Use Case Studies to Boost Your Marketing

case studies by David PR GroupSo much of today’s marketing is unoriginal and gray. Lots of websites look alike, many folks are blogging about the same topics (except me), and each day it becomes harder and harder to showcase your business creatively. Today, I want to suggest beefing up your use of case studies in your marketing. Here’s why:

A case study offers a glimpse into how your company operates and shows a prospective customer what you do, what the results can be and how you treat your clients. A good case study gives a prospect a chance to imagine what working with your company might be like in addition to weighing your offers or pricing.

Case studies offer an opportunity to showcase a company’s culture and what makes it different. You get the chance to be authentic, unique, transparent (or whatever the current buzzword is). Let your clients do the talking and offer a real review of your company with less marketing spin.

Here are a few key things to think about when creating case studies:

Find a hook. As a reader, you are always attracted to a hook in a case study. Does the client sell an interesting product? Does a top executive have a non-traditional background? Do they have a long history in business? Every business has something in its story that’s interesting. It’s the job of the writer of the case study to uncover it.

Don’t worry about the numbers. Some clients might be hesitant to participate in a case study because they don’t want to reveal financial information or disclose specific results. If you have found a good hook and can tell a good story, the financial results are less necessary. Besides, you want to focus on customer experience or some other factor in a case study, not just the numbers. Remove the financials (or at least downplay them). and you will get a much better case study.

Get them early. The sooner after a sale or transaction closes will always be the best time to secure a case study. You will get better results from clients who are at their happiest: You just won their case, sold their home or delivered a new product or service.

All about them. With a nod to my buddy Bruce Turkel’s All About Them principles, make the case study about your client and what makes their business interesting. Link to their company on your website and let them know you will be sharing the case study on social media and through other marketing outreach. Your clients will appreciate it, and you may find that other customers volunteer to be the subject of your next case study.

Amp things up with photos and videos. A case study need not be just words. Add photos as long as you can secure high-quality images. And consider a brief video testimonial. One of my clients regularly reminds me that if a picture says a thousand words, then a video says 10,000. These days, it’s quick and easy to record customer videos — just do me a favor and invest in a microphone and a couple of lights if you get serious about it.

At my firm, we love helping companies create case studies. We have experience working with executives and customers at all levels, and finding the right hook is probably one of my favorite things to do as a writer and marketing professional. Let me know if you want to explore the use of case studies on your website or within another aspect of your marketing. Discussing it, at least the first time, is always on the house.

–John

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