Small Business Marketing Tips: How To Create Case Studies That Will Help You Attract Future Customers

Joe GalottiAugust 6th, 2020

Let’s say you read a blog post here on the Ring Savvy website, which tells you that Ring Savvy’s 24 hour answering service is super reliable, highly affordable and will help you bring in more new customers.

Now let’s say you also read a story from an actual Ring Savvy customer, who tells you that Ring Savvy provides their company with essential after hours phone coverage, never adds unexpected charges to their monthly bill and has helped them bring in twice as many customers a month as they used to.

While both of the scenarios we described above could in theory lead to you wanting to learn more about Ring Savvy, we’re guessing the words of the actual customer would have much more of an impact. Why is that? Because, consumers are generally more inclined to trust the opinions of other consumers over those from unfamiliar businesses. People know that companies always have something to gain when they’re marketing, but their peers typically don’t, making them a much more trustworthy source.

If you want new leads to feel more comfortable about moving forward with your business, you need to let them know that you have the endorsement of their peers. This is why creating case studies to display on your website is a must in the highly competitive digital age. By sharing real customer stories, you’ll get to show rather than just tell new prospects why you’re their best option for help. In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of creating case studies, and share some important small business marketing tips along the way.

What Do I Need To Create A Case Study?

To create a basic case study, not all that much. Essentially, all you need is a former customer that’s willing to share their experience with your business, and a website to share their story. For written case studies, you can share them right on your website’s blog or create a separate case study page.

To get the process started, assemble a list of former customers who might be good candidates for a case study. You’ll ideally want to include several team members in the selection process. Your colleagues may know certain former customers better than you do, and can help you make a better choice.

Some things to consider when choosing a case study candidate:

  • Will this customer have a lot say about my business?
  • Do I trust this customer to provide a ringing endorsement of my business?
  • Does this customer have a story that will resonate with my target audience?
  • Will my target audience find this customer to be a trustworthy source?
  • Is this customer’s story still relevant today?

Another thing to consider is whether you want to simply create a written case study, or create a video case study. If you’re using video to tell a customer’s story, you’ll need to choose a former customer who is well-spoken and actually willing to go on camera. Recording conversations over Zoom can be a great way for companies to create their first video case studies. Not to mention, giving former clients the option to do a video chat over an in-person meeting may make them more likely to say yes to your case study request.

How Do I Conduct Case Study Interviews?

Before meeting with your case study subject, you should take the time to plan out a list of questions. Coming up with questions on the fly usually will result in a sloppily performed interview, and important things forgotten to be asked. Ideally in your case study, you’ll want to tell a customer’s full story, from their initial outreach to your business to the end result you achieve for them. You’ll want to make sure the questions you ask give the customer the chance to share their complete experience with your company.

Some questions you may want to ask your subjects:

  • What caused you to first reach out to our business?
  • What were your biggest needs when first reaching out to us?
  • When did you know our company was the right one to move forward with?
  • What was your experience like as our customer?
  • Did any of our staff members stand out as extremely helpful during the process?
  • How did your experience with our company differ from experiences you’ve had with
  • similar companies in the past?
  • What solution did we ultimately end up providing you?
  • What have been the long-term effects of the assistance we provided?

That of course is just a starter list of questions, one which you’ll want to customize further towards your specific business. This list should, however, serve as a good initial blueprint to follow when crafting your interview questions. As the interview goes on, and your customers offer responses that you find interesting, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions. The more details you get from your customer during the interview, the easier it will be to put your case study together later. Not everything your customer says is likely to be gold, so you’ll want to have lots of options for the editing process later on.

What Should My Finalized Case Studies Look Like?

If you’re looking for some examples of high quality case studies, this list put together by HubSpot is a great resource. Don’t stress too much if your final case studies don’t look quite as polished as the ones in their article, but definitely use the piece for inspiration.

Some other things to keep in mind when creating case studies:

  • Format your posts so that they are easy to read and digest. Headers, bullet points and images are your friends.
  • Make it clear that you care about your customers. Share some details about your subject’s background, and show that you actually took the time to get to know them.
  • Expand on your customer’s points. If a customer mentions a certain feature of your company in your conversation, follow-up with more details on that feature.
  • Don’t make them too long. Providing lots of information is great, but if you’re going over 1,200 words or 10 minutes with your case studies, it may begin to feel like homework for your prospects.
  • End with a call to action. At the end of your post or video, tell potential new customers how exactly to get in touch with you.

Want more small business marketing tips?

Learn here how to jump-start your company’s blog

Learn here about navigating the world of online reviews

Learn here how to create more engaging social media content