What Are Case-Studies and How Are They Put Together?
Case studies may conjure up images of long, in-depth documents. Good ones rarely are.
Originally posted here.
In a recent post we looked at reasons to embrace case-studies as part of your marketing strategy. All well and good. Let’s create a case-study. But how, exactly, do we do it?
The first thing we should do is be clear about exactly what we are working towards. What comes to mind when you think of a case-study? I don’t know about you, but for me case-studies conjured up images of multipage reports, dense with text, pie-charts and venn diagrams. Possibly held by people in white coats. Let’s apply some correction to that mental picture.
Less is more
Sure, you will find case-studies that are as described, but they are not what we’re looking for. To my mind, those multipage efforts are more akin to mini white-papers masquerading as case-studies. They are neither here nor there, and that’s never a good thing. White-papers should be as detailed and as long as they need to be — they are deep dives into a given topic. Case-studies serve a different purpose altogether.
A case-study tells a story of how a challenge was overcome using a product or service (your product or service). A good case-study is short, snappy, to the point, and includes the results obtained by overcoming the challenge using your product or service. It’s a story of one business’s success, and the part you played in it. This is important, because people are attracted to success. And if you are an ingredient in that success, they are likely to be attracted to you also. You helped that other business overcome their problem, so it stands to reason you can do the same for others, right?
The professional touch
And that’s about it, that’s what a case-study does. We describe a problem, followed by the (your) solution, then detail the results. And all on a single page. Easy! Well, easier said than done perhaps. You see, the format might be simple, and the end result a single page, but it’s the work that goes into bringing that format and that single page to life that makes all the difference.
This is where hiring a professional writer really pays off. You know your customers and why they buy your products or services — you know the problems that can be solved. What you might not know is the best way to present that to an audience. And this is key. Because if you don’t present in the right way, your audience simply won’t be an audience for very long.
From the formatting of the case-study to the wording used, a professional writer will tailor the study to appeal most to your target audience. Prior consultation with yourself along with research into the competition and general market conditions will inform your writer of the best approach. And of course, the all important interview with the subject of the study.
The quotes and feedback provided by the client who is to be featured in the case-study are vital. A writer will know exactly which questions to ask to elicit responses that will strengthen and add to the study. This input from the end user is huge as it provides the third-party confirmation that prospective buyers look for.
For a one-off fee, you can expect to receive a versatile, effective and evergreen piece of work that can be used in multiple ways. Case-studies pay for themselves many times over. Can you afford not to have one?
To find out more about the case-study process, and how they can help your business, contact Abundant Creative today!