Hi there! We have a newer blog on this topic. Check out 9 Reasons Case Studies are Killer Marketing Tools!
You have a new website. Now what?
The goal is probably to bring people to your site, to have them be wowed by your content, and to have them make that all-powerful conversion from visitors to customers. But that’s not going to happen just because you have a website.
In order to convert visitors, you need to deliver information in a clear, insightful manner. When it comes to content strategy, you always have options. For example, you can tell visitors how great your company is with an extended blurb on the About page. Better yet, you can show visitors how effective you are via the use of case studies.
At Forge and Smith, we love case studies.
Case studies outline how your product or service has benefited other businesses or people in the past. When done properly, case studies provide engaging scenarios that authenticate the quality of your work. By offering a behind-the-scenes account of your company’s process with documented proof of its success, you create opportunities to highlight testimonials in a natural and persuasive way.
Case studies are a great tool for relationship-building. Depending on the type of business you have, they can help sell your brand’s goods or services prior to any spoken or written communication with a customer. By placing your work in the customer’s hands by showing them someone else benefiting from it — someone just like them — you’re letting them see exactly how you would fit into their lives.
Simply put, case studies are a marketing dream. But this isn’t their only appeal.
Adding fresh content on a regular basis appeases Google’s search algorithms. Case studies are a great way to generate this desirable, SEO-friendly copy, especially if your business doesn’t have a dedicated writer to produce blog posts.
Struggling to craft those fresh case studies and blog posts? Get 13 Tips to Improve Your Copywriting for Better SEO.
Case studies can vary greatly in style and approach, and may be known by different names. This copy might be included in sections titled Portfolio, Work, Projects, Testimonials and so forth. The purpose remains the same: to grow customer confidence. Case studies are a powerful way to connect with people.
So how do you begin?
How to create case studies
Customers come to a business’s website seeking answers. You start the case study process by asking the same questions that are important to your audience.
We recommend that anyone writing case studies employ the STAR method. STAR is an acronym that encompasses the following guidelines:
Situation: What happened? What was the need? What were the circumstances surrounding the customer’s decision to seek you out?
Task: What were the customer’s desired goals? What needed to be achieved?
Action: How did your company attain these goals for the customer?
Result: What happened? How did it turn out? Why was this such a good outcome? Can you show statistics or other proof?
By using the STAR formula, you ensure your case studies maintain a consistent feel. The sooner you establish your own formula for producing case studies, the easier they become to write.
Regardless of length, you need to ensure the features and benefits of your product or service are clearly communicated. Don’t be shy about bragging either; case studies are the proper forum for a little bravado. Just be mindful and never exaggerate your claims. Be prepared to back up everything you say.
Chronicle each case in detail. Include photos. Remember, people don’t respond to vague sentiments or wishy-washy assurances. Visual content is a great way to connect.
Even if you have a handful of case studies already up on your site, keep adding! Updates play a strong role in any content marketing strategy. Case studies are the fodder marketing departments thrive on: content that can be easily promoted on social media.
Case studies are also a good source of social referrals. Any time you reference others within a case study, include embedded links in the text to them. It provides the opportunity for a potential shout-out back to your own site.
The beauty of WordPress (Forge and Smith’s specialty) is that it allows users to add and revise new content at will.
Our advice: keep doing it. Case studies = good content.