Case Studies and Success Stories: Advertising Without the Cost
Why produce case studies and success stories? Quite simply…what better way to promote your company than by demonstrating the success your customers have had using your products or services? When companies see the results you’ve generated for others, they will be more likely to consider you as a valuable resource and business partner. Not only do past successes generate interest, they also provide tremendous credibility.
What are case studies (or success stories)? They are effective marketing tools that rely on a story framework to describe how you solved a problem or challenge for someone else. They generate empathy and produce the mindset that says “if they can do it for others, they can do it for me.”
If you are not producing case studies regularly, consider some of these important opportunities that you could be missing:
Increased communication value. Prospects identify with success stories that describe similar problems and results to the ones they are experiencing.
Access to multi-channel use. Case studies have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be shared with customers and prospects through email, posted on the company’s website, discussed in blogs and other social media outlets and handed out at trade shows or in one-on-one interactions.
The ability to create a sense of trust and empathy. Case studies personalize the experience of using the company’s products or services to solve a problem or fulfill a need. In addition, prospects are more likely to believe a case study based on a credible, third-party experience instead of self-serving sales literature.
A method for bringing life to the company’s products or services. Success stories are just that—stories. Telling an engaging story to demonstrate the effectiveness of the products or services is more interesting than looking at facts and figures. Even better, the probability increases that readers will remember the story.
The key elements of an effective case study include:
A branded format and engaging headline.
A description of the problem or challenge faced by a customer, communicating why it required urgent attention.
The role your company’s product or service played in the solution and the positive business impact generated. This includes implementation, training, use and quantifiable, bottom-line results.
Quotes and testimonials from the customer that communicates the benefits of your product or service and the positive experience working with your company.
Visual representation of the problem and solutions, such as employees using the product or solution, company logos and graphs illustrating the results.
A call to action with complete contact information for your company.
When all is said and done, well-crafted case studies and success stories can assist the sales team in closing more business. And what company in business today isn’t looking for opportunities to grow?