How do we get people to click? It's a question all marketers wrestle with. Ask 50 different people and there will probably be 50 different responses.
Obviously, there are a number of factors to consider: the platform, your audience, traffic source, etc.
But at the heart of the matter is relevance.
It's crucial to understand your audience, their pain points, their motivations, what they're trying to accomplish, what they want to learn, etc.
Once you understand them, one type of content that they'll love to consume are case studies.
Case studies are great because they provide immediate value in the form of relevant information and real-world results. For someone who is actively interested and searching for information, you just made their day. That's how case studies help build your authority as an expert in your industry.
Since we can agree that case studies make killer content, the next step is deciding what kind of case study to create.
Below are 4 – check that, 5 – examples of irresistible case studies.
And we'll start with a bonus example! I'm calling this first one a bonus because it will take longer to create than the other four, so it's probably not for everyone. But if it's in your wheelhouse, it can make for terrific content.
Case Study Examples:
1. Your own original research
Investing in your own original research is hard, but that’s why it’s at the top of this list. Primary research is unique, exclusive, and — therefore — powerful.
While you might not have the resources of Forrester or Mary Meeker, that doesn’t mean you can’t go mining on your own.
Andy Crestodina does this every year through a simple Google Form for his blogger research survey.
2. “Every flippin’ stat” collection
If you can’t create your own research, the next best thing is to collect stats. This can’t be an exercise in brevity though.
Instead, get exhaustive by assembling 100 or more data points from across your industry. Then either add original commentary that helps your audience make use of the stats or design an infographic to accompany and simplify the content.
3. “Deep dive for success” case study
Case studies are a great two-for-one:
- You get to show off your expertise.
- You get to tell a story. And everybody loves a good story.
Neil Patel’s How to Write a Perfect Case Study That Attracts High Paying Clients does both brilliantly. On top of that, it gets pretty meta: it’s a case-study guide that is a case study itself.
4. “What went wrong” case study
Even more than success, failure is an effective teacher.
In fact, people often connect with our failures far more than our successes. Failure humanizes us. It evokes empathy and builds trust.
So, muster up the courage to get honest about your biggest flop. In Case Study: 18 Tips to Destroy Your Own Webinar, Emily Hunt takes this track, revealing mistakes and pointing out lessons at every turn.
5. One shocking stat and its consequences
Another creative way to present data is to go small … really, really, really small.
Pick one shocking stat and build an entire article or ebook around it. Explain the stat’s backstory and draw out all the applications you can.
For instance, this article is essentially a response to the problem of content overload and how to overcome those two million blog posts that get published day after day … after day.
You can find 16 other examples of killer content at Copyblogger.