Effective case study - 9 golden rules of creation
Case study is an effective method of acquiring sales leads and, as a result, customers. A well-written case study creates the image of a professional company and business partner who knows his stuff and who is worth working with.
Usually we realize that it is worth writing case studies. There are benefits to it, and everyone does it, so so do we. However, not all those who begin writing such a story know how to accomplish such a task. When creating a case study, it is worth remembering a few rules that are not always easy to implement.
1. Tell the truth
The case study must tell ... the truth. The story told should be about a real situation, a real customer and a description of the actual project. Coming up a false but plausible story can be quite difficult, and it will be easy for people in the industry to discover the fiction of a case-by-the-moment case. In such a situation, case studies, instead of bringing benefits, will result in losses for the company's image and discourage rather than encourage the use of services or products of a given entity. Once lost, credibility will not be easily regained, if at all possible.
2. Avoid writing about yourself
When creating a case study, do not write about your company. "But how? After all, the case is about my company, my success story, ”you ask. Just not really. Who are you writing this story for? For yourself or for the client? What does your customer care if your company is amazing, cool and the best? He'll always get around a bit, but the real potential customer is looking for solutions to their problems, not for information that you are great!
Therefore, write about effective solutions! Write about how the problems of a given company have been solved thanks to the solutions introduced or the action carried out.
3. Present particulars
Some marketers tend to write in what is known as marketing. This means that the content of our article turns into a card with nicely formulated sentences that sound quite correct and convey the information that it is good, beautiful and effective. However, it is written on a high level of generality, and the story turns into the so-called marketing gibberish.
The case study is supposed to talk specifically about the implementation of the task. Reasons, methods, and then specific effects that have been achieved. What interests the reader is the so-called "meat", that is, factual information about solutions. It is worth returning to the previous point: Write specifically and concisely about the solutions that your company has managed to implement at the client's.
4. Tell a story
When writing a case study, tell a colorful story (if possible) and build a narrative. This is what this form of presenting achievements is for. Tell about a specific event. If people can appear in the story being told, so much the better. Recipients identify with a human more easily than with an impersonal solution (even if it is a super effective method or device).
5. Enter the numerical data
Nothing gets the attention of a potential customer as much as specific figures. "Thanks to the introduced solutions, the turnover of company X increased by 15%." "The conducted marketing campaign allowed us to acquire 100 new customers". "The introduced improvements in the area of company management reduced the costs of running it by 20%."
It is not always possible to enter specific numerical data. It also happens that the client does not want to share them or make them public.
However, often the lack of figures in a case study is a sign of a writer's lack of determination. Obtaining the data takes a long time to write and is cumbersome. Either on your own or through someone from the customer service, you need to ask for data, what's more, you should know how to ask and what to ask about, you should also take into account the waiting time for an answer. Often remind customers that we are waiting for this information. Everything is so engaging and time-consuming that we tend to let go of this issue. However, it is worth persevering on this path - the specifics in the article dramatically increase the chance for interest and inquiries, that is, to put it simply, conversion from your next clients.
6. Write a case study with sensitivity
Of course, you have to write about the client's problems, but expressing it in a blunt manner on the basis of "Company X recorded such losses that if it had not been for the solutions introduced by us, it would have become bankrupt" is not very justified. A marketing approach is needed here, but this time in a positive sense of the word. Don't say the client has problems, but write that they are facing specific challenges. Do not write that it was collapsing and burning, but that "the introduction of the changes covered by the implementation resulted in an increase ...".
It is not always worth writing directly about the actual situation in the client's company before our actions, especially when it was not - to put it mildly - the best. It is better to write about the implemented solutions, and even better about the effects of these changes. The recipient can read between the lines and a customer with a similar business profile will easily guess what the real situation of the described company could have been before your interference.
7. Add clear and purposeful headlines
The guidelines for writing clear texts on the web also apply to creating case studies. Use headings to separate and describe subsequent parts of the text. Some audiences only view the headlines. Let them get the impression that the project has brought measurable and positive benefits to the client, at least after a cursory review. Let the headline say about the benefits, about the fact that something has been done better, faster, e.g. "Faster and more efficiently", "Website - effective customer service / acquisition channel", "Triple increase in inquiries" etc., etc.
Of course, depending on the industry and subject matter described in the case study, these headlines will look different, but it's about understanding the principle of their creation. They are a kind of advertising slogans. They are to draw attention and convey a specific - preferably positive - advertising message.
8. Enter the graphic
Enter graphic elements into your text. Even adding a few photos showing the topic in question results in a better look and, above all, the perception of the text. If there are several numerical data, enter them in a table that will separate parts of the text and will be consistent in color with the magazine page or layout in which the article is placed. If the numbers permit, make a graph. A good solution is also to post a movie related to the topic in question.
9. Add iconography
It has become very popular recently to add so-called iconography to the text. It also happens that this form of providing information is given instead of an article on a given topic. It is worth introducing such a variety of content, but before you do it, think about who the case study will be directed to. If the recipients are the presidents of, for example, large production companies, then maybe making colorful, colorful iconography is not the best solution to provide important information or figures, because it simply does not look serious. The article is supposed to look professional, so the way of presenting the information should be balanced. It is a matter of adapting the message to the recipient.
When writing a case study, always remember for whom you are describing your story and what is the purpose of its creation. It's not you or your boss that are going to feel good. It is the recipient, your potential customer, who has something to gain from reading this story. Every company has some problems. If the boss of such an enterprise learns from your case study how he can solve them and what tangible benefits it will bring him, who do you think he will seek help from?