Case studies remain the hottest type of content in your marketing arsenal – a fact many companies are waking up to. That’s without a doubt a great step in the right direction but getting case studies just right takes effort and expertise. The hardest part is finding a tone of voice that gets readers excited about the story while convincing them of the effectiveness of the solution you’re presenting.
But first things first. Case studies should be all about the customer journey and the entire customer experience from the start to the finish of this journey. The case study needs to provide enough detail to set the picture and help the reader imagine themselves in the role of the customer. Your case studies should explain how the customer found your company and how and why they first got in touch. They should also describe in detail what the customer’s problem was. These essential elements are the pillars of your case study and you will be able to use them as a strong foundation for building your story.
Another important feature of successful case studies is the perspective from which the story is told. When you’re writing a case study, you must always put yourself in the shoes of the readers – some of whom may have never heard of your company or its products. Some, however, may have a level of awareness and some may even have similar issues to the ones described but have not yet decided to take action. You need to make your story relevant to and interesting for all of these groups.
This is why your case study needs to include a little information – not too much! – about your company. This should touch on your mission, vision and ethics. Remember that, when choosing someone as a supplier, people normally look for businesses with an ethos that aligns with their own. So, if your approach is low carbon and eco-friendly, say so! And if you’re targeting blue-chip companies, the image you project through the case study should stress reliability, stability and access to great resources.
After setting the scene you have the opportunity to go into detail about the features and benefits of your products and the role they played in the solution you provided. Good text and explanations are essential, but if they are accompanied by pictures they become even more persuasive. The pictures can be before/after comparisons, pictures of the products in situ, portraits of the people who have provided the testimonials used in the case study, and so on. If your case study will also be used online, videos of products in action are a worthwhile addition.
Finally, testimonies are an essential part of writing a convincing case study. Be sure to gather yours while implementation is taking place and also after the project has been functioning for a while. The second group of testimonials should ideally be focused on outcomes such as savings, greater efficiency, happier users or greater ecological benefits.
Case studies are a truly unique way of telling the story of your brand in a clear and compelling manner without meeting hard sales resistance from the reader. But to ensure they are conveying the right message you need to follow a few simple steps. We have put together a case study template which can be downloaded below that will take the guesswork – and hard work – out of writing your story.