If you’re spending time developing client case studies, you already know what a fantastic marketing tool they can be. At the very least, your sales people will be using them in meetings, to demonstrate how you’ve helped previous clients, to win the next deal. And they are a great source of positivity for keeping your motivation high, as your business moves forward.
However, it can take time to write the case study with a client, so you need to ensure you make the most of the story to support your marketing, once it’s agreed. When fewer people know your business name or what you do, it can be a struggle for small businesses to get the story out there.
Here are 8 tips on how to plan your case studies, so they help increase traffic to your website:
1. Before writing a case study with your client, identify the audience you are trying to engage to win future projects – a full profile of their interests and challenges will help you make the story more relevant to them.
2. Choose the right clients with whom to invest time writing case studies, because some clients may thank you for leaving them to get on with their day job, and others will truly appreciate some joint publicity. When speaking to them about the opportunity, there’s no harm in being honest about why you want to do it – winning new business is important to every business.
3. Talk to your client about the phrases they use to attract new customers for their products and services. To grow traffic to your website and theirs, you can agree a set of keywords to include in the articles for search engine optimisation. Also ask about reciprocal links, because you can share their website link in the article – and then it’s up to them if they want to mention your case study.
4. Start a list of categories for your case studies (as shown on the Case Study Ninja Library) which cover the industry sectors you work with most often, the type of help or service you offer your customers and the success they have achieved. Once you have a few case studies in a particular category, turn them into a blog, exploring all the issues and ideas for that type of customer. Share your blogs on LinkedIn or Medium, by publishing a shorter version with a link through to the full article on your website.
5. Plan a range of social media posts which lead people to click through and read your case study on your website – are there common questions which your case study answers, or ideas which may resonate with readers? You might even discuss a few ideas with your client, for them to share posts with their social network communities.
6. Find out which images you can use with the case study – your client may let you use their photos, or you can identify some suitable imagery which suits your business. People love to see pictures on Instagram, so if it’s the right platform to reach your audience, then you can use a wide number of hashtags, and spread the word.
7. Explore video opportunities – your client might be willing to record their testimonial, or feature in a live session on social media. Once on video, you can share it on YouTube with links back to each of your websites.
8. Check which stories are newsworthy – if there is a topical event or theme in the news, you can prepare a case study to share with the trade or local press. Ask your customer which publications they would like to feature in, and which online news or magazines they actually read themselves. Their favourite sites or magazines might be completely unrelated to their business, like sports, the Economist, or Psychologies or Which?
Once you know where to aim your efforts, you can build personal relationships with journalists and pitch the story to them by email as soon as you have permission from your customer. If your case study is published, make sure you share the coverage, use the link in your social media posts, and link these all back to your website.
When you choose the right case studies to support your marketing, they can make a massive difference to how people perceive your services. Plus a case study can be presented in a number of different formats – video, email attachment and printable format – to share or hand out at meetings, or events. By planning the headlines for each story, and the topics you cover, you can create answers to potential customers’ questions. If your business strategy is to boost traffic to your website, it makes sense to spend the most time on case studies which are relevant to the industry or problem your ideal new customers are facing. To see how Case Study Ninja users share their stories, please visit the Library.