Putting together a selection of case studies covering different strengths of your engineering firm’s capabilities is the best way to add credibility and showcase the breadth of your expertise, creativity and innovation. Done right, case studies could potentially provide the deciding evidence that customers need to get them over the line to engage your firm’s services. But why is it so beneficial for engineering firms in particular, and how do you know you’re doing it right?
Why do engineering firms need case studies?
Case studies are particularly important in the field of engineering as your projects are based around analysis, problem solving and creating solutions - your customers want to see real-world examples of how you have engineered solutions for people just like them.
Case studies are the easiest way to show, rather than tell. You are dealing with an audience of decision-makers who likely don’t have a lot of time to peruse your website. Rather, they want to see some anecdotal evidence of your genius.
While you will want to use a variety of case studies that outline different stories, they should all be written in a way that allows your leads to quickly understand just how you will be able to help them achieve their own project goals.
How can engineers create compelling case studies?
Here are my top tips for creating stand-out case studies that will help your engineering firm convert leads into clients:
✓ First, consider who your ideal client is - Are there particular businesses or projects that you want to target? If so, think about what previous projects you could highlight that would best showcase your firm’s abilities in order to capture the attention of companies you really want to work with.
✓ Ask for testimonials - While unsolicited praise is great, it doesn’t hurt to ask your clients for a testimonial immediately after you have done business with them while the experience is still fresh in their mind (also, make sure they are happy with you sharing it on your website or marketing material).
✓ Ask specific questions to help you get the information that you really want and include answers as direct quotes where applicable. This also makes things easier and more time-efficient for your client, so they’ll be more inclined to help you out:
- What was the core problem you needed to solve?
- What hesitations did you have in engaging an engineering firm for your project?
- What were your specific criteria or expectations that influenced your decision?
- How did our firm help you meet your project goals? Or what specific results did our services help you achieve?
- Why would you recommend our services to other companies?
Putting it all together - What content should you include in your case studies?
✓ Use a four-part structure to create a story that best demonstrates your role in the project
- The situation - who is the client, what do they do?
- The problem - what challenge were they facing, why did they seek out your engineering services?
- The solution - what solution did your firm provide, how did you go about it? Were there any challenges along the way?
- The result & client evaluation - what were the benefits for the client - include measurable results, as well as lots of horn-tooting from your adoring customer.
✓ Include complementary photos or videos - you may want to include a photographic timeline of the project or photos that specifically demonstrate your involvement. Professionally shot images in particular will make a real impression.
✓ Consider creating a video testimonial to add more credibility and authenticity to your message. For more tips on creating an effective video case study, see what WorkflowMax marketing manager, Chirag has to say on his article, 10 Steps to My First Video Case Study.
✓ Insert company logos and names of stakeholders you dealt with - transparency gives you credibility, particularly if you have some well-respected names to note.
✓ Include a range of project examples that potential leads can connect with. At WorkflowMax we feature case studies from a range of clients who use the software so that leads can identify similar businesses that they relate to.
✓ Get some help if you don’t have the time or talent to create case studies yourself. Hire a copywriter to put them together, they know all the tricks of the trade for crafting an attention-grabbing story.
Now that you’ve written your compelling case study content, what do you do with it? You put it right under the noses of your ideal client, that’s what. The best thing about testimonials and case studies is that they can be repurposed and used throughout your various marketing mediums - although it is important to keep them fresh and relevant.
- Add case studies to your website, but remember you don’t have to necessarily just include them on a separate testimonials/case study page. Refer to them on relevant service pages where appropriate.
- Make sure you have an easy-to-update project page - setting it up as a blog page works well - so that updating the page with your latest projects is not a huge chore. If you can, set up relevant categories so visitors can easily search for what interests them.
- Use case studies on your printed marketing material. Showing real-world examples of what you are capable of is a more powerful and memorable message than simply describing what you do.
- Repurpose case studies through social media - LinkedIn is a useful resource for promoting your business by targeting certain industry sectors or companies.
- Include your case studies in email newsletters or marketing campaigns to share your recent projects with your existing database.
- Include a link and brief description or quote in your email signature back to your recent work or case study page.
- Present specific case studies at trade shows, presentations and conferences.
Collecting customer stories to create compelling case study examples for your website and marketing material is worth the investment of time because it is content that is guaranteed to give you great marketing mileage. Does your engineering firm make it a habit to regularly put together project case studies and client testimonials? If so, what components do you think make the case study most successful? If not, what’s stopping you?