In last week’s post, I explained why case studies are the ultimate weapon in your marketing arsenal. That’s because nothing you can say about yourself is more powerful than what happy customers, donors, or readers say about you. Let other people sing your praises and build your credibility.
To be clear, a marketing case study is NOT:
- A testimonial or endorsement
- A list of your past clients
- A description of the services you offer
Instead, a marketing case study IS a before-and-after story detailing how you created positive results for a customer, donor, or reader. The easiest way to create an effective case study is to use the following format with these four section headers:
Below is an explanation of how to complete each section. Keep your writing brief and concise. You only need a paragraph or two of content per section.
Explain the problem that an individual or organization was experiencing BEFORE you got involved and sold them your product or service. What issues were causing them to struggle? What goal were they trying to achieve? What difficulty led to you being contacted? Start every case study by describing the main problem that was occurring.
After you diagnosed the problem, what type of solution did you prescribe? You don’t have to give away your secrets, but you do need to explain what you did to improve the customer’s condition. Describe the type of product or service that you recommended to help your customer overcome their problem. Briefly explain the overall strategy you suggested. Again, limit your word count to just one or two paragraphs.
In this section, describe or list the specific results that your customer, donor, or reader experienced by applying your solution. Remember, you’re describing a before-and-after story. This part explains how the customer is better off after they connected with you. Use tangible examples, such as numbers, statistics, or percentages, to show detailed improvement. The more generic your results, the less other people will believe your case study. Specific results create credibility.
The final section of your case study is used to let your customer, donor, or reader praise your efforts and add credibility to your story. To complete this section, request a brief testimonial or endorsement from your customer and secure permission to display their name, title, and organization. Boil their testimonial down to the best 3 – 4 sentences. As mentioned earlier, nothing speaks louder than happy customers telling others that they’re better off because they connected with you.
Once you’ve completed a case study, use it everywhere in your marketing. Post it on your website. Bring it up in conversation with prospects. Use it in a speech. Mention it during a media interview. Share it in your newsletters and social media pages.
Preferably, group at least 3 case studies together when you display them on your website or promotional materials. One case study doesn’t sound very convincing by itself. But, several grouped together create compelling validation for you, your company, or your non-profit.
If creating case studies still seems confusing, feel free to visit my website and use my four examples as guides:
Case Study 1
Case Study 2
Case Study 3
Case Study 4
Why try to persuade people to purchase your products and services? Utilize the power of case studies and let your happy customers do the marketing for you.