Basically, a case study is an extended testimonial about a product or a service. It expands the testimonial of your client by telling a story of a problem the client had and how they found a solution to the problem when they used your product or service. As a result, a prospective client who reads the case study gets an indication of what their experience will likely be should they decide to buy your product or service.
In a study they conducted among consumers, Eccolo Media found case studies to be third on the list of content that influenced their buying decisions.
Despite the huge impact case studies have on the buying decision of consumers, not many marketers seem to find reasons why they should incorporate the tool as part of their marketing. When interviewed by Content Marketing Institute in 2017, responding B2B marketers did not even list case studies as one of their top 8 marketing tactic.
I believe that the lack of enthusiasm towards case studies by marketers boils down to the fact that many have yet to realize how impactful case studies are as marketing tools. Consequently, they are unable to see any reason why they should invest in creating case studies.
Well, here in this article; I have articulated 6 great reasons why you should be using case studies in your marketing:
- People Easily Relate with the Stories Captured in Case Studies
People love stories. Specifically, people love stories of success. And a case study usually contains a story of success; a story about how someone had a problem and eventually found a solution by using a particular product or service. When someone who has a similar problem reads such a story, he connects with it immediately and imagines himself in the same scenario. He is experiencing the same pain points and can literally imagine himself rejoicing in the solution as well. What more, the story is coming from someone who has used the product and had a positive experience with it. It is not just the company proclaiming how wonderful their product is.
- They Provide Social Proof
If you wanted to buy a travelling bag online, you will visit an e-commerce store, probably Amazon and enter a search for the type of travelling bag you want. After running through a number of searches, you will narrow down your selection to maybe, three brands.
If none of the brands is famous and if you have never used a product from them in the past, you will definitely want to read reviews from other customers about each of the bags. At the end of the day, you will most likely go with the bag with the most positive feedback.
What you have just done here is that you relied on social proof to make a decision about which travelling bag to buy. Whether it is an individual seeking to buy a travelling bag or a pair of shoes or some kitchen utensils; or whether it is a business looking to buy a software, 70% of people look at online reviews to find proof that the product will successfully solve a problem for them before buying it.
Case studies satisfy the need for social proof because they contain stories from other individuals or businesses that have used the product or service successfully. And if others have had great results with the product, then I most likely will too.
- They Demonstrate that You Have the Expertise to Solve the Problem
If you offer digital marketing services, you may write a sales copy that says: I can help you grow your income by 120% in 12 months’’. This is all nice and juicy but supposed instead of a sales copy, you wrote a case study in which one of your clients relates how for four years, his business struggled to attract more customers and grow income. Then he hired you two years ago and over the next 12 months, he attracted a huge number of clients and his income grew by 120%. By delving into the problem and how you stepped into provide a solution, you prove that you have the expertise to solve the problem.
By regularly producing insightful case studies that are well-researched and bear real statistics about how your products or services solved problems for your clients, you will ultimately position your business as an authoritative expert for solutions in your niche.
- They Build Brand Trust Faster than Other Marketing Collateral
The whole point of marketing is to build enough trust between the consumer and a company offering a product or service until the consumer is convinced to buy. Case studies fast-track the process of trust-building. In all other marketing collateral, the company simply make claims about the impact of its product and services. With a case study however, a satisfied client makes the claim on the behalf of the company.
Before the advent of the internet, consumers had to rely heavily on the claims that businesses made about their products in the ads and sales copy that they pushed out. But with the internet and social media, things have changed. Consumers now have numerous sources from which to seek information about products and services before making a buying decision.
When consumers read case studies that are factual and insightful, it helps them develop trust in a product or service much faster than when they read other marketing collateral or watch ads on TV and the internet.
- They Boost Sales
Case studies have been found to produce amazing results when it comes to generating more leads and boosting sales. As I have stated before, 73% of consumers say that case studies play an important role in their decision-making. But it doesn’t end with consumers. In a survey conducted by e-Marketers, 62.6% of respondents said that case studies are effective in generating leads. Even if you have used other marketing tactics that have worked for you, with the favourable statistics that case studies have been shown to generate, you should be willing to consider them as part of your marketing.
6. They Can be Used for Publicity in Multiple Ways
Once you have written a case study, you will have opportunity to use it to publicize your business in multiple ways, including the following:
Upload on your website – A case study on the right website page relating a story from one of your customers about how your product or service solve a problem for them will definitely capture the attention of prospects seeking for a similar solution.
Share the case study on social media – Share a link to the case study on social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others. Add the case study to your list of publications on LinkedIn and Share it in relevant LinkedIn Groups.
Send it out to industry publications – By having your case study feature in an industry publication with a wide readership, you will expand the reach of the case study and reinforce your company’s expertise well beyond your customer base.
Print it and use as part of your marketing collateral – Case studies can be really useful when it comes to showing prospects how successful other people within a similar industry have benefited from your product or service. So print it out and give it to your salespeople to use when they meet with prospects.
Incorporate it in your e-newsletter – When you feature case studies in your e-newsletter, you attract the interest of prospects and you make featured clients feel special. While you’re telling the story of how the client achieved a goal, take the opportunity to highlight the exciting things they’re doing in their industry.