10 Original Case Study Ideas For Converting Tech-Savvy Audiences

Case studies are tried-and-true tools that businesses use to convince prospects to buy their products or services. When it comes to selling to tech-savvy customers in any industry, case studies have long been integral to providing potential customers with the information they need to make a purchase decision.

Forbes Agency Council

However, to effectively engage the most tech-savvy prospects, a case study must be designed and presented with the specific audience’s level of understanding and objectives in mind. Taking a nontraditional approach to creating case studies may help to capture the interest of tech-focused audiences. Here, members of Forbes Agency Council explore 10 original and effective ways to inform prospects about the technological benefits of a product or service and lead them toward conversion.

1. Let Your Customer Speak

Everyone is used to carefully worded case studies written by a marketer trying to sell the product or service. Flip it around and have a satisfied customer tell an authentic story in their own words. Have them speak in the same language that your new prospects do and proactively answer their anticipated questions. Capture that on video, and you’re sure to surprise prospects. – Jim Heininger, Dixon|James & Rebranding Experts

2. Make The Customer The Hero

Make the customer the hero of your case studies, not your company. When prospects read a case study, they view themselves in the role of your customer, not the agency. If you make the case study about yourself, not only will they fail to identify with the content, but they will also think that you are more concerned with your own success than that of your clients. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

3. Make Case Studies Available In A Variety Of Formats

Case studies are business-generation tools. I do not get to decide where my prospects are consuming content; they do. I therefore need to make a case study available in whatever format they choose to consume it. This means that my case study must be available in print, on YouTube, as a PDF or in any other format the people I want to reach are consuming. – Brook Shepard, Mason Interactive

4. Use A Video Capture System To Highlight Your Case Study

I’ve been using Loom for a variety of show-and-tell kinds of conversations where an email or print piece can’t express the concepts or ideas sufficiently. I’d recommend using Loom or another video capture system to highlight your case study and actually walk prospects through a demo via video. – Jason Wilson, Strategy, LLC

5. Tell The Story Through Images Or Video With Voice-Over

Telling the story of a case study through a rotating carousel of images or video with voice-over would be an effective way to portray the success of the study and keep the tech-savvy consumer or prospective client engaged. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

6. Show The Results In A Video Format

When we build our case studies, we like to show the results in a video format. Think of it as a 15-second commercial. We then take this same piece of content and post it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Then, I will build remarketing audiences based on the video views. I like to make sure every piece of content is getting the maximum opportunity to drive conversions. – Jerry Kelly, Marketing 360®

7. Personalize Case Studies By Making Them Interactive

Marketing today is about personalization. Therefore, case studies—which are a natural extension of marketing—really need to be similarly tailored. By this I mean put the reader or viewer in charge of what they consume. Make the case studies interactive by allowing them to choose which aspects of the case study they see in whatever order they choose. Let them build it however they want to consume it. – Hamish Anderson, Three Piece Marketing

8. Use A Video Testimonial Created By A Client

Using a video testimonial created by a current or previous client could be an original idea for a nontraditional way to present a case study. Having them outline the benefits of your product or service firsthand is invaluable. While written case studies often aren’t very engaging, it’s easy to convey key points in a relatable way with video content. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR

9. Supplement The Traditional Model With A Video

A video case study to accompany the traditional problem/solution model can be a great way to show off your clients’ product. This added visual element speaks much louder than static words and pictures and allows prospects to get a better idea of what the client does and how they achieve customer goals. The videos can then be shortened and repurposed for additional engaging social media content. – Michelle Abdow, Market Mentors, LLC

10. Integrate Forum-Like Functionality Into Case Studies

Combine case studies with forum-like functionality. That is, on case study pages, provide links to Discord channels, Slack communities and other conversational tools intended to enrich the reader experience. These tools will boost reader engagement and lead to better conversations with potential prospects. – Bobby Steinbach, MeanPug Digital

9 smart ways to develop and market compelling case studies

Many companies work with their happy clients to develop case studies. Case studies can provide powerful attestations to the positive ways in which a business’s product or service has impacted a customer’s life, solved their problems or benefited them. When smartly leveraged, a case study can be a great marketing tool.

The Business Journals

There are several steps to a successful case study, ranging from finding the right client to participate to providing persuasive details to sharing the story in the best places. Below, nine members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share their expert advice on developing compelling case studies and marketing them to your advantage.

1. Showcase success stories.
Case studies illustrate the value your company provides to its clients. By showcasing success stories, you validate your business and the service you provide, making them a powerful tool for your sales process. Case studies allow prospective clients to see themselves in your client’s shoes and picture how your product or service will help with whatever need or pain point they’re experiencing. – Melea McRae, Crux KC

2. Host a live discussion.
One of the best types of case studies is a live “food for thought” dinner session, which can easily be conducted via Zoom sessions. Inviting a VIP customer, analyst and select media to a discussion is welcome and genuine. So few people do this, and you will build lasting relationships. – Donna Michaels, LMGPR

3. Show how you solve problems.
Use a case study to demonstrate how you are solving your prospects’ problems. When your target market sees the success your solution provides to their peers, you are likely to gather more market share than you had anticipated. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management

4. Share meaningful cases.
Make sure that the case study is relevant and means something to your client. How will they view it — as a marketing tactic or as truly something beneficial for their business? Think of it in terms of whether they’ll pass it up to a superior and use it as a basis to improve their business. If so, then you’re on the right track. – David Wescott, Transblue

5. Stick with the highlights.
Case studies are very important for businesses to be able to present their success stories and for other consumers to relate to brands that you have successfully worked with. However, don’t present too much data or text on a case study, as this will overwhelm your audience. Stick with the topline numbers or the campaign headline to effectively get your point across. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

6. Showcase your expertise and customer care.
Case studies can be a brilliant way to showcase the customer experience and the value a company can provide. By showcasing the expertise and care a company can offer and giving real-life experiences that future potential customers can identify with, you have a formula for helping illustrate what life could be like. Creating a few case studies ensures one matches a variety of potential customers. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates

7. Develop a diverse library of cases.
Create a library of case studies that’s diverse when it comes to project type and industry. Many times, companies come to us looking for specific results from our work in a specific industry and project type, so it’s nice to have that information readily available. Also, be sure to keep your case studies very visible — we’ve had prospects come to us after finding our case studies through a Google search. – Jamie Anderson, Emergent Software

8. Focus on the study’s results.
A case study has to be about results, not about what makes your business better than the competition. When someone reads your case study and finds key takeaways they can apply in their own business, you’ve demonstrated the value of your brand without having to say it. – Jen Vargas, JVComms

9. Share them across multiple channels.
Case studies help build brand trust and demonstrate your ability to deliver high-quality solutions or products. Use case studies on your website, in newsletters, in pitches or proposals, and so on — the channels that work best for your target audience. Most importantly, understand the specific needs of your prospects, and as you nurture those relationships, share the case studies that match their needs. – Todd Marks, Mindgrub