Customer testimonials are not only for consumption on social media and review sites. They are also valuable additions to case studies to strengthen brand messaging. This article shows how you can elevate your marketing campaigns with our case study tips.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study aims to generalize interpretations or solutions using causes of behavior or patterns found from extensive research of an entity. While combining a case study with a qualitative analysis is possible, this is often not the case. For this reason, some may criticize it as too general, unreliable and open to bias. Nonetheless, the use of case studies is prevalent in a variety of fields, such as:
- Business Management and Ethics
- Political Science
- Public Policy
- Social Work
For businesses, there are three types of case studies that are useful:
- Business case study
- Marketing case study
- Customer case study
Each type of case study is distinct and has its purpose. However, one common goal the case studies share is that they help shape the opinion of potential customers. For companies, case studies are powerful tools that have the potential to increase their revenue.
1. Business Case Study
A business case study summarizes steps taken to solve business problems or dilemmas in business. Actual or fictitious, the scenarios aim to educate or inform the readers, such as illustrating a business theory by showing its application.
Showing a business’s positive impact on consumers is a great marketing strategy. So, unsurprisingly, more companies are now learning to use case studies to tell stories of customers who used their product or service to overcome a problem.
2. Marketing Case Study
A marketing case study shows how a company achieves success in specific scenarios. While some companies do that through public relations (PR), case studies in marketing take it to a new level by providing an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of a measurable outcome such as a marketing tool or strategy, production, visitors, lead generation, conversions or sales.
A typical marketing case study consists of:
- A problem that a customer needs to solve
- The solution
- Data from before and after the implementation of the solution
- Findings that show how a product or service can help other people
3. Customer Case Study
Customer case studies show customers’ opinions about buying and using a product or service. In some ways, it is the same as the positive feedback shared by consumers on social media and online review sites.
Unlike customer testimonials and reviews, customer case studies are factual reports. They show the usage of products or services and how they produced results. Compared to advertising, customer success stories can better deliver brand messaging.
What Are Customer Testimonials?
Customer testimonials are feedback, posts, comments, reviews or anecdotes shared by customers about their experience using a product or service. These customer success stories are social proof that shows the effectiveness of a company’s value proposition in solving customer problems.
Image courtesy of invoca.com
Some customer testimonials are short, comprising only one to four sentences, while others are very detailed and long. Regardless, they exert a great deal of influence on buyer decision-making. In one survey, for example, some 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews.
For many consumers, research is the start of their journey. For example, if you sell water heaters, up to 94 percent of consumers would read customer testimonials from online review sites and other sources before deciding on a brand, model and dealer.
Many consumers see online reviews and testimonials as a more reliable source of information than ads. For that reason, almost half of them trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
A positive customer testimonial, as one might surmise, helps increase conversion rates and sales. On the contrary, having a negative customer testimonial can ruin a brand’s reputation and cause customer attrition. To prevent having to implement crisis management or repair a reputation, it is important to have a solid customer review strategy.
Customer testimonials are user-generated and may be voluntary or solicited. Usually, happy or upset customers will leave a review or write a post on social media. Yet, many customers with varying experiences do not share anything. So, besides conducting a customer experience survey to find out their sentiments, brands can also reach out to ask for feedback.
Using Customer Testimonials in a Case Study Tips
Business, marketing and customer case studies are highly effective marketing tools because they show how products and services help people. In addition, by incorporating one or more customer testimonials, case studies become even more effective in converting leads. They are, in a sense, a subtle form of persuasion, short of a call to action.
People who have taken notice of your product or service are potential leads and likelier to want to learn more. So one thing case studies do, if available, is help nurture those leads and convert them to sales.
Case Study Example 1: Video Testimonials
Video testimonials are among the most persuasive forms of content marketing. Many brands have successfully used them on product or service pages and other landing pages. Likewise, using them in case studies is also a great marketing strategy.
The above example showcases the video testimonial at the top of the case study page. Customers not only have the choice of reading, but they can also watch the video. Instead of words, they see the face of their peer talking about their experience.
Video testimonials can be a professional production or unscripted. The advantage of having reputation management produce a video is that the message can be structured and touches on the main points. Unscripted can be anything, including those posted on social media platforms. For instance, many people upload videos of unboxing or using products on YouTube, a great way to showcase real-life experiences that consumers can relate to.
Case Study Example 2: Client Reviews
Companies that have a customer review strategy would not lack positive reviews. So, a traditional approach to incorporating customer testimonials in case studies is to use one of them. Aside from “soft-selling” a product or service, text reviews add to the content, which means more keywords and higher relevancy from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint.
In the above case study example, the case study contains two types of testimonials. In this particular case, site visitors have the option of watching another customer speak or read.
Other Ways To Use Customer Testimonials
Case studies are not only reusable but they can also be repurposed. So here are case study tips for reaching more audiences and attracting more potential customers.
Most companies publish case studies on their website. A good strategy is to create a PDF version that people can download for future reference. Brands can also upload a presentation version of case studies on sites like SlideShare. One way to attract more visitors is by reaching out to an audience who might not see the company website on search results is posting on third-party websites as additional marketing channels.
Customers may leave online reviews or share their experiences on social media platforms. Brands can leverage those positive posts by sharing them on official marketing channels as social proof.
Many people do not realize that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. Brands can reach more audiences by posting video testimonials on marketing channels like YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok and other video platforms.
Leverage Case Studies as a Customer Review Strategy
Traditionally, the best way to gather insight into customer experience is to run a customer experience survey. While that remains relevant today, there is a broad range of other digital marketing strategies you can use. One of them is to gather customer testimonials.
In this article, we’ve also answered questions like, “what is a case study?” and delved into how companies can use them to nurture and convert leads. Case studies are more than advertisements; they are powerful marketing aids. Rather than telling your target audience with your own words, it is consumers showing their customer success stories. Adding customer testimonials make case studies more persuasive and can help increase your bottom line in a non-aggressive manner.
For more information on how you can increase positive feedback and build a stronger brand image, call 843-353-6383 or contact our reputation management specialists for a free consultation.