Case studies can be one of your greatest tools to help bring in new leads and even convert potential customers to sales.
They work because they have the unique ability to build social proof of the advantages of your product, and turn your product into a story that people can remember.
But the problem is, a majority of the case studies that manufacturers produce are failing to actually help grow their businesses. They sit on a website and do very little.
The problem with most manufacturer case studies is not in the content of the case study, but how that content is presented.
Let me explain…
Manufacturers will typically have a page on their site called "Case Studies," and then they just list the names of the companies they helped and a link to that case study. You might even see the title as something like “How So and So Used Our Product” or “Company Success Story."
If you happen to click on one of these case studies, you’ll either get some written content around how they helped a company or an occasional video. The content focuses on what the project the was, how this manufacturer helped their audience, and how the project was a success.
Typical - but sounds good, right?
This might sound like the most logical way to present case studies, but it’s actually not taking the story far enough.
In order for your case studies to help you convert more customers, it must focus on the benefit that your client received. Insert your product into the outcome and benefit from the overall story.
Too often, manufacturers focus too much on features of their product and pushing their products. They should instead focus on benefits and results.
We call this the Case Study Conversion Formula. It's how to do something great without doing something that’s terrible.
If you take this approach, your audience will be much more likely to read or watch your case study, and it will lead them down the path to understanding how your product can help them with their problems.
It sounds simple but it will revolutionize how your audience views your product and brands.
The reason it works? People want answers to their problems - not products. They don’t want to know about product features - they want solutions.
Let me break down this down for you even further. There are 3 key parts to the Case Study Conversion Formula are:
- The Benefit (title): Should be value and results based, how to do something great without doing something that’s terrible.
- The story (content): What was your customer’s situation and how did they achieve the results you mentioned in the benefit? Focus on your customer and their situation. Don’t focus on your product until the point at which your product helped them achieve their desired result.
- The Action (conversion point): At the end of the case study tell your reader or viewer what to do next. Tell them what to do if they want to see similar results as your customer. This action can be as simple as setting up a time to talk with a rep from your company, requesting a sample, or even trying out your product.
Here’s a quick example.
Let’s say you're targeting architects and your case study is around how your product was used by Hilton Hotels. Instead of just listing “Hilton Hotel” as the case study title and showing why or how your product was used, try changing the title of your case study to revolve around the benefit that Hilton got from using your product.
For example, it could be "How One Architect Reduced Ambient Sound in Hilton's 5 Star Hotel by 5% Without Breaking the Bank" or “How an Architect Got Hilton Recognition for Their Bathroom Design.”
You see what I’m after? Show your audience how to do something great, without doing something terrible. It’s all about the benefit - not your product, not features.
*There is a cheat sheet you can download on the top of this article for the Case Study Conversion Formula. I encourage you to go download it.