How to Use Case Studies to Get Your Business Noticed
When you’re thinking about investing in a product or service, what’s the first thing you do? You probably ask your friends whether they’ve tried it, and if they have, whether they’d recommend it. You also probably do online research to see what others are saying about said product or service.
Nowadays, 9 out of 10 people are looking at online product reviews, posts on social networks, and customer testimonials before making a purchasing decision.
This is why case studies are crucial. They’re one of the most effective ways to show potential customers and journalists that your company is worth taking notice of. The question is: how can you use them to get eyeballs on your brand?
What is a case study?
In a nutshell, a case study is a story describing how a business has benefitted from using your product or service. And when it comes to building your reputation, nothing beats the voice of a satisfied customer. And good quality case studies can boost your chances of bagging press coverage, especially when they’re written with journalists in mind.
But before we focus on creating journalist appeal, it’s important to remember the essential components to effective case study writing.
What makes a good case study?
Case studies are not sales tools, so avoid the hard sell. They’re stories that typically focus on three things: a business challenge, how you solved it, and what the outcome was. Editors like a subtle approach with few direct references to the product, and the story tightly focused on the customer’s experience.
In terms of appealing to journalists, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of getting them included in publications. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom:
1. The bigger, the better
Who is your best-known customer? That’s the case study you want to include. While you’d think the most impressive results would make the better case study, big-name companies in your customer’s industry are more attractive to journalists. If you don’t have any big-name customers, choose the case study with the strongest results.
2. Be honest
A journalist is more likely to be interested in your case study if it’s honest. If your project took longer than expected, or the product costs were higher, explain why and how you dealt with the setbacks. Provided the outcome was positive, sharing the story about how things really went down will give you more credibility with the journalist. They don’t want to read a brochure about how great you are. And while we’re on the subject, avoid using terms such as ‘market-leading’ and ‘unique’. They don’t mean anything
3. Third-party validation
If you have access to market research that provides a benchmark or comparison to the results you generated for your customer, share it. If you reduced downtime by 10% and the industry average is 20%, that’s newsworthy information.
4. Quantify the benefits you’ve delivered
If your product or service has increased revenue or reduced costs, shout about it. If the data is too sensitive to show an exact figure, include a percentage, for example, your product/service generated a 60% increase in monthly revenue. Stats are very powerful and much easier to include in an article than a lengthy description.
Helping the journalist
Once you’re ready to pitch, help the journalist by including your contact details and visually interesting, high-resolution images with your case study.
Editors want exclusive stories, so make sure your case studies show how you helped customers solve problems in a new way.