So you’ve decided to write a case study…
Smart move. Studies show that nearly 90% of consumers refer to online reviews (i.e., case studies) during their buying process.
But what’s your next step?
The key to an effective case study is profiling the right client.
Here are five things to consider when evaluating clients in order to make your case studies stand out.
One of the most important aspects to consider for a case study client is to select a customer with expansive product knowledge.
Imagine picking a client that’s only used your product/service for a short time and is still learning how to even use it in their business. That client may be able to provide you with a couple good lines of the short-term benefits they’ve experienced, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to discuss the impact in detail.
As a result, prospects who view the case won’t find the case study very impactful and would rather hear from a current customer who can speak to the ins-and-outs of your product/service. Find an experienced client who truly knows the value your business has provided for them!
In a case study, the one area that stands out more than any other is when a client can point to tangible data and impactful results.
For example, you have two clients to choose from….
One client claims to have seen great benefit from choosing the product. Efficiency is up, production is up and costs are down.
The other client also has seen great benefit from choosing your product or service. Efficiency is up by 20%, the client is 30% more productive and they’ve saved more than $10,000 a year.
Both clients may very well have experienced the same changes, but which one would be more impactful to the reader?
Always choose a client able to produce metrics that help prove all of the value props your company advertises. There’s no better evidence.
Ideally, you would have a variety of clients to choose from for a case study. Eventually, you’ll get to all of them, but what client would have the most impact? Another aspect to consider is name recognition.
Small business case studies certainly can have an impact on prospects, especially if they have the expansive product knowledge and tangible data we’ve discussed earlier in this post. However, sometimes nothing can surpass the name recognition that comes with some clients.
Case studies about larger companies or businesses with more clout in the area will often establish more credibility for your business. If prospects trust that business — and see how it’s benefited from your products or services — that trust will likely carry over to your business as well.
If you’re just starting out on creating case studies, you’re not in a position to be selective. However, if you’ve established a group of case studies, consider client variety for future case studies.
Case studies, as a whole, lose their impact if all of the case studies profiled clients that are very similar — whether it’s a specific product or business type. Prospects ultimately want to see a case study from another business similar to theirs in some capacity.
By profiling a variety of different clients, not only do you show how your company can benefits so many different types of businesses, but you’re also less likely to turn a prospect off by not having a case study that matches with their needs or situation.
Switched From a Competitor
Creating a case study from a client that’s switched from a competitor is another great way to produce an effective case study.
If your company plans on reaching out to a competitor’s clients, these types of case studies are practically a necessity. Nothing conveys your company’s competitive advantage in the industry more than marketing a client’s success story after switching to your business from a competitor.
Including these types of case studies in your campaigns will help catch the attention of prospects, especially those from the same competitor.