Case studies are rather like a well-written mystery. They lay out a perplexing issue one of your customers had that seems really insurmountable on its face. However, it just so happens that your company had the ideal solution to this company’s problem. Then you lay out what happened, very Sherlock Holmes-like, step by brilliant step.
Case studies can be illuminating to potential clients in so many ways. First, you get to be the hero. But along the way, you get to explain how you do the amazing things you do.
Here’s how a good case study should work:
- Lay out the customer’s pain or problem. Clearly describe the dilemma your customer faced so your reader will think, “Hey, that is my issue, too.”
- Without giving all your secrets away, tell prospects how you solved the problem. Provide insight into your work.
- Explain the result. Use powerful action words like improved, increased, reduced and Support these claims with numbers such as total savings or percentage increases to prove impact. Visually reinforce with a graph or two.
- Place it the study your website and develop a strategy to push it out via social media. You can also make it available as a download via PDF, being sure to collect information from who downloads it.
Aren’t case studies tedious?
Who actually reads them, anyway?
If your case study is tedious, you are doing it wrong. Case studies shouldn’t be written by your technical team. They should be written by your marketing team. Two or three pages max, should do it.
As far as who reads them, anyone looking for a solution to a problem. Case studies should be interesting and concise so they appeal to everyone from an operations manager to a CEO. A well-written case study draws the reader into the story told from the perspective of a customer. When they are done right, they become exceedingly effective sales tools, because they give potential clients a chance to visualize what you can actually do for them.
- Your case study provides a best case scenario and is much more interesting to read than a listing of product specifications.
- Case studies are also more credible then sales literature filled with claims that you are the “leading experts.” It helps you prove your expertise without bragging, presenting a factual description of the problem, solution and the results.
- It can be particularly effective when a sales team introduces a new technically advanced process or product that requires multiple steps to explain.
- Add a testimonial from the customer in your example. It will add a dose of realism and credibility to your product – and say things you can’t say about yourself.
At FocalPoint, we love a good case study. And we’ve written lots of them for our clients. Heck, we’ve even been known to take them home for a little nighttime reading. So if you could use a little assistance, our experienced marketing sleuths can help.