How real results and real stories resonate
Everyone loves a good story. The primary intent of case studies is to tell a story, a narrative about your company and how your service/product has helped others, by solving their problems or improving company success. People connect with stories, and there’s no better method of storytelling in business than using your customer’s voice in a data-backed case study. Without a detailed example demonstrating exactly how others have utilized your product or service successfully, you are stuck with generalized promotional material that may not resonate with your target markets. Clients and prospects alike want to know exactly how your product will benefit them, whether the solution is business or consumer related. A number of benefits emerge from the creation of a well developed case study.
Case studies focus on customer experience. They describe the process and the results of implementing your product from the customer’s perspective. It’s a great way to take the attention off of yourself and to focus on the experience of one of your clients. Future prospects will react well to this because they’ll want to get similar results as the case study example.
Proven Success Stories
Case studies demonstrate how your product has been used successfully. Prospective customers care more about seeing how your product has been implemented than they care about hearing you talk about what it can potentially do in generalized language. In this way, case studies demonstrate success. They prove that you’re able to accomplish what you say you can do, based on real results and real stories, not just theories. Case studies give your company more credibility. They show that people are using your product and having success doing so.
Answers the Big Question for many Prospects/Customers – WHY is your product the Best Choice for them?
Case studies are problem and solution-centric. They demonstrate specific ways in which your product has helped other clients succeed. While some customers may purchase your product based on the fact that a product page claims it’s an optimal solution for their problem, most want to know the “why” behind it. Case studies serve as the foundation for the “why.”
Increase Company Visibility
Case studies increase your company’s visibility on the internet organically. Your story is found based on subject matter which is demonstrated by carefully chosen titles, key words, and distribution placement. There are multiple opportunities to distribute case studies that are free or cost very little. Below is a list of successful outlets for your story.
1. Blog posts: These are the easiest to publish if you already have a blog set up. Just write up the case study as a post and publish. Third party blogs are also a great place to post, as your content will be seen as a credible authoritative piece on the subject matter and less of a promotional piece.
2. Email to Database and Prospect Base: Case studies are better received by current clients and prospects than are “company newsletters” as they provide practical advice on how to use your product/service and a proven example of what your product has accomplished for other customers. A well designed PDF can be easily emailed with little or no cost to you, dependent upon whether or not you utilize a service for distribution.
3. Published Articles: Informational websites and publications are recognizing the power of case studies to pull readers in based on relevant content. This leads readers to view other content present on the site, including ads and promotions, thereby making advertising on the site more appealing and increasing revenue for the site as well as its advertisers.
4. YouTube: Many companies have discovered that visual content plays a major role in the success of marketing today. Instead of writing up a case study, you can create a video that interviews customers and shows how they’ve used your product. This ends up being a rich, interactive experience for prospective clients.
Promotional Material for Sales Team
Companies are always looking for the best way to arm their sales force with promotional materials that present the organization in the best possible light. Making case studies a part of the sales team’s repertoire of sales collateral provides prospects with an inside view of how to use your product/service, how it can solve one or more of the problems they face, thereby enabling the prospect to visualize your product in use for their specific needs.
Vertical Specific Content
It can be a challenge to provide marketing materials that resonate with each of your vertical markets. Case studies provide an opportunity to relate directly to each vertical, in their own language, addressing their unique needs. Companies are beginning to adopt the strategy of writing multiple case studies, each based on a differing vertical they are targeting. You will not likely see a well-developed case study that is vague or general. By nature, case studies hone in on a very specific goal that’s related to your product offering. As a result, you can rest assured your case studies are going to resonate with your target market.
Position Your Brand as Authoritative
Few things are trusted more than statistics and factual claims. Since case studies are built on the premise of researched conclusions, your decision to publish these documents helps position your brand as an authoritative figure in your industry. By regularly producing thought-provoking and insightful case studies, you’ll be able to fast-track your way to becoming a thought leader within your markets.
Case studies can be spun into various other forms of content marketing. They can provide the basis for website content, brochures, videos, demonstrations and published articles, to name a few. This spinoff content could take the form of blog posts, newsletters, video features, or podcasts. Think of a case study as research. Once you’ve conducted the research, it’s fairly easy to discuss the intricacies in more detail.
Provides a Call to Action
In order to experience positive results and high returns from case studies, you need to make sure that everyone who reads the case study makes contact with your company and can be entered into your sales funnel. You can provide an opt in for future content, email links that go directly to sales team members, forms to fill out outlining the prospect’s needs, even surveys that provide a sounding board for your prospects and market research for your company. All of these calls to action provide your company with clearer insight as to what your client base is in need of and considers important in their respective niche.
Studies show that nearly 70 percent of online consumers look at a product review prior to making a purchase. Case studies can satisfy this desire for social proof by highlighting customer experiences and revealing real life results. Well distributed case studies give your company an online presence that is unsurpassed by company websites and paid promotions. They establish your company as a brand authority in your niche, provide promotional material for your sales force and demonstrate product success. Organically increase your visibility by providing your prospective customers with the what, how and why of utilizing your product to satisfy their needs.