The Value Of Creating Business Case Studies For Your Website
Showcasing how your product or service works and how it can benefit your target audience is essential for a successful marketing strategy. Case studies not only do this, but they can also help build brand trust.
A case study examines how your product or service was used in the real world to solve a customer’s problem or need.
In a way, a case study is one part product demonstration and one part customer testimonial. However, case studies are more detailed, which makes them useful pieces of content.
What Are The Advantages Of Case Studies?
Because a case study tends to be a longer, in-depth piece of content, it takes more time to create. Search out as much evidence and real-world examples as you can to back the case you’re making.
However, the benefits of case studies are well worth the time and effort. Here are a few examples of how case studies can benefit your business:
Showcase Products And Services
Merely telling your prospects how your product or service is used isn’t always enough. Prospects want to know how it can be used as a solution to their specific challenges or problems. And they want to see that it works. A case study provides a real-world example of how your product or service can address a specific challenge, making it much more appealing to potential customers.
Case studies can ultimately function as more detailed product or service demonstrations.
Engage Audience More Effectively
Case studies are structured in a way that follows a narrative. The customer is the protagonist, their challenge or need is the conflict, the use of a product or service is the climax, and the resulting benefit is the resolution. Of course, case studies aren’t limited to just individual customers; they can also focus on customer groups.
Either way, the use of storytelling makes the case study more engaging to your audience than traditional forms of promotional content (such as product descriptions or demonstrations).
Generate Brand Trust
Since case studies allow real-life customers to share their views and experiences, you will create more brand trust. People tend to trust what other customers have to say about a brand much more than what a company has to say about themselves. Explaining in detail how the customer used your product or service to address their challenge or need will make readers trust in the value of your product or service.
Provide Social Proof
Case studies function as in-depth customer testimonials. The customers used in your case studies are real customers. Their thoughts and opinions are typically conveyed as part of the case study’s conclusion, which means that they act as positive reviews. Such social proof makes your case even more convincing for your readers.
Use As Free Word-Of-Mouth Advertising
Obtaining permission to use a customer’s experience in your case study provides you with free word-of-mouth advertising. The social proof and brand trust that a real customer can provide is invaluable. Their presence and participation in your case study can help to drive positive word-of-mouth about your brand.
Assist Sales Personnel
Case studies are an exceptional sales enablement tool. Your sales personnel can use relevant case studies to nurture leads towards the bottom of the sales funnel. If your sales personnel understands the specific challenge that the lead is looking to address, they can provide a case study highlighting a customer that had a similar problem.
Preparing For Your Case Study
Compared to other types of text-based content, case studies are usually more detailed, making them longer than most, making your case study’s structure essential to effectively communicating your value.
The last thing you want is for your case study to be unclear about the points it’s trying to make. To prevent this from happening, plan out your case study before you get started. Outline what the scenario of the case study is and determine the points you want to highlight. Give some consideration to what you want readers to take away from reading the case study.
By doing this prep work before you begin writing your case study, you’ll keep the case study focused and on track. Ultimately making the case study easier to read and understand for your audience. These specific steps will help you to plan your case study:
Develop Your Buyer Personas
Case studies will only be useful if they are relevant to your audience. Before you begin creating a case study, develop your buyer personas. Once you have your personas, you can plan your case studies to address your buyer personas’ specific needs and challenges to create content relevant to your target audience.
Identify The Goal Of The Case Study
Having a singular goal will give your case study more focus. For example, is your goal to showcase a specific function of your product? Is it to showcase the product as a solution to different needs or challenges? Or maybe it’s to showcase how happy your customers are with the results. While your case study may cover all of these, identifying a single goal will help strengthen the case study overall and help prevent you from adding content that’s not relevant.
Interview Past Or Present Customers
Once you’ve identified your audience and your goal, it’s time to do some research. You will want to find the perfect customer to highlight for your case study. Reach out to customers who used the product or service you’re focusing on for the reason that you want to emphasize. Ideally, the customers closely resemble your buyer personas. Ask the customers if they’re interested in participating.
If they are, you’ll need to interview them to determine whether they are a good example for your case study. Remember that the more attractive the customer is and the more compelling their story is, the more engaging your case study will be.
Determine The Format And Structure
Traditional case studies are generally text-based. It’s the one format that requires the least amount of resources. However, there are other formats that you can choose, such as video, podcast, and infographic formats. If you decide on a text-based case study, keep in mind that you could repurpose it into an infographic, or even create an infographic to use as a visual aid that supplements your case study.
Choosing The Right Template
Your case study’s layout and design is an essential element that you don’t want to overlook. You will need to choose a template that makes your case study easy to scan and read, and that’s visually appealing. An ugly looking template can give readers a poor first impression. Fortunately, there are many case study templates that you can download online and use, although you could design your case study template.
Downloading an existing template might be more comfortable, but creating your own will give you complete control over every template element.
How To Write A Case Study For Your Business
Once you’ve planned out your case study and chosen a template to use, you can begin writing your case study. The quality of the content and the writing will significantly impact the case study’s overall success. Keep these few tips in mind that will help you create high-quality case studies for your business:
1. Choose The Right Subject
Interviewing customers will help you find the right subject for your case study, but you must know how to identify the right topic. The following are the three elements that make for a successful case study:
- The challenge or need – Choose a customer whose challenge or need your product or service successfully solved. The higher stakes the problem is, the better. For example, if you sell a stain remover, then the need to remove a giant wine stain from an expensive white carpet has higher stakes then removing a sweat stain on a t-shirt. You should also make sure that the customer’s challenge or need matches one of your buyer personas.
- The solution – The solution has to be the use of one of your products or services. Your product or service should also be used for its intended function. A weak solution would be if the customer used your stain remover in combination with another product — or for another purpose altogether, such as applying it to their wood table to give it a darker color.
- The results – The more impressive the results are, the better. You want to showcase your product or service in the best possible light, after all. Highlighting a customer who thinks your product did the job but that it wasn’t anything special is pointless. Underwhelming or acceptable results aren’t what you’re looking for when creating a case study.
2. Decide What Voice And Tone To Use
Case studies should be a little different in tone than your blog posts. A blog can be more casual and informal. A case study is a presentation of detailed information. However, the style you choose to write in depends on your brand’s identity.
Case studies are written in both first or third person, which means either is acceptable. Don’t worry if direct quotes from the customers you’re highlighting differ in tone either since they are direct quotes. One thing to keep in mind as you choose what voice and style are appropriate for your case study is consistency. Whatever you choose, it should be consistent across all of your case studies.
3. Create A Curiosity-Provoking Title
First impressions matter. Don’t just assume that your audience is interested in everything you have to say. If your title is bland or vague, readers will be less excited to check it out. The title should also convey what the case study is about, or readers won’t know what to look for as they read through the case study. Try to create a concise title with a singular focus, that is relevant, and provokes curiosity.
Add Real Numbers To Your Title
Numbers help a title stand out and give a clearer picture of the benefits to your readers. If your product is twice as effective as a competitor’s product and you want to highlight that in your title, then use “2 times as effective” or “100 % more effective” instead of “twice as effective.” Numbers help draw the eye and help generate more interest.
4. Avoid Using Jargon
Although your case study should be detailed, you should avoid using too many technical terms. Keep your language as simple as possible and avoid jargon, even if you think it’s common corporate terminology. The last thing you want to do is to confuse your readers.
5. Use Good Storytelling Structure
Your case study should have a narrative arc, meaning that it should have a beginning, middle, and end. Good storytelling relies on structure, so stick to the traditional narrative structure when writing your case study. Introduce details and events in chronological order so that your audience can follow along easily.
6. Encourage Your Audience To Contact You
Once someone has read through your case study, capitalize on having educated the reader and having increased trust in your brand by encouraging them to contact you. You should also inform the reader about the type of information considered acceptable to divulge in case studies. Your case study will be more accessible since your readers will feel more at ease following up with questions about the specific details or products mentioned in your case study.
7. Add Visual Interest
Even with a well-designed template, a case study can be a little visually boring. Walls of text don’t draw the eye, after all. Make an effort to make your case studies more visually appealing by having a designer add graphics, text boxes containing key facts, charts, and more. This adds visual interest to your case study and makes it look more professional.
8. Publish Your Study
Because case studies are effective at building brand trust, demonstrating your company’s solutions, and nurturing your leads, you’ll want to publish your case studies where they can be found. Consider posting new case studies to your website’s blog. You can also add it to your resource section. Case studies also work well as gated content that can help to drive email sign-ups.
Effective Business Case Studies Help Nurture Leads
A good case study can demonstrate real-world situations in which your product or service is the perfect solution to a specific need. Case studies educate your target audience while also providing proof of your company’s value. They can also help bolster brand trust due to their focus on real customers. Case studies are invaluable for nurturing leads through the sales funnel.