Blogs and website page content make up much of the content world. And there is no denying that when it comes to content writing and content marketing, these formats are the foundation for a great content marketing strategy.
I know how it is easy to fall into a comfortable routine of same old same old, but if you find your content is becoming stale, then it’s a sure sign that you should augment your current strategy by writing content that jumps off the page and, more importantly, really really resonates with your potential customers. There is a proven way to do this: by sharing case studies.
Why Case Studies Work
Case studies work for a simple reason – they tap into how our brains and instincts work. This might sound a bit sinister, but it actually isn’t. At their core, case studies are simply short stories. And short stories can be memorable, evoke emotions, and increase recall. In fact, short stories are the basis of almost all educational programming for children from Sesame Street to Blues Clues and Playschool. Our ability to relate to the world and understand it through the use of stories develops early and never goes away.
The second reason case studies work is the recommendation effect. Imagine there have been two great new Thai restaurants open in your area. Both are a five-minute drive away, and the prices on the menu are comparable. But in the case of the first restaurant, you have a great recommendation from a co-worker, while for the second, you don’t have any extra information. In almost every case, a person with this information will prefer the first restaurant as it comes with a recommendation.
A well-written case study has the same effect. It is weaker than a personal recommendation, but even a highly rated recommendation from a stranger can have positive effects. This is the reason that multibillion-dollar ecommerce companies like eBay and Amazon both feature customer reviews so prominently on product pages. The longer reviews and product performance ratings are in actual fact mini-case studies for the product that appears alongside them.
How to Implement Case Studies
So, you’re convinced about the value of case studies but unsure of how to implement them? There are several ways you can make use of case studies, each with their own benefits.
The first is to have short case studies to use on your social media channels. Facebook allows for longer form written content so you can post photographs of your happy customers or a quote graphic highlighting the key points of the case study to draw in attention or increase curiosity with the main text as a status update. Instagram is also a useful channel, but as a visual first medium, it is better suited to “before” and “after” style photos or images that convey your product or service. A text-based explainer can accompany the photos as a caption.
The more standard route to take is to host case studies on your website. This is a strong choice as it allows you to have all of your case studies in one place, and increases the chances of prospects and customers finding a story that resonates with them. By continually adding to this list of case studies, you also get into the habit of collecting the information you need for them and build your authority in your product or service area. More case studies serve as an in-built recommendation engine for your business as well, and a signal to future customers that you have a history of delivering for your previous clients.
It is also well worth considering taking two or three strong case studies and placing them on your home page so that they are among the first things a site visitor sees.
I have a simple form that I send to clients who are new to case studies that helps them add the information I need to write up their stories. I’m happy to share this, so if you’d like me to send it to you, just send me a quick email to [email protected]
Of course, case studies are just one tool in a content marketer’s toolbox. I also help businesses, large and small, with their static web pages, blog posts, and lead gen reports. Again, I invite you to contact me should you need help with these.