When to Use a Case Study in Your Marketing
by Deb Harrsch
Have you ever met anyone who said case studies don’t work? I sure haven’t.
Using case studies in your marketing is a no-brainer. In fact, we previously explored how important case studies are and how they work.
But, the question is: When should you use them in your marketing?
If you’re creating case studies, publishing them on your website, and then calling it a day, then you’re not getting maximum value from your work.
A Quick Case Study Refresh
Case studies are deceptively simple, and they get right to the point. They enable you to do a bit of storytelling (which is a great marketing tool) and focus on a specific challenge, solution, and result. They are also fairly short – typically around 1,000 words.
The biggest challenge for the marketing department when creating case studies is being able to name the customer. Every B2B industry experiences this issue, so if you’re thinking, “Well, I can’t do any case studies because I’m not allowed to talk about my customers,” you’d be wrong.
It’s okay if you can’t name your client. It’s okay to create a case study with a story and not a name. If your company isn’t allowed to talk about a customer project in detail, think about what you can say. It’s possible there is enough of a story to tell about a challenge and solution, even if you eliminate all of the identifying features.
There are several creative ways you can protect your client’s confidentiality, while also demonstrating your accomplishments. If you can name the who, great! If you can’t name the customer, well that’s okay, too.
What Prospects Want to Know
Case studies are an opportunity for you to show customers that you know who they are, what some of their challenges are, and how you help solve those challenges.
How? Think about it from their perspective.
Your prospect really wants to understand your product or service and how you work with customers. A case study gives them a perfect example from beginning to end: “Here is where we started, this was our solution, and here are the results our customer experienced.” Whether you cut time out of a process, you did it better than they were able to previously, or you were able to deliver some other benefit, you’ve now got results no one else could get. Case studies are great stories that demonstrate how efficient and innovative you are when you’re working with your customers.
When to Use Case Studies
Right, so you’ve created your case study and you’ve published it on your website. Now what? I’ve already told you that isn’t the only way to use them – but it is a valuable use.
What do you think are the most downloaded items on your website – white papers or case studies?
It’s actually the case studies. You see, they aren’t something your prospect needs to register for, so that’s what they’ll download when researching your company. The case study gives them key information and gets them thinking, “Gee, this company has tackled problems similar to what I’m experiencing and they’ve come up with elegant solutions and had great results. I should talk with them.”
But, to truly get full value from your case studies, you’ll also want to use them for your:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Print collateral at trade shows
- Social media content
- White paper supporting evidence
- Video stories
Curious about case studies we’ve done for clients and how we’ve used them? Give us a call and let’s talk!
Brandwidth Solutions serves the healthcare, life sciences, energy, and contract pharma industries. We work with companies that want to make the most of their marketing – who want their marketing empowered to help drive leads – and ultimately sales. If you want to move your product or service forward in a smart way, we want to work with you. Call us at 215.997.8575.