In a nutshell, a case study is a powerful short story, usually in video or written format. They are an in-depth look at how a customer has benefitted from your product or service. This is a great way to show your potential clients the benefits of what your product or service can do and demonstrate your business’s values.
All this helps potential clients get to know, like, and trust your brand and can even provide insights that could result in new initiatives for your business.
Case studies are also highly versatile and can be used on your website, social media, brochures, newsletters, proposals, and P.R. They are a great way to build brand awareness, generate leads, and increase conversions. In fact, one study suggested that case studies were:
- 20% more influential
- 35% more memorable
- 50% more trustworthy
Than other forms of content marketing. Pretty impressive, right?
What makes good case studies?
The great thing about case studies is that they are a subtle lead-generation tool and, if written well, should take the reader on an immersive journey. One where they can see how much better their business/life will be once they have used or product or service to solve their problem.
Any good case study will comprise the same format; describe the challenge or pain point, demonstrate the solution, and, most importantly, highlight the benefits. However, you must also engage your readers, tell a story and always make an emotional connection.
So, now you know why and how the next step is to choose your ideal customer. Try to use a customer that is happy to use their real name, as using a customer that doesn’t want to be named means the case study can lose some of its impact. If a customer is unsure, explain the mutual benefits, such as free publicity or a link back to their website from your case study.
Can you write your own case studies?
The simple answer? Of course. It’s your business and marketing, and you decide what you do yourself and give to someone else. However, suppose you’re not confident writing for your business or don’t enjoy it. In that case, I highly recommend using a copywriter specialising in writing case studies to ensure you get the best results. Now, a good copywriter may cost upwards of £200, so remember, the R.O.I. from case studies is higher than any other form of content marketing and, once written, will increase your leads and conversion for months, even years to come.
So, if you do decide to use a copywriter, always ensure you are using someone reputable and ask to see examples of previously completed work – any good copywriter will have a portfolio they can share.
Once you’ve decided on a copywriter, give them a clear brief. Share branding guidelines, expected word count (500-700 is standard), the product you want to promote, and the benefits you wish to highlight. Some copywriters (like me) can also interview your chosen customer to save you time and ensure they can write the most engaging content possible. However, this varies from writer to writer, so always check that the writer offers this service if it’s something you would like done.
Of course, if you want to write it yourself, ensure you have someone else check it after, as we can often overlook mistakes in our own work.
Promoting your case studies
As we discussed earlier, you can share your case study with your target audience in many ways. So, let’s have a look at them in more detail:
This is obvious, I know. Have a dedicated section on your website for case studies. You may already have this for testimonials, and it’s up to you if you have an area for each or concentrate on case studies, as they are considerably more powerful than testimonials alone.
Social media is great for sharing snippets from your case study as engaging graphics or sharing the link to your website with a caption that piques interest.
You probably wouldn’t want to do this with every case study; instead, choose a case study that particularly stands out or is relevant to the product or service you want to highlight and include it in brochures, newsletters, proposals etc.
If you are selling a specific product or service and have created a landing page, adding a relevant case study can help convince your ideal client to click that buy button.
If you know publications that are particularly relevant to your target audience, you could send the case study as a P.R. piece. Now, the media is unlikely to publish a marketing case study as it is too focused on selling, so ensure it highlights the customer experience and aims to tell a story with a topical angle.
Once you know which publication you want to approach, write a summary of the key points and email it to the editor. Don’t pitch to several publications at once, as most editors want an exclusive piece, which could cause a problem if you are accepted by more than one at a time. Furthermore, be prepared to shorten your case study to fit the space of the publication.
And that’s it! Now, reach out to a happy customer or client and get your case study out there.
As a Virtual Marketing Assistant specialising in content and copywriting, helping businesses attract and nurture their ideal clients to grow their sales lights me up. Drop me a message today if you need help identifying your perfect client, perfecting your messaging, or marketing your services.
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