Case studies: old hat or useful online marketing content?

Posted under Content, SEO, Website

case-studyCase studies have been part and parcel of PR content from day one. Today, their value is just as high as ever as the case study becomes a fundamental part of any businesses’ content marketing mix.

As the drive for original, useful and relevant online marketing content for SEO becomes our focus, the need for a good story to tell has never been more important. And so enter, the case study!

This is just perfect for the job. A case study provides an example of a problem followed by a solution; there’s opportunity to include explanation, to set it in context, and then go on to demonstrate the challenges faced before presenting the solutions and ultimately, the end results.

Each case study is unique copy. It also wins on the storytelling basis as your audience is more likely to read and empathise with a credible case story rather than some clever marketing script. It helps to build trust and confidence; it’s also providing useful content as many of the audience may read it and take away some information to apply to their own situation, or, equally as beneficial for your business, they share it with others.

If done well, case studies work to highlight particular areas of expertise or a specific service area within your business that you want to promote. And by using accurate key word search terms through the case study copy, you can generate a targeted push to generate more online search traffic to this area.

Google is an authority on all things online, we know, but it also has its own case study library. Check out some of its case study examples here on its Think Insights pages.

I really like the Jamie Oliver example, it includes imagery and graphics of measurement to illustrate some of the key points and provides a compelling story.

So what’s the best structure for a good case study for online marketing content? You can adopt a shape around the following format:

  1. Title – subject, problem, result
  2. Challenge being faced – chance to broaden out with wider explanation
  3. Solution – how it was overcome
  4. Results – use raw data, KPIs examples – ideally, there is hard evidence to support the results
  5. Call to action – to ensure you get some positive response

And, a couple of other tips:

  • Make sure you include imagery or, even better, video or podcast
  • Make sure it’s downloadable or easy to share

Dawn Strange

Dawn has been with MM since the year dot – well, technically, six months after it was born! That was back in March 1995. She was the first recruit and can honestly say she’s loved the journey to where we are today – and where we’re heading!

Along with Karen, she runs MM, keeping it on track at the same time as exploring new business opportunities and pitching in on business development.

Her passion is content, in its multiple guises. Having jumped out of journalism into the agency world she’s got a real thing about matching right content with the right audience, whether it’s 10 words of ad copy or a 2,000-word thought leadership piece.