Before your prospects can read your case studies, they have to visit your case study download page. That’s your first opportunity to give them an excellent experience.
In this video, you’re going to see four companies’ best efforts at optimizing their case study download pages and you will learn about a ton of hacks and inspiration for your own page.
Begin with a strong value statement
We start with Shape Security. This begins with a sharp value statement: “Shape has deflected over $1 billion in fraud losses for major retailers, financial institutions, airlines, and government agencies.”
Next, they list their clients by industry. This is probably because clients can’t go on the record to endorse Shape Security. That’s not a big problem. In Shape’s industry, clients have a legitimate concern about exposing tools that provide them with a strategic advantage.
Use clear and conspicuous cross promotion
The bottom of the page cross-promotes Shape’s free automated vulnerability scan — that big red “Get threat assessment” button. It’s a great way to move readers along in the sales process — from reviewing case studies to free engagement.
Tell your readers what they should do after they finish reading your case studies.
Directly address the reader’s needs
Instead of focusing on the client and the logo, Shape Security lists:
- the client’s type of industry
- the top benefit that Shape Security brought to the company
- a description of the threat that the client was facing
This is a clever use of space. Tweet this: Readers care less about other customers and more about the problems those customers were facing. Kudos here to Shape Security for focusing on the problems that they helped to resolve.
Keep your design coherent
Next, there’s this pseudo headline — the featured result for each of the case studies. By the nature of the page’s design, my eye interpreted this as a sidebar, separate from the main content. One more design element — perhaps a thin line, or alternating shaded rows — would better connect this featured result with the problem summary to the left.
Also, notice that each of the case study descriptions has at least one internal link to another page. This is a clever SEO play from this case study download page.
Use client logos consistently, or not at all
Next stop, Threat Metrix. You’ll see in the overview of their page that they don’t show any logos either.
Logos give an immediate ‘hit’ of social proof. However, the page will look strange if customer logos appear sporadically. Assuming Threat Metrix didn’t have permission to display logos from all the ‘heroes’ of its case studies, it makes sense to go for a cleaner, more consistent look.
Sell the case studies with original teaser statements
Threat Metrix shows the title of the case study along with the first few sentences of the study’s text. However, this is clearly not original content. In some of the examples, the description trails off in ellipses, leaving a poor impression.
They may as well go to the effort of creating an original teaser statement on this page so that even if the visitor doesn’t read the case study, they will at least get the gist of how Threat Metrix helps its customers. It’s only an extra sentence or two for the case study writer to produce and that’s not a big ask.
Pre-populate sharing links
Including download and sharing links below each one of the descriptions is a shrewd way to get your case studies in front of your visitors’ networks.
By clicking on these links, we can see that the tweets and LinkedIn shares are auto-populated from the descriptions of the case studies. However, in some cases, the tweets exceed the maximum character count, which is a missed opportunity. Put a little extra effort into creating content for the tweet so it fits within Twitter’s character limit.
Do the same for LinkedIn article sharing. It lacks an image, so it should at least show the Threat Metrix logo instead of just a blank screen.
Some of the titles of the case studies are benefits-driven, which enhances ‘skimmability.’ They could be easily adapted into material for a pre-populated tweet.
Demonstrate social proof
Next, we’ll move on to Yubico, which has a really effective study download page.
At the very top, they greet readers with a summary of their social proof. It tells us that “Yubico products secure access to computers, network, and online services for thousands of business and millions of users in over 160 countries.”
They’re wise to show the range of users who use their products: from independent developers to world-leading enterprises. This is a nice way to demonstrate that their product is very accessible and popular.
Provide filters to maximize ‘skimmability’
Moving down the page, each one of the case studies or customers represented has a logo and client description. Then there’s a statement about, or from, the client, followed by a link to the related case study and any related press mentions in industry publications.
This format is very skimmable. However, given the number of clients shown, adding filtration — either by industry, geography, or by company size — will make the ‘wall of case studies’ easier to navigate and digest.
As readers scroll down, they’ll be curious to know if Yubico has helped companies in their industries. At the top of the page, Yubico mentioned that their “customers range from consumers to developers, governments, and global enterprises,” so why not filter according to those groups? That way, the visitor can hone in on what they really want to read about.
Feature customer testimonials
Yubico features testimonials from their customers underneath each of the case study descriptions. This way, skimmers who don’t actually read the whole case study will still see the name, title, company, and testimonial: a strong combination for an element of social proof.
Avoid too much blank space
That said, look at the first example from Facebook. These two testimonials create an untidy white space.
To avoid this, Yubico could list all the case studies with longer customer endorsements in one row, thereby creating a greater sense of consistency. That said, it’s understandable that they would want to show the most prominent and renowned customer logos at the top of the page.
Include as many client logos as possible
On closer inspection, not all of these are actually linked case studies. For example, Dropbox and Salesforce are linked to pages about how they use Yubico’s product. Though they aren’t case studies, they’re still listed on this page — a departure from what we saw earlier with Shape Security and Threat Metrix.
Having these logos strengthens social proof. Apparently, it’s not important that Yubico lacks a case study for these two clients. They’re still benefitting from showing the logos.
If you scroll down to the very bottom of the screen, you’ll see that there are a lot of customer logos that don’t have any case studies or press mentions at all. However, Yubico still has permission to list the logos on their page and they’re smart to do so.
Use video testimonials to engage your visitors
Finally, we have Okta, which is by far the strongest and probably the best funded of the companies we’re looking at today. The page shows lots of smiling people, all of which are links to customer testimonial videos.
Videos are very engaging and easy to consume. It’s a very smart play to show all of these video customer testimonials. It’s a nice touch to display the clients’ logos on the thumbnails.
Link to material other than case studies
Each of these video boxes reveals a hover state with basic ‘customer journey’ stories, so presumably a case study. They may as well just say ‘case study’ instead of ‘customer journey,’ since that’s the common nomenclature.
Some of the customer endorsements also feature blog posts, presentations, and press relations. This is a very sensible way to organize all of the material that relates to each customer.
If a visitor is interested in one of these companies, they can read all of that company’s endorsements of Okta’s services. This effectively wrings more value out of each piece.
Don’t forget to include client logos
Just as with Yubico, Okta also displays customer logos even if they don’t have a client testimonial. Again, just the number of logos is great social proof.
Apply these six lessons to your case study download page today:
- Include sharing links on your download page.
- Aggregate your customers’ endorsements. Include their blog posts, presentations, and any other material that endorses you publicly.
- Show company logos, even for customers who haven’t actually given you a case study.
- Summarize the benefit that you brought to the customer or the problems that you resolved for them.
- Lead with a benefit- or results-driven title. That way, even if someone doesn’t read the whole case study, they’ll still get the gist of the benefit you’ve brought.
- Start with a brief benefit statement summarizing the key outcome you bring your customers. Bonus points for weaving in your value proposition!