This article first appeared as Anthony Bullick’s column in the Daily Post business section on 20 September.
A case study section is usually one of the first additions to a website, and the individual projects can be some of the most visited web pages.
Case studies illustrate a business’ skills, expertise, and happy customer base. But they only have the desired impact if the target audience actually engages with them.
The first step is to ensure your case studies reflect the business objectives: if your goal is to sell more of service ‘A’, highlighting your competence carrying out service ‘B’ will likely not help.
If your target audience prefers to read copy, write the article in a journalistic style. This style attracts a reader’s attention, and encourages them to read to the final word, meaning your key messages and success story will be delivered.
Include a testimonial from the client to add credibility. Include their name, because your potential customer may know them, and their job title, as people in similar roles will be able to identify with what they were seeking.
Pictures speak a thousand words: add in visual content including the different stages of the project, the finished product, or the customer benefiting from the service.
Create an infographic to easily display key numbers and stats that evidence why your company was fantastic.
Some people may prefer video as a format. Videos that include TV news-style interviews with key personnel from your company and the client are well received. Authenticity is an important aspect of video to ensure the key messages resonate and viewers don’t dismiss it as ‘corporate speak’. Ask the workers on the ground as well as senior management to comment.
Once the case study is published on the website, the next stage is to help drive traffic to the page to ensure it is seen and digested.
Integrate the content into your social media strategy to keep your platforms fresh, as well as speak directly to your stakeholders. Consider carrying out paid social media activity to place the project in front of a relevant audience eg target clients.
Share the case study in your next e-newsletter. Only put a teaser in your email campaign to entice people to click a link to read the entire story on your website. This approach will provide the names of people who click, which is ideal for your sales strategy.
Place the written journalistic version with key media including print, broadcast and trade to earn coverage as editorial.
And don’t neglect offline marketing. Create a printed newsletter for trade shows and exhibitions, as well as your reception area for customers to read.