Pitching yourself to a brand and getting a response is just part of the marketing partnership process. Once you’re in, you have got to come up with the goods – a.k.a a case study. A case study is a powerful marketing tool that shows examples of your (past) work (with brands) and offers analytics in a succinct fashion. The secret to an effective case study? Relevant numbers. It’s all about the statistics and quantified results.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked to provide a case study for every potential project I’ve pitched to various brands. Beauty, tech, social media, fashion: it doesn’t matter the industry. Every brand wants to feel like there is a secure, tangible bottom line for them in the end.
I know what you’re thinking. A case study? What do I look like? But don’t worry, case studies are really simple to put together once you have all the proper tools and resources at your finger tips.
Here is a basic outline of a case study that you can work from:
Brief Introduction to you and your readership (blog audience, social media following)
Proposed campaign objective for new project
Case Study Example #1
Overview: What did you do? What were you trying to accomplish? Provide examples such as images of posts or screenshots of social media promotion. The client needs visuals, not just words, to take you seriously.
Measurable Goals: How are you measuring success? Were there defined goals, and if so, list them! Make sure to relate this case study to proposed project.
Analytics: This is where you will put relevant statistics that supported this project. Important statistics to include: Blog posts’s Unique Page Views, Number of comments on post, Total Link Click-throughs, Twitter impressions, Number of retweets, Facebook Reach and Likes, Number of Like Instagrams, Total Repins. These are all extremely crucial to proving your network’s influence and your ability to produce results.
Quotes or references from previous clients: get references from previous clients to prove that your work is valuable.
Case Study Example #2
Case Study Example #3
Here are a few tools I use when compiling statistics:
Bit.Ly: We talk about it a lot on IFB and here’s why: it gives stats on link performance, broken down in timed segments. Looking for the number of click-throughs for a socially-promoted post at 3 p.m.? Bit.Ly will give you that. This tool is the ultimate resource for any type of potential social media content project you are pitching.
Tweetreach: Quantifying a tweet and the virality of a hashtag would be brutal without Tweetreach, a Twitter management platform that compiles total contributors, tweets, impressions and more for you. Confession: before using this product, I actually counted each tweet and total exposure by hand in an Excel document. To say I spent many nights staring at a computer wanting to throw my computer out of the window is an understatement. Another great thing about Tweetreach? It can give you customized reports and lets you analyze competitors, so when putting together your case study you can indicate how your hashtag performed in comparison to someone else.
Facebook Insights: Get to know these numbers and learn what each Insight segment means because these numbers are proof that your voice is credible and influential. Not only should you be looking at these numbers on a daily basis, you should be familiar with what types of posts work best with your blog i.e. photo uploads are get a better response, video links get shared more, etc. This way, you can custom-tailor a service to a client’s needs.
Google Analytics: I know we talk about Google’s analytical database often but it’s for good reason. This platform offers the numbers that are your blog’s bread and butter. Bottom line: these numbers can make or break a case study. From monthly unique views to average time on site, be sure to include the numbers that prove your blog’s worth. Another great area to look into is the Social segment which shows how much traffic social media is referring to your site. This shows: 1. you have a very loyal, dedicated social media following that clicks through to your blog and 2. your social media is a service they should buy into.
That’s basically all you need to build a pretty impactful case study. Numbers and examples are the only tools you need to prove your worth when working with a brand.
Well, a killer smile couldn’t hurt either.
image credit: Thomas Northcut for Free People