Thought leadership for video marketing

Once Upon a Time: The Essential Importance of Video Case Studies.

July 1, 2023 6:07 am Published by


  • Case Studies Are Long-Form Testimonials

  • You’re Investing In A Customer’s Story

  • It’s A Customer’s Story, But You Can Still Sell

  • Tell The Customer’s Story First

  • Go To The Experts

We’ve all seen or heard television and radio commercials that go something like this:

“I was hit by a drunk driver. My car was totaled, I was in the hospital for six weeks. Over the next 16 months, I had to have two surgeries due to my injuries. Good thing attorney Joe Blow was in my corner. He got me a 5-million dollar settlement and said right up front my case wouldn’t cost me a dime unless he won.”

That, in its purest form, is a very effective case study. Oh, sure, we can debate if those kinds of commercials are dignified for the legal profession, and whether or not Joe Blow has an “ambulance chaser” reputation—but it’s still an effective case study. Along with testimonials, case studies are a major component of marketing. They provide real-life examples of positive customer outcomes and help to gain buy-in during the sales cycle. In fact, marketers in some industries claim case studies are indispensable. For example, SaaS marketers have ranked case studies as their #1 marketing tool two years in a row according to Uplift Content.

Case Studies Are Long-Form Testimonials

Case studies are essentially a long-form testimonial. They’re a play-by-play of a customer having a need, choosing your company or product as the solution, and the sharing of the positive results. Not only are they compelling stories, but they can be used in so many ways: as a written section of your website, as a PowerPoint in a presentation, as an email, as a one sheet for your sales team, as a print ad and, of course, as a video.

Unlike a written section in your website, print ad, or an email, however, a video case study is especially powerful because it’s two-dimensional. It’s sight and sound and, as we’ve mentioned in other blogs and backed-up by tons of sources, videos are by far one of the most preferred marketing tools in both the B2C and B2B worlds. Video case studies give you the unique opportunity to tell a story in the truest sense of storytelling. And when stories are told, emotional bonds are made.

You’re Investing In A Customer’s Story

When you decide to do a case study on video, you’re investing in a story that’s not necessarily about your company and product. Well, not in the starring role anyway. Let’s go back to the victim hit by the car.

Let’s say, her name is Mary. She’s 39 years old, widowed, and raising two kids, one 8 and one 12, in a modest home. When she was hit by that drunk driver, it was late at night and Mary was driving home after working a double shift to help pay for her oldest child’s school band instrument. While she was in the hospital, her parents traveled across the country to take care of her kids. Her father had to take a leave of absence from work to do so. Those two surgeries she had were related to her spine as a result of the accident and recovery was very painful. There was a lot of physical therapy involved. She missed her oldest child’s first band concert and her youngest child’s birthday. During Mary’s recuperation, minutes passed like hours, and days like weeks because of her discomfort and pain. Besides this suffering, income was lost not only by Mary, but by her parents.

Note that as we’re telling this story, we’re not talking about attorney Joe Blow. We’re not talking about his years of experience, office locations, or his staff’s strong investigative capabilities. In other words, the sponsor of the video is taking a back seat to telling Mary’s story. But this is extremely smart because we feel empathy for Mary. We become emotionally connected to her life and, through her story, attorney Joe is positioned as a heroic savior to an unforeseen tragedy as opposed to an ambulance chaser. This is all pretty powerful stuff. But in order to tell an effective video case study like this, companies have to be brave. They have to not obviously sell themselves and let the case study do that for them.

It’s A Customer’s Story, But You Can Still Sell

Here’s another case study example and one this writer was personally involved in. When a hurricane devastated Haiti a few years ago, a Haitian construction company purchased a couple of volumetric cement mixers from a manufacturer in Colorado. Let’s say, the name of cement mixer company was Company Green. When the Haitian construction company purchased these mixers, Company Green sent the mixers disassembled in large crates by ship. They also sent a field crew of two personnel. Once in Port-au-Prince, the personnel from Company Green oversaw the assembly of the trucks, then instructed the people at the construction company how to use their new mixers. They stayed onsite for weeks. The beauty of volumetric cement mixers is they make cement right there on the construction site as opposed to the traditional cement trucks with the large rolling back drums holding pre-made cement. This meant that Company Green’s volumetric cement mixer trucks were lighter and easier to navigate on Haitian jungle roads. It also meant the cement created was fresher which would result in fewer cracks once poured and dried. It further meant there would be no leftover wastage because the cement was made to precise onsite specs. And finally, it meant that international customers could not only get cement trucks that were easy to transport, but boots-on-the-ground training crews from Company Green as well. In other words, by telling the customer’s story you can still sell your company. And when you see those cement trucks rebuilding schools, hospitals, community centers and so on, the emotional value and humanistic bond is obvious.

Tell The Customer’s Story First  

We’re all in business to build our brands and hopefully enjoy success. But, no matter the business, we’re nothing without our customers. So, tell their stories. Hospitals do this all the time. The young mother who loved running marathons, but then discovered she had cancer, recovered through the Cancer Center at Hospital X, and is now running marathons again while her husband and kids cheer her on. These are the kind of emotional stories people want to hear, whether you’re soliciting new business partners or a general audience. Too many companies get lost in the weeds talking about the capabilities of their product without giving those capabilities real-life resonance, whether that be heartfelt, humorous, adrenaline driven and so on. According to Gallup research, 70% of all business decisions are based upon emotional factors versus 30% on rational factors. When done right, video case studies can take full advantage of this.

Go To The Experts

At Hybrid Moon, we’ve been telling successful case study stories for nearly 30 years. We’ve traveled the world to tell these stories and can do it nimbly with crews as small as two people. Our writers, producers, editors, and camera personnel are award-winning experts at what they do, and one of the nicest compliments we get is how easy and frictionless we are to work with. Give us a call and let’s talk about your case study needs. We’ve told a lot of great stories, but the most important one of all has yet to be told—yours.