Case studies are a fantastic way to demonstrate the value that your product or service provides to your clients and offer potential customers an insight into the outcomes that your business can deliver.
Compelling case studies are an invaluable marketing asset, so we’ve compiled our top tips, here:
Understand what a case study is and what it isn’t
A case study is a piece of content (written or recorded), which tells the story of how you worked on a particular project. It provides an insight into your product or service, how you work, where your business excels and what potential customers can expect from working with you, both in terms of the process and outcomes.
It is more than a testimonial, which is usually feedback in your client’s own words, although you might incorporate testimonials into a case study.
It is not a sales pitch
A case study is about showing rather than telling. So rather than explaining the features and benefits of your product or service, as you would do in sales copy, a case study is about demonstrating how those features and benefits manifest in real situations. Compelling case studies can be highly effective in terms of converting leads into sales because they provide potential customers with proof of the quality and effectiveness of your offering.
Find a unique angle for each case study
Like every good story, your case studies need to have a unique hook that will grab people’s attention and which demonstrates the very best of what your company has to offer.
Look for stories within your business that demonstrate where you have gone above and beyond. Here are a few examples that might make for compelling case studies:
- The customer had an exceptionally tight deadline – this gives you the opportunity to explain how you went above and beyond in order to meet your customer’s deadline.
- The customer’s requirements were somewhat out of the ordinary – did your company have to adapt and innovate in order to meet these requirements?
- The outcome of your work was extraordinary – this can be particularly compelling if you can illustrate the outcome with numbers. For example, if you helped your client increase their revenue by a large amount, then you can tell the story of how you delivered that income and the impact it has made on your client’s business.
Once you’ve decided on what the hook is, make sure that this is your focus throughout the process of writing your case study. As well as telling the story from start to finish through the body of the case study, use your hook to craft a stand-out headline that will grab people’s attention and prompt them to read on.
Choose your language carefully
Before you begin writing your case study, it is important to decide upon the tone of voice that you will use. Think carefully both about your brand and what your audience will find engaging and convincing. For example, you must decide where your style will lie in terms of professionalism and style; will it be informal and quirky, corporate and professional or somewhere in between?
It is essential to write case studies in a way that will resonate with your audience. With that in mind, be particularly mindful of using industry jargon that your audience may not understand or relate to.
Collaboration is key
Taking the time to discuss the case study with the customer involved will allow you to gain a more in-depth understanding of their experience and the impact that your work has had. Even if you are very familiar with the project, asking your customer for their opinion and insights will allow you to compose a case study that is far more compelling and valuable than if you were to write from your perspective alone.
Therefore, you may wish to interview the customer at the beginning of the process in order to identify your unique hook and then follow up with them again to delve deeper and obtain specific quotes. You may also need to interview other people within your organisation to get their input into the story.
Always seek the client’s approval of the final draft, as well as approval from anyone whom you have quoted directly, before the case study is made public. If you’ve used images in your case study, make sure you have permission from the copyright holder to publish them, even if you’ve had permission before to use the same image for a different purpose.
Distributing your case study
Once you have written a compelling case study, it is time to decide how you will distribute the content in order to get the best return on investment. This could include publishing the case study on your website, sharing it on social media and sending it to relevant publications, both printed and online.
Compelling case studies are a valuable marketing asset to have within your business – be sure to make the most of them. If you’d like help writing case studies, please get in touch!