Case studies are much loved by brand marketers and their target audiences. There are two reasons for this, and both are very important. One reason why case studies are so compelling is that they are a form of storytelling, and usually stories with happy triumphant endings are satisfying emotionally to read and get inspired by. The second reason is that when readers read these case studies they get the feeling of “vicarious product trial”. That means, even if they are not able to try out the product on offer themselves, or are not ready to do so, they have the satisfaction that someone did try it out and had good results.
Among all Content Types & Formats, case studies are considered to be excellent “social proof”. In most cases, the time when case studies work best is during the penultimate stages of wooing customer purchase … when the proof of someone else having purchased a similar product and service can become a tipping point. People at that advanced stage of buying, generally like to see some “validation” of purchase before they decide to buy. If you use case studies too early in a customer’s buying journey, chances are they are not yet ready to decide one way or the other yet, and the value of seeing a “validation” of purchase is much less. However, a few pertinent case studies injected just before a final purchase by a customer, works to nudge the customer over that last threshold of resistance – because he feels there is safety in numbers!