The top agencies produce great case studies that show off their work and help clients choose them. We analyzed some of the best digital marketing agency case studies in the world to see what made them so great. Here’s what we found.
Editor’s Note: This article covers both the client and agency side of using case studies. If you’re only interested in the digital marketing agency side of the equation, feel free to skip ahead to the agency-focused section.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency, one of the best places to start is by looking at agency case studies. This is not to say that a case study is all you should go on to decide to hire an agency. There are other key steps that go into choosing an agency but starting by looking at what agencies have done for other clients can help you see new possibilities or opportunities you hadn’t considered.
Case studies can help you figure out what you want. Then it’s time to put your project out there so you can get pitches from agencies and you can find the one that’s best suited to your needs. But case studies can still be useful to you after that.
You can use case studies to evaluate the agency responses you get. And when it comes to case studies, what you see is what you get. A digital marketing agency’s website can be chock full of statements written by the agency about how great they are. The proof, though, is in the case studies. If they do half-hearted work and get lackluster results, either their case studies will show that they’re not that great of an agency, or they won’t have any case studies at all.
If, on the other hand, you see one after another great case studies, then you’ll know that they are a true top digital marketing agency. Here’s what to look for:
- A case study that clearly lays out the problem that the agency solved,
- A solution that illustrates the expertise of the agency, and
- How that solution generated the desired results (i.e. better conversion rates, more revenue, etc.)
If you find agencies that include all of those things, you know won’t go wrong picking any of those agencies and you can move on to evaluating other things like the agency’s communication style or culture fit.
If you’ve got a digital marketing agency…
At an agency, the best sales tool you’ve got is your previous work. Publish a great case study on TDA and it will be working for you all the time, while you’re pitching, but also while you’re sleeping, while you’re shopping for groceries, while you’re reading the news, or while you’re working out (OK, maybe you’re like us and not going to the gym much these days, but you get the idea).
Not all case studies are created equal
What makes a good case study, one that will help you win new business? The best case studies have three ingredients:
- Your client’s problem/need/goal
Reading a case study without some statement of the client’s problem or need or goal is like watching a sport without knowing the object of the game. This is why ineffective case studies fail to hold the interest of prospective clients. If a reader doesn’t know what you were trying to do and why it mattered, they aren’t likely to be impressed by your performance on the project.
- Your unique solution
If anybody could’ve done what the agency describes in the case study, your case study may be OK, but your digital marketing agency won’t look all that impressive. Rather, the best case studies show that without the unique strategies/skills the agency brought to the table, the project wouldn’t have been as successful.
- Your quantified results
Don’t expect prospective clients to trust that you can get them results, prove it with your case studies. Be sure to include some data showing how your work positively impacted your client’s business to turn your case studies into attention-grabbing, client-attracting machines.
TDA lets you do more
Along with including all of the above in your case studies, on TDA you can have the client verify the case study. This adds an extra element of social proof that you did a great job and strengthening your argument.