You likely spend a lot of time developing content for prospects in the top and middle of the funnel, and that’s all well and good. But did you know that one of your most powerful marketing assets is aimed at people in the bottom part of the funnel?
Case studies are an effective resource for encouraging visitors to convert – 89 percent of marketers say they are key for influencing buying decisions. They also highlight first-hand how your brand helped a customer solve a problem.
But not any old case study will do. To maximize the effectiveness of your case studies, you’ve got to be sure you’re structuring these assets in a way that clearly lays out information, presents a problem and a solution, and provides data that encourages your readers to move on to the next step.
Check out our guidance below on the ideal way to create your case studies to bring in more new customers by showcasing your existing ones.
Introduce the client/customer
Start by giving some background on your client or customer. Keep it short and sweet here. You can even try to bake in your client or customer’s information into the section in which you outline the challenge if you choose not to separate this information from the rest of your story.
Define the problem
In this section, you need to detail the problem your customer was having. What were the challenges they were facing that kept them from reaching their goals? What led them to seek out a solution (that they found with you)?
It’s also good to highlight your customer’s goals. This way, when you outline the solution, you can tie it back to how your business helped your client achieve those goals. Additionally, for every issue you outline, be sure you are offering a solution.
Provide the solution
No good customer case study is complete without giving readers the solution. You’ve built up the “suspense,” now bring it all home with clear details on how your brand’s product or service was successful at solving your customer’s challenge.
Be sure to answer exactly how your product or service addressed and fixed each of your client’s challenges. Provide as much context as possible so your readers can easily see the success in the case study.
Showcase the results
You can talk all day about your customer’s problem and the solution you offered, but without having results and hard data to back it up, the message may not stick with your readers. If necessary throw in graphics, charts and other data points that showcase the climax of the story from start to finish.
Also include direct quotes or even a video of your client talking about your company and solution.
Add a sidebar
Summarize each section with quick takeaways that allow your prospects to easily skim the piece for the most pertinent information. Do this in either bulleted format or with short sentences (much like how CNN’s website and other online news sources place the key points on the side of articles).
Tell a story
Your case studies should tell a story. This story is not just yours – it’s your customer’s. There’s a protagonist – your client. And an antagonist – the problem. Then there’s the Deus Ex Machina – your brand and its product or service For that reason, you’ll want to interview them to get their point of view and collect as much information as possible to see how they viewed their problem and the solution you provided. Don’t rely on emails or other resources – make sure you are talking directly with the customer.
By including direct quotes and insight from your client, as well as crafting an engaging story, you’re more likely to convert prospects who want to do business with your brand. After all, they’ve seen just how successful your products and services can be for providing a solution to their problem. A well-written, well-researched and detailed case study can be just the thing to push your prospects at the bottom of the funnel through to your customer base.