If you have a company web site or a blog and want to attract more business (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) there is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to do it. Best of all, you probably have everything you need to start, and it won’t break the bank!
A case study is a résumé of a successful transaction between you and your client or a project. It might not have gone smoothly, but it must have had a successful outcome to be a good case study. A good case study is about two to three pages long. It can be much longer if you have more details and statistics or if it was a complicated project, but you must be careful to not give away any confidential or proprietary information to others, including your competitors!
A case study can be broken down into several main elements:
Let’s break this down into these four areas to see what you’ll need to get started:
A product or service
Your offer of a product or service. It helps if it’s not an off-the-shelf product or temporary interaction with your client. It’s not impossible to create a case study from this, but it helps if your solution requires more long-term client interaction.
Your client is searching for your product or service, and either knows you already or has never done business with you before. Both are great because a case study gives you the opportunity to present yourself in a transparent manner. The client will contact you for information or will look for you as they search on the Internet or by asking their friends and associates for references. This information will be the basis for your case study – how did they find you, and what were their needs. You can name the client in your case study if you have their permission, as this lends more credibility, or use a pseudonym or not use any name at all. As you gain more clients, they will probably be more inclined to let you use their name as it’s good PR for everyone.
An obstacle is the best part of a successful case study. Once a client has contacted you, they will ask you for a quote, or if you have a certain product. This is your opportunity to shine, and demonstrate how your company or product filled or surpassed the client’s needs, and how it overcame an obstacle or problem. Some details will be necessary, but they can be as vague as you like. You want people to come to you for your expertise, so don’t give everything away!
A successful conclusion
Ideally, your case study should have a successful conclusion, though it may have been difficult to obtain the client’s satisfaction. Emphasize the teamwork and collaboration with your client to arrive at the conclusion.
The advantages of a case study
The first advantage is the impression you give to existing and new clients. By emphasizing your expertise, collaboration, and teamwork, you allow your clients to get to know you. Second, a case study is relevant. Lastly, if it’s done properly, it’s objective, demonstrating the pros and cons, successes and failures. It’s not meant to be a hard sell or a pure marketing document. People like to conclude things on their own, and a good case study allows them to do that.
Search engines, including Google, love relevant content. As you publish more case studies, using your own keywords (come back later for a blog on using keywords and keeping them consistent!) you will attract more clients, and increase your visibility.
How we can help you
Do you have an interest in developing a case study but either don’t have the time, or the resources to write one? Maybe we can help. Case studies should be a part of your total content strategy. Talk to us about your clients, challenges, and successes to see how we can help you produce a great case study that helps you!