The Case Study: Close Deals With a Story

Mommy, can you PLEASE tell me a story? Didn't we all wail that out from the time we learned to speak? Story telling, or more importantly, story listening is ingrained in us. As we grew older, that attraction didn't go away. We still love stories. Tap into that deep-rooted experience when reaching out with your marketing program.

Gather your prospects around and tell them a story.

The business version of a story is a case study. These popular, effective pieces of content prove we can all still be engaged and influenced by a good story.

Recent benchmark studies show that 7 out of 10 marketers include case studies as part of their marketing program. That makes it a top five content marketing tactic up there with social media, article posting, eNewsletters, and blogs. Better still, marketing executives believe case studies work. Two-thirds say case studies are effective, surpassing even webinars/webcasts on the perceived confidence scale. In Person Events is the only tactic that rates higher.

Interestingly, marketers use Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn - more than any other tactic, but less than half believe they're effective.

Which brings us back to case studies. Why do they work so well?

It's pretty basic, actually. The first rule in any Writing 101 class is: to create compelling content, show don't tell. That's the secret to the case study. It's the ultimate in showing. Brochures, data sheets, and badly written web sites all tell. Your prospects don't want to be told anything. They want to be shown how your product or service will solve their problem.

A well written case study delivers a compelling story with a beginning (Our hero and his company had this problem), a middle (Our hero and his team tried everything to solve this problem but couldn't) and an end (YOUR PRODUCT came along and made everything all better). And then they all lived happily ever after.

The case study projects your prospects into a situation with which they are unfortunately familiar, and shows them how you will solve their problem.

No hard sell. No shouting from the rooftops. No chest beating.

The moral of the story? It works. The End.

When was the last time you used a case study to promote your business? Was it effective?



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