Case studies are a fantastic marketing tool. It’s a theme where I’m in grave danger of repeating myself! But repetition leads to consistency – which will reach your ideal audience when your content is helpful for them.
Imagine you’re a marketing manager, about to share a case study on several different social media channels. How do you make each post stand out? And entice the right kind of people to read the full story on your website? Let’s look at 6 ways to ensure your case studies are punching their full power to market your business:
Plan your case studies to match your future goals
You may have lots of happy customers, but if none are grounded in the market where you want to focus in future, you’ll waste time writing up irrelevant stories. Before you start writing, plan your suite of case studies to cover the industries you specialise in and the type of customers whose problems you can solve. Then you can ensure your blogs and social posts are relevant too.
Use compelling storytelling techniques
Case studies are a fantastic way of helping potential customers to understand what you do. The purpose of every story is to show how you helped your customer accomplish their goals. But first, reveal the detail of the pain your client was facing. Highlight the emotions and the struggle, even in a business context. When you’ve helped a customer to tackle a major issue, it will help others see the value in your services. Share your approach for solving the problem using words others can relate to; because they don’t have much time – you need to get quickly to the heart of how you work. I’d recommend showing off the results up front, but saving some juicy facts for the ending. When you use storytelling techniques, a case study leaps beyond a standard client testimonial.
Test your headlines
Writing a hard-hitting headline comes down to who your ideal audience is and your brand style; it’s no different with case studies. Identify who your audience are, and what your ideal customer persona looks like. Then when selecting case studies to feature, ask yourself – is this problem broad enough that a wide range of my audience will relate to it? To write great headlines, focus on the call to action or impact you want to make. When you want to provoke a response, go controversial. When you want to educate, start with “How to”. Or when you want to tempt, talk about “the why” and the results rather than “what you did.”
Include real life feedback
You will attract more attention from your ideal audience when the story is authentic. Pick a case study subject who has had ups as well as downs and before you talk to them, and do the background research with the person in your team who knows the client best. By asking the right questions, you’ll gain a greater insight into their pain points and the emotional impact your business had on them. Plan your interview questions for the customer beforehand based around the information you want to share. Use prompts to explore their answers to get honest feedback. Sharing a brief but clear understanding of the client’s history and the industry they work in will attract people in a similar situation – and authentic wording will help the story resonate with them.
Answer common questions
Your case study story will rank with search engines if you use sentences which answer questions. Find the long-tail phrases which work as keywords for your business and add them into the case study narrative. The thing is, this can affect the quality of your writing. You’ve got to walk a tight balance between boring people by explaining the whole problem and letting your ideal audience know you can help solve it.
Show the results and impact on your client
Case studies are all about demonstrating successful results, so add measurable outcomes into the story – the more numbers, the better. To uncover these, use questions such as:
What challenges were you facing?
And what were the results of using the product/service?
What effect has this had on your team?
How is this helping you save time/money?
How does this affect your customers or enhance your competitive advantage?
Results will hit home when you include them upfront in the headline, but you can save them for the end of the story because you want to keep readers in suspense.
Track the marketing metrics of every case study – levels of engagement and goal conversions. This will help you identify what’s working well and what doesn’t. Use this to tweak your plans and don’t be afraid of testing slightly different approaches and find ways to inject a little humour!
Creating authentic, powerful case studies does take time. Book a FREE consultation if you’d like to understand how to speed up the process – then we can review your options in a Case Study Clinic if you want help to revise your stories.