Looking for a new way to showcase your best successes? Consider the case study. It allows you to talk about your business victories in a compelling way without appearing to brag.
Everyone loves a good story. And that’s just what a case study is – the story of how you solved a challenging problem for your target market. You get to demonstrate how you bring value to your customers.
Case studies can be used to introduce new products, showcase different applications, update your offerings and expand into new markets.
Whether your business is large or small, you probably have a wealth of success stories from people who’ve been pleased with your product or service. Now it’s time to tell those stories in writing.
Case studies are extraordinary marketing tools. What makes them so effective is they don’t appear to be self-serving or “salesy.” Unlike a brochure, press release or ad, they come across as informative.
They lay out the facts and allow the reader to draw the positive conclusion. Serving as third-party endorsements, they build the credibility of your company and are the perfect complement to your other more sales-oriented promotional pieces.
A case study should be a true-life example of how a customer benefitted from your product or service. It should read more like an interesting story than a formal term paper. A clear beginning, middle and end will make it easy to follow.
First, choose a scenario that your target readers should be able to relate to. They’ll welcome the opportunity to learn from someone else’s similar experience. In fact, the closer your case study matches the typical problem of the target audience, the greater the level of affinity the reader will feel with you.
Give the necessary background and details to explain the situation and help the reader envision the scenario. Describe the challenges, the variables that made this particular scenario so complex.
Include any extenuating circumstances and potential risk factors. You can even mention other alternatives that were considered and ruled out. Provide enough facts to make the case study a clear and credible representation of the problem.
Once the problem has been established, you’ve set the stage for the solution. Explain how your service or product was implemented and the results you achieved. Be sure to offer meaningful proof that supports your assertions. Including any quantifiable data such as percentages, prices or other numerical statistics will further drive home your points.
If possible, include statements made by your customer. Direct quotes from the client add credibility and color to a case study. People have their own way of expressing themselves, and their voice will bring an interesting change of tone to the content of the case study.
Ideally, get more than one quote. Perhaps one quote speaks to the customer’s overall satisfaction with the job done. But another one or two could reference a specific detail that had a positive effect on the outcome.
Explain how your solution was implemented and any problems encountered along the way. Photos can go a long way toward supporting your comments.
Now that you’ve set the stage for readers to like you and trust you, it’s time to persuade them to take the next step in the buying process. Insert your call to action.
No need for a hard sell here, just a gentle push to let readers know you can do for them what you’ve already done for others. Be sure your contact information is plainly evident.
Once you have the facts organized for your case study, you can easily repurpose the material into new marketing tools.
With some quick modifications to format and length, they can be inserted in brochures, in presentations and on your website. You can even use them as the basis for a press release, blog post, e-zine article or Facebook status.
Great job on the case studies! They read well and really tell the story of our products in action. I'll contact you when I can again use your talents. I appreciate your efforts and will have no problem telling others about our good experiences working with you.
Director of Operations
Barcode Automation, Inc.
Winter Springs, Florida
By now you realize the benefits of adding case studies to your arsenal of promotional literature. And you should have some idea of what information your case study can include.
So, are you ready to put pen to paper? If not, consider hiring a pro. A copywriter with experience writing case studies can get the job done quickly and effectively.
Go through your client list to develop a list of potential case study candidates. Then, I hope you’ll consider contacting me, Susan Greene, freelance copywriter.
I offer compelling copy at affordable rates. And the faster you get those case studies written, the sooner you’ll have yet another edge over your competition.