This perfect combo shows how your product or service works in the real world using actual customers to tell the story.
The case study pairs up a great client with a common problem and then describes how your service or product solved that problem.
Some businesses find it hard to write compelling case studies.
Here are a few tips to write the killer content you need to make your case study connect with prospects.
Choose wisely. The best choice is a customer that had a problem common to many of your prospects. This makes the story relatable to your audience. If your prospects find themselves in the same predicament, it’s easier for them to see how your business can help.
The next best choice is a company with a really good story. Even if your prospects can’t relate to their specific problem, if the story is compelling, your potential customers will have more interest in it. You have to work a little harder with a case study like this. The story must be really good. And you must also show how their experience relates to your other clients. Even though their circumstances differ, the story itself must be relatable.
Find the drama. Case studies are like any good story. There’s conflict, some obstacles, and then the hero (your business) saves the day.
All good stories need drama. For many content marketers, finding the drama in a business story can be hard.
Here’s the secret: You find drama at the extremes, at the highest and lowest points. To find that drama, I ask my “absolute best” and “absolute worst” questions. Here are examples of what I mean.
- What was the absolute worst (hardest, most costly, time consuming) problem you were facing before you used this product or service?
- What was the absolute best (greatest, most meaningful, most helpful) thing that happened when you used this product or service?
After you get those answers, dig deeper. Ask more questions until you see the big picture.
Make it the perfect length. The perfect length of a case study is like asking how long is a piece of string. The answer: It should be as long as it needs to be to get the job done. No shorter. No longer.
Having said that, however, most case studies tend to be 1 to 4 pages long. Go longer and you risk boring your prospect.
Talk to real people. Don’t simply describe events. Talk to the people involved. You, your employee, or the writer you hire should interview at least one person from the business.
Pick someone who knows the project well. When possible, choose someone with a knack for storytelling or setting a scene. It’s easier to write a case study when the person you interview provides good quotes and interesting details. However, this is not a deal breaker. If the person doing the interview is skilled, they can usually draw out good quotes. This is true even if the interviewee isn’t the best storyteller.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. Good writing + good design is always the killer one-two punch of great marketing. They need to work hand in hand.
At the very least, show a picture of the person you interviewed for the case study. Use the company logo, too. If you have hard data and can include it as an infographic, use that also.
Include a call to action. Every content marketing piece you create needs to serve a purpose.
After someone reads the case study, what do you want them to do next? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to sign up for a program? Do you want them to buy your product? What is the next logical step in your sales funnel?
By now, you should have led your reader through the narrative. You should have shown them, using the example business, how they too could benefit. Let them know that you can do the same for them and then outline specific next steps for them to take. This includes contact information. Be sure you include the best way to get in touch with you. This is essential to move your prospect further along in the buying process.
Do you need help crafting your next killer case study? Contact me. I’d be happy to help.