Sure, telling a buyer what your business can do for them is important; but it’s also important to prove that your words are more than just words. Case studies are a great form of proof that tells a potential customer what your business has already done in a compelling way. It also gives a customer a better sense of what can be accomplished for them and establishes a level of credibility and trustworthiness. Here’s everything to know about case studies and creating and marketing one of your own.
4 Benefits of Case Studies
Why a case study? Here are 4 important reasons.
Case studies, for the most part, are evergreen. Even if marketing practices have changed, it offers quantitative proof of what the business has previously accomplished. Accordingly, case studies will have a long lifespan.
Use It to Gather Leads
Your business has landing pages for webinars, whitepapers, and more. Include landing pages on case studies as well, as they take a significant amount of time to put together and are among your highest quality content. Further, because readers are interested in your business enough to read a case study, they’ll likely make for better leads.
It’s Doubles as a Training Tool
What better way to train new staff than to catch them up on the company’s previous work? Make case studies easily accessible to new hires. Be sure to highlight your best and most important case studies for a well-informed team.
9 Case Study Tips
Okay, a case study is important, but how to write it? How do you expand its reach?
We break down both drafting and marketing a case study below.
Drafting the Case Study
There’s plenty to keep in mind when putting together a case study. First, figure out logistics – what/who is the case study about? Who’s writing it? From there, conduct the interview, piece the story together, and include visual content.
Choose a Topic
Provided that your business is blessed with numerous clients, decide among them which has the best story to tell. When determining the topic of the case study, ask these 4 questions, which we’ve used for years:
- How compelling is the story? In particular, how strong are the benefits they have received?
- How recognizable is the customer brand?
- How well does the customer fit into the “sweet spot” of your segmentation and targeting strategy? This should include industry, region company size, use case and title.
- How hard will it be to get the case study approved by the customer?
Based on these questions, the best case study would be about an easily recognized brand, willing to let you share their story; the story itself should be both interesting and relevant to the target audience.
To Outsource or Not to Outsource
Should the business outsource? Maybe. Don’t outsource the interview; no third-party will understand the situation like your employees. For the actual drafting? Possibly, provided plenty of information is gathered from the interview.
Nail the Interview
When interviewing, make sure to do a couple of important things. Firstly, come up with plenty of interesting, open-ended, and relevant questions. Secondly, record the whole interview to refer back on later. Third, make sure questions focus on the outcome; this is what readers will care most about. Lastly, strive to get at least 2 strong quotes from the interview; these will be attention-grabbers later on.
Include Something Visual
Depending on the format of your case study, be sure to include photos and videos within the case study itself. It enhances the overall content and helps tell the story. Also, it keeps it entertaining and breaks up the monotony of text.
Market Your Business’ Case Study
The case study is done; now it needs to be in the hands (or in front of the eyeballs) of buyers. Here are a couple ways to amplify its reach.
Case Study Placement
Where the case study is shared matters. Have a dedicated case study page; make this section prominent on the website and easy to find. It may also be beneficial to have new or popular case studies featured on the homepage, so that visitors can discover them.
Create Other Content From It
Video, blogs, or something else: there’s plenty of content to be created from a case study. Providing the information within a new format introduces it to new audiences, who will then click from the content to the case study.
Share it in Newsletters
Use newsletters to amplify all kinds of content, including case studies. When sharing the latest news on your organization, be sure to include the latest case study within the text. Short and attention-grabbing text should describe what the study is about and entice readers to click. Pictures enhance the message, so don’t be afraid to use these as well!
Include it in Email Signatures
Be proud of your company’s content! Encourage employees to share the latest case study in their email signature. Describe the study’s topic and follow it with a link to the study. HubSpot provided a great example below; use this for inspiration.
Social Share Them
Case studies refreshingly stand out from the usual marketing content, like blogs and articles. You’re not just talking about marketing, you’re talking about what you’ve done with it, which makes for a very interesting read.
Stand Out With Exceptional Case Studies
Use case studies to capture leads, prove your business case, or mix up the content strategy. Choose the right topic and conduct an information-rich interview, then put it all together and push the case study out through email, social, the website, and more. Provide buyers with the content they really want – concrete proof that your business will do what it says it will do.