In an industry where so many companies sell the same (or very similar products), how do you stand out and convince potential customers that your products can get them results? Enter the Case Study. “When it comes to B2B sales, 52% of buyers rank case studies as an important part of their evaluation process.” - business.adobe.com
What is a Case Study?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, a case study is “a detailed account of the development of a person, a group of people, or a situation over a period of time”.
Case Studies can be videos, blogs, infographics, papers, etc. The format is up to you and what your customers find most appealing. The main goal is to document the positive impact you (or your business) have had on previous/current customers so you can attract new ones. But remember, it must be based on evidence and not come across as self-serving.
Developing a Case Study.
1. Identify the goal of your case study, choose a target market it can help.
2. Find the right customer for your case study, aligns with the target market.
You must receive permission from the customer before proceeding.
3. Compile data from your customer.
Interview the customer to obtain their goal, challenges faced, steps they took, ROI, etc.
What support did they receive from you throughout the process?
Prove how the outcome was achieved using measurable results.
Steps from point A to point B.
4. Pick a format / layout.
White paper, Infographic, Video, etc.
Creating a Case Study.
When creating your case study, make sure you come up with a strong title that piques interest, but isn’t a spoiler. As with subject lines, don’t use the first one you come up with. Take your time, write down a few ideas and then choose from your list or take pieces from each to form a new, strong title.
Next, your layout should be a digestible story that shares how you helped to solve the customer’s problem without coming across as a promotional piece for your company. Introduce the customer and their problem, present the product(s) used, and share the results while incorporating facts (hard numbers and quotes from the customer). If the case study is written, break up the text by incorporating pull-out quotes, graphs, and photos of the product(s).
Whatever format you choose, you should end with a call-to-action (CTA) such as your website, email address, or phone number. An easy way for customers to contact you.
Lastly, edit - multiple times. Eliminate any jargon you may have included - just because you understand industry terms, doesn’t mean the potential customer does. And, remove any irrelevant details so the important information can easily be identified when scanned.
Remember, case studies are meant to be easy to consume pieces of content showing a customer’s journey from problem to solution while not overtly selling yourself.
Jessica is the Art Director at PromoCorner and has been in the promotional products industry since 2010. With a degree in Graphic Design, she has been working in Marketing since 2006 creating advertising of all sizes; from social posts to billboards. Jessica shares her passion for design in her monthly blog, Designer Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org