Write Case Studies the Way Top Marketers Do
“I don’t think I should buy this, it has only got a two-star rating” How many of you have said this while shopping? I believe most of you. Now-a-days, while buying anything you look for customer reviews about the products. And if you are confused you take suggestions from friends, relatives or use social media platforms before making a final choice.
Looking for customer feedback on the product and services has become an essential part of buyer’s journey.
This applies to your prospects as well, who would buy your product and services looking at your proposal response. So before winning their business it’s important to win their trust. This can be done by including compelling case studies as part of your proposal response and increase your probability of win.
A great case study is the one which tells an impressive story of what you have delivered through your products and services. Here are few marketing tips which can help you build a convincing case study.
Objective Based Short Headline
The work you do for your prospects is always to meet certain business objectives of theirs. The title of your case study should bring this objective in a clear and concise manner.
As per a study conducted by HubSpot, headline length within 15 words are the best liked by readers for example – “Changing digital experience”. In addition, in the same study it was found, headlines ending with a bracketed clarification — for example, “Engaging customers by playing a new (social) tune” – were liked 38% better than titles without that clarification.
Prospects are evaluating multiple proposals at a time, a crisp objective based headline helps grab their attention and provides emphasis on your experience.
Tell Your Story, “Start with why”
Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”. He developed a concept called as the “Golden Circle” which is based on,
1. Why = The purpose
2. How = The process
3. What = The result
Use this concept to build the story of your case study, with ‘the why’– to explain the business cause of the project, ‘the how’ – to specify the solution and how it helped, and ‘the what’ – to state effect of the solution as benefits. This technique demonstrates your success story in an engaging way and helps prospects easily relate to it.
Another important aspect is to customize your case study to your proposal. The story you build should correspond to the requirement of the proposal. For example, if the ask is to build a mobile application, don’t just put up an ecommerce platform solution as a whole. Rather, highlight the right services which interests the prospect.
Quantified and Outcome-oriented Business Benefits
Apart from telling an incredible story focus on the specific outcomes your solution helped your customers achieve. Was it a cost saving or time saving or reduced risk or increase in conversion rate? If so how much for example – “20% increase in conversion rate”. The more precise and quantifiable the benefit, more compelling it will be for your prospect.
Word of Mouth
Including customer testimonials into your case study puts you in a sweet spot. A study performed by Dimensional Research states, ‘90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed that it influenced their purchasing decision’. So go ahead reach out to your customers and collect some quotes which highlights your work. A happy customer opens the door of opportunities making your business take a leap.
In a survey conducted by Gartner around influential marketing activities, (See “Tech Go-to-Market: Align Marketing Activities to Tech Buying Cycle Streams “- subscription required) it was found that customer references were near the top of the list in terms of their level of influence. If possible and with appropriate customer approvals provide customer name and contact details. A quick chat between the prospect and your customer to understand the work done and how you made their job easier makes you stand out into the business.
APMP BOK (Body of Knowledge) states, “Graphics and action captions make complex content easier to understand and remember. When used effectively, they can increase your proposal’s persuasive power—and your win rates”. Include graphical representation like infographics or add graphs, images to show your success journey. You can also add customer testimonial videos to your case study to make it impactful.
That’s not all.
Avoid Set-it and Forget-it Approach
Keep your case studies updated with latest information. Also make creation of new case studies a continuous process. Keeping case studies ready and with latest information makes proposal formulation more effective.
In this digital world, when content is the ‘social currency’ and the way to build new relationship, it’s necessary we prioritize case study creation. It’s a proof point which you give for what you promise to do for your prospects. And this is what your prospects want to know.