Whether you’re investing in B2B or B2C marketing, case studies are an extremely effective and versatile marketing tool that can show off your construction services, inform potential customers of your skills, and build your reputation with positive customer reviews. Case studies are highly influential – in fact, both traditional hard-copy case studies and ones found on your website can be the deciding factor that turns a potential customer into an actual client.
When deciding what to write for your case study, there are a few important factors to consider:
1: Figure out who your ideal customer is, and write to them
Are you a commercial contractor who wants to work primarily in new construction? Are you a professional home remodeler looking to target the mid- to high-end market for residential clients? When choosing which of your jobs to feature as a case study, it’s important to hone in on your target market. When your ideal client finishes reading the case study, you want them to feel a few things:
- That you’re comfortable doing the work they’re looking for
- That you understand their specific construction needs
- That you can get the job done professionally and in a satisfactory manner
Much in the same way that you read blog posts or news articles geared specifically towards your type of construction work, these clients are looking for contractors whose skills align with their needs. Writing your case studies to these ideal customers will help ensure that you’re pulling in more clients that you want!
2: Get permission from your case study clients
The last thing you want to do is write a compelling, beautiful case study about a job you’ve completed, only to have to take it down or stop using it as a marketing tool because your customer never agreed to have their home or business featured! Communication with the clients you want to highlight is key – not only is getting their permission important to keep the bond of trust and respect between you, reaching out to them can help you get a great testimonial from them to include in your case study.
You may even want to consider a 30-60 minute interview with your case study participant; talk to them about the struggles they’d faced, why they’d needed your help, and how you satisfied their construction needs. Maybe they wanted to make their home accessible to an older relative, or needed to update their business’s storefront, and you made that happen for them. Getting these positive stories from the clients themselves helps to reinforce what you’re saying about the job and provides an additional bond of trust between you and your potential customer.
3: Keep your case study readable
You could be telling the most compelling story in the world, and no one will want to read it if it’s just a giant block of text. Choose a length that’s right for you and make sure to break your case study up into readable parts; insert pictures to back up your points, or consider making infographics if your construction business can use those.
You want to make sure that your case study appeals to as many people as possible. This could mean mixing it up – see if the client you’re doing a case study on would be willing to sit for a video interview, for instance, or try out different lengths. You could provide a short summary to engage a potential client, with a click-through to read the entire study if they’re interested. The more eyeballs you get on your study, the more likely you are to turn a potential client into a real customer.
4: Give credit where credit is due
If you’re like most contractors, you probably worked with suppliers, designers, architects, etc. to make a project come to life. While some construction companies truly can handle it all in-house, don’t neglect to mention the people you worked with. For example, if a customer needed custom cabinetry made and you contracted that out to a designer, include them in the case study as well! It doesn’t have to be overboard, but even saying something like “Our partnership with [insert company here] helped take this high-end kitchen remodel to the next level. Their custom cabinetry was exactly what the customer wanted” shows that you’re willing to give credit to your partners and that you’re willing to reach out to other industry professionals when necessary to get the job done right. This will also keep your potential customers from creating unrealistic expectations of what you can do, and ensure that you won’t disappoint them.
5: Make your case studies easy to find
So you’ve picked your perfect customer, you’ve written a compelling case study with lots of high-quality before and after shots, you’ve made it easy to read and ensured it appeals to lots of people…and then you’ve buried it under your “About Us” tab, at the bottom of a page all about your company. No one will read them that way!
You want your case studies to be easily accessible and highly visible. Put them on your home page, or have a navigation tab labeled “case studies.” For example, look at how much space Amazon Web Services dedicates to their “customer success stories” (what they call their case studies) on their home page:
If you click on “view all Enterprise stories,” you get taken here:
A beautifully laid-out page which allows potential customers to read stories, watch videos, and even search by industry to find case studies related specifically to their needs. While your business likely won’t need a page quite this in-depth, take notes – having an easily accessible, visually engaging page like this will make sure that your potential clients are searching for and reading the case studies you’ve spent the time to put together.
6: Don’t forget to market it
Now that you’ve built a solid case study or two, you want to remember to incorporate them into your marketing plan. Share them on your blog and social media, print out a few copies of written studies to take with you to home and trade shows, bring them with you to consultations with potential customers as leave-behind materials that help you stand out from the crowd. Case studies can really distinguish you from your competition and establish you as an industry expert if you use them properly and market them well! Let your prior work speak for itself and build that bond of trust between you and your potential B2B or B2C customers!
Remember – building case studies can only benefit your business, and they’re a solid part of a good marketing plan. If you create a few compelling ones that speak to your ideal customer, you’re likely going to see an increase in conversions and enjoy a steadier stream of business. Follow our tips on how to build and market your case study (see our own example); if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to Contractor Dynamics for more information!