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Tuesday, 22 September 2015 08:43

11 Keys to creating an effective case study

Do you often tell “on-the-fence prospects” the same remarkable story about how your business previously helped a desperate customer, to entice them to buy?

If so, you’re on the right track.

Story telling is a valuable resource for business success.

However, changing your approach to create customer satisfaction stories that can be repeatedly shared and viewed digitally is imperative.

But you will need much more than a sheet of paper with a bunch of testimonials about how amazing your product or service is. Smart buyers need to be convinced…and nothing is more convincing than a case study.

Case studies incorporate promotional marketing with customer evidence to tell a successful story of the business coming to the rescue for the customer.

Why does your business need a case study?

  • To help the potential customer better understand the purpose of your business
  • To put the potential customer into the shoes of a happy customer
  • To prove that your business solves common, relatable problems
  • To display your product’s or service’s many benefits
  • Especially important if your product or service isn’t conventional or easily understood

A case study is a professional document that a business can show a prospective customer to illustrate and explain how the business’s product or service will help and benefit the customer. Often used for business-to-business model companies, case studies benefit all types of businesses, of any size.

Keys to creating an effective case study

  1. Hire a Professional Writer: The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have hired a professional writer to create this case study. It can be painfully obvious that a case study was not written by a professional writer, and it can do more damage for your business’s reputation than help.
  2. Narrow Down Audience: Figure out the vertical markets that you want to target and plan to create a case study for each audience to ensure each particular group of people is targeted. Each audience has different challenges and goals.
  3. Pick a Story: Pick a happy customer that each audience can relate to. Focus on the customer’s distinct problems and how his or her goal was achieved by implementing your business’s service or product.
  4. Consent: Make sure your business uses a case study release form or has written consent from this customer via email to validate that you received permission to use this customer’s purchasing story for your business’s monetary gain. Never assume that it is OK to create a case study about a customer - always ask nicely and consider providing an incentive for the customer for his or her permission.
  5. Pictures: Take lots of pictures of your business operations. Routinely get plenty of pictures of your employees performing their regular tasks, and especially the creation process of the product or the implementation process of the service. Images of your customers with the product or service are also important. Pictures are your business’s most irrefutable and compelling evidence. Pictures are also often looked at before people read text.
  6. Questions and Answers:  Create a questionnaire for the customer to fill out or perform an interview to get all questions answered. The more complete and detailed the information, the better. Always make sure that the information is accurate to the customer’s knowledge and double check facts when possible.
  7. Tell the Full Story: The case study should illustrate a complete story, a complete circle. It should talk about the customer, the customer’s challenge, the journey, the discovery of your product or service, your perfect solution, the implementation of the solution and the results. Any comparison of before and after situations is also beneficial.
  8. Takeaway Message: The case study should also incorporate a key takeaway message that convinces readers that your product or service is the answer for them, leading to conversions.
  9. Include Key Metrics: Statistics, facts, prices and figures should be included in the case study, if necessary. Numbers display proof and are easily relatable.
  10. Skimmable: Display the case study information in chronological order, separated by different subheads. Making sure that the case study is easily skimmable is important for prospects who want to make a quick decision about your business. Be creative with the format, but being concise and simple is also important.
  11. Use Them: Once you get case studies created, use them! Share the case studies with your sales and customer service teams for them to use regularly. Put the case studies on your website. Consider email marketing and offer a shorter version of the case study in the email, with the full case study as an embedded link or an attached pdf. Promote the case studies on social media and social bookmarking sites. The goal is to make people click to read the case study, and then end up browsing your website. This drives traffic to your site and increases the likelihood of creating conversions.

Will your company benefit from case studies? Of course it will.

Contact us today!

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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