Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Case study: How B2B marketers should use curation to highlight their work

Last updated on August 20th, 2015 at 02:40 pm

In my primer on content curation for B2B marketers last year, I explained how to use curation to complement creation and take your B2B business to the next level. Now that you have the basics, time to talk case study, specifically curating the customer experience to show off your products or services.

Whenever I need a useful and relevant example of social media strategy to inspire my writing or clients, I visit the MarketingSherpa site, a research firm that tracks and reports on marketing practices to help marketers improve their results.

I have chosen the following case study: B2B Marketing: Tracked advertising rebuild decreases overall online spending by 60% without affecting sales. Here is a screenshot of the post below.


Before I go further…

What do I mean by content curation, exactly?

Unlike content creators, curators do not add to the daily noise of published posts. Instead, they separate the wheat from the chaff, compile, organize, and share with the intent of saving customers time. They provide extra value and help a brand shine.

In this day and age, curation and content marketing are very complementary tactics. When done well, both allow you to serve the needs of your customers while promoting your products and services in a subtle manner.

Remember that there are as many ways to curate content as there are curators. It means that you and/or dedicated staff get to decide the length of your posts and the amount of information included.

At the end of the day, contextualization is what will entice prospects to click links or make a purchasing decision.

Why this example works

  • The beginning of the post is a summary – From the get-go, readers know exactly what they will find. The call to action (“Learn more”) and stat (“60% decrease in overall online spending”) also help draw attention to the success factor.
  • The post is well organized with sub-headers: “The Customer,” “Challenge,” “Campaign,” “Steps,” “Results,” “Sources,” “Creative Samples,” and “Related Resources.” – Readers can skim and focus on the parts they want.
  • Paragraphs are short (two to three sentences only).
  • The language is focused on the customer, its challenges, goals, and achievements.
  • Quotes are included – A great alternative is video testimonials. Check out HubSpot’s Case Studies page for inspiration.
  • Visuals help the campaign steps stick – Sharing a few examples of what you did to make your customer’s life easier is always a great idea.
  • Related case studies are linked at the end, which saves readers time.

The MarketingSherpa Library

If you have created or curated content on your corporate blog for a while, chances are that there is a treasure trove of information for your prospects and current customers to peruse. Unfortunately, if you neither make it easy for them to find nor repost it occasionally on social networks, chances are that nobody will ever notice old content.

A search box is a good way to start. Also, why not take things up a notch with aggregation?

Considered the most common and basic form of content curation, aggregation consists in bringing together a series of posts or links in a catalog-style format. It can be automatic or manual.

The MarketingSherpa website has a great area (click the “Articles” tab in the menu) that aggregates all the posts its team has published since 1999. You can filter results by date, content type, industry, transaction, topic, and most viewed.

sherpa librar

(Source: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/library.html)

Create a dedicated page on your company website and add your case studies there. If you have many, organizing them under categories will help.

If your website runs on WordPress, you can improve the visitor experience with Table of Contents Plus. This plugin will display all the categories at the top of the page. Each item in the list is clickable and leads directly to what your visitor is looking for.

A word of caution

Depending on your industry, you may have to deal with sensitive information. Some businesses and organizations also prefer remaining anonymous.

So, before hitting the “publish” button on your corporate blog, make sure that you have your customer’s permission in writing.

Photo via Flickr user Susan Sharpless Smith


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Cendrine Marrouat
Cendrine Marrouat
Cendrine Marrouat is a content creator & curator, social media trainer, author, and photographer. She is also the founder of Social Media Slant, a blog helping small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs to figure out the basics of social media. "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win", her latest social media ebook, was awarded a 2015 Small Business Book Award in the Social Media Category. Website: http://cendrinemarrouat.com