Case Study 101: Making the most of your marketing budget

 

In today’s tight economy, small businesses are constantly looking for the most cost-effect form of marketing. For an effective, yet money-saving tactic, creating a case study for your small business is an ideal method for boosting your publicity.

Case studies, or more commonly referred to as “customer stories,” can help promote your small business and allow you to build an expert reputation. Even if you’re not a writing wiz, you can still create an effective case study to maximize your marketing efforts. Here’s a quick guide to writing your own case study for your small business.

Selecting Your Subject
If you have a great product or service, finding impactful customer testimonial shouldn’t be difficult. One of the easiest ways to determine a good case study candidate is to send out a survey to previous customers. From here you will be able to put together a pool of client testimonials to share with the public. Be sure to choose a customer who loves your product/service. Tip: Remind the customer that by providing a testimonial, his or her business will be receiving valuable publicity as well.

Gather Background Information
Once you’ve selected a subject for your case study, you’ll need to find out a bit of information regarding the customer and his or her business. Here are a few topics we suggest digging into a bit further on your subject:

  • What is the subject’s role at the company?
  • What was their role for the implementation of your product or service?
  •  In what industry does the company specialize?

Stating the Problem
Once you’ve provided your readers with a bit of background from both the point of contact as well as the company, it is important to uncover the initial problem. State the issue at hand before the implementation of your product or service. What problems did the company have prior to your product or service? This portion of the case study is straightforward, and should really be 100 words or less.

Finding a Solution
The solution is obvious. The subject has made the decision to implement your product or service to grow as a successful business. But the main focus in this section is “why?” You’ll want to address why the subject chose your product/service over a competitor’s.

Sharing the Results
There’s a reason the customer has agreed to submit their testimonial. Your product or service has in one way or another helped the subject’s business. Now is the time to not be modest. You’ll want to share the benefits the customer received from implementing your product. It’s important to be specific – did your product/service increase sales, productivity levels or increase office efficiency? If possible, provide specific numbers that will help show an increase from before and after.

Final Review
Before finalizing the case study, you must receive the customer’s approval. The reputation of their company is at stake. It’s likely you’ll use quotes from your subject, so be sure to allow them to review your work before publishing and sending it out to editors.

So there you have it. Case studies are a cost-effective tactic to add to your marketing campaign. Not only will you be building your company’s reputation, but you’re likely to gain new customers as well. Have you seen success with case studies for your small business? Share your story with us in the comments section!

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Wasp Barcode

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