Case studies are an extremely effective, yet often under-deployed, marketing tactic. By telling the story of what a company has done, a brand or product can become personal, authentic and relevant to potential customers. Although case studies are a relatively simple concept, professionally creating and impactfully distributing them takes training and skill. This five-part blog series contains best practices for the key steps of identifying, capturing, writing and effectively distributing case studies.
In the first of our five-part series on impactful case studies, we look at how to identify the stories worth pursuing. Case studies are time consuming to effectively capture and share. Therefore, it’s critical that brands do a thorough job of identifying the best case studies before spending the time capturing and sharing. To identify the most impactful case studies, consider these steps.
- Identify case studies with strong results. Sometimes, a recent case study may have initial qualitative results, such as a positive customer quote, followed by quantitative results later. This is acceptable.
- Identify case studies that show the different parts of what you do, the breadth of your products and services.
- Identify case studies from a variety of types of clients (large and small, various industries, etc.).
- If possible, identify case studies from recognized brands, which helps give your brand instant credibility (e.g., a project for BMW holds more weight than a project for Acme Industries).
- Identify customers who are willing to be interviewed and allow photography/video.
- While not ideal, if it’s not possible to use customer’s company name, you can sometimes still create a case study as long as the study tells the story, provides results and allows some photography.
- Clearly explain to the customer how the case study is going to be distributed (website, social media, etc.). Make sure they are comfortable with the plan and have their company’s approval prior to capturing the story. There is nothing worse than going through all the work to capture, write and produce a case study, only to find out your customer’s company won’t let you publish it.
Don’t miss our next post when we dive into best practices for capturing case study content.