B2B Articles - July 25, 2013

8 Tips For Creating an Effective Case Study

case-studies-pictoCase studies are a great way to articulate a company's work, value and effectiveness. Case studies can be used not only on a corporate website but as part of media packages, PR and any public communications. They show real-life how a company was able to meet a customer’s needs and help them accomplish their goals. Great case studies highlight successes that tun potential customers into real customers.

Here are 8 tips on how to make case studies powerful assets.

  • Write With Your Ideal Customer In Mind. When crafting a case study, write it knowing who you'd like to be the final reader to be. If it’s someone in the apparel industry, then make your case studies about retail customers. If it’s someone in the healthcare industry, then make your case studies about medical equipment and pharmaceutical successes. The goal is to ensure that once a potential customer has read the case study they feel you are comfortable in their industry, you know their needs and you know how to get targeted results.
  • Tell the Story from Start to Finish. People enjoy reading a story. A great case study will allow someone to get to know the customer. In telling the story be sure to answer such questions as what were the customer's goals, how did you meet those goals, and are the solutions still working.
  • Make it Easy to Read. No one likes to read a long winded chunk of text, no matter how interesting it might be. Be sure to use good formatting elements including: Subheads, Images, and lists. These tactics provide great SEO value, and these formatting elements will help readers find the most relevant parts of the case study to them.
  • Include The Numbers. When a company claims they “doubled their traffic” and wondered if that meant they went from 100 to 200 visits or from 10,000 to 20,000 visits? Show the numbers and the proof. That way, the reader can see where the customer began and where the customer ended up. They see real results.
  • Talk Strategy. The engagement exceeded the client's expectations. How did you do it? What services did you use and how did they lead to the desired results. Don't just say “our online marketing services led to these results.” Instead, should say “it was a combination of a three-month dedicated social media campaign focusing on Facebook & YouTube and five months of link building that led to an increase in rankings plus brand exposure that led to these results.”
  • Try Different Formats. Try different types of case studies, such as an interview format where you have clients answer the same questions mentioned earlier about what they do, their needs, their goals, and how you met them. Quoting your customer will make the case study more relatable to your ideal customer.
  • Appeal to Different Types. While some people enjoy reading, others may prefer audio, video, or a visual of your case study. Consider re-purposing content as: a podcast, video or infographic.These are easy to share, which means that your case study may go further than your own site, leading to more of your potential customers finding out how they could benefit from your products or services.
  • Make Them Easy to Find. What’s the point of having great case studies if no one will ever read them? Be sure that your case studies are organized and easy to find. Some great examples of how to do this include linking form Amazon Enterprise, Microsoft Business Hub, or other software support groups.

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