Marketing case studies are one of the most powerful pieces of bottom-funnel content. By shining a light on your current client relationships, you can give interested parties that final push they need to make the leap and choose you over the competition.
But not all marketing case studies are created equal and crafting an in-depth study that is compelling, accessible, and hits the right notes is an art form.
Whether due to time or other factors, many businesses don’t feel comfortable writing their own case studies. So, they set out to enlist the help of professionals. But, with such an important piece of content, how do you identify the marketing case study services that are truly worth it?
Why case studies are so important
Before we explore the components of quality case study services, it’s a good idea to know exactly why you should take the time to create case studies on your website.
In 2021, 13% of marketers claimed that case studies are a primary form of media they use within their content strategy. But really, that number should be higher.
Case studies are an example of what we call “social proof.” The term, which was coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: Science and Practice and is defined as:
“A psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation.”
In more lay terms, when we don’t know what to do in a situation, we copy what others have done. There are many different ways that this can manifest, we may look to an expert, celebrity, or friends to see what they have done.
With case studies in particular, we’re looking at customers who have already taken the step we’re considering to see what their experience is like. The job of any case study is to remove any remaining doubts or questions that we have—some of which we might not even know.
A well executed case study will leave the reader feeling confident that:
- You understand their problem.
- You are able to provide a solution.
- You provide a good overall service.
It may sound simple, but doing it well can be a real challenge. Whether not adding enough detail or overloading the reader with boring content, striking the right balance is easier said than done.
Choosing marketing case study services
If you decide to go with a professional and use marketing case study services, you have to be confident that you’ve made the right choice. When examining their work or inquiring about their service, here’s what you should look out for.
Who is the case study focused on?
It’s your case study, hosted on your website, for your business, so it’s obviously all about you, right?
One of the most common mistakes companies make with case studies is talking about how great they are. This is exactly what you shouldn’t do because, to put it bluntly, nobody cares. The purpose of a case study isn’t to tell everyone how you are the white knight in shining armor who came in to save the day.
Instead, you need to highlight the fantastic work your client is doing—and how your service helped them to achieve their aims.
That’s right, they are the star of the show. They are the hero of the story. You are simply the guide who helped them on their journey.
The reason this is so important is because of how we, as customers, assess services. We always think in terms of them solving a problem that we have, not in terms of how great others are. If you read a case study and it just talks about how great the company is, you think “good for them, but that’s got nothing to do with me”.
Case study services tip
When looking at previous case studies they’ve written, look to see who is at the center of the story. If it isn’t the client, then it’s a bad sign and you should continue looking.
How many ways can you read it?
In some ways, case studies need to play two almost contradictory roles. They need to provide:
- In-depth information about your processes and clients’ experiences to build trust and assuage doubt.
- The most important details in a matter of seconds.
This is because people don’t fully read case studies. In fact, whether they’re 600 words or 2,000 words, they tend to spend around two minutes on them. For this reason, we need to make sure everything on the page is optimized.
The key is to make it easy to glean the key information as quickly as possible, while also giving readers the opportunity to explore in detail if they want. There are a number of ways to go about this, whether highlighting key facts and quotes or getting creative with how you present the information on the page.
Above all, what you want to avoid is a blog of text that is impenetrable.
Case study services tip
Open a case study from your potential client and see if you can get the most important information in the first ten seconds. If not, there’s likely room for improvement with how the case study can be written. Go ahead and test it with one of ours to see what we mean!
How does it tell the story?
A case study can change depending on what you want to achieve. While you can find templates and follow frameworks, a good case study service provider will know when it is appropriate to tell the story in a particular way.
Here are a few common types to illustrate what we mean.
Relationship-focused case studies
These case studies focus mostly on the experience a client has had working with you. They may take the form of an article, with plenty of client quotes to highlight the positive relationship. They could even be in the form of a podcast. Either way, it’s more likely to be light in tone to convey the friendly atmosphere.
Explanatory case studies
It may be that you want to explore how a particular strategy worked on a company-wide level. If this is the case, the case study may be less text heavy and more impersonal in tone. The purpose isn’t to highlight individual relationships but to track the story of how the strategy developed over time.
Implementation case studies
Think about this as a hybrid of the two above. The relationship is important but you’re also covering, in detail, the implementation of a service, strategy, etc. While there would be elements of relationship storytelling, there would also be a strong focus on facts, numbers, and observable findings.
Whatever type of case study you’re writing about, it needs to fit in tone and style to the story you want to tell.
Case study services tip
Compare a number of case studies. Look out for whether they always tell the story in the same way or if they adjust the tone, narrative, and layout depending on the specific needs of the business.
There are many marketing case study services available and the choice you make can drastically impact how effective they are in converting customers and boosting your bottom line. By taking the time to evaluate the options, you can give your business the best chance of inspiring trust.
Want to find out more about how GoWP’s Dedicated Copywriters can help you with your case study? Get in touch to ask about our case study services now!