What tips the scales when it comes to buyer commitment? While I’d love to say there’s one special ingredient that makes customers buy, their journey is often multi-faceted and unique.
That being said, 9 out of 10 buyers admit that positive user comments influenced their eventual purchase. In other words, if you want to sway your target audience, you need to capitalize on the stories of those who already use your health tech solution.
No other digital health marketing content allows you to do this better than case studies. They leverage the compelling power of narrative while allowing readers to walk through the customer journey in another’s shoes.
What is a case study?
Case studies take an inside look into a real life company to see what challenges they faced and what helped them overcome those difficulties. The provide a picture of the before, the after, the solution, and the results.
As readers relate to the protagonist in your case study, you can successfully eliminate barriers to buying and convince them that your digital health product is the solution for them. The beauty of this strategy is that rather than telling them your solution works, customers get to see it for themselves firsthand.
1. Find the right protagonist
In case studies, you’re telling a story – one with heroes, dragons, and Wicked Witches of the West. But to craft an effective case study, you need to make sure you’ve narrowed down to the customer experience that best showcases your product. Here are some traits you should look for:
Experienced spectacular success or results with your product
Easily relates to your whole target audience
Encountered problems that your ideal customer typically faces
Switched from a competitor
Habitually use your product
Are a well-known brand name
Just how do you go about finding these candidates? Start by talking with your sales department. Many times they have success stories that never made it to the marketing department.
Then, based on their suggestions, you can further narrow down the candidates through a brief survey or letter. In particular, you want them to know what’s in it for them whether that be better brand exposure, increased website traffic, or promotional discounts.
2. Get permission
Before you go too far with the process, you need to get their explicit consent to share their success in a public way. Never forget, their story belongs to them, and you don’t want to steal what’s rightfully theirs.
Different organizations obtain permission in different ways. It goes without saying that you need to have official consent in a written form such as release papers or contracts.
3. Ask provocative questions
Before you set up an interview or send out a questionnaire, create a list of questions that will give you all the background and prove the point you’re trying to make – namely, that your product is awesome.
In general, keep your questions as open ended as possible. Questions that elicit only yes or no type responses won’t give you the data you need to write a compelling case study. Here are some examples to get you started:
When did you first realize there was a problem?
What made you realize you had a problem?
Did you try any other solutions before you came to us?
What made the biggest difference?
What about our product made your work easier and more efficient?
Has our product eradicated any extra tasks?
What additional benefits have you or your team experienced?
After you refine your list, you’re ready to interview your contact. Remember to write down or record direct quotes because you will need these later on in the process.
4. Gift wrap their story
How you frame their story can make or break your case study. If it’s all about your product and how it saved the day, readers will most likely tune you out.
However, if the story is all about the customer – the hero who saved the day – your audience won’t be able to stop reading. Succinctly, tell them all about the hero – who they are, what was their problem, and what made the difference? Beyond that, what hero stuff are they doing right now as a result?
By making the case study all about the customer, you create a story that your readers can relate to. And the more they can relate to the story, the more likely they are to jump into the story and become the protagonist themselves.
5. Prove the results
We’ve all been in a place where we’re telling a story we think is amazing and nobody seems to be interested. What really grabs attention in these scenarios is if you can PROVE how incredible it really was.
That’s why you need to include indisputable statistics and facts that let your audience witness the success for themselves. No one can argue with data like this. Plus, at the very, least viewers come away admitting that the solution really does work.
6. Let the customer speak
Nothing helps your readers relate to the hero more than letting them speak for themselves. This is why you need to record or write down a few direct quotes during the interview.
Then you can let your viewers hear exactly what your product user thinks about your tech solution. Plus, these positive remarks sound more credible coming out of the customer’s mouth than it does coming out of yours.
7. Suggested format
When it comes to writing, there’s no way to define a right or wrong format. There’s simply structures that work well and ones that might not be as effective. That being said, throughout history, there’s been one format that always seems to engage audiences, and that’s narrative form.
By that, I mean you want to include elements of a good story – characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.
Obviously, you need to start with a knock-your-socks-off title that’s to the point. Use CoSchedule’s headline tester to make sure your headline is engaging and clickable. Then you want to introduce your protagonist and any useful stats about their former success and recent problem.
When it comes to introducing the villain, you want your readers to feel the same emotion and frustration that the hero does. Then when you introduce the solution – your health tech product – they’ll be relieved and ready for the resolution.
Like every good fairytale, you should also include a “happily ever after”. Make sure to mention what daring feats your customer has conquered since implementing your health tech product and maybe even include where they might be without it.
As we wrap this up, I want to mention one more thing. While case studies should be compelling, they also should be brief and to the point. Oftentimes conciseness says more than wordy descriptions. So keep it simple and straightforward.
Case study examples
Viewing other well crafted case studies can help you get ready to write your own especially if you’re a visual learner. That’s why I’ve included a few examples below. Take special note of how these case studies focus on the customer and not the product.
As you develop your customers’ stories into case studies, you’ll give yourself one more useful tool for your health tech marketing. Leveraging user voices allows you to say things about your product that you might not normally be able to say.
Plus, since case studies are one of the few content forms that allow you to directly sell your product without sounding salesy, you can be more straightforward than you could with other content such as blog posts or social media.
Need to figure out how case studies fit into your marketing funnel? Sign up for our free Mission-Driven Marketing Training Series.
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WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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