How to write a case study – properly
How to write a case study – properly
And how to use case studies to win new business.
it’s true that what others say about you is at least 100 times more important and more powerful than what you say about yourself.
In the good old days that used to manifest itself as testimonials, but now it’s what’s said on the myriad of review sites that really packs a punch. Savvy marketers are pulling feeds from reputable review sites like Google TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot etc onto their websites because it adds real authenticity to the quotes and comments. It’s a really smart thing to do. But there’s still a place for case studies in your marketing copy and on your website
Your customer success stories or case studies are an essential element in helping your prospects move quickly through their sales journey with you. This is because:
- Case studies are amongst the top three pieces of sales collateral that purchasers look for
- They help your prospects visualise what working with you is like
- They are relevant and relatable because they are told in your customer’s voice.
Once you’ve produced a case study you can reuse it everywhere: in your sales proposals, on social media, in emails and ad campaigns, in your prospecting correspondence, on your website, in your brochures
The list goes on.
And since your reputation precedes you, you can relax and be yourself in your sales pitches. This feels so much easier than trying to be someone you’re not.
Pretty soon case studies can become the way you communicate your product or service to win new business
How do you produce a compelling case study?
- Choose your most delighted customer
- Ask them to take part in a case study. Maybe give them an incentive or a token of gratitude; coffee vouchers and cupcakes work well.
- Identify the questions you want your customers to answer
- Plan a formal structured interview session. This must be professional and thorough – you don’t want to have to keep going back for clarifications.
- Record the interview
- Write up the case study in your customers’ words ie it’s them saying it. So write it for them. Make sure it’s truthful and reflects what has happened and then send it to them asking them to agree the wording or make any changes if they want
- Convey the value propositions that you most want your prospects to grasp. After all, it’s not your customer’s job to understand the nuances of your marketing, or which elements of your USP you want to bring out or support. That’s your job.
- Insert your branded case study template
- Publish wildly including in your sales presentations don’t just have it gather virtual dust on your website
- Rinse and repeat
How to write a case study – the structure
A case study doesn’t have to run to hundreds of words. In fact, it’s generally much better if it’s short and punchy. But it needs the right structure to best help your marketing efforts. That’s why I’m setting out for you here the ideal structure you should use when you’re compiling or writing case studies for use in any of your marketing collateral
There are seven parts to a properly, well written case study, but they can be as short as half a sentence each. The key is to follow this structure of how to write a case study through:
- An overview of their situation before they came to you
- The problem they faced
- What was causing the problem
- The impact of the problem
- The opportunity lost to them of not solving the problem
- The promise or plan that you made for them
- The outcomes and results that followed
When you write your real customer stories using this structure you end up with compelling marketing copy that really enhances your message and supports exactly what you want your potential customers to know
A case study makes a real difference when it’s told with this structure. So many businesses just assume that their potential customers know all about what they do and how good they are. But they don’t. It’s your job to tell them. And well-structured case studies can really help.
Want some help with your case studies – book a call here