Do you know that when you hear a story, something out of the ordinary happens in your brain?
MRI scans show us that the brain lights up. Neurons fire impulses across synapses as they process the information. The brain reacts to the words in the story as if we were living the saga ourselves.
A good story makes your brain buzz with activity.
An engaging story in the form of a case study resonates with your clients and helps you to connect. A case study can make or break your articles, blog pieces, patient information, in-fact, your entire website.
Why is that?
In this post, you’ll find out why you should use case studies to build trust and how to leverage stories so that your potential clients think of you FIRST when searching for the help they need.
The science behind why case studies work
Think about a meeting or a conference you’ve attended. There may be noteworthy speakers, persuasive rhetoric, and inexhaustible facts and data.
But can you recall that much of the information accurately?
I didn't think so! But, thankfully there is another way.
Without a story behind the details, the lack of narrative, emotion, suspense, and climax means that the raw data is challenging to recall.
When you hear a fact that’s entwined in a story, it’s a massive 22 times more memorable than just hearing a statement of the fact, according to the renowned cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner.
Stories can be used as mnemonic devices for facts. Mnemonics work by creating a meaningful structure or story from abstract phrases, words, events, or data.
When data is incorporated into a story, it becomes more memorable and real.
I can remember countless times when I've listened to presentations that cite a myriad of data, graphs, and bullet points full of information.
You know the type of event I mean. You really want to listen, understand and take it all in..... but before you know it, your brain is overfaced and you're staring out of the window at the clouds passing by?
With this kind of dry, straightforward, factual delivery, the Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, the language processing parts of the brain, are activated. They decode the words into meaning, but apart from that....... not much else is going on.
However, when we hear a story, various other parts of the brain are activated, just as if we are experiencing the events for ourselves.
A phenomenon known as neural coupling.
Think about the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls voluntary muscular motion and the body’s movements.
When you want to break into a run to catch the attention of a taxi, your motor cortex kicks into action.
If you listen to a story and the protagonist needs to run to escape the enemy, then brain scans reveal that similarly, your motor cortex is activated.
Reading about “bittersweet memories” activates our sensory cortex, and an emotional, happy conclusion to a story causes our brains to release dopamine, the happy hormone.
Stories trigger an emotional and chemical response.
Our brains do not make a distinction between real-life experience and reading about the same. Reading about flavours and tasting those flavours results in the same brain activity.
Stories stimulate activity all over our brains and can even change our behavior and actions and allow us to feel the same emotions and thoughts as the characters in a story.
Since the dawn of time, humans have been using stories to communicate their emotions, ideas, and plans.
You can harness the power of storytelling through case studies that speak to your audience, make your business memorable and form positive associations in the mind of the reader.
So, what exactly is a case study?
A case study is a unique piece of written marketing content that outlines your professional accomplishments with a specific patient.
It helps potential clients understand how you work, how you can help them, and how YOU are the expert they need in their life.
They demonstrate how you’ve overcome a challenge, solved a problem, or introduced a pioneering service or treatment.
Have you had a patient who has consulted with numerous physicians and still hasn’t got to the root cause of their condition?
They came to you in the hope that you would be able to help them with your expertise.
Fast forward three months, and the patient is happy, healthy and delighted to extol your virtues.
Weaving this type of achievement into a case study will bring you other patients who are experiencing similar problems and even those who quite simply are impressed at your expertise and demeanor.
Take a look at booming health businesses that have a strong online presence.
You’ll find that virtually every one of them has some form of case study or customer success story. Case studies are a top marketing tactic to boost patient engagement.
Why are case studies in healthcare so effective?
Case studies breathe life into your business by painting a story that a prospective client can experience.
AND the best part is that YOU can control the narrative.
A well-written case study should illuminate your business and cast light on your ability, credibility and authority.
Consumers are now turning away from overtly sales-focused tactics, preferring instead to read accurate, fact-based, and yet engaging information that helps them to understand the product or service.
Clients LOVE social proof.
Case studies allow you to showcase how a patient or client benefited from your service, and you can also demonstrate that any facts and figures you are using are real.
You are giving your readers the cold, hard truth, not merely inflating self-proclaimed benefits.
Real-life examples of customers benefiting from your work, along with raving reviews, contribute to the confidence that prospects have in you.
It can be the difference between them converting to YOUR patients, or looking elsewhere.
Consider that 70% of online shoppers search for product reviews or customer testimonials before they decide to make a purchase or book an appointment for a service.
Social proof is ESSENTIAL to your business.
Your potential clients need to see and comprehend your value.
Case studies allow you to relate to your patients and clients
Human nature makes us more likely to use a business that we feel understands us.
You might be able to boast a myriad of benefits over your competitors, but what’s MOST important to your potential patient is that they feel understood, and that you have empathy for their situation.
Clients want to know that as a healthcare professional, you know what they are going through.
You appreciate their specific struggle.
An eloquent case study allows you to convey this to the reader, painting a before and after picture of a successful outcome that resonates with them and dispels any doubts they may have.
The essential call-to-action
Depending on your particular case study, the reader has invested considerable time to read through the information.
They've been taken on a journey and experienced the emotions that you wanted to convey.
If your prospective client has taken the time to read about your services, then they'll be expecting to see a call-to-action at the end.
At this point, they should want to be led towards making an appointment, sign-up for your newsletter, or call for further information.
This makes your job of attracting new business much more straightforward.
A case study will bring your healthcare business to life
Having a compelling case study allows you to better connect with prospective clients.
It shows your success with existing patients and validates the reasons why they should choose you.
It’s a valuable marketing tool that demonstrates all-important social proof of why you are the right choice for them.
Creating a case study that best exemplifies accomplishments can be time-consuming and requires the correct format to ensure it achieves your goals.
If you need an experienced and skilled writer to craft the perfect case study for your business, send me a message to discuss how we can work together to convert more clients with my expert words.
Have you shown your achievements with a case study? Did you see an increase in client engagement?
Comment below to share your thoughts on how and why case studies work so well.