3 Things All Marketers Need to Know About Case Studies
By Carly Stec
"Expanded social media influence by an average monthly growth of over 40%."
"Moved critical keywords to 1st page of Google."
"Developed landing pages, averaging a 24% conversion rate."
This is how we've helped our clients, but do your prospects know your success stories?
Landing a spot in our main navigation bar, case studies have the ability to provide our business with the unique benefits it needs to close more sales and generate greater profits.
They convey the value of a product or service by tapping into the customer's story that came first versus the success they've seen since implementation.
Purchasing decisions can be made easy if prospects have the right information at hand, so give it to them. Here's how.
Why They Matter
These days, before making a purchase, consumers are known to do a little research.
With the Internet at their fingertips, it's easy for them to shop around and sift out the good, bad, and ugly thanks to online reviews and ratings.
Case studies serve as positive reviews for your business. They provide researching prospects with the evidence they need to pin your business as a credible one. One worth doing business with.
By providing prospects with insight into the effectiveness of your product or service, you are ultimately giving them peace of mind when it comes to making an investment.
At the end of the day, they have pain points, and case studies have the ability to assure them that not only are they not alone, but that you're going to take care of them.
Comforting, isn't it?
How It's Done
1 - Get Approval
Before you write up a case study on any of your clients as you please, be sure to ask for permission. While some clients may not wish to be involved, others will be glad to have you put their name out there.
Make it clear where and how you will be incorporating these case studies into your strategy (blogs, main navigation, social media.) Often times client's will be more likely to participate if they know they have an opportunity to increase their exposure through your efforts.
2 - Gather the Facts
If a client agrees to move forward with the process, it's time to round up the information you need to piece together their shiny success story.
Here you'll want to interview them to gather as much information as possible, and hopefully a few constructive quotes while you're at it. Let's be honest, we love quotes, prospects love quotes, and they serve as easy and effective bits of content to share.
In order to be sure that you have enough information to whip up something noteworthy, be sure to ask questions that explore the following:
- Who is the client?
- What industry are they doing business in?
- What is it that they do exactly?
- What metrics do they use to measure success?
- What were their goals prior to the introduction of your product or service?
- What were their pain points?
- What did they need most from your product or service?
- ** What did your business do to reach those goals and alleviate their pain points? **
- ** How successful were you? **
3 - Put the Pieces Together
With all of this information in place, it's time to craft a compelling story.
Sticks to the facts, touch on their roots, and highlight their struggles and successes.
You want be sure that the client's main paint point or issue is addressed right off the bat. This helps to set up the context of the situation, making it easier for prospects to engage further.
Following their pain point, it's time to lay out the solution offered up by your product or service. How did you come up with a plan to overcome their challenge? What did it take?
Following the solution should be the measurable results. This is where you want to use real numbers to back up your argument. Ultimately you're looking to prove your ability to deliver on a strategy at this point.
If it's possible to incorporate screen shots of your analytics, do so. The more concrete evidence of actual improved numbers that prospects have access to, the better.
How to Capitalize on Them
Now that you have them, it's time to do something with them. At this point in the article you should be aware of how beneficial these gems are, so we want to be sure that they aren't collecting dust on your website.
I mentioned before that we include our case studies in our main navigation to ensure that prospects browsing our website have easy access to the success stories we've been a part of.
If you have a business blog (which you should), feel free to incorporate your client's case studies into a relevant post to get more eyes on them.
Beyond the written word, we've seen a lot of businesses see success in utilizing visual content to bring their case studies to life. Whether it's a video or an infographic, this approach to case study production and distribution is effective because visual content is highly shareable.
Check out how KISSmetrics turned a regular case study into something more with this infographic:
Case in point, get creative when it comes to sharing your success.
You want your case studies to be easy to find, easy to read, and easy to extract value from. While some prospects may prefer reading a blog-style post, others may be more drawn to something visual that quickly highlights the results.
Wondering where to begin?