How, When & Why to use
Case studies are most often used as an in-depth testimonial. Essentially this is a story of how one person or business has used your product or service and includes their experience, the results and a particular emphasis on the results and benefits. It is much better for a case study to focus on one specific area of improvement rather than to convey that the results have been generally positive. The goal for every business should be to collect at least 5-10 in depth case studies that can be referred to throughout marketing and promotions and in the sales funnel as proof to prospective customers that your product or service delivers impressive results. The goal is to add credibility to your products and services and inspire more site visitors to become customers.
Typically the best way to collect information from a client for use in a case study is to conduct a recorded interview. If it is possible to meet in person and record the interview with video, then that is ideal, however a recorded phone interview will suffice. You can easily record phone calls using this FREE service: Free Conference Call Recording
Features and Functions
Case studies typically include the following:
- Specific client.
- Picture of the person giving the testimonial with their name and title.
- If the client is a business, then there should be a company logo in addition to a picture of the person who is providing the testimonial.
- What was the issue, need or problem that caused the client to need your product or service.
- How did they find out about your company?
- Did they compare you to your competitors? Who?
- Why did they choose you?
- How long have they been using your product or service?
- Describe their experience.
- When did they begin seeing positive results?
- What have the results been to this point?
- How happy are they?
- What rating would they give your service out of 5 stars?
- What future results do they expect?
- Would they choose to use your product or service again?
- Would they recommend the product or service? Who would they recommend it to?
- Case studies should be published on your site as either a page or a blog post with a special tag.
- Case studies should include a summary that can be used for syndication and social promotion.
- Case studies should feature a block quote that gets to the heart of the positive review.
- The case study summary or block quote should be featured on pages throughout your site to provide credibility and should include a link back to the full case study. Links back to the full case study should open the page in a new tab so that the source page remains open and easy to get back to.
- Case studies should include a call to action that is focused on moving the prospect along the conversion funnel.
Make sure that each of the following SEO strategies is incorporated into your case studies.
- Make sure the written content that appears in the HTML version of the report on your site is optimized according to the static content optimization checklist.
- Optimize any images or video.
- Consider including links to the social profiles of the customer in the case study (with their permission of course). Most customers will be happy to let you link to their profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, website, blogs and Facebook pages… but they may not want you to promote their personal Facebook profile.
- Include a 5 star rating with proper Schema.org markup.
- Include contextual links back to the product or service pages mentioned in the testimonial.
Social Engagement, Promotion and Link Building
Once your case study / testimonial is live, syndicate it in the following ways:
- Promote it throughout your website.
- Promote it on your social profiles.
- Build some links to it. While the goal isn’t necessarily for the page itself to rank well in the search engines, it certainly could, and any links from the case study to other internal pages will benefit form the additional PageRank they will get from backlinks.