Pressure. That’s the most overwhelming thing about startups: the non-stop, 24-hour-a-day, absolutely-no-respite pressure. It’s all about maximising your time, making sure you’re doing the right things, and doing them as fast as humanly possible. The problem is, everyone else is doing it like that too.
How are you going to stand out, without a huge marketing budget – or, indeed, any idea about how to do marketing? Dammit, Jim, I’m a key disruptor in Fintech, not a digital marketing specialist!
Let’s look at how case studies will differentiate you from the competition in an often very crowded marketplace, save money, and help you appear to be what you are: authentic.
6 steps to making case studies work for your startup:
- As a tool to show new clients/investors. Success stories are the ones people want to hear, but even more important is demonstrating how you solve your client's problems. If something goes wrong (and it most certainly will), don’t sweep it under the carpet: demonstrate that you’ve “taken the learning from it”, as the popular phrase has it. You can use them as discussion starters, in pitch packs, or even take them to pitches. What a suite of cases studies demonstrates is that you’re a business that has its act together, unlike the vast majority of startups; differentiation is what will win you the clients and the funding you need.
- A case study testimonial hits the sweet spot between a dry puff piece outlining product benefits, and a glowing reference from your mum. When you include client testimonials, it lends authenticity to the case study, as well as humanising it. “’This product really solved a problem for me – this is how!’ says Ms. S. Atisfied-Customer” reads a lot better than “We think this could solve your problem!” There’s a great deal of value in social proof: we tend to regard peer referrals much more highly than algorithmic recommendations, and this will demonstrate your authenticity really well.
- It could help drive traffic to your website, attract press and improve your SEO, if it’s publicly available on CaseStudyNinja.com. When people are looking for case studies, if yours is published, well-reviewed, and comes up on page 1 of Google search results, it will get read. This can only be a good thing.
- Case studies combine the qualitative with the quantitative: explaining how your product’s the best is far more effective in combination with say, a cost saving of 25% for a client, a 40% lead time reduction, or an inventory turnover speed increase of 11%.
- They’re very, very cheap: because you’re a startup, you'll be thinking lean. Often you don’t have any money at all for marketing, let alone enough for an actual marketing campaign. Case studies are a great way to tell your stories to the people that matter for a very reasonable sum.
- Great knowledge management. You’re probably doing at least 83 things right now, all with the same goal: getting to market. Case studies, started from the very beginning of your activities, are a very useful way to see what’s been happening, track progress and review things after they’ve finished. You might have a wildly variable cast of people helping you in the early days, and recording what they know could help you on that journey up a very steep learning curve.
All these things are easy to demonstrate in a case study: it makes a really effective container for your ideas, achievements and progress to date. And because it’s compact, readable, and - most importantly – shareable, you can get your case studies in front of the right people as soon as they’re written.
Join Case Study Ninja and sign up for an account, look at what other people are doing in the Case Study Gallery, and get in touch with our specialist team of business writers to create your very own success story.