Case studies – 3 Tips for creating great ones
May 24, 2018 | Posted in: Articles & News, Marketing pow wow
Customer testimonials are great, however, if you want to provide a deeper insight into how you have helped your customers, you should consider developing client or customer case studies. Case studies are a fantastic way to demonstrate the tangible benefits that you have brought your clients as they give you the opportunity to highlight what the client problem was, how you solved it and what the resulting benefits were. Here are my top tips for creating a solid case study:
1. Be prepared.
Being a keen planner myself, this tip will come as no surprise. If you don’t work out in advance what your key message is and how you will structure the case study to deliver it, you risk losing impact as the case study lacks direction. Create an outline first and this may include identifying what questions you are going to ask your client if an interview is involved.
2. Work out the best format.
If you wish to incorporate plenty of client comments about working with you or using your products and services, you could utilise a Q&A type format. You can also weave their answers through a standard article format that has a typical beginning, middle and end structure. For example you may begin by outlining their issue, requirements or why they approached you for help. Then you could progress with how you assisted them – e.g. what products did you install or provide, what services were carried out and how.
‘How’ can include an insight into the level or volume of work required, the extent of the clients involvement, how things were customized, how long it took, whether it was a major investment, effortless or required extensive research. The middle of the article would be the place to incorporate quotes from the client about the process e.g. “she just made it seem so easy and I was able to completely relax and trust the roll out process because she is so thorough and switched on”. You can finish off with any summarising comments from clients about the difference your input has made to their business, any impressive quantitative results such as sales being up year on year by 25% or intentions for future product or service developments and extensions.
3. Gather more information than you need to.
Whether that is data, answers to interview questions or facts – it is always helpful to have a large pool of information to draw from when creating a case study. For example, often when interviewing a client (usually I am interviewing one of my client’s clients because I am creating case studies on their behalf), there is usually a bit of overlap between my questions because I find that sometimes just posing a question from a slightly different angle can elicit the nugget that I am after e.g. “their help desk support is so fantastic that knowing they are on hand is very reassuring for someone technically challenged like myself”. It’s priceless being able to communicate something like that to prospective customers, helping to allay their fears about being thrown in the deep end with new technology without support.
Once your case study is ready to go, get maximum mileage out of it through having it available on your website, linking to it in relevant proposals, including it in newsletters, posting it on Linkedin or on other appropriate social media sites. It’s also worth considering supplementing the case study with video – a 2 minute video (ideally showing clients talking about the help you have provided them) might help tease people into reading more detailed information.
If you’d like to have Flex Marketing take the task of creating case studies off your shoulders, then get in touch, we’d be happy to help.