Sometimes referred to as an extended testimonial, case studies (or application notes) describe how your company solved a challenge that saved money, time, or both.
Case studies are a great way to showcase your company’s ingenuity and innovations because they tell prospective buyers or customers how you’ve helped customers.
They add considerable credibility and trust to your website and other marketing initiatives.
Since they’re often told as a story, with quotes from the customer and others involved, case studies give a good overview into how your team works, thinks, and problem solves.
How to use case studies
Case studies make great website content (e.g. you can add them to a Resources section). Case studies can also be reformatted and/or repurposed, depending on how they’re being used.
If you make the case study as its own web page, you can also include a link to a branded PDF, which prospects can download during their research.
If the challenge you solved is particularly noteworthy, you can pitch your case study to a trade publication. Publications within your industry are always looking for good application notes on how companies solved a challenge that many in the industry face. Getting an article in a trade pub is a win-win for both you and your customer.
You can add links to case studies on your company’s LinkedIn page, use the PDFs as “leave behinds” on sales calls, test them as offers for Google Ad campaigns, and hand them out at your trade show booth, the way MachineMetrics did.
You can also pull out a customer quote and add that to your site’s Testimonials page.
Case Studies Do’s and Don’ts
- Do: Have a freelancer writer interview your customer in order to keep your case study objective and reduce the risk of using in-house terminology (jargon).
- Do: Use quantifiable metrics that back up the problem solved.
- Do: Be open to letting the customer remain anonymous if the application is particularly sensitive.
- Do: Consider sharing things you learned and will improve on in the future, this adds authenticity.
- Don’t: Share your customer’s story or use their name without permission.
- Don’t: Use stock images which can erode trust.
- Don’t: Lie or overstate results.
- Don’t: Change the case study after the customer has given final approval.
If you’re a manufacturer and need help with creating content for your industrial audience, consider a Custom Marketing Program from Huff Industrial Marketing. Programs can include one tactic, such as Content/SEO or Paid Search (PPC), or a combination of tactics, such as Content/SEO, PPC, and PR.