What is it?
Case study videos illustrate what a company can do to help its customers and how the company continues to grow and evolve, meeting new challenges and satisfying consumer demands. The focus is often on how a company recognizes an unmet need and satisfies that need or solves a problem that benefits customers. The video is designed to prove that your company produces results, that when you make a claim about your business your customers can trust what you say. Case studies demonstrate a company listens to its customers and responds to them in a positive way that makes a difference.
Here is an example of an agency working with their client to create a successful project, created by Digital Media Collab.
Here’s an example of how a lighting company creates case studies to show how they help their clients.
When/Where to use.
Case study videos can be produced for B2B or B2C, depending on the goal and the target audience.
A B2B content marketing report prepared by BrightTALK surveyed 600 B2B operators and found that 55% of respondents say case studies are the best way to guide prospects along the sales pipeline.
Case study videos can be used as commercials, in email funnels, in advertising posts on social media and on the landing pages of your website, where an effective case study video can boost conversions by as much as 80 percent.
Why use it.
Case studies give the person watching a chance to connect the dots on what it looks like to work with your company.
Case study videos convey your message faster than text alone and are more likely to capture and hold attention. People are rapidly becoming acclimated to absorbing information through videos, as opposed to reading. Fully one-third of all online activity involves watching videos. It is the most popular way for people to receive content.
The case study video is a form of proof -- concrete evidence that your company does what it claims it will do, and that this provides clear and compelling benefits to customers. This kind of video gives the audience a good reason to choose your company. Case studies show that you are an authority in this area and you are a worthy guide to solve their transformation.
Some of the most effective case studies tell the company story from the customer’s point of view. The individual shares how your company solved the problem, made life better, provided great value for the money -- whatever message you wish to convey. Real customers telling real stories bring authenticity to your case study video. And authenticity is what it’s all about. In a perfect world all of us would tell the truth and we would believe each other. But this is not a perfect world. Trust is hard to come by. It has to be earned. So who are your potential customers mostly likely to trust right from the start? Your existing happy customers. That’s who.
That’s why they should be presenting your case study. Current satisfied customers give your company instant credibility.
How to use and Analyse/Measure
Case Study videos are effective sales tools at B2B presentations, on the company homepage or landing page for a specific product or service, and at tradeshows, conferences, expos and other heavily-attended events.
Measuring the success of an online Case Study video involves tracking the number of views and comparing this figure to conversion data before and after the video was posted online. In one-on-one presentations, with all factors being equal, closing the sale is the key measurement of a successful Case Study video. At conferences and other large events, success is measured by keeping track of the number of people who stop at your display table or kiosk and engage with the video. If a service or product is not available for sale on-site at the event, it may be advantageous to gather contact information, such as an email address, from people who stop to view your video.
A Case Study video shows your audience how your company handles various projects and situations while highlighting the successful outcome. The video helps potential customers recognize a need or a problem they face and how your company has delivered effective solutions.
The video promotes the company’s effectiveness with attention-grabbing visuals that illustrate how your company solves problems, and works with clients and customers to achieve a happy outcome.
The best Case Study videos offer authentic testimonials from real customers sharing their experience with your company. This gives your audience someone to relate to. As a result, the Case Study video establishes your credibility as an authority in your particular line of business. Your company should be seen as the first choice when customers need to solve a specific problem or issue.
Process to create
Creating a Case Study video may take longer to produce than other types of marketing videos due to the need to accumulate data that demonstrates the success story as well as recruiting customers and clients to help tell that story. As a result, the planning stage is almost always the longest part of the project. Planning is vital because it is significantly less expensive than actual production. It is also far easier to make adjustments to the Case Study video during the planning phase than to change course in the midst of production.
Develop an authentic message that best conveys your solution, typically through the eyes of existing customers.
Messages often work best when told as a story. We grew up with stories. It’s in our nature to respond to stories well told. These are the main plot points that work best in a storyline for case study videos:
1. A character…
2. Has a problem…
3. And meets someone who promises a solution…
4. And outlines a plan…
5. Then urges the character to take action on the plan…
6. That results in success.
One variation in this story is to switch #3 to a competitor so the result in #6 becomes a failure. This raises the stakes by showing your audience what can happen if they don’t work with you and choose another company, instead.
The basic steps in planning a case study video:
- Identify the problem - Create an outline a script or a list of questions that will prompt answers so we can tell the story in the edit.
- Show the plan.
- Discuss the transformation and success that came from working with you.
- Decide the Call to Action
We also work with agencies and internal marketing departments to do the design/layout or just the post production. At Digital Media Collab, we sit down with company leadership to listen and understand their goals and brainstorm many ideas, which are then narrowed down to a winner.
Our approach involves a blend of the creative and strategy. Creative tactics capture and hold viewer attention. Strategy is about getting viewers to take the next step, to take the desired action, which typically means conversion into a paying customer or reinforcing brand loyalty among existing clientele.
The video concludes with a strong call to action so your audience understands the next steps and how to take them.
The current industry average for producing a case study video starts at about $3,000 per finished minute. Elaborate productions requiring numerous locations, travel to interview clients, research time and other expenses that vary with each project will impact the cost of the finished production.
An experienced video production company will discuss all of these factors with you while working collaboratively on a presentation concept. Once the strategy is in place, an accurate production estimate can be made.
There are three basic factors that drive production costs: time, talent and tools.
The more time invested in pre-production, the better the Case Study video is likely to be. Pre-production is less expensive than actual production, when you’re paying for the time of a crew and the talent they are filming. Pre-production can also be done internally by an in-house marketing team to lessen the investment.
Tools include the use of video cameras, audio recording equipment, lighting kits, transportation vehicles, as well as post-production computer resources for motion graphics and animation.
To be sure you get what you are paying for, you’ll want to carefully vet video production companies before choosing one to work with.
Review their work for other clients to make sure it’s a good fit with your needs. Ask to see videos produced on a budget close to what you plan to spend. Does the video production company understand your specific industry as well as solid principles of marketing?
At Digital Media Collab, we maintain an up-to-date portfolio of our work for clients to review.
Six weeks is a good amount of time to produce a professional Case Study video. Less elaborate productions that require minimal editing can be created faster. As the production becomes more elaborate, the time to completion will increase. To plan effectively and build in time for unforeseen circumstances, for instance, the possibility that a client-customer might drop out of participating at the last minute, allow eight weeks of lead time before you need the finished Case Study video.
Here are some statistics from SmallBizTrends to guide your thinking as you develop ideas for the Case Study video, which in turn will impact the finished product: (Where did we get these stats? Is it easy to point to?)
- 87% of all business videos are viewed on a desktop computer
- Only 2% of business videos are 10 minutes or longer
- 73% of business videos run two minutes or less
- Videos are getting shorter every year as competition for eyeballs intensifies
The running time for a Case Study video can vary widely, but your target audience is likely to be mid- to late-stage prospects who are willing to view for 5-10 minutes. One way to get around diminished attention spans is to edit the Case Study video so each testimonial lasts no longer than 60 seconds. This creates variety and encourages longer viewing.
This production technique is also useful because it enables you to create even shorter videos using only one or two of your testimonial interviews. These can then be deployed in email funnels and on social networks to a broader audience.
An effective Case Study video delivers four key benefits that advance your corporate goals:
- Case study videos are convincing
Trust. Authenticity. These are the core reasons why case studies are so effective. And a video lets you get the message across in a fraction of the time it would require the audience to absorb by reading text alone. People prefer to receive online information via video. Studies show that fully 33% of all online activity involves watching videos.
In terms of convincing your audience, you could spend all your time telling potential customers how great you are, or you could let your current satisfied customers share how great you are. With a case study video, that makes all the difference.
Research shows nearly 85% of people say they trust recommendations from people they know -- or who have first-hand experience with a company -- over any other type of marketing.
- Social proof
This is a psychological phenomenon where people are more likely to make a specific decision about a product if they see other people like them have also made that decision.
- Case study videos deliver emotional weight
People crave stories and human interaction they can relate to.
You can try convincing an audience with all the charts, graphs and PowerPoint presentations you can dream up. You can deliver an ironclad argument so tight with logic that only the most mule-headed person would disagree. Or you can present one sincere, sympathetic individual who shares her positive experience with your company. Which of these tactics do you suppose will attract and hold the attention of the largest possible audience?
Charts and graphs have their purpose, but put a face on a story and it instantly becomes real.
- Case study videos are engaging
A polished case study video grabs attention and captivates an audience more than any other marketing tool at your disposal. Text alone won’t do it. Neither will audio or still photography. A video gets the audience involved.
In fact, research shows that fully 60% of people visiting a website will watch a video, if there is one available, before considering anything else on the page. Studies also show that a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
“Reliability and delivery. Best creative service around. Not a lot of companies out there that I trust like I do them.”
-- Mike Crow, Orthofix.
"Excellent to work with. Very creative and talented. Easy to work with. Creative solutions. Delivered in a timely manner."
-- Brian Czock, SonLight Productions.