Digital Strategy in a Recount: The Secret Ingredient Your Campaign Needs
April 2021 | by Anthony Pileggi
Do you want to write a killer digital marketing case study? You’re in the right place.
A case study is the proof you offer a client when they come to you and ask, “Will you be able to solve this problem for me?” When writing a digital marketing case study, your goal is to answer this question. Great case studies focus on how great you are at solving problems for clients. You need to make the objective clear and focus on demonstrating the value of your services.
Follow these four steps to knock it out of the park, every time.
Don’t write for a general audience. Write for your audience.
Your case studies don’t need to appeal to every person. You know your audience – clients and prospective clients – and the specific problems they have. Your job when writing a case study is to address a problem they may encounter and show that you have the best solutions for them.
For our case studies, we don’t want to drown prospects in digital jargon. But we also want to have specifics available for folks who want to get more technical. So we include a section at the bottom with the tongue-in-cheek name “Fine Print for the Nerds.”
In our case study on how we paired paid media with our specialized advocacy hub to move the needle on the Hill, the bulk of the study focuses on a simple explanation of our digital strategy and the results it yielded. If our killer results hook the reader, we’ve got a supplementary explanation of the details on our advocacy hub at the bottom. This way, the case study speaks to a prospect at any level of digital expertise – something we’ve learned matters to our clients because of our experience working with them.
Create a storytelling format for your case study to keep your narrative focused.
A clean case study layout will guide readers to all your important points. And this layout should tell a story. Identify the objective (introduction) and explain how you tackled it (body). Finally, match your objective to the results (ending).
You do a lot for your clients. It can be tempting to allow a case study to bloat into an after-action report of every task you’ve ever executed for them. Having a standard format keeps you focused on a single narrative – and helps you define a brand identity for your firm with a consistent look and feel.
At the end of our case studies, we like to identify the main takeaway in a “What We Learned” section. We ask ourselves, what did this client teach us that we incorporate across all client accounts? What can others take away from this?
In our case study on how we used omni-channel marketing for a grassroots political campaign, we included some summary insights and data on why we recommend a multi-channel approach for all clients. Relating your findings to broader industry insight increases the chances of others finding your digital marketing case study useful.
Don’t just spit out numbers – explain why each data point you include matters.
A lot of case studies are filled with data, but many of them fail at two things:
1. Making the data a part of the overall story.
2. Giving context as to why those numbers indicate success.
Tell the story behind the data. Did you double a client’s average monthly website traffic? Generate more email signups using digital ads? Add points of comparative reference to contextualize why the project was a success.
And don’t forget to present the data in a visually appealing way. When IMGE implemented machine learning to evolve an ad campaign for high value and low cost, we had a lot of data to share from our results. Our “Key Results” section places the strongest pieces of data in their own highlighted section with clear context for maximum impact.
Drive up engagement with eye-grabbing visuals.
Case studies can contain a lot of information and it helps to break it up into digestible pieces. No one likes a wall of flat text, so be sure to use pictures to engage users.
IMGE’s in-house design team creates original, engaging visuals that stay consistent with our style guide. Focusing on the overall objective while implementing various types of visual elements helps to grab the reader’s attention.
They can also help you – literally – illustrate your point. In a case study we compiled on using fundraising best practices from political campaigns in other verticals, we wanted to show the importance of a series of shorter fundraising sprints to reach your long-term goals. See how our design team brought that to life, here:
The bottom line: There’s a lot that goes into writing a killer digital marketing case study. It’s okay to talk about yourself a lot. A case study is the perfect opportunity to present your expertise, so don’t be afraid to focus on your specific services and how you deliver success to your clients.
For more examples of killer digital marketing case studies, take a moment to browse through our work.
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