Case studies are valuable bottom-of-the-funnel content assets that speak volumes to the quality and results of your company’s work. Case studies are an indispensable resource and often one of the first assets serious prospects will ask you for.
All this means you should not take your case studies lightly. They deserve your time and attention to make sure they are engaging and understandable, and feature your best work.
Here are seven tips to consider:
Keep your content focused. There’s a lot of information you can include in a case study, but focus it on the three core areas your prospects will care most about: challenge, approach and results. The challenge and approach, in particular, can take more of a narrative approach so prospects have a clear and engaging picture of the work. It's best if the results are showcased visually and numerically when possible. Prospects will be most interested in the results, so the easier you can make it for them to take them in, the better.
Establish a clear flow. Use both the design of your case study (whether online or in a document) and the content to guide the prospect through the case study. Design can help highlight key points to make it easier for readers who don't want the full story – just the high points and results – to get that information quickly by adding call-outs or bolded text in long sections, visualizing the results more, using color or various font weights to highlight customer quotes, and so on.
Provide a summary. Add a subhead or one-sentence summary that incorporates the challenge and top result so prospects know what they're considering straight from the introduction.
Include a customer quote or testimonial. Words coming from your happy customers’ mouths rather than your own are at least 10 times more influential. Share your customers’ perspectives in your case studies and leverage their third-party validation to help convince new prospects to convert to customers.
Keep additional content secondary. Supporting content – such as a customer’s corporate information, a list of services or tools used, and so on – can be shared in bullet form as part of a sidebar or similar design format to provide the information succinctly. Prospects will look for case studies similar to their businesses, so this information is necessary to share, but it should not take away from the overall story.
Include a call to action and your contact details. This seems like an easy one, but you’d be surprised how many case studies don’t include a call-to-action for prospects. You know readers are likely well into your funnel and are already qualified. What’s the next action you want them to take? Don’t waste this opportunity. This is especially important if you make your case studies available online, where a prospect may not yet have interacted with a sales rep. In addition, be sure to include your company contact information and a website link. It's easy access for the prospect, plus, if the recipient shares the case study with anyone else in their organization, that new reader will know where to go.
Name your files correctly. This is a housekeeping item, but it will make life that much easier for your prospects. Use file names geared toward the reader – you never know how these will be shared once downloaded or if someone needs to search their downloads to find a file again – so it's helpful to have your company name fully spelled out, along with the phrase "case study" and the customer name all in the file name.
Do you have other tips to creating strong case studies? Share with us @MetisComm.
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