Any small business in Australia who is seeking to grow their market share knows that you can attract more customers either by telling everyone you’re the best or prove it with a winning case study. And a well-crafted case study positions you as an authority in your field. Not only do you perform when you say you’re going to perform, but you have the proof, statistics, and facts to support your actions.
But what makes a winning case study? It should represent the types of customers you hope to attract. For instance, a marketing company that wants to gather more banking clients should choose to write a case study about a bank. Writing about a similar field and company that you hope to attract shows that you’re comfortable performing for those types of companies. You know the industry’s obstacles and needs, and you know how to give stellar results. Your job is to showcase those results with your case study.
The most effective case studies are also those that tell an engaging story. For example, Bank A started out in a city saturated with other banks. However, the owner had a vision and persisted, and today the bank is one of the most successful in the area. That’s a true underdog story that people can relate to, and a story like that will be mighty attractive to other bank owners just starting out, and who want the same impressive results.
To tell the story effectively, focus on the customer and what makes them unique. Then analyse the customer’s goals and needs, as well as obstacles and weaknesses, before delving into how your company satisfied those needs and helped to overcome those obstacles to achieve success. To do this effectively, break your study into sections like: background, goals, challenges, the solution you offered and project results.
A powerful case study includes facts, figures, numbers, and statistics. You want your case study to be ultra-clear and accurate. Show how you got the figures and cite your sources wherever possible to enhance your credibility.
When showing an image or graph, use arrows and text boxes to indicate what readers should be looking at and why. Make your case study even more interesting by including anecdotes, such as “They changed the opt-in offer from a newsletter to an eBook and that one change led to a 375% increase in web traffic!”
Describing the results you were able to achieve for the customer is good, but it’s better to explain how those results were generated. What did your company do specifically that’s different from all the competition that allowed the client to benefit in such grand fashion? Those are the details that will make your case studies memorable, and effective at earning new business.
Never forget that a client’s own words are especially effective at establishing independent third-party credibility. In the context of your case study, you might include a quote that speaks of the client’s pain points at the beginning of the project, and then another at the end that speaks of the client’s gratification around the solution you offered.
A properly developed case study can greatly enhance the new business lead generation activities of most small businesses. The material helps to demonstrate your businesses capabilities and industry expertise and show what results are possible through collaboration. Or, put more simply, case studies are especially effective as you won’t have to tell prospects you’re the best, because you’ll have a case study that proves it.
Wayne Jasek, Director-APAC, Kentico.