It’s important for any small business to embrace the very latest and very best forms of content marketing for online success. And, while adopting strategies that make the most of the newest and most popular social networks, cutting-edge UX, and interactive video is important, it can be easy to overlook some of the more enduring and effective options. Few of which prove more rewarding than case studies.

Taking the time to conduct case studies and obtain customer testimonials represents a tried and tested way to generate greater levels of traffic, convert speculators into leads, and engage new audiences (let’s be honest, all three sound appealing).

Why case studies are awesome

In comparison to other forms of content, case studies are relatively simple and quick to produce. Tapping into your existing customer base and past successes represents the perfect way of establishing authority for your business. It also makes engaging with new audiences simple, drawing out information that may otherwise be difficult to convey in marketing material. With creativity and hard work, you may even find that an effective case study has the potential to do much of the hard work of promoting your brand for you.

It’s worth remembering that case studies don’t simply extol the positives about your company. Conducting case studies helps you generate content that is extremely relevant and specific to your niche, separating you from the competition through the accounts of personal experience. A thorough case study will go into great depth about the specifics of the customer experience, revealing information that relates to others with honesty and transparency, all in a way that traditional promotion is incapable.

Business people clapping hands

Well done: Case studies are a pat on the back from existing clients and a great sales tool for prospects

Similarly, case studies enable you to detail processes in depth. If you’re a company that offers end-to-end solutions, identifying each step of the methodology will inform future prospects of how you work and whether it integrates with their own processes. Such information is invaluable in establishing an effective working relationship, so developing a series of case studies for just such a situation will prove rewarding on an unprecedented scale.

When push comes to shove, recommendations from others will always – always – carry greater weight than the marketing messages you promote yourself. Being able to rely on the quality service you’ve provided to others, therefore, and have them shout about their experience will endear you to potential markets. As advertising great Bill Bernbach famously said, “Word of mouth is the best medium of all.” Focus on your strengths and let others spread the message for you.

The best way to present case studies

It takes two parties to communicate effectively: one to send the message, the other to receive and interpret it. When it comes to putting together case studies for your business, simplicity is fundamental. Don’t over complicate either the process of creating a case study – after all, you’re likely to be liaising with existing clients, and making them jump through hoops for your benefit isn’t great customer service – and make sure that the information gathered is easy to digest.

Often it can prove effective to employ a third party to conduct the studies; thanks to their impartiality, they can conduct a review in an objective manner and help determine the details that future clients may wish to know.

  • Regardless of who conducts the work, a solid case study should take on a very simple structure:
  • Identify the problem faced by your customer
  • Detail the potential solutions made available
  • Explain the method and approach taken to resolve the issue
  • Highlight the result and the successes achieved

Add a customer interview or testimonial and general background to the project, and your case study will prove an invaluable source of information for potential customers. This real-life account of the process will highlight the positives of working with your company, how any difficulties were successfully overcome, and provides a level of honesty and transparency in your offering that will help generate trust among potential clients.

It’s worth noting that adding a degree of personality will improve the efficacy of your case study even further, with the use of imagery particularly important. The use of images – and human faces in particular – enables your content to relate better to an audience; in fact, as a species we’re naturally drawn towards other faces, with the humanising effect helping promote engagement and interaction.

Using cases studies

Taking advantage of case studies as a means of generating quality marketing material represents an effective choice. By embracing the experiences of past customers and past projects, building for future development becomes far simpler, and reaching out to a broader audience easier.

If you’d like a third party to handle your case studies, get in touch with Future Content today. We can help. Also, come and say hello on Twitter


Photo credit:

Thumbs up and Business Clapping Hands – ©depositphotos/racorn

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Michael is an experienced writer and editor, having written for far more websites and publications than he can remember. When not writing, he is reading. When not reading, he's probably in the middle of a movie marathon.