Your potential customers are scouring the Internet right now, visiting your website and the websites of your competitors, doing their due diligence while making their purchase decisions. Their research often begins on a search engine where they key in questions and receive links to web pages with information that helps solve their problems.
Few types of content illustrate the potential for success of future work than examples of previous work. Case studies serve several purposes as part of an inbound marketing strategy, especially for industrial and manufacturing companies where new work is often customized for a customer’s specific technical requirements, and an “off the shelf” example does not exist.
A case study is a simple document that describes the success that your service business has achieved for your customer. It can be an article on the company blog, a downloadable offer, or even an in-person presentation.
While new leads and prospects browse your website as they consider their purchasing decision, your case studies can demonstrate your experience and capabilities by showcasing the successes and positive experiences you've had with previous customers as if to say, “Hey, look! We did it for them. We can do it for you too.”
Case studies make excellent content marketing offers. When presented as pages on your company website, they get indexed by search engines and show up in your visitor’s search results. The text and images can also be repurposed in other digital formats, like videos or downloadable documents for lead generation. And a well-presented case study is also an effective offer to use for follow-up by the sales team.
Here’s a simple format to create your case study using these 5 simple steps.
Who is this case study for?
Tell a story and give the reader some background and context by describing the customer and their industry. Are they a startup, or has your customer been in business for decades? Is it a corporation, or a family business? A brief explanation about the customer can make the case study relatable to similar prospects.
What was the customer’s problem that you solved?
Describe the issue or problem that prompted the customer to hire your company in the first place. Did they have trouble working with other vendors in the past? Were they unsuccessful handling the workload in-house? Is this a new and unique part that your manufacturing company is uniquely qualified to engineer and build? It’s likely that other prospects are having similar problems.
How did you fix it?
Describe the actions you took to address your customer’s problem. What solutions did you provide? What recommendations did you have?
What was the result?
Describe the outcome of your efforts. What results did your service achieve for your customer? What impact did your recommendations have on their business? If possible, cite actual data showing positive results. After all, it’s hard to refute numbers.
What was the customer’s experience?
You can tell your prospect that you do great work. But they don’t need to just take your word for it. Illustrate your case study with a testimonial quote and a photo from your happy customer.
When complete, your case study will show qualified prospects that you are considered a capable industrial company that has achieved exceptional results for others and can do the same for them. Our 5-Step Case Study Format for Industrial and Manufacturing Companies