If you run a business that consumers love, it’s likely that you could benefit from marketing your product through a case study. Not only does a case study educate you as much as it does your marketing base, it also offers an opportunity to build relationships with the public while organically marketing. Additionally, you are contributing to your field of work with facts and data about a specific product, service, or strategy.
There are so many benefits to be gained from case studies, but deciding where to begin can feel daunting. This list gives you some great tips for a successful case study, including:
- Think About the Product First
When you begin to structure your case study, the product and the customer are paramount. If you offer various products, services, or digital applications, choose what you want to market carefully. It’s wise to go for a popular product that has already garnered positive feedback, rather than a new item that you don’t have a great sense of in the marketplace. However, if you strongly believe in your new product, case studies can be a great way to shed light on them.
- Dare to Be Choosy About the Customer
There’s nothing shady about wanting to find a great customer who loves your product, fits your brand, and understands your mission. The goal is to find someone who will tell his or her story about your product in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. This ideal customer’s genuine excitement and appreciation for the product will draw in new buyers organically. You don’t have to select the first customer you stumble across. Choose carefully, as it can mean the difference between succeeding or wasting time.
- Don’t Let the “Ask” Stop You
Take advantage of natural opportunities to ask your customer if he or she is interested in being a part of a case study. In the situation of offering a digital service to another business, the process will likely be mutually beneficial, in that it will allow the client’s business to shine as well. Even if it is an individual solely marketing a product, there are many great incentives for a case study. Consider offering savings, specials, or a gift card to the customer who is agreeing to be a part of your case study.
Asking the question can be nerve-racking, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be outspoken or great at self-promotion. Bring up the idea of a case study when you are assisting the customer. Be sure to explain all of the ways it can benefit them, as well. Note to the customer that, at the end of the case study, you will publicly share the results on your website. In turn, this will bolster their web presence.
- Put in the Hard Work
If your goal is to create a case study that properly showcases your product with the correct information, branding, personality, and tone – you need to write it yourself. This streamlines the process of including your company’s key messages, the aspects of the product that you want to highlight, and also your pre-determined call to action (CTA) and unique selling point (USP). Here are the most important questions to answer in your case study writing:
- What problem was your customer trying to solve?
- What other solutions did they try that were unsuccessful?
- How was your product different?
- What results have benefitted them since using your product?
If you do choose to hire someone to write your case study, be sure to provide them with clear information, and to select a professional writer with experience in marketing.
- Catch the Reader’s Interest
Draw your reader in with great headlines, eye-catching pictures, and exclusive content about your product. Write a headline that plays to the problem your customer was experiencing and how your product solved it. Likely, the potential customers viewing your site want to see similar positive results. Do your best to pique their interest with compelling writing and imagery.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Get Specific
When writing out your case study, convey the information in a way that relates to potential customers in a quantifiable, understandable way. However, being understandable doesn’t mean you have to shy away from specifics. Keep your wording less technical and more user-friendly, but find compelling ways to showcase your data finding. Specific data, quotes from the customer, and images from the study all legitimize your product in the eyes of the potential customer. Don’t miss an opportunity to be thorough and specific, but also keep things entertaining and readable.
- Finish Your First Draft and Seek Approval
When you have completed a quality version of your first draft, be sure to send it to the customer you worked with, for their approval. Because it includes them (and their business or products) their satisfaction with the study is just as important as your own. After all, it will live on in the digital sphere and impact them, too. Give the customer an opportunity to request changes (within reason) before you get too far down the line in finishing your document.
Additionally, ask them for a quote that you can use alongside the case study online, in paper publications, on social media, or in email marketing campaigns.
- Create the Finished Case Study
When all is said and done and all the needed changes are made, it’s an excellent practice to hire a proofreader, or have it looked over by a trusted colleague. Step back from the document for a few hours (or days) and come back one last time to check that it is compelling to read. Ensure that it has all the integral elements of a case study:
- Customer-approved content
- Compelling graphics
- Accurate data
- A description of a personal experience
- A clear path from the customer’s initial problem to the solution your product offered
- Share Like Crazy
Don’t limit yourself to your own website. Send the case study out on your social channels, blog, and include it in email marketing blasts. Also, you can incorporate it in pamphlets and handouts, as well as slide-show presentations for sales meetings or conference settings. If it is based on a new product, consider writing up a local news release, as well. As others discover your study, their grass-roots marketing will begin to work for you.
Case studies are a proven and informative method of educational marketing. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to showcase how much your customers love what you do!