I’ve been perusing a lot of Tech company websites lately to see what they’re doing with their case studies. Too often, I’m discovering, it’s not much. When a customer case study fails to tell a story, businesses miss a huge opportunity to engage and connect with their audience.
What I’m finding is tired formulas and data packed snapshots. Customer’s names are often left out, and the “voice” of the customer reduced to a brief quote or testimonial. Yet, the top B2B technology marketers list case studies as their 2nd most used content marketing tactic, with an effectiveness rating of 66%, just below webinars and videos. (Technology, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America, Content Marketing Institute.)
In my mind a case study is, in essence, a story. With a beginning, middle, and end. There’s drama, much like the proverbial cat who gets stuck in a tree in Act 1, rocks thrown at him in Act 2, and then finally gets the heck out of the tree in Act 3.
Here’s an example. Our soon-to-be loyal customer was in a jam. He was facing a challenge that was causing him a lot of grief. In his story we learn what his problems were. And why, like the rocks being thrown at the cat, they were causing his business so much pain. Maybe we can relate? Then, after trying a variety of options, he discovered the perfect product or service. Yours. And you assumed the role of the kind fireman with a ladder who got the cat out of the tree. Together you implemented a successful solution.
By telling your customer’s story you increase the potential of engaging with a reader who might see himself in your customer. Providing a happy ending can leave him optimistic that you can help find solutions to his problems too. And, at the very least, he’ll be much more eager to give you a shot!
Why waste such a great opportunity to connect?