Using case studies and white papers as marketing tools

Case studies and white papers are powerful marketing tools with multiple uses:

On Your Website — Improve search results by adding lots of technical words to your website. The more keywords the better!

Build Your Database — Offer the case study or white paper in exchange for registration to capture email addresses.

As an Article — Team up with another company to showcase a technical process that will help other manufacturers. Trade publications and websites are always looking for material like this if it is well written and useful to readers.

A Promotional Piece — Print your case study or white paper and include it in your brochure or marketing package. Create an email newsletter with it.

White Papers vs. Case Studies
What’s the difference between case studies and white papers? Simply put, a case study focuses on a specific example about a specific product and customer or group, while a white paper is more general information.

Which is best for your company?
It depends. If you can get a customer to agree to publishing the experience they had working with your company and you have impressive results to share, a case study with concrete results is very powerful.

On the other hand, if you have a new technology or limited experience with the product, a white paper is an excellent way to show how your product works. The advantage of this strategy is that it allows you to focus on the products and processes you want to promote and not the ones with the best information.

Developing Case Studies

Case studies examine a specific company and its experience with a product or service. They often include quotes from a key person at that company and are designed to help prospects see an example of how a solution worked for someone else.

Case studies typically start with an explanation of the specific problems faced by the study participant. They go on to introduce the reasons for selecting the ultimate solution and the final outcome.

The core elements of a case study include:

  • The specific problem
  • The solution
  • The bottom line results

Here is an example of an MDC Case Study:

Developing White Papers

Where a case study focuses on a very specific case example, a white paper will examine general business problems and how to solve them (or describe processes). A case study can also be used in conjunction with a white paper, typically as a follow-up sales piece.

The core elements of a white paper include:

  • General problems faced by readers
  • A discussion of the solution
  • Business benefits

Here is an example of a white paper that a client developed: