There are a lot of different marketing tools you can create to promote your product or business. Case studies are one of the most trusted forms of advertising, because they tell the real life story of someone who tried your product and saw the results they wanted. They allow potential customers to connect with your past customers, to see how your business can help with their pain points. This real life evidence is extremely compelling and persuasive for potential customers who are considering giving some of their time and money to your business. The only problem is that case studies are not that easy to source or create. To make it easier for your business to write a great case study, we’ve created this simple guide.
Be smart when you choose your subject
The first step to creating a great case study is to choose the subject. When you’re making this choice there are a number of elements you should consider:
- Choose someone who had a great experience with your product or business. This is obvious, but it’s also the most important part of your selection process.
- Choose someone who can tell a good story. This will give life to the writing and hopefully give you some great quotes that highlight the benefits of your product or service.
- Build trust with your subject. There’s really no point in making a case study about someone who doesn’t know you, your business or its products. Build a relationship with a customer before you think about using them as the subject of a case study.
- Define your ideal customer. You want the subject of your case study to be as similar to your ideal customer as possible. This means that the resulting case study will interest and attract the sort of people you want to work with. Think particularly about the qualities and goals you want your ideal customer to have, and try to match them in a past customer.
Before you start asking question, do your research
Before you interview your customer you should do your research. If you’re writing the case study yourself, you probably don’t need to research the product or company. But if you’ve hired a writer, make sure this is part of the process. Research the customer as well. Learning about their life will give you a deeper understanding of their journey and the pain points that you helped them with. It will also help potential customers understand and relate to your past customer and their struggles.
Choose your format
The traditional case study format is perfectly adequate in most circumstances. It sets out the information clearly and is easy to read and write. These case studies have straightforward headlines that can guide your reader to what they’re looking for: Customer, Problem, Solution and Results. However, this form is a little boring, and may be too old fashioned and boring for small businesses that prefer a different tone.
There are quite a few alternative case study forms available. Most of them are based around the idea of telling stories. Storytelling is a highly effective and compelling way to convey your message. Depending on your business niche, there are a number of alternative case study formats that you can use to tell the story of your business success. Choose one that suits the goals and unique voice of your business.
Tell the whole story
If you want potential customers to connect with the struggle and pain points of your subject, you need to start from the beginning of their story. This means that you need to introduce your happy customer to your audience, make them real and relatable. You should also outline their struggles before they worked with you, this will let your audience understand the needs and goals that your business helped with. The focus should be on the customer for most of the case study, not your business. That comes later, when you explain how your business helped the happy customer solve their problem and improve their life.
Include data in your case study
There’s an old saying about numbers not lying, and this applies to case studies as well. Be specific in how you outline the results your happy customer enjoyed with the help of your business. How you do this will depend on your business and its products of course, but it’s better to give specific benefits, such as numbers or statistics, rather than vague ones.
Also, if you add a chart or graph to show the results this can create interest and give readers a clear representation of the benefits your customer experienced. Just make sure you don’t make it too technical, remember that people read case studies to read the story, not look at lines of data. Try to make the content as eye-catching and easy to read and understand as possible.
Consider using different media
Using different media forms with your case study can create interest and help your audience get a clearer picture of what your business can do. Using video, audio or images alongside the text can help to engage a larger audience, including those who don’t like to read pages of text. Providing parts of your case study in these forms will help you better convey the struggles of your customer, as well as the voice and goals of your business.
Share it with your customer
Make sure you share your completed case study with your customer before you release it. Because you’re using your customer’s life, they need to read and approve of it. This shows respect for their story, and gives them the chance to suggest amendments if necessary.
Case studies are an immensely effective form of marketing. With this easy guide, you will be able to create great studies that will inspire new customers to connect with your business.