Why case studies are critical to financial marketing

Hayley Dawson

Senior Account Manager

Posted on October 24, 2016

Anyone making a purchase these days will likely dig around online to see what other people think of their intended buy. Online product reviews, social media posts, recommendations: we hunt out real stories to affirm our choices, or dissuade them.

This instinct is no different in financial services. If an investor is thinking about dipping into the market, they will always look for proof that the products and services offered are valuable, good quality, and worthwhile.

Case studies combine our desire for affirming stories with that trust-inspiring proof.

They remain the best way to communicate your work and value to prospective customers and, for this reason, should form a central part of any marketing campaign.

It’s like the “show, don’t tell” advice for writers: it’s not enough to tell people something – you need to show them!

How to use your case studies

By remembering that our customers will be looking for stories to affirm their interest, we can make life much easier by making sure those stories are readily available and can instantly work hard when we need them to.

Here are six ideas to try:

1. Use your case studies on your website homepage

Visitors to your site are unlikely to be visiting hoping for a lengthy history of your company or a long list of the services and locations you reside in. Get straight to the point: instantly draw your customers to the great work you’re doing and the success stories of your happiest clients.

2. Have a dedicated case studies page

Given that you’ll likely want to limit the amount of text on your homepage, make sure your case studies have room to stretch and impress elsewhere on your website too. Give them their own page with clear navigation and sign-posting so they’re easy to find.

It’s best to keep your case study format and structure simple, focused and consistent, using the same headings and length each time. Explain your brief, the challenge, your solution, and then wow them with any results and stats you can.

3. Post about your case studies on social media

Case studies make great content for your social media posts and allow them to be seen by a much wider audience. By tagging the customer you’ve helped, you’ll hopefully encourage a share to their followers too. Think carefully about the words you use to introduce your link – aim for something impressive and enticing that emphasises results and use imagery to encourage more users to click.

4. Use your case studies in your email marketing

Once you’ve built up a list of case studies across different client types, you can start using this content within your segmented email campaigns, tailoring specific interest stories to your various lists.

This is an especially useful way to re-engage leads that have gone cold or switched off to past, generic messaging. Case studies, phrased well, with a good subject line, offer something different that can help wake customers up out of habitual ‘delete’ responses. They also demonstrate that you’re responsive marketers, sharing up-to-date content that you’ve taken the time to make relevant to them and their business issues.

5. Equip your sales team with your case studies

By preparing your case studies in a presentable form, you give your sales team valuable tools they can use during meetings with prospects. You can design and prepare a general ‘bank’ of case studies, or – even better – tailor case studies to be especially relevant to specific clients. There’s no need to limit yourself to default PowerPoint slides – why not try some of our alternative financial presentation ideas for stories that will stand out.

We’ve started using this approach here at Talisman, and it’s proving to be a great thing to use on the iPad when our prospect mentions a particular marketing channel. We now have a relevant example we can share right there and then.

6. Choose the right agency to help you write them

Once you realise how much power your case studies have, you’ll begin to see how risky it is to leave them to chance or an inexperienced team member. By working with an agency like Talisman, you’ll benefit from improved copywriting, design and a more confident understanding of how to use your case studies as part of your wider content marketing strategy.

Next steps

Case studies are worth thinking about, investing in, and getting spot on. The best thing is that once you’ve got them written well, there’s no end of ways you can use them creatively to help build better relationships with your customers and nudge valuable leads to a close. Our partners, Hubspot, have many more case study ideas if you want to take this further.