Adding a testimonial to your website is proof of a job well done. But the problem with a testimonial is that it only tells your audience a customer was happy – it doesn’t show them how you brought a smile to their face.
To do that, you need to embrace case studies.
Because a case study goes way beyond a testimonial by allowing you to show the problems your customer was facing, what you did to solve them and how you helped them to accomplish their goals.
Not only that, but a case study is also:
● A valuable resource for sales teams
● Free publicity for your customer (especially if you’re in the B2B sector)
● Key information for clients to use during their own research
Benefits a 3-4 sentence testimonial just cannot give you.
Why case studies are so important.
One of the key elements of persuasion made famous by Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, is social proof. People want what other people have, and they want to see and read about it.
Because humans love stories, and reading a story about how you’ve made customers happy excites them and makes your company more memorable and valuable to them.
Basically, that’s what a case study is – a story.
A rags to riches account of how your customers struggled until you fixed their problems and achieved a fairy tale ending.
But that’s not the only reason a case study is important.
They’re also important because they show your target audience that you:
● Know about their industry
● Understand the specific problems they face
● Know how to solve their problems and produce results
By telling the story of your successful relationship with a client, you prove you can do what you claim and can live up to your promises.
It makes it easier to convince prospects to give you a chance – especially if the customer you feature is a well-known brand.
Client case studies are the most popular self-promotional content marketing tactic used by US marketing agency executives. 62.6% of eMarketer survey respondents say that they’re effective in generating leads.
Now you know what one is and why they’re so important, how do you create one?
How to create the ultimate case study.
To tell your story effectively, your case study needs to use a tried and tested five-step structure:
One. Project overview
You start your case study by providing a general overview of your client, set the scene and provide context about the project. You can give a short overview about the type of work your client does and very lightly on the issues they’re facing.
Two. The challenge
This is the section where you really cover your client’s problems in-depth. Here, you need to talk about:
● Why something wasn’t working
● Why they couldn’t achieve their desired outcome
● The problems this cause
These issues should be relevant to your audience, who should be reading and nodding along as you touch on similar pain points they have too. And you can also include a small amount of information on which of your products or services were needed to overcome the client’s challenges.
Three. The outcome
Here you explain what product or service was implemented and the results it had. Try and be super-specific and include statistics and percentages, like:
● Improving client productivity by 52%
● Speeding up processing time by up to 70%
● Upped income by £3000 per week
Statistics show that what you do works, so if you don’t have them, speak to your customers and ask them to provide statistics on how much you’ve helped them.
Wrap up the case study with a summary of the problems the client faced and how you helped them overcome them. This is also the perfect opportunity to include a client testimonial.
On top of statistical proof, backing it up with words from the customer shows the reader that you haven’t just made your statistics up. You have the actual business owner talking about what you did for them in glowing terms.
Five. Call to action
A potential client reads a case study when they’re extremely interested in your services, and steps one to four should be enough to persuade them to work with you – but to get them over the line, you need to include a call to action at the end of your case study asking them to:
● Book a video meeting
Otherwise, they might click back to your site, become sidetracked and never follow through on their interest.
One final thought…
Many businesses include case studies on their website, but quite often, they can be:
● Visually boring
But they don’t have to be.
A case study is a hero story, so make sure it’s interesting without going on for too long. And include images that relate to the project and look visually appealing. You also need to do your research beforehand, so make sure to speak to your client first and get all the relevant statistics before you start.
And to make sure your client is happy for you to talk about them, explain how featuring them builds brand awareness, trust in their business and allows them to reach a wider audience.
Case Study Examples…
This case study is a great example of how to create an online case study that is easy to read by breaking up information. By introducing the client it immediately allows a prospect to identify themselves within the copy and outlining the challenge also allows prospects to know that you understand the issues being faced.
Whilst this does not have all the bells and whistles you might want on a case study it is simplistic and demonstrates the journey of the client whilst easily demonstrating the outcome for the client.
Download Case Study Template
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