Give Your Customers Something to Relate to with Case Studies
If you’re like most business owners you’re always looking for simple and effective ways to spruce up your marketing strategy to make your business more competitive. If you aren’t one of those people, then this blog isn’t for you. For everyone else, hang with me to learn more about one of the simplest, and often overlooked components you can add to your marketing toolbox.
Why Case Studies Matter
For HVAC, home performance, or solar contractors, case studies can be excellent components to add to your website. Case studies have often been overlooked in our industry which is a shame because your business offers services that are perfectly conducive to before-and-after case studies.
Plus everyone has smartphones now, so contractors always have cameras on hand to take photos throughout the process — from the start to project completion. Slap a few photos on your site, whip up some descriptive text and boom, you’ve got yourself a case study. What could be easier? Okay, so maybe you should put more thought into it than that but what I just described is the basic procedure for creating case studies.
As if you needed another reason to start creating case studies, consider this: they are an amazing first chance to communicate your team’s credibility, knowledge, and skill to a potential customer. We humans are emotional creatures and images, as well as stories we can relate to, have a way of reaching out and grabbing our attention and this is exactly what you want your case study to do.
As a potential customer is clicking through your site and hopefully checking out your case study page, you want images and text that relay a story. Give your potential customers something to connect to emotionally. There is a reason humans have been so enamored by stories throughout our history; it’s because they allow the mind to connect to the heart; stories help make events, people, or your company more memorable, and why wouldn’t you want that?
Storytelling with Case Studies
Think of a case study like this: you were hired to complete a project to insulate a home, which helps the family who lives there save money on their energy bills and be more comfortable in their home.
Your case study can easily have all the parts of a good story. You have a conflict (a family home that is cold, drafty and expensive to keep warm and comfortable during the winter), a protagonist (the hero: your team!), antagonist (villain: insufficient air sealing and insulation) and plot (how you resolved the problem).
The well-known adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true for case studies. It’s just as important to show as it is to tell. You’ll want the case study to incorporate imagery that helps to showcase the plot of your story. Images that showcase the original problem (poorly insulated attic), the heroes (your workers fixing the problem — action shots never hurt) taking on the villain and finally the conclusion of your story (images of the finished project).
You want your case study to take the potential customer through the story, from the beginning of the main character’s journey to the final confrontation with the antagonist that results in the hero’s customers getting to live happily ever after in their warm and energy efficient home. Keep your writing simple, succinct and understandable by your readers who won’t have the technical understanding of the projects the same way you will. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and imagine — will they find this interesting? Will they understand it? What do they want to see and read? Learn more about how you can include emotions to grab clients’ attention here.
Next, let’s go through the steps you should keep in mind when you decide to add case studies to your website.
Creating Case Studies
When you begin creating your case study strategy keep these two things in mind: First, what was the problem that required your company’s services to solve? And second, what did you offer for a solution, and how did the project turn out?
This goes without saying, but I will say it anyway — take pictures throughout all the steps from start to finish! What good is a case study without pictures?
After you begin creating the case study on your website, pick pictures that offer the best view and angle to showcase the quality of the work you completed. Your photos should easily relay to a potential customer why they should choose you out of the endless other options available.
Remember my awesome analogy about creating your case study as if it was a story? You should do the same thing when you are picking and arranging your photos so they will tell the same story as the words you use. Finally, like the other pages on your site, add a call to action so potential clients can easily send you requests for more information.
Above all, be thoughtful and take pride in your creation, this should be a fun exercise where you can showcase your company’s work to a larger audience.
If you’re having trouble thinking about how to begin, or just need some inspiration, check out other companies’ case studies. It never hurts to know what the competition is up to and as a former mentor once told me, if you want to be good at something you have to immerse yourself in it. This rule applies to case studies as well. Do you want to have a fun, informative, and engaging case study? Then you have to be willing to put in the time and do the homework.
Remember, case studies can be an awesome way to increase your digital presence, showcase your work and bolster your brand. They are something you should take seriously and consider incorporating into your overall marketing strategy.