If you really want to showcase your previous success stories, don’t underestimate the power of a good case study. It’s a tool that can put the full extent of the services you offer into context and show that you really can walk the walk. But don’t forget that case studies differ depending on what you intend to achieve from it, e.g. do you want a sales case study to generate leads, or a PR case study that can get your company’s name in the media?
From a sales perspective, a case study can show your ability to give return on investment and show your greatest achievements. What did you do to make a difference to your client’s organisation? Whether you have made it more profitable, improved its processes or enhanced its image, including this in a case study gives an objective example that potential customers can use to establish how you can help them. A PR case study however needs to find that media hook that engages with journalists. Perhaps your case study resonates with a hot and current media topic? Perhaps you’re a well-known brand and your trade press want to hear about why and how you decided to revolutionise certain processes? The B2B press is always after real life examples of how businesses adopt new technologies or ways of working and the benefits they bring.
So if you’ve got the client’s approval to do a case study, where should you start? When developing the structure, it’s important to show upfront challenges that clients were facing before working with you. And then by discussing the approach that you took to address those challenges, you can show your potential to help strengthen businesses. Particularly for creative industries, it’s important to showcase how you took an original approach. Take our ‘Journey to the Cloud’ campaign for our cloud provider client Redcentric. We took something our client offered and brought it to life with a series of travel-related content, such as travel guides, that brought the theme of moving towards cloud services to light in an imaginative way. Potential clients want to see how you can do something different to competitors.
A case study is incomplete without showing the results that you delivered. Getting some hard statistics, such as quantifying the amount of press coverage you gained, is a strong and tangible way of singing your praises. Qualitative research is just as important too, given that clients will want to dig deeper in your successes; perhaps you won an exclusive piece of coverage in a top publication? And to finish it off, it helps significantly if your client can provide a quote so you can officially show how happy they are with your work.
Think about how much more confidently you can go about trying to win new business with some case studies to back up your sales pitch. Don’t let your hard work be forgotten about- get writing those case studies!
Alex Brown enjoys being one of the Skout blog’s most regular contributors.