Any business, large or small, benefits from client testimonials. For a freelancer like me, a 5-Star Google review is like SEO gold. But for any business, having the ‘social proof’ of genuine case studies can make a real difference to your bottom line.
But why are case studies important for your business? Reviews and testimonials only tell half the story. Having a case study detailing how you helped a customer solve their problem can be a highly effective marketing and lead generation tool for your business.
What are case studies?
In the marketing world, we hear a lot about the power of storytelling and how it’s used as a tool for persuasion. Used well, and you can immediately create empathy with your customer. Speak to them on their level – telling them you understand their problems or pain points – and they’ll be itching to find out more about how you can help them.
This is basically what a case study is, or rather how it works. Using a story-based structure, they describe how a customer or business problem was overcome by using your business, product, or service.
Detailing your process and your customer’s positive experiences. It’s a sure-fire way to make your business the authority in your sector or industry. And while customer reviews have their place in business, case studies dig a little deeper.
The main point to remember is that case studies are real – based on actual events with actual customers. So they’re more believable to people straightaway. And with the majority of sales decisions based on believability – and trust – you’re onto a good thing.
Why use case studies?
The aim of a good case study is to tempt the reader into finding out more about you. To ask for more information, and to get them one step closer to buying from you.
By using the story of a satisfied customer as a prime example of your business in action, your case study will tell others how good it is. People love to read stories about other people. If you can tell them how you’ve helped them solve a problem, they can relate to it – because they’ve got the same problems.
Does your business sit in a competitive market? A case study can help set you apart from your competition, explaining the value you can offer.
Is your product or service more technical and not easily explained in a few words? An engaging case study can make it clear for people. In these cases, education is key. The more information you give your potential customer, the easier their buying decision becomes.
Case studies, though factual, are people-focused and less formal, making them more interesting for people to read. Based on real benefits, it can create immediate credibility for you. And without any of the sales talk or self-promoting publicity found in other marketing too.
Can a case study help me?
In a word – yes. You might be a freelancer, an SME, or a global corporation working in any B2B or B2C sector. Either way, you’ll have a project story to tell about your customer. And, as I said earlier, that can be a brilliant lead generation tool.
When anyone wants to buy or research something, they jump online and Google stuff – it’s now second nature to us. So when you appear in their search results, they’re hoping to see useful information. And that helps them make a decision – especially if they’re spending a lot of money.
Depending on what you sell or offer, is your website loaded with options, choices, or specifications? That might be way too much to take in at the start of a potential customer’s buying process. Case studies make what you’re all about easier to take in.
They break things down into a simple, but effective, formula:
– the customer’s challenge
– looking at the solution
– focusing on the implementation
– the end results
By adding in a compelling customer quote – even when anonymity is important – it reinforces how you’ve met their needs and solved their problems. And, if you’re in the B2B marketplace, adding specific results such as savings, revenue gains, or ROI always helps illustrate the value you’ve offered your customer.
Using case studies in your marketing
So now you know how and why case studies can be so important for your business, what should your next step be? Building case studies into your marketing plan could open up a whole new opportunity for your business.
Writing effective business case studies is a service I offer to businesses of all sizes – including yours. Taking your background information, I combine research and interviews to tell the whole story. So why not use their potential to promote your product or service and increase your bottom line?