We don’t get enough requests to produce video case studies. It does happen, but not nearly as much as it should.
Why do I say this? Well, a video case study is probably the single most persuasive piece of content a business can publish. Here are three key reasons for this:
The viewer sees another person, trying to grow their business just like they are. They see the living proof from a third party that the services you deliver can benefit others, and that working with you is a positive experience which helps people achieve their goals.
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini described how our instinct is to look to others to see how we should behave - we naturally assume because others are doing something, we should be doing it too.
A good example of this is that for a restaurant, a queue around the block is most likely to have a positive effect - people see the queue and they view it as evidence, or validation of a review they might have read - and they want to know what all the fuss is about. I personally hate queuing and would (probably) rather eat mediocre food, but when I’m on holiday and in unfamiliar territory, I will walk past the cafes and trattorias rubbernecking to see how busy they are in order to validate my decision. However flawed it may be, the thought process is: if other people are doing it, it must be worth doing.
You should of course have some videos which put you in front of the camera, talking about how you do things, and most importantly, your ‘why’. This kind of content is undoubtedly powerful.
But, combined with a case study, they become much more persuasive. A case study is an opportunity to show an objective view which backs up what you’ve been saying about your business - a second opinion. We all need this sometimes, and a second opinion matters more when the product or service we think we need to buy is out of our own field of expertise.
If you get asked the same questions from different clients, it means that the product or service you sell tends to give potential buyers a common concern (for example price, or timescales for delivery). A case study is a great chance for this to be addressed by someone who is not you, and so inherently carries more trust and authenticity. Sorry if that stings, but whilst we are all trying to promote our own businesses, your customers will only help you do that if you have served them well, and that matters to the viewer.
A good deal of nervousness about signing up for a service or starting a new business relationship comes from the unknown. For example, when looking for a web developer to work with recently, I had a strong desire to time travel to the future to see whether the website they built was any good, or if their customer service had made things any easier along the way.
A case study using one of your existing clients is an opportunity to show prospective clients what their journey could look like: the initial problem, the solution you proposed, how that was implemented or delivered, and finally the change that came about as a result. A case study is probably the best you can do without physically taking a potential customer by the hand and telling them everything is going to be alright.
An example case study we made for Payapps, with their client GF Tomlinson
Personal, direct, and trustworthy, a video case study is a great way of validating your brand and showing people what they can achieve by working with you. And whilst custom video production does cost money, if you can invite several clients to one location to be filmed on the same day, you can produce a number of videos at a relatively low cost per video.
So, give your voice a rest. We can all say how great we are, but somebody else saying it for you? It might just be the best trick in the book.