How Many Case Studies Should You Have?

BY Joel Klettke
November 19, 2020

“How many case studies should I publish? How many do I actually need?”

For many companies, getting even one case study done can be a real victory. And when it’s your first, it IS a big deal.

But case studies aren’t a “one and done” asset.

You can’t just check case studies off your content marketing to-do list.

And often, that first great case study opens the door to many others.

Strategic companies want case studies for every sales situation because the same story won’t appeal to every type of customer.

They have different pain points. They’re at different parts of their journey.

Some may be in a position to upsell. Others are just getting started.

Some might be CEOs. Some are CTOs.

So talk to your sales team and ask what challenges they’re facing.

What stories would they like to tell? What examples would they like to cite? What anecdotes do they often share with prospective customers?

Then let their feedback drive your plans.

Because when you’re intentional about your storytelling, there’s almost no end to the number of case studies you can use.

To get you started, here are five questions to ask yourself:

Q1: Do you have case studies for every pain point?

Think of all the pain points your customers experience.

Do they struggle with inefficiencies? Low ROI? Finding qualified leads? Strict regulatory requirements? A broken technology stack? A narrow target market? Lack of visibility into their customers?

Or, challenges stemming from a global pandemic, perhaps?

Think how powerful it would be to have a case study (or several) that covers every pain point.

Q2: Do you have case studies for different niches or industries?

Do you have a bullet in your chamber for every niche and industry you want to market to?

Customers want to know that you’ve worked with other companies in their industry or niche before.

So if all your case studies are set in the manufacturing sector, and your business has been shifting more and more to finance, then you have a gap to fill.

Q3: Do you have case studies for different roles?

C-suite decision makers want different things in a case study than someone who will execute on their decisions.

Which is why many of our clients order two versions of the same case study—a short one for executive decision makers and a longer one for implementers.

The short version has descriptive titles, bullet points and drives right to the results.

The longer version digs into details that interest those who will implement your solution—and who will make buy/don’t buy recommendations to the executive team.

Q4: Do you have case studies for different features?

Are you equipped with case studies to sell every feature of your product?

If all your case studies focus on the main feature (i.e. the one you rolled out five years ago) but ignores all of the other features you’ve introduced since then, then that’s another gap to fill.

Q5: Are your case studies current?

Then there’s the factor of time.

If all your case studies are from 2002, you have another hole in your arsenal.

I’m sure your thinking and strategy has evolved since then. Your industry has changed. New competitors have come onto the scene. Other factors have come into play.

Which means you need to create new cases studies AND update previous case studies where possible.

The more a story sounds like your client, the better

Here’s the broader point: The more a story sounds like your client, the better.

You want your client to identify with the story as much as possible.

Because there are so many different flavours of clients, problems, niches and roles, the more diverse stories you have to share, the better.

And when you can tell those stories through multiple clients/problems/niches/roles, you show a pattern of success over time.

You’re not just a one-trick pony who did this great thing ONE time for ONE type of client in ONE type of industry.

Further, when you have different case studies for multiple clients/problems/ niches/roles, it has a multiplying effect on credibility and relate-ability that reflects on them all.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to run out and find a whole new whack of wins to turn into case studies.

Even one win in your client base will do because you can tell the same story in multiple ways, through different people, to emphasize different aspects.

One case study is good; now keep going

If you’ve just completed your first case study, give yourself a pat on the back.

Now keep on going.

If you already have a whole host of case studies, your job isn’t done either.

Because when you consider the many, many, ways of using case studies—and how their impact is amplified as they grow in number—you’ll soon discover there’s no limit to the number of case studies you need.

Let’s talk about getting you more case studies.

Contact us to start the conversation.

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