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Transcript: Best Practices for Case Studies pg. 4

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Special Offer from Austin Freelance Writer for Case Studies

We sped through that just like I was hoping we would. Before we get to our questions section, I was going to extend this special offer for those of you who are interested in creating a few case studies in 2014. My rates for writing case studies are already pretty competitive with other writers, but if you email me with the promo code HOSTWAY, I’ll give you 15 percent off the first case study.

Special Offer from Hostway for Publicizing Your Case Studies

Now, I’ll turn it back over to Christa, who has a special offer for you, as well.

Christa:  Right, I do. As I may have mentioned earlier in the presentation, repurposing your case studies as news articles is a great way to get the word out and publicize your customer to your base. At Hostway, we have a tool that can make that easy. It’s called Newsletter Broadcast. This is an email tool that allows you to send email to up to a hundred contacts for free. The best part is, it’s already included in most of your Web hosting packages.

If you want to learn more about that, you can email sales@hostway.com, or you can call 877‑748‑4294. That way, we can go through what your package entails and walk you through it so that you can better understand how to utilize it.

Q&A

Now we’ve reached the Q&A portion. For our first question, Amanda, we have one for you.

1. What do you recommend to new companies who don’t have much of a track record with customers yet?

Amanda:  That’s a really good question. Obviously, case studies are a lot stronger when you have a few months or years under your belt, but you can start doing some form of case studies as soon as you have customers. They’ll just be a little less detailed.

They’ll focus on what problem the customer was trying to solve and why they chose your company to solve it. What you would do is publish it as a mini case study. In a few months, you can always update and expand on it once you have some more results to talk about.

Christa:  Thanks. Here’s another one.

2. How often should we update our case studies?

Amanda:  Initially, you want to build a library of a few case studies, each representing a different audience or a different problem being solved. Then it’s a good idea to write a few new ones every year or once a quarter ‑‑ whatever you can do.

Obviously, some of us are more able to do that than others, depending on work load, et cetera. If you have really long‑term customer relationships, and you’ve written about one of them in the past, it might be a good idea to go back and update those case studies.

You don’t have to do it every year. You don’t have to do it every two years ‑‑ just however often the relationship changes. For example, if your customer’s company has recently grown significantly, you might want to revisit that case study and update it with information on how you helped them through their growth.

Christa:  Thanks. Another question.

3. We’ve been thinking about doing video case studies. Is that a good idea, and how do you recommend we do it?

Amanda:  Yeah, video case studies are really great, but they’re a little bit trickier. There are a couple of ways I’ve seen people approach it. You can do an informal thing, where you have your customers record themselves using their cell phone. You just give them some questions that they can answer on camera.

That works fine. Obviously, it’s not going to have the same polished, professional that it will if you do hire a production company or professional video person, which you can also do. That’s a second option. You just want to make sure you get someone who knows how to do professional lighting and quality audio, things like that.

I’ve also seen people do something where ‑‑ like at a trade show where they know their customers are going to be. They set up a booth, and they hire a professional to come in and shoot customers throughout the day doing little testimonials in that booth. That can also be a really cost‑effective powerful way to get some video case studies.

Christa: Another question we have is:

4. Pictures are an important part of our sell. Do you recommend still limiting the case study to one page? Or do you recommend limiting a case study to one page?

Amanda: No, I don’t necessarily. If you look at some of Hostways’, on their site, you’ll see that there are actually usually about three pages. Two pages of that is text with some little visual icons and pull quotes along the side, and then on the third page it’s almost always a schematic of the customer’s infrastructure. So it gives a really good visual example of what we’re talking about, and I recommend that.

Even if you have a product that, yeah, has really good images, I say why not? Include those in the case study. If it adds to the story and gives clarity, then it’s a great idea.

Christa: Last question.

5. How many newsletters is it OK to send to customers per month? This way you just don’t disturb them or become an annoyance.

Amanda: Yeah, everybody has different answers for that, but I know that a lot of people choose to do one a month. I hate to give a wishy‑washy answer, but it really depends on your products and services. If you have a lot of different types of audiences, and so maybe you have one newsletter that encompasses everyone and then one newsletter that’s more targeted to a specific group, you can get away with that.

But I definitely wouldn’t do every week or every other week even. Monthly is a good bet, but again you can just A/B test that, try a different couple ways and see what works for you. Maybe look at what some other people in your industry are doing.

Christa:  Sounds good. That was the last question, and that completes our webinar for today. A recording of today’s presentation will be emailed to all registrants, and you can also access a copy on our website. Thank you, Amanda, for your time, and thank you guys for your time today. We appreciate it, and we’ll be in touch.

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