Case studies create credibility for your business, providing specifiers with social proof that your solution is a good fit for their current or next project. Think of a case study as an expansion of a testimonial.
But, with only 46% of building product websites including case studies, it is evident that they are under utilised.
The Case Study Blueprint
There is an easy 10 step approach you can take to create great case studies easily and quickly;
- What was the client’s problem
- Discuss how you approached the challenge
- Describe how you delivered the solution
- What are the benefits for your client
- Get a client testimonial
- Add your quote
- Include some great images
- Link related content to help your reader learn more
- Don’t forget the CTA
- Promote it like crazy
Good case studies follow this type of format, telling the story of the journey taken to provide a solution. Storytelling is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a reader turns the story into their own idea and experience.
1. What’s The Problem?
Begin by describing your clients problem, we need to create jeopardy. This could include a new design challenge, a previous supplier letting them down on the last job, new regulations, interfacing with other trades or hitting a tight deadline.
The more human the problem, the more it will resonate with the reader.
Try to identify challenges and problems that the reader will identify with. A challenge that they may have had before or believe they could face in the future. If you capture their imagination, they will read on.
2. How Did You Approach The Challenge?
This is the time to demonstrate expertise by the manner your business explored options, maybe also identifying other risks and issues that were addressed at the same time.
This gives you the opportunity to position your company as the technical or thought leaders in your sector. Your ingenuity in resolving the problem will speak volumes.
3. Delivering The Solution
Discuss what was involved in delivering the solution, describe the challenges, logistics, and how unexpected issues such as access and bad weather were overcome. The more complex the issue the better, but avoid exaggerating too much!
Demonstrate competence and an ability to think on your feet. People want to work with solution oriented teams not those who bring problems for them to sort out.
4. How Did Your Client Win?
What was the outcome of the project? Describe the results. Did the job get finished earlier than expected? under budget?
Now that the job is finished, what is the benefit to the client? A BREEAM rating? Lower Energy Costs? Did they win an award?
Remember, no one cares about you! They want to feel that they could get the plaudits for delivering a similar result – with you.
5. Include A Testimonial
The reader won’t just take your word for it. They want to hear from your customer.
Include a quote from the client saying how you exceeded their expectations, were great to deal with, communicated well throughout the whole project and more.
It’s usually best to write this for the client and ask them to approve or modify as it makes it easy for them to agree. It saves them the time and hassle of thinking of what to write, and it keeps everything ‘on-message’.
6. Now, Add Your Quote
Then include a quote from yourself, describing how your expertise allowed your team to deliver great results, how happy you are to help resolve your clients problem and try to link it to your company’s mission.
7. A Picture Says A Thousand Words
Include pictures of installation, progress shots, demonstrating how you work.
At the least get a before and after shot of the job, as these always look great. Remember, an investment in professional photography will show the project and your solution in the best possible light to the reader.
8. Downloadable Content
Once you have got the reader’s attention, make it easy for them to learn more or even specify you.
Don’t send your reader to another page to download content. Put everything they need on your case study page. Get your web developers to change your case study template if you have to.
Include technical brochures, a pdf of the case study (to send to colleagues), GA drawings, BIM objects, cost data, installation instructions, or anything else that the reader could need to use you.
9. The Call to Action
Now what? Add a contact form, encourage contact with a member of the technical team to discuss using the solution on a current or future project, maybe offer a download to a whitepaper or similar high value content.
Once you have a well written case study, publishing it to your website is just the start. Why not submit it to a local newspaper or magazine, share on LinkedIn or share to sites dedicated to your industry.
You can then use your case study as informational material, perfect for sending to prospective clients that have similar issues. You can then build up your case studies, approaching different problems and situations, appealing to even more prospects.
Case studies demonstrate your abilities and are an opportunity to impress your potential customers. With less than 50% of building product businesses using them on their websites, you have an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors.
Get your sales team involved and get them to send you case study ideas to make your life easier. We’ve created a free case study cheat sheet for you to use and send to your colleagues to get your case study project started. Try to get at least 1 new case study on your website every quarter and you will soon have a great resource.
If you need help with writing or any other aspect of content marketing, Insynth will be only too happy to help.