problems your product can solve — but they also present actual case scenarios. For instance, if you run a payroll company, a white paper will outline your services and its potential benefits. A case study does all that and tells a story about a real business that outsourced their payroll to you with positive results.
Case studies also come with several other advantages over white papers. Because they don’t delve as deeply into the product specifications as a white paper, they’re generally more interesting and easier to read. It also takes less research to develop a brilliant case study, and therefore, less time and money.
The biggest difference between a case study and a white paper is that white papers are mostly used to spread the word about your product. Case studies, on the other hand, spread the word while building trust among your customers. Providing examples of real companies happily using your product reassures potential customers that your product is everything you say it is.
How to Market with Case Studies
So now that you have a few case studies, what do you do with them? First of all, make sure you have links to PDF downloads on your website. Include them in your library of information about your products, put them on the individual product pages, or do both — it doesn’t matter, so long as your customers can find them easily.
You can also use them in lieu of testimonials. Because they provide real data, potential customers tend to trust them over vague praise. Another interesting tactic is to base how-to articles on your case studies or use them as an example of how your product should be used. It’s an effective way to say, “Look, Company X did this, and you can, too!”
If you want to bulk up your content marketing plan, case studies are the way to do it. Get in touch with your many happy customers, and use their stories to spread the word about your product.
Amber K loves dealing with facts and statistics. She is happy to weave those details into a compelling story about your brand.