Seeing the results that a product or service has produced for other customers can be a very motivating factor in a consumer’s purchasing decision. This is one reason why case studies have been go-to sales and marketing tools for some time now. With recent advances in digital content creation, companies are using innovative formats and taking unique approaches to create their case studies and show just how valuable their offerings are to prospects.
Catching the eye of an interested lead with a compelling visual presentation that imparts critical information they need before deciding to buy makes great business sense. But how can an organization create a case study that effectively showcases its prospects’ pain points, the company’s solution for those problems and the results other customers have enjoyed while also helping the brand stand out among its competitors?
Below, 11 members of Forbes Agency Council share ways to do just that. See their insights to learn about exciting new approaches to creating case studies.
1. Blend Case Study Content Into Other Site Content
Blend case study content into other content on the site instead of placing it only on case study pages. We’ve been implementing case studies throughout the site as opposed to only in one section. This sprinkles the magic that potential customers see throughout instead of making them go to one particular location. Make sure that how this content is shown is emotional and relatable. – Lee Salisbury, UnitOneNine
2. Use A Head-Up Display As Inspiration
The head-up display in the cockpit of a modern aircraft is a fascinating reference point for great, innovative case studies today. Also known as a HUD, this could be any transparent display presenting data that viewers can see through. Embed core content with rich overlays, such as dimensional drawings, embedded video clips, data visualizations and more, that appear in real time as viewers hover with their cursors. This draws them into deeper and deeper layers of content, drives engagement and screams innovation. – Michael McLaren, Merkle B2B
3. Create A Marketing Foundation For Each Case Study
We recommend maximizing case studies by creating a marketing foundation for each one that includes PDF, Web and video formats. Then, leverage these for email drip and social media campaigns by bringing nuggets of information to life with infographics, quotes and stats. The most effective use of case studies these days is through co-presented webinars where our client and their customer jointly present to a vertical audience. – Kathy Floam-Greenspan, Pomerantz Marketing
4. Use Video To Address Challenges You Helped Clients Overcome
Start by addressing the business case or challenge that was overcome instead of talking about steps or actions that were taken. Identify a solution to a challenge that many businesses are likely to have, and demonstrate how you were able to improve the outcomes in a repeatable, meaningful way. I find the best way to deliver this content is through a video that includes the client and service provider. – Korena Keys, KeyMedia Solutions
5. Use A Living Case Study Format
Living case studies are one of the most engaging formats available. Usually delivered through webinars or seminars, a living case study involves presenting a story alongside key actors and providing an interactive environment for audiences to ask direct questions. Not only does this format demonstrate product value but also the strong relationship your company forms with clients. – Chris Martin, FlexMR
6. Drive Purchase Consideration With Snackable Case Studies
Snackable, short-form video case studies are one of the best ways to drive mid-funnel purchase consideration using content marketing. Distributing this content across social media channels with organic and paid media is the best way to get your case studies in front of your desired target audience. They are fun, informative and will drive your revenue! – Dennis Cook, Gamut. Smart Media from Cox.
7. Create Case Studies Via Instagram Guides
A great way for digital agencies to create case studies is via Instagram Guides, which allow you to pull posts from other users’ accounts and combine them into a “guide” or group. You are able to title and describe the Instagram Guide, so you have control and they live on your account. So, if you execute influencer marketing campaigns, for example, you could show all of the posts you got for a client. Be creative! – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
8. Go The Other Direction With Hard-Copy Case Studies
Contrary to digital content options, go the other direction with print. Direct mail is still alive and well. Some brands are seeing up to a 5% response rate using offline channels. Promote your customer stories via print, and see your brand and story resonate with prospects and customers. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
9. Create A Page Dedicated To Case Studies On Your Website
Give the user the opportunity to walk through interesting success stories to showcase the value you’ve brought to previous clients. Present the client’s challenges and your solutions for them, and be sure to add details that make each client’s success story unique and relatable to the readers. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing
10. Tell A Story With Your Case Study
Instead of just including a few stats, go into depth about whatever challenge your customer was facing, why your company was the right solution, and how you solved the challenge. Telling the story allows prospective customers to see themselves in the narrative so that they can decide if this would be a good fit for them as well. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
11. Don’t Focus On Results That Were Far Outside The Norm
Too often, use cases focus on clients that attained results that are far outside the norm. These don’t connect emotionally with your target audience, and they may set expectations that you’ll never reach for your clients. I focus on case studies that speak directly to the unique means a company used to overcome the client’s challenges, not necessarily the unbelievable numbers associated with the initiative. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge