Anyone that has a business website knows why they need it. Firstly it lets potential customers know you exist and is a great way to encourage them to get in contact with you. The second thing that every business website needs to do is build confidence with your brand, be it through the site’s design, content or just by being informative. We’ve previously discussed how testimonials can be a great way to build customer trust, but there is another way – Case Studies.
Using Case Studies On Your Website
Modern business websites leverage the power of case studies to illustrate what it is they do, and to provide evidence that they have been successful at achieving this in the past. For example a customer of ours, David Barclay, uses his website to show off his abilities as an architect. Over the years he has been trading his body of work has built up, and now he uses the evidence he has acquired (photos, testimonials etc) to let his new customers know what he does and how he goes about it. David’s site uses storytelling within his case studies to both hold the reader’s interest and provide a framework for this evidence.
Telling Your Story
So let’s have a look at one of David’s case studies:
You can see that I’ve split the case study up into three main story-telling sections. Keeping to this beginning, middle, end narrative helps make sure potential customers read through to the end – which is great for making sure you deliver the entire message you are trying to put across. As people are used to this kind of story telling it makes them feel at ease with the information you are presenting, and associate it with their own situations. Let’s take each part in turn.
Setting The Scene For Your Case Study
So part one of the story is the set-up. Here we need to be discussing what the problem is that face your customer. Remember the problem should be the same one that your potential customer is looking at. The first place to tell your customer about this problem is with the main page title. This will not only make it clear to your reader, but will also be a big clue to Google what your page is about. This will help Google deliver new visitors to your web page. So if you like David are an architect, the problem you need to set up in the page title will be something like:
‘Maximising Design Characteristics of a listed building‘
Notice I’ve highlighted the keywords in the page title that David is targeting his case study for. This is then backed up in the first sentence with a bit of repetition just to drive home what is going on here – you might want to choose similes for your keywords. Following this elaborate on the set-up a little, remembering to use phrases that your customers may have searched for, in David’s case: improving, potential, consent. This set up is where you need to really frame this as the same problem that your visitor has, in this case how to obtain planning permission to improve a listed building. A great way to back up this information is with a photo showing the ‘before’, whether it be life before your product is supplied, or how the scene looked before your services were employed.
Show How Your Skills Or Products Win The Day
OK – we’ve told our visitor what the problem is, now the good bit – how to resolve it. Remember what we are doing here is both informing and evidencing. Don’t hold back when it comes to providing information here -remember when it comes to any trade, secrets are never profitable. Don’t fall into the mindset that because you have told someone how to resolve a problem doesn’t mean that they will then go and do it themselves. You need to be forthcoming with your information to position yourself as an expert – this way customers will learn to trust what you say. So in David’s example he tells his readers both how he went about designing the improved layout and the process involved in gaining the planning permission. Now his reader knows that David is both a capable architect, and one that will help listed building owners gain planning permission. David’s skills have won the day.
Again remember to use your paragraph headers to tell the main part of the story. This will not only be a hint to your readers what the paragraph is about, but also is used by Google to understand your content better too. And similarly remember to illustrate this part of the study with relevant photographs showing the process unfold.
A Brilliant Result – Always Add Value
Here we are at the end of the story – the wrap up. This is the section where you sing your own praises a little (not too much!) and show how you added extra value to the product. So the primary result you want to be showing is that you (or your product) did a great job at resolving the problem laid out in the first section. But what you want to add is how the job you did actually added value to your customer’s situation. In David’s case the job he did was facilitated a restaurant refurbishment. The added value he brought was that now the restaurant makes a lot more money than it had previously, which effectively makes the job pay for itself.
OK one last thing to remember when writing your case study is that we want to add concrete evidence that this case study relates to a real event, and is not some kind of made up scenario. There are a few ways to back up your story, and they are ones that we keep returning to when we talk about building trust on your website:
Firstly a testimonial as alway is the best way to add trust to your case study – a great quote from a previous customer right on your site helps sew the seeds of a trusting relationship. If the testimonial comes from someone your potential new customer knows or can associate with all the better. Backing your quotes up with real names and links to social media pages only strengthens the relationship. Photographs either of the service being carried out, or the product being used are another great way to build confidence. A link to an external website or social media page other than the one you control also helps show that this is a real life event, and not just a tall tale.
The Easy Way Out
So there you have it – our guide to writing your own case studies. But there is one last footnote we’d like to add – if you feel a little overwhelmed with this technique don’t worry, let us take the strain! Although case study writing isn’t included in our business package we are happy to negotiate bolt on rates based on your particular situation.
We can heartily recommend these sites for more information, these focus particularly on interviewing customers as the basis for your case study:
The Fall And Rise Of The Case Study – Articulate Marketing
3 Customer Interview Tips For A Great Case Study – Meltwater
How To Write A Case Study – Livechat Inc
If you’ve got any more questions please do ask them below, or give us a call on 01206 430311 to arrange a no obligation consultation.
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