Case studies. They're long-winded, outdated, and dull, right? Surely in comparison with modern marketing techniques such as eye-catching animations and infographics, there’s no way clients are still interested in reading several paragraphs of text?
Well, actually, no. There is no reason your case studies can’t be up-to-date, punchy, and engaging when written well. Case studies are evidence that your company can deliver all the claims that you make in your advertising, helping you to build your company’s credibility and showcasing your successful business ventures.
In this article, we will address the many reasons why your business should be using case studies in your marketing, with tips on how to write engaging case studies that keep your clients interested from beginning to end.
1. Case Studies Show Real-Life Applications
Case studies enable potential buyers to view completed contracts similar to their own, helping them to envisage more clearly how your business can help them, including how your business will approach their brief. This highlights your business' adaptability by demonstrating how you can overcome challenges, problem-solve on clients' behalf, and deliver on your promises in a real-life scenario.
Case studies also act as a customer review, demonstrating to potential buyers that your company will be able to meet their requirements by using a previous example that is relevant to their field.
2. Case Studies Prove That Your Business Is Reputable
Talk to any business owner from any industry, and they will give you a long list of the contractors they have used who have turned out to be disreputable.
Modern businesspeople are all too familiar with unscrupulous contractors, and have had to become cynical of claims made on business marketing pages. Any company can argue that they are ‘the best in the business’, but just how many can follow through on their marketing strategy?
Case studies are proof that your business can deliver on your claims, using real-life scenarios to demonstrate how your company can meet their needs. And buyers rely on case studies to prove that businesses are reputable, with case studies ranking at the top of their list of content.
In fact, in a 2017 study, 78% of buyers said they had accessed case studies in the past year when researching purchases.
3. Case Studies Tell A Story
Case studies guide your buyer through the storyline of each contract - leading with the brief, which presents the problem which needs to be solved. This then follows on to the actions that your business takes, giving them an insight into the way that your business works in practice.
By outlining the details, you can prove that your business has the expertise, experience, and qualifications to solve the problem presented. Finally, the problem reaches its resolution, is solved, and the client walks away satisfied.
This narrative format creates an engaging story for your buyer, keeping them interested to the very end.
And by telling the story of how you have solved the problem of a client similar to themselves - including any challenges that you have faced and overcome - your buyer will feel able to relate to your business, making them more likely to invest in your services.
4. Case Studies Highlight Your Skills And Qualifications
By showing how your business approaches the brief presented by a previous client, you will be able to demonstrate how your skills and qualifications translate into practical expertise.
Without context, your skills and qualifications may mean little to a potential client. They may not know what your qualifications cover, or how these qualifications apply to the contract that they are offering.
But by showcasing how your qualifications and skills apply to a brief, you can establish your expertise more effectively - outlining how you can meet the points of each brief, and ultimately fulfil the needs of the client.
This may include examples of how your business can stay compliant with policies and procedures relevant to the contract, and how you are able to use ‘soft skills’ to be adaptable in a range of situations and negotiate effectively with clients.
5. Case Studies Demonstrate Flexible Working
As every contractor knows, every job is different, and it is essential to be adaptable to meet the needs of each client and the contract that is on offer.
Case studies show how you can effectively tailor your service to each client, by listing the details of how you meet each requirement of the contract.
This proves that you can work flexibly and successfully overcome the challenges presented by the client – all of which helps to demonstrate your communication skills and problem-solving strategies, which are invaluable assets when working with clients.
Top Tips For Writing An Engaging Case Study
• Tell The Story - Case studies involve a simple structure of an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. The introduction should include the brief, and some background context about the client.
The body should consist of the actions your business has taken, including how you have overcome any challenges presented by the brief and how you have used your skills to achieve this.
Finally, the conclusion should summarise the initial brief, the challenge, and the resolution, with evidence that you have provided a satisfying experience for your client.
• Keep Your Target Audience In Mind - Your tone and voice throughout the case study should be based on the target audience you wish to attract.
Bear in mind the demographics of your audience, their industry, and their business backgrounds, such as whether you are targeting large companies, SMEs, startups, or established companies. This will help you to pick the right case study to present to your readers.
• Introduce The Client - In order for prospective buyers to know whether they can relate to your study, they will need to know some background information about the client featured in your case study.
Ensure you include some basic background information about the client in your introduction; this should take roughly a paragraph of background information, such as the name of the company, the products or services they produce, the industry, and their location.
• Explain The Brief - Explain the brief in detail, such as what the client requires from the project, and any problems which they need to overcome.
Also, there will often be a range of regulations and guidelines that businesses will need to work within when completing certain types of job, and using a case study to describe how you fulfilled the objectives of the contract while remaining compliant at all times, will give buyers confidence that you won’t cut any corners.
• Introduce Your Company’s Role And The Solutions You Oﬀer - To fully understand how your company has helped your client, your audience will need to be informed of your role in the project.
What was your role? What solutions did you offer to your client? What actions did you take? How did you meet the requirements of the contract, and which skills and qualifications did you use to achieve this? Tell your readers!
• Mention Your Team - Mentioning your team members helps you to stay respectful and gives them credit for their role in the contract. But not only that, it demonstrates your ability to work skilfully and communicate with professionals from a range of business backgrounds.
Add details of how you communicated within the team, and how different roles were delegated to achieve optimal performance.
• Use Data - Using data in your conclusion gives an objective assessment of how your work has benefitted the client. This presents your business as a professional and knowledgeable organisation, which can prove the success of your contracts using quantifiable data.
• Emphasise The Problem And The Solution - In your conclusion, make sure you summarise the initial problem presented by the client, and the solutions delivered by your business.
This leaves your prospective clients in no doubt that you have offered a successful solution to the problem, and that your customers were satisfied by the service provided to them.
By publishing and promoting case studies about your work that follow these rules, your business is sure to generate more enquiries and secure more interest from potential buyers!