Case Studies are not the funnest things for your marketing team to create.

More often than not, the process of case studies is greeted with a series of groans when brought up at sales and marketing meetings.

But it doesn’t need to be this way. By crafting a smooth, and efficient case study process, you can create marketing collateral that your sales team and owners will love to share with prospects.

Others outside of the marketing department may not understand the point of spending time or money to write case studies, but when they lead to sales and profit, your team will definitely get the bigger picture.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, however, let’s identify what case studies actually are, they’re different than testimonials, and ultimately how they’ll help your business land leads and sales opportunities.

What is a case study and how’s it differ from a testimonial

A case study is nothing more than a story that’s told about a business case, where a solution was presented that caused a positive result.

Case studies are authored by you, about a situation where you helped one of your customers or clients, solve a problem.

A testimonial is much less effective. A business testimonial is usually a simple customer quote about how much your clients and customer love your company. Testimonials are nice, but if you want the maximum benefit from a sales perspective, from a piece of marketing, go the extra mile.

Your prospects want to know what you’ll do for them, and what you’ve done to solve specific problems for others in their niche. A testimonial just doesn’t accomplish that.

#1 Why you should write a case study

Successful marketers recommend doing case studies because they’re an invaluable asset to any business, and a must have on your website in order to build trust with prospects. Case studies (when done correctly), give your business a sort of street-cred that regular testimonials do not.

Traditionally, testimonials are plastered all over a business’ website, and they always have clients of the business singing their praises. Typically, testimonials are short quotes from a client recommending your company that can seem a bit insincere.

Ask your company leaders if when they are looking to buy a product, if those testimonials convince them to buy from a particular company? We’d be amazed if someone answered that question with a positive response that validated the time put into actually getting them.

Your buyers are looking for solutions. Your potential buyers are not looking to understand why your company is amazing. Case studies are that subtle way for potential clients to learn about what your services can do for them, by comparing what you did for someone else in their shoes.

Case study stats_BNG Design_Fargo ND

(credit: eMarketer)

Let’s look at some data about case studies:

If you want to self promote, nothing quite beats case studies as a tactic that’s part of your overall inbound marketing and lead gen strategy.

As we’ve stated in 5 Common Mistakes When Writing A Case Study And How To Avoid Them, the biggest mistakes companies make when writing case studies is making it all about your company, and not about the customer. Don’t make it about you, rather make it about them and your reader.

Your company is not the center of the universe to your audience. Ideally you should be a background player. Nobody wants to read all about how fabulous your business is; instead, they’re looking for the key to dismiss their problem.

#2 Phrasing is everything

Here are some quick benefits to spending the time and money on case studies.

Case studies, like other inbound content, allow you a low-pressure introduction to your potential clients.

Potential clients that read case studies, are typically top of funnel prospects, that are early in your sales cycle. They come to you and are looking for answers to their problems.

Case studies are designed to draw these customers in, who are just checking out your business and website. They’re looking for answers to questions about what your business did for someone in their industry, who shared their same struggle.

People automatically lose interest when reading a piece that does not openly benefit them in some way. Dialogue that doesn’t strike a chord and touch on a benefit can lead your company into sounding like those late night infomercials we all roll our eyes at.

Instead, take advantage of this informal way to pitch yourself to your customers. Give them a chance to read about another business (or client), who was in their shoes.

#3 Give case studies the credit they deserve

Think of your company like a theater, you have multiple elements that go into making a successful play. Case studies are not lead actors, but the background assets that go into drawing the audience into the story.

Have you ever been to a play where the lighting, costumes, or sets are just “meh”?

If you only focus on the lead players, you can end up losing out engaging your audience. All pieces are vital in helping the audience become enveloped in the play.

Your company website, without case studies on it, is like a play without anything but the main characters. You need a great storyline and background to draw your customers in.

It’s a hidden investment

Case studies do a lot to promote your business, and are invaluable to your sales team.

It can sometimes be hard to convince those in power to spend the money to make them, but the results are priceless.

Have an expert craft case studies for you

Check out our portfolio page to learn how other businesses have benefited from case studies and how we can help your business write compelling, persuasive case studies that get you leads and sales opportunities.