The Case For Case Studies In Your Content Marketing

“Congratulations! You just got a new five-star review!”

You bloody beauty!

A customer was so thrilled with your service they could not wait to hop on Google and leave you a glowing five-star review.

Good on you! 

A five-star review is something to be proud of.

Trustpilot’s research shows that one of the most significant motivating factors for people leaving a review is the emotional appeal.

That is, the feeling that a product or service so moved them – either for good or bad reasons – that they had to share their experience.

And if you think about what that means for a second, receiving a genuine five-star review is a pretty special moment for your business.

It means that your product or service made such a difference to someone it triggered such a visceral, emotional response that they just had to tell the world about it.

It’s vindication that your product or service can make a real-world difference.

It’s social proof that you can make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

It’s evidence that you can help other people solve the same problems.

READ MORE: Good Reviews? Great! Epic Content Marketing Pieces? Even Better?

But before you go away and try and write up a case study, here are three crucial things you need to do.

Pick Your Case Study Hero

Every good story needs a hero.

And the best heroes are the ones we can relate to. The heroes we can understand and empathise with.

The problem with a lot of case studies is that they frame the business or the product as the hero of the story.

And it’s an easy mistake to make.

After all, it was the product or the service that saved the day, right?

But here’s the thing.

The case study must revolve around a person.

And more often than not, that person should be the customer.

People can’t empathise with a product. They can’t see themselves in a service.

They might recognise the human element of you or your staff member that went above and beyond to deliver the result but, ultimately, the person they are going to see themselves most in is your customer.

And the reason why is simple.

Your customer had the same problems your prospects have.

By making your customer the hero of the story, you are putting your customers in their shoes and helping them to walk the same path.

A path that leads to you, your business and a fantastic outcome.

There are some rare instances where it may be more appropriate to frame yourself or your staff as the hero.

This might be a good idea if your case study revolves around a very particular way your team navigated a severe problem or when you or your staff went well and truly above and beyond to deliver a brilliant outcome for a client.

Interview Your Case Study Client

Interviewing your client is probably the most important thing you can do to when it comes to writing a case study.

Don’t go off and write one without taking this crucial step.

Unless your client has left you a super-detailed review or testimonial (most platforms have a character limit on what they can write anyway) chances are you’re probably only going to have four or five short paragraphs to work with unless you interview them.

And there’s going to be a lot of juicy detail you’ll be able to get out of this chat. You might even learn something about your business you didn’t know.

The three main things you want to cover in your interview are:

  1. What was the problem they were facing before your product/service/solution and how did it make them feel
  2. What was it like dealing with you, your business and your product/service/solution
  3. How did your product/service/solution solve their problem and how do they feel now

Do not skimp over the emotional/feelings aspect of these questions.

That’s where you’re going to find the emotional hooks that are going to catch your next prospect.

Remember, the point of any case study isn’t just to tell someone how good you are. There are a hundred ways you can do that.

Instead, you want your potential customers to recognise themselves in the story you’re telling.

They should recognize themself in your customer’s shoes, and the action your customer took in engaging you should inspire them to do the same.

While you’re at it, ask if they’re willing to interview on camera or recorded on a microphone!

This could be a great chance not just to write a case study but produce a fantastic piece of video or audio content.

If you have a client who left a great review but is hesitant to be interviewed, offer to change their name for the case study and change one or two identifying details to help them maintain anonymity.

Always respect your client’s wishes in this regard.

Get Customer Approval For Your Case Study

You should always ensure the customer the case study is about is happy with what you’ve put together.

Don’t assume because they have let you interview them that you can do whatever you want with it.

You’ve done such a great job of winning the review, don’t burn it by sharing something the client isn’t happy with.

Doing this will also help ensure you’ve represented the facts appropriately and avoid any small errors that might have escaped your attention.

If they’re happy with it, let them know when and where you’re posting it and ask them if they want to be tagged or not.

This will help encourage them to share your case study and their story, putting you in front of even more people!

Got an excellent case study waiting to be written but need some help?

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