When I first started writing marketing content for small businesses, I was mainly hired to write for their websites (think home, about, and service pages), pamphlets, and online blogs. However, in more recent times, I’ve been turned on to this great new marketing avenue called case studies. And I’m not the only one who feels that case studies are a very positive thing for small businesses as, in 2014, they became the second most popular form of B2B content that decision-makers used when making purchasing decisions, losing out only to white papers, and forcing webinars into third place (Source: Demand Gen Report).
What Are Case Studies?
Now, in case you’re like I was, completely unaware that case studies even exist, what I am referring to are the rather in-depth stories of some of your most satisfied clients. Essentially, these case studies contain three main parts.
First, they outline the horrible problem that your customer had that led them to you. Second, they share the many wonderful and heroic things you did to help them successfully remedy their issues. And third, they reinforce how your client’s life is so much better now that you flew in to save the day. Simple right?
How Can Case Studies Promote Your Small Business?
If you’ve not really utilized case studies up to this point and are not quite sure how to do so effectively, there are quite a few different options that can help you promote your small business. Here are six to consider:
- On your website. A recent Google research study found that 4 out of 5 consumers use web-based search engines to find local businesses and resources. So, just imagine how placing a case study on your website’s home page, or even a dedicated case study page, can help hook these potential customers in once they read about how truly great you treat your clients and solve their problems!
- On your blog. If you have a blog that many people follow, this is a great place to publish a case study or two every so often. People like to read blog posts about other people, and this is one way to get them excited about your small business simply by telling a story of what you do every single day and the positive results it brings.
- On your social media pages. Just like with blogs, if you have a ready-made audience on a social media platform like Twitter, Facebook, or any other site, this makes this a perfect place to post occasional case studies. Again, people like feel-good stories in which other people start out sad and end up happy, thereby increasing the likelihood that your case study post (and your small business) will be shared and you’ll get more traffic yet.
- On a video-based platform. There are a number of video-based platforms nowadays, ranging from YouTube to Vimeo to Metacafe, giving you a number of different places where you can place video footage of your satisfied clients recounting how you saved them from a life of despair. (As a side note, if you don’t currently have a video on your website, you might want to read 12 Reasons You Should Have a Video on Your Website.)
- In your emails. If you have a pretty lengthy email list, why not send them a short case study, outlining the benefits you’ve provided other customers just like them? That way they will be more likely to remember you when they need your products and services too.
- In presentations. When you are trying to convince investors to buy into your company, throwing a case study or two in there can help provide social proof that you’re a company worth putting their money into. Plus, case studies shared during staff meetings are a great way to reenergize your staff and remind them that they are changing lives.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use case studies to help you promote your small business. Try one or try them all. The more places you use them, the more people will see exactly why they should do business with you and only you.
Christina DeBusk is a freelance writer who specializes in helping small businesses highlight stories from their satisfied customers through the use of case studies. You can visit her site at www.christinamdebusk.com for more information about how she can help you create your own case studies.