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5 simple steps to a successful case study

In this current climate, it is safe to say the buyer’s journey has changed, and consumers are undertaking more research and engaging with more content to support their decision-making.

Organisations are under pressure to deliver content daily which ultimately results in the increased amount of repurposed material available online. So how do you stand out from the competition? In our previous blog titled, Why you should focus on case studies this year, we address the power of the case study and how great content can separate your business from the masses.

To help leverage more engagement and build trust with your prospects, we have put together a step-by-step guide on how to create effective case studies for your business.

1. Do you know who your ideal customer is?

All business case studies are designed to demonstrate the value of your services, but they can focus on several different client objectives. The goal is to ensure that once your ideal customer has read your case study, you become the expert in their industry, one who understands their needs and can provide targeted results.

2. Determining the case study objectives

To determine which of your solutions would be the best fit to showcase, evaluate whether they contain the following:

A significant challenge. A tight deadline, a complicated issue, or even a need for an entirely new approach.

A rewarding solution. For the importance of storytelling, it needs to be something that customers can relate to.

A series of substantial benefits. The final component in a case study is the benefits. The benefits will be even more compelling if they’re robust statistics. The more granular, the better in this case.

Tip: Remember to ask strong, success-focused questions during the actual interview. Don’t forget to access the questionnaire we created especially for case studies in Accelerate. (Gamma Portal >> Help & Support >> Gamma Accelerate >> Collateral and search ‘Case study guide’.)

3. Choose the right medium

Did you know, 47% of consumers view three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales rep?  Some people enjoy reading, others may prefer audio, video, or visual representation. With that in mind, consider taking your text-based case studies and re-purposing the content into some different formats.

Podcasts Research carried out by the global measurement and data analytics company Nielson found that podcasts increase purchase intent amongst listeners by an average of 10%.

Videos According to the Content Marketing Institute 50% of consumers say they want to see video content more than any other type of content from brands.

Infographics Make complicated statistics and facts more accessible and easier to understand. In general, people prefer images over words and experiences over explanations.

Remember to think about design best practices that will keep your content visually appealing:

Break up content Think about visual elements such as bullet points, sidebars and call-out boxes, to highlight your key findings.

Use imagerySimplify overly complex topics or text-heavy content with diagrams and pictures.

White space Use plenty of white space to make reading as easy as possible.

Formattingkeep it simple and make sure you stick to your brand guidelines for a professional look.

4. How to structure your case study

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at this stage, to help you get a handle on this step, we recommend sticking to this basic format.

Title: Keep it short and snappy.

Subtitle: Elaborate on the accomplishment.

Executive Summary: A 2-4 sentence summary of the entire story.

About the Subject: An introduction to the company you served.

Challenges and Objectives

How Product/Service Helped

Results including any statistics and numbers

Supporting Visuals or Quotes: Pick one or two powerful quotes or visuals that support the story you are telling.

Call to Action (CTA): Not every case study needs a call to action, however placing your sales number and email at the end will encourage customers to take action.

Once finished, send a revised copy of the case study to the customer for final approval.

Tip: Don’t forget to make use of the resources available to you and download the ‘Case Study’ template that we’ve created to help partners with the structure and layout of their case studies.

(Gamma Portal >> Help & Support >> Gamma Accelerate >> Collateral and search ‘Case study design template’.)

5. Publish and promote your case study

Using just one format on a single platform can be limiting and often won’t provide your content with the attention it deserves. Think about the distribution and promotion of your case study using a multi-channel campaign.

Website – Adding your case study to a website has multiple benefits, try adding your case study to the homepage or create a library of success stories, this also helps with your Search Engine Optimisation.

Relevant case studies are also great content for landing pages, where you can tease prospects with gated content forms to boost your sales efforts.

Blog – Promote your case studies through your blog highlighting the strategy behind your customer’s success. Remember to focus on the customer and their experience!

Sales collateral – Your sales team will benefit from having targeted case studies at their fingertips, especially for tradeshows, networking events, or pushing their customers over the line.

Email marketing – Sending an appropriate case study is a great way to re-open a conversation, alternatively, use as a follow-up email to spark further dialogue and give the message value.

Social media – The most impactful quotes and stats in your case study are perfect snippets to share via social networks and is a great way to direct traffic to your site.

Testimonials – Hearing about a customer’s experience in their own words is much more influential than hearing it from a salesperson or marketer.

By now you should have a grasp of all the components to put your own successful and powerful case study together.

Don’t forget to make use of the resource available to you.

Every Gamma Channel Partner has free access to Accelerate, our online partner marketing portal; a simple and secure platform that’s designed to make it easy for you to customise white-label marketing material, generate new leads and engage with prospects and customers.

As well as a range of premium campaign features, such as automated lead nurture workflows and web banners, Gamma Accelerate is home to over 400 pieces of collateral – from eGuides, infographics and campaign images, through to product brochures, logos and sales enablement guides.

Need help getting started with Accelerate? Get in touch