Although they are understated and often underused as a business resource, case studies can serve as an excellent marketing tool for your company to engage both existing and potential customers.The challenge is crafting a well-written case study that people actively want to read.
#1 Tell a good story
Above all else, only write case studies about your best work. Humans love good stories, therefore a genuinely interesting event will have a natural hook and motivate readers to finish. Mediocre case studies will dilute the impact of better ones.
The Chillisauce team organise thousands of events a year, but their portfolio of case studies only includes the most-interesting stories for the various types of events that they organise:
Experiential activities: installing the world’s biggest bra on ITV’s South Bank tower and auctioning it on eBay for charity
Product launches: transforming a Travel Lodge into a five-star-hotel to excede expectations
Team building days: teams enter the Big Brother House
PR activities: assembled Britain’s first ever team for the Naked Sledding World Championship in Germany
#2 Tell a complete story
The key to a successful and engaging case study is the development of a narrative.
Inspire, impress and inform…
Rather than using the page solely to promote or sell your services, a good case study should inspire, impress and inform readers. And like all the best stories, case studies should comprise of three parts: a beginning, middle and end. For our industry the following structure works well: –
• Beginning: why there was a demand for the event (e.g. business challenges)
• Middle: paint the focal points of the event
• End: results with bloody good testimonials
Case studies by wedding and proposal planners do this really well, following the entire journey from how the couple met to the end results. They often get clients to write their own case study.
#3 Bring your story to life: the finer details
Armed with an overarching structure and narrative for your case study, the next step is to bring your story to life through the content. To achieve this, you will need to focus on the finer details maximise reader engagement. Consider the following: –
Write a catchy title:
This is one of the most important aspects of your content to grab readers’ attention in the first place. As a general rule, it is better to craft a descriptive headline akin to something that you would see in a tabloid newspaper rather than simply using a generic article title.
For example, “Nike gives record breaking performance” is far better than Nike team building day 2014:
Include interesting visuals and engaging videos
While the use of descriptive text can clearly articulate the purpose of your event and its cultivation, for example, images and videos can help bring the page to life, reinforce your point and drive higher levels of engagement.
The use of photography is particularly important when narrating your specific event in pictures, as real-time action shots will have a far greater impact than generic imagery of crowded meeting rooms or grouped individuals.
For example, case studies by event agency, Just Epic mainly include photos of their stunts and events, which would be difficult to describe:
#4 Create natural and customer-focused testimonials
This is arguably the most crucial element of your case study, as this will be entirely customer-focused and determine whether or not your event has achieved its objectives.
As a starting point, you should not be afraid to coach your clients into providing a unique and innovative testimonial, as this will help you to transcend generic compliments and meaningless platitudes. This also enables you to create a series of natural and organic testimonials, which reflect the detail of the event and the emotive response that it triggered. It is crucial that viewers connect with the individuals and identify with what they are saying, so it also worth while conducting video testimonials and sharing these online. This allows the people at the heart of your event to talk openly and express a genuine sense of enjoyment, and with a minimal amount of coaching and carefully shot footage you drive an excellent representation of your hard work.
This is an example of a video testimonial by an attendee talking about Distilled’s marketing conferences:
#5 Publish online
We are living in the age of content marketing where search engines, like Google, reward websites that engage users with relevant, unique and engaging copy. Once you have created great case studies, publish them online to maximise opportunities.
By following this process, you can craft a unique and well-presented case study that captures the purpose of your event and its impact on attendees. From creating a basic structure for your content to creating multimedia copy that narrates an engaging story, the tips included here should help you to develop great case studies in the future.
Although this example is not related to events, Conversion Rate Experts produced wonderfully detailed case studies with actionable advice for readers. Worth a read:
Do you have any good examples of case studies or any tips to share? Let us know in the comments below.