You probably know that creating informative, valuable content to answer your potential customers’ questions is a great way to build your brand online. But did you know publishing business case studies of your previous work can help you turn your leads into customers and generate more revenue?
What is a Business Case Study?
Business case studies are summaries of real-life scenarios in your business. They can show how different arms of your business work together or how a service or process you’re known for created a beneficial solution for your clients.
Case studies can show how you applied a theory, but in the case of your business, they can show how good you are at doing what you do.
And while the phrase “case study” may make you think of an academic environment, business case studies can be a persuasive marketing tool in your arsenal.
The Positive Effects of Business Case Studies
If you want to show off your hard work without feeling like you’re bragging, you need to add case studies to your company’s website. Here are some positive effects case studies can have for your business.
Builds Brand Image
Most customers want to know your business can do what it says it will do before they pay for a service. Business case studies show them that.
Using case studies to show your methods and results can build your brand’s image by giving your customers proof of what you’ve done in the past. This documentation helps potential customers learn to trust you before they work with you and builds your image as a reputable brand.
The more case studies you can provide your audience, the better your reputation will be.
Educates Your Audience
People don’t like to spend money on something they can’t understand. Case studies can help your audience learn what your business does. Case studies can also show your audience the types of clients you’ve worked with to help them learn if they’re a good fit for you. And while not everyone who reads your case studies will become a customer, you’re still educating your audience and building your brand image with every case study.
Before a customer makes a purchase, they research brands to discover which company they should work with. They want to know they can trust the company to do the work and proof the company can do it.
Case studies can provide that proof. When a customer sees that your company can do exactly what they need with proof of the potential results, your lead will convert to a paying customer.
Building your brand image, educating your audience, and converting leads all lead to sales. Business case studies can drive revenue because they’re such an effective form of advertising. Not only are you showing customers what you’ve done in the past and who you’ve done it for, you’re also showing them they can trust your business. The more case studies you create, the more you compound the benefits.
How Business Case Studies Help Build Your Brand
Building your brand takes time and intentional work. Here are some of the ways business case studies can help to do that:
- Showcase Expertise. Case studies show what you know and how you use that knowledge.
- Demonstrate Results. With a case study, you can share what you know and how you used it to help a customer. You get to share your customer’s wins, which are wins for you.
- Establish Authority and Credibility. Before you hire someone, you review their resume to see what they’ve done in the past. Case studies are like a resume for your business. They show you know what you’re doing and put your successes on display.
- Highlight Unique Brand Experiences. Every project your business takes on is different, meaning there are unique considerations to make. A case study can show how you approached a special case.
- Enhance Content Strategy. Linking case studies in your search-engine-optimized content can help support your marketing efforts by answering your customers’ questions and showing you know what you’re talking about.
- Increase Visibility and Engagement. Using case studies to build authority can widen your audience, leading to increased online visibility and more engagement from potential customers who want to learn more about what you do.
- Build Trust and Loyalty. Customers want to work with companies they trust. Case studies prove you’re worthy of that trust, and your customers will want to stick with you.
How to Create a Business Case Study
Writing a business case study doesn’t have to be like writing a report in school. Case studies can be a great place to ignore some of the more boring rules your English teacher taught you and focus on sharing a story about your company in your unique brand voice.
When you create a business case study, you should:
- Identify the Target Audience. Your case studies won’t appeal to all potential customers. So, choose your ideal customers and consider what would attract them to this story.
- Define Your Goals and Select a Topic. Before you write, think about what you want this case study to do. Whether you want it to showcase a problem your business solved or a unique approach for a particular client, define the goal and topic first to help you write the clearest and most direct case study.
- Gather and Analyze Data and Information. Measure the results of your work and interview your client to help you create a full picture of the service you provided and how it helped them.
- Outline the Narrative. A good case study should read like a story. While you don’t need a “once upon a time,” you want to give your reader the full story from start to finish.
- Write and Proofread. Create a draft of your case study and review it to make sure it includes all the details. Then, proofread for errors and typos.
- Add Design. Create a branded case study template to showcase your brand and the clients’.
- Publish and Share. You can post case studies as blog posts, website pages, or even as PDF downloads. Whichever you choose, send them to your email list and share on social media.
5 Common Case Study Mistakes to Avoid
Even though case studies can do a lot for your business, a poorly created case study isn’t going to help you. There are five common case study mistakes to avoid when you’re writing your next one.
1. Not Gathering Enough Relevant Data
Case studies are always based on facts. So to write them, you must have those facts. Make sure you take time to interview your past customers and ask questions. You’ll likely feel like you’re asking more questions than you need, but you want to have enough information to accurately and succinctly write the case study.
When reviewing the results, make sure you’re looking at metrics that will help fill out the story, not just metrics in general. Many points may be worth highlighting about your work with a particular client. But if your case study focuses on one aspect of that project, make sure you choose the metrics to highlight that, not just metrics that may seem interesting or impressive.
2. Not Outlining the Problem Clearly
Every client is unique, and so is your work for them. When writing a case study, the problem must be clear to the reader so they understand the unique situation you were working through. That doesn’t mean they need every detail, but they do need to understand the limitations and constraints. Focusing on how you solved a problem for the client helps showcase how good your work was while also showing a clear picture of your work.
3. Not Structuring the Case Study Properly
Remember that each case study should tell the story of your work for a particular client. A set structure will help you get all the information you need in the right place. It also will help your audience understand the case study.
Keep the structure simple. You only need an introduction, a brief description of the customer, the problem you tackled, the solution you chose, the results, and a call to action. You can be as detailed as you’d like in any section, but following the structure will help you tell the story, even if you don’t want to add tons of detail.
4. Not Exploring Alternative Solutions
Part of the effectiveness of a case study is that it shows you chose the best solution for your client. But you have to make sure to show your readers you chose the best solution.
The best way to do that is by sharing the potential alternative solutions you could’ve chosen while also illustrating why those solutions wouldn’t work in the long run. Consider the criteria needed for a good solution and list them in the case study. Then, you can show why your work checked all the boxes for your client and why other solutions wouldn’t have worked.
5. Not Explaining the Impact of the Solutions
Solving the problem is essential. But beyond the solution, you must show how it impacted your client. Did your work create compounding returns? Did it change the way your client works from now on? Whatever you did, clarify that you didn’t just do what the client asked you to do. Show that you created a sustainable solution that will serve your client for years.
Tips for Crafting an Effective Business Case Study
By now, you’re probably making a list of potential case studies to write to reap the benefits. Follow these tips, and writing your next case study will be a breeze:
- Focus on the Problem. The problem is the story you’re telling in your case study, and the solution is the happy ending. Focusing on the problem will help you create a more persuasive case study.
- Showcase the Solution. The solution is what a potential customer wants to see. Creating a case study that displays all solution elements will show them what you can do.
- Use Real Examples. Using real examples with real clients that link back to those clients’ websites builds your credibility. Hypothetical examples don’t. That’s not a case study.
- Develop an Engaging Storyline. Show the tension inherent in the problem, the constraints you had to work within, and the ideal solution for your client. This approach builds up the story and makes it more memorable.
- Implement On-Brand Visuals. When someone looks at the case study, they should know it belongs to your company.
- Include Testimonials. Let your clients share in their own words what you did for them. Testimonials also build your credibility.
Highlight Your Success with Case Studies
Are you ready to add business case studies to your content marketing strategy? Content Journey offers case study writing services as part of our packages or as a stand-alone service. Contact us today to get help sharing the stories of how you serve your clients.