Bottom line – proof sells. This is why case studies should be a non-negotiable tool in your marketing arsenal.

Think about it for a second. When was the last time you made a purchase without knowing what you were spending your hard-earned money on?

Whether you’re looking for a new dining experience, in the market for a new bed, or saw some really cool kicks you just had to have, a good chance you did some investigation first. And the same goes for services.

When I was looking for a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor that could help balance my hormones and clear my skin, I read through countless customer reviews online. Those reviews ultimately helped me pick a doctor that was best suited for the problems I was facing. When I could envision the success I’d have and the happiness working with that practitioner
brought me, it was a no-brainer who I needed to go with. It was an easy sell once I could picture myself in their patient’s shoes.

I can’t recall the last time I purchased something without doing some sort of research and investigation online, including checking out testimonials, reviews, and customer success stories.

Bottom line – proof sells. This is why case studies should be a non-negotiable tool in your marketing arsenal.

What Is A Case Study?

A case study is just a glorified testimonial but written in a longer format. Think of it as a customer success story that follows the age-old story writing format of beginning-middle-end with your customer being the hero in the story.

With a case study, you follow a problem-solution-transformation storyline, which helps paint a picture that shows how real-life customers overcame a problem using your product or service. Testimonials, success stories, and customer reviews all help us make more informed buying decisions. Unlike testimonials or first-person reviews, a case study is a more detailed story but still told from your happy customer’s point of view.

Power of Storytelling

People love a good story.

From a very early age, we’ve been surrounded by stories. We’ve immersed ourselves in them, learned from them, and wrote them. You could say that storytelling goes back to the beginning of time. It’s what makes up our history and, in turn, shapes our future. Stories are everywhere,
which is why we connect with them so well.

Case studies are stories that show how real-life customers overcame a problem or conflict by using your product or service. Like any good story, case studies help keep the reader engaged while also making the story relatable.

It helps your prospects picture themselves in your customer’s shoes, showing your audience what your product or service can ultimately do for them. Unlike other marketing material, case studies come from your customer’s perspective, making them a powerful third-party

A great case study can make your prospects feel like you are the best or only solution to their problem.

Social Proof

These days, it’s not enough to say our product will help you solve problems a, b and c; you need word-of-mouth marketing to back up your claim. We need to be showing our clients, don’t tell – and social proof does just that.

According to a study by B2B marketing, 94% of consumers go online to scope out other customer reviews before making their final purchase decision. As consumers, we follow the trends and the actions of others before us.

What makes case studies so effective is that they focus on your customer’s first-hand experience, showcasing real people who have already put your product or service to the test. Peer-to-peer influence represents your customers; views and not solely your company, which can come across as self-serving to consumers.

Let’s say you’re a holistic nutrition coach that specializes in digestive problems. Your clients are looking for someone who can help them feel better and understand what they’re going through.

They don’t just need you to say you can help them feel better; you need to give them real proof that you have helped others just like them.
Once they can envision themselves in your client’s shoes, they are more apt to see themselves as being healthier after working with you as well. This is best known as “future” casting, where consumers can see their future after using a product or service you provide.

Social proof or influence from peers provides a shortcut in our decision-making process.

Helpful Resource for Sales

Whether you are a solopreneur or have a sales team behind you, case studies are a handy resource when talking to prospects and closing sales.
When I was looking for a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner for my hormones, I wanted to hear from patients facing the same problems I was.  I tended to skip over the ones I couldn’t
personally relate to it.

Having a handful of different case studies highlighting various problems your clients have faced gives you a variety to pull from when you jump on a call with a prospect. Simply point them to the case study that most resembles the problem they are facing, so they too can relate and
envision their positive outcome with you as well.

It is Evergreen – Not like the tree…

Unlike some marketing content such as a blog or social media posts, case studies are evergreen and can be used repeatedly.

Case study content never goes out of style because it revolves around a topic {or problem/conflict in this case} that will always be relevant to a particular group of consumers.

Customers will always be on the lookout for other relatable reviews and testimonials, so case studies will continue to sell on your behalf for years to come.

The bottom line, case studies stand the test of time and will continue to impact a business’s trust and credibility.

How To Find A Good Case Study Participant

Finding a great subject to focus your case study on takes more than just picking the first happy customer that comes your way. You need to find a story that can be relatable to your audience, one that grabs them and makes them feel like they are part of the transformation.

Not every customer you work with will make a good case study client. Ideally, you want to choose someone that is open to you sharing their story with your audience {as raw as it may be} and is more than willing to be a walking billboard for your business.

Essentially their success with your product or service goes a long way to showing others that they should trust in your company too.

How To Repurpose Your Case Studies

Every business owner wants the best bang for their buck, and I’m willing to bet you’re no different. To get the most out of your case studies, there are several unique ways you can repurpose them. Sure, you could have a dedicated success stories page where you drop them all in, but that’s
just one way to use them.

Why not try a few of these as well:

  • Include them in your email marketing campaigns and newsletters
  • Add them to your company email signature
  • Reuse them in blog posts and printed articles
  • Provide them to your team for sales presentations and pitches
  • Repost them on all your social media pages

And that’s just a start!

Did you know that the average consumer needs to hear your message seven times before they hit that “Purchase” button?

The more you repurpose your case studies, the better chance your marketing message will sink in with your audience. The more, the merrier, they say!

So tell me, how are you going to start using case studies in your business?

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Miranda Barrett helps passionate health + wellness entrepreneurs grow their brand + their business with personality-driven website copy, case studies and brand storytelling.

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