You Need To Invest In Case Studies Right Now!
As content marketing continues to grow in importance so too does the popularity of case studies.
Case studies are real customer success stories telling how a particular product or service solved a particular problem.
What Makes Case Studies So Effective?
The effectiveness of case studies as a content marketing tool lies in the fact that it is not you talking about your product or service but a real customer who has experienced your offer first hand.
This lends an element of credibility or believability to your sales pitch that helps to persuade in a very cynical world.
Case studies are a valuable form of social proof that helps cut through all the advertising noise and clutter busy people are increasingly trying to avoid.
Modern day customers want the facts, not hype; they want to hear from people who have used a certain product or service and understand the level of satisfaction they enjoyed as a result.
A study conducted by Marketing Sherpa and Knowledge Storm a few years ago in the United States showed that 67% of technology buyers read case studies, which is second only to white papers at 71%.
The study also showed that case studies had a very high pass-through rate meaning they were shared quite frequently. 47% of technology professionals claimed to have passed a case study on to their co-workers. And this is just one industry that has been studied.
How Are Case Studies Used?
Another great thing about case studies is that they have many uses. They can be repurposed over and over again in a number of different formats as the need arises. Some examples of how case studies can be used include;
- Marketing Materials: Having a portfolio of case studies to refer to in marketing materials, let’s say for a trade show, makes a powerful, confident statement of proof.
Newsletters. Case studies help make for a less ‘salesy’ approach to content for newsletters, helping increase the chances of your newsletters being read.
- Lead Generation Campaigns: You can use your case studies as offers or calls to action for email marketing on a direct mail campaign.
- Webinars: It is possible to create a webinar around case studies or at least use case studies to back up claims made in a webinar.
- White Papers: Depending on the type of white paper, case studies can be used to add depth to a white paper and used to help validate claims made in the document.
- PowerPoint Presentations: Case studies can greatly add interest to a PowerPoint presentation again serving to support claims being made in the presentation.
- Sales Team Training: Using case studies in sales training sessions can help explain the benefits to customers and build confidence in the performance of a particular product or service.
- Bylined Articles: Submitting case studies as articles in trade, business or industry magazines is a great way of building a business’s or business owner’s status as an industry thought leader.
The multi-purposing of case studies and white papers greatly increases their value and return on investment.
How Will Your Customers React To A Case Study Request?
The fact that you are choosing them as the subject of your case study is usually taken in a positive if not flattering way.
The use of case studies not only benefits the business creating the case study but can also benefit the customer being studied. A case study is a positive news story highlighting a business that has been successful in overcoming a particular issue. Case studies are featured in marketing materials and on websites giving the customer added exposure in a very positive light.
Understanding The Value Of Case Studies
Case studies have been said to be the most effective marketing and sales collateral that you can have. The main reason for this being that everyone loves a story. An expertly crafted case study can tell a story so powerful that it transforms itself into a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week brand ambassador and sales channel for your business.
So when it comes to connecting with your audience and telling your brand’s story there is no better method than storytelling using your customer’s unique voice backed by statistics and data.
Anatomy Of Case Studies
Although, strictly speaking, there is no specific structure you need to adhere to in order to create your business’s case study, most case studies will follow a similar format:
- The Problem: The beginning of your case study should highlight the specific problem that your customer was facing. This section can create a “me too” feeling with different members of your audience who read and engage with your case study, allowing them to feel as though they are not the only ones who are faced with this issue.
- The Possible Solutions: The second part of your case study will detail the possible solutions to the problem. This part of a case study allows your audience to understand that there are different ways to ‘fix’ their situation and the process that your business uses in order to determine which solution is best for your business.
- The Results: The last part of the case study allows you to highlight those data-driven results that increase sales conversion. Detailing exactly what solution you provided as well as analysing and highlighting the results you were able to achieve.
Because a case study is written as a story your audience is able to connect with it on a deeper level. A case study isn’t ‘salesy’ so there is no pressure when you read it, in essence, a case study should just answer one basic question for your target audience – “What’s in it for me?” And if you are able to achieve this through your case study it will become your best sales channel.
The Benefits Of Case Studies
We all know that content marketing is exceptionally important for SEO (being found on Google), your business, and sales potential – but why is it that case studies offer more benefits than their cheaper to create cousin – the Blog?
- Detailed Information: A case study is the closest thing you can get to original research without investing the time and energy into conducting the research. Case studies are usually filled with statistics and data that is relevant to your target audience and the things they are looking for when deciding where to purchase the goods or services they need to solve their problem.
- Audience Targeting: By its very nature creating a case study allows you to speak directly to your target audience because you are highlighting the very same problems they are trying to solve. Because your case studies are detailed and specific they much more likely to be found, downloaded, read and shared by your target audience.
- Natural Call To Action: The end of your case study is the perfect time for a call to action. By the time your target audience as found and read your case study they understand what their problem is and are already thinking about how you can help them solve it, because of this there is no better time to use a Call to Action than at the end of your case study.
While the time and cost of creating a case study cannot be denied, there is also no denying that their ROI is significant also. Case studies can and should be used in a variety of different ways, namely:
- Lead Magnets: Use your newly created case study as a lead magnet to drive more traffic to your website, increase engagement with your brand and ultimately drive more sales conversions for your business.
- Search Engine Optimisation: The way a case study is created means that by its very nature it is going to keyword optimised for the search terms your target audience is looking. A case study is a report that answers or solves a particular problem – which means if it is created correctly and solves the problem your target audience is facing it will naturally use the keywords and phrases this audience is using to search for an answer.
- Video Content For Website: Turn your written case study into a video for your website and you will reap the SEO benefits.
- Email Marketing and Remarketing: Your case study is the perfect piece of content to use in the second stage of your content strategy. Once your audience has had an encounter with your business, a case study is the perfect way to remind them that you are the best choice when it comes to the product or service that you sell.
How To Get Your Own Case Study Created
Baker Marketing has Senior B2B Copywriters skilled at crafting case studies for small to medium-sized enterprises.
Our 7- step approach to creating compelling case studies ranges from strategic planning of the case study to information gathering to final sign off.
Being a full-service marketing agency, Baker Marketing will even show you how to leverage your case study for maximum return.
Call Baker Marketing today to find out more about how your business can profit from the use of case studies. Phone 8352 3091
Key Factors For Success In Creating Your Case Studies
If you think you are ready to get started on creating your own Case Studies here are a few tips that will ensure you are successful:
- Research, research, research – See what other case studies are available, educate yourself on the topic completely, become the consummate expert.
- Include Statistics – You will convince people more easily with measurable numerical information. Include as many statistics as you can to ensure you prove your point.
- Add Quotes – A case study just wouldn’t be as powerful without direct quotes from your customer
- Provide Multiple Formats – a case study is only a powerful tool if it is consumed, for this reason, it is important that you provide access to it in as many formats as possible.
- Avoid Self Promotion – The biggest tip that I can give you is to avoid overt self-promotion within your case study! If you have created the case study correctly there should be no reason to promote yourself or your business through the case study. The facts, statistics and customer quotes will provide all the sales material you need.