Including case studies on your website is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and creativity to hot leads. Done well, they have the potential to be the tipping point for getting a lead over the line to be a customer.
Case studies are particularly important if you’re in a role where your services are based around creating solutions for your customers. It’s an opportunity to provide some social proof that you are just as good as you say you are!
Having written a ton of them for a wide range of clients, I’ve picked up a few best-practice pointers along the way. Here are my 5 tips for crafting case studies that convert:
1. Who is your ideal client?
First of all, think about who your ideal client is. Be sure to keep them in mind when you’re writing up your case study. What concerns do they have, and how can your case study demonstrate that you address these? This case study needs to speak directly to them.
2. Ask specific questions
If you’ve got clients who are happy to help you out with a case study, then make sure you make it as easy as possible for them by having your questions prepared. Engineer your questions so that you get the information that you really want. Some questions to get you started:
- What motivated them to seek out your services, what was the problem that needed solving?
- What influenced their decision to work with you?
- How did your business help them meet their goals/project outcome? Or what specific results did you help them achieve?
- What was the project process/service experience like for them?
- What would they say to another person/business who is thinking about engaging your services?
3. Use a four-part structure
Now you’ve got all the info, how do you put it all together? Include direct quotes from your customers where possible, and it’s important to focus on the customer, not on yourself! Don’t focus so much on what you DID, but what your customer was able to ACHIEVE thanks to your services – always think back to the concerns of your ideal customer.
When writing up the case study, I like to follow a four-part structure:
- The situation: give a bit of background to the client, who they are and what they do
- The problem: what challenge were they facing before they sought out your services
- The solution: what solution did you provide to them, and what did that process involve? How did you tailor this specifically for them
- The result and client feedback: what was the outcome for the client? Try and include very specific results here, so that readers can see tangible evidence of what you were able to achieve. Include the warm-fuzzy quotes that your adoring customer is sure to share.
4. Include photos or videos
Grab some high-quality photos to include with your case study to add a professional finish. You could even consider creating a video testimonial, with a brief interview with you customer.
5. Get some help putting it together
Case studies really are an important part of your customer’s buying journey, so if you feel like you don’t have the talent or the time to write up powerful customer stories, then consider asking a copywriter to craft something special.
So, what now? Case studies are super versatile pieces of content that should give you a ton of marketing mileage:
- Add them to your website – be nice and and include a link back to your customer’s website too. Include internal links from other pages if appropriate
- You could also feature them in a write up on your blog
- Use case studies on your printed marketing collateral, such as brochures or project proposals.
- Share through social media
- Include in your customer newsletters or email marketing campaigns
- Use case studies in your presentations at client pitches, tradeshows or conferences.
It’s important to keep your case studies and testimonials fresh and relevant, so ensure that updating your website case studies is a priority in your marketing plan.