Content Marketing

Have you ever thought about why businesses should invest in case studies? Whether you are a manufacturer, a retailer, a software firm or an education provider, explore how to write a case study for a website.

You can use case studies to showcase your outstanding work and ultimately, attract more customers, or viewers to your website.

Case studies attract others to learn about your offering and what you could do to help them.

At Hallam, we understand the importance of case studies and spend time highlighting them on our website. Why do we do this? Because we understand just how valuable case studies are in educating customers, increasing conversions and ultimately helping close sales. Case studies are vastly under estimated, yet very powerful.

Do you know why case studies are often more successful than traditional printed marketing material? Simply because people love a good story. This is what a case study allows you to do, tell stories about your brand.

The story you draft paints a picture, stimulates emotions, and gives your business greater selling power. Storytelling, by using your customer’s voice in a data-backed piece, is an invaluable sales tool.

So, here’s some useful pointers to help you put together your case studies.

You’ll want to start by considering these top three elements:

# 1 – Your Customers

You must have a good selection of key customers you have worked with, you  like to work with and have acquired over the years. Start with these customers. Don’t make work hard for yourself.

# 2 – Your Countries

If you are an international business and geography is important to you, pick the top five countries you’d like to do more business with and go for it.

# 3 – Your Industry sectors

If you deal with a variety of business sectors, make sure your website will have the option available for viewers to choose the sectors they’re after.

As you put together your case studies, you’ll want to be sure you are also considering the following four points:

# 1 – Being industry-specific

Case studies work mainly because they tend to be very focused and industry or sector-specific. Simply put, you should never see a case study that’s too general and not targeted to the industry you’re in.

Being specific means you’ll strike a code with your target market. If you’re mentioning another name in the industry, even better, like in this case, where a large well known construction firm teamed up with one of our clients for a value-engineered solution project.

# 2 – Explaining the problem and how you solved it

Case studies are solution-centric. While a product page on your website may say something like, “This service we are offering will help you reach more customers,” a case study produces specific data such as, “This service will help you reach 63% more customers by tapping into X, Y, and Z activities”.

This case study shows how we generated a 528% increase in leads for a client, by implementing an international SEO strategy campaign.

# 3 – Providing evidence

Few things can excite a buyer more than factual claims, stats and clear data.

Since case studies should be based on well researched information, your decision to publish them helps position your organisation as an authoritative figure in your industry. To do this effectively, you’ll need to consider the data you’ll use, where you’ll source it from and how you’ll put it together.

The more thought-provoking your data, the better. For example, in this case study, we highlighted how our Digital PR and SEO activity resulted in a 503% increase in shoppers to the website of one of our clients on Black Friday.

Evidence is particularly key nowadays, since social proof is part of the technology renaissance we’re witnessing. Customers have become more savvy and demanding of proof.

Forty years ago, customers relied heavily on hard copy brochures, catalogues and leaflets when making a buying decision. Taking a statement at face value is no longer the done thing. In the past, if you saw an advertisement for a fish and chips shop, claiming they were the best in the city, you may just have believed it. But that was then and now it is all different.

Thanks to social media, your potential customers have the freedom and ease to access information. As a result, they’re less trusting of marketing material. They’d rather access authentic third-party industry reviews and data. They want to know what other people say about your brand or organisation. That’s why social media and your website are vital too.

# 4 – Getting your presentation right

Finally, to really make sure you get the most out of your case studies, it is worth getting help like web designers, or IT experts, to give them a professional look. They’ll help make them look user friendly and ensure they are displayed well online. These days, it is important your content reads well on mobile phones too. You may even want to consider creating short videos to bring your story to life.

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Conclusion

An effective case study will include similar elements but there is no magic formula for drafting one. However, the basics of a case study must include these three fundamental elements:

  1. What was the problem?
  2. What solutions did you provide?
  3. What proven results can you showcase?

If you’re still dubious about investing in case studies, let me try and reassure you it will be time well spent. You can double up your efforts by using the material you gather for other marketing activities. You can create spin-off content in a variety of formats from blog posts, videos and newsletters to PR. Trade publications and industry websites love a good case study.

But you don’t need to take my word for it, thanks to analytics, you can monitor how well the pages are doing.

I hope this post has helped you understand the value of case studies and how to put yours together. If you have any more tips to add, send me a message @NadaGiuffrida

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