As I mentioned in my previous Hotlink
articles, case studies are a valuable addition to your public relations'
arsenal. They not only explain the success of your product or service
in action, they also tend to have high editorial acceptance and
readership rates. After all, everyone loves a good story.
Many practitioners, however, make the mistake of using case studies
only within the public relations channel, and not broadening their
focus to include sales, advertising and marketing. The fact is case
studies are highly versatile. They can benefit your company at multiple
points along the communications spectrum.
Here are just some ways to leverage the benefits of a case study:
1. Use it in a press release. A case study can quickly be
abridged and reformatted into a press release. Be sure to note that
a longer case study version is available.
2. Mail or E-mail it to prospects and customers. This is
a terrific way to keep in touch, raise awareness about a new product
or service, and even convert prospects into customers.
3. Give it to sales staff. Sales people love case studies.
They use them in presentations, to illustrate key points, and as
testimonials. A case study is often more convincing than a brochure.
4. As a speaking topic. If your executives speak at industry
meetings and conferences, a case study makes an excellent presentation.
The content can easily be converted into PowerPoint slides.
The printed case study itself can be used as a handout.
5. In lead-generation programs. A case study can make a
terrific "free giveaway" in an ad, e-mail, direct mailer
and on a website. In direct marketing, we call this strategy an
information premium. It's a proven lead-generator.
6. For testimonials. Testimonials help make benefits believable.
The quotes you gleaned from happy customers for the case study can
also be used - with permission of course - in ads, brochures, websites
7. As a trade show handout. Case studies are a great way
to break through the clutter of flyers and brochures that permeate
trade shows. One of my clients even had a case study enlarged and
printed on a trade show exhibit wall!
Case studies take a lot of work to plan and prepare but are well
worth the effort. If you leverage them throughout sales, marketing
and PR, the return on investment multiples fast.
Steve Slaunwhite speaks, writes and consults on the strategic
use of copywriting in marketing communications. He can be reached
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