January 19, 2017
So, you want to attract new customers and compel them to buy your products and services?
But why would they spend their hard-earned money on them if they don’t understand their value and purpose? This is where business case studies come handy.
Using case studies is a great way to educate customers about your products or services and show how valuable they can be. Case studies showcase your successes and can give traction to your business (see what IBM does here by showcasing their client stories), but you need to know how to write a compelling case study.
Before discussing the secret ingredients that go into writing a winning business case study, remember that case studies should be written in a language and style that is easily understood by the target audience. Also, make sure all necessary information is carefully documented.
Let’s return to our discussion about the elements of great case studies:
1. Tell a Story
No one likes to read chunks of information that contains jargon, figures, charts, etc., whereas everyone loves reading stories. For example, when Microsoft saw that their audiences were being lured away by Google Chrome, they along with illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards and director Edgar Wright, created an animated story to show that their browser was equallyfast, exciting, and user-friendly, if not better.
Several other brands like Manchester United, IKEA, and ITV have also relied on story-telling to create compelling case studies.
So, instead of presenting raw data, tell a story. First identify your target audience and then write about something they can relate to. A compelling case study will allow people to know the customers (in the case study) and the ways in which they benefitted. Thus, include all details about the customer’s goals, needs, difficulties faced, and the solutions provided.
Consider updating case studies periodically to show how customers benefited in the long term. This will let your potential customers know that your goal is not to cater only to the immediate needs, but ensure long-term benefits.
2. Maintain Structure
Maintain a proper structure so that information can flow logically. Here are the main elements of a business case study:
Executive Summary: Always written last, this is a shortened version of the main idea. It includes objectives, proposed solutions, benefits, risks, etc.
Objectives: These feature the reasons as to why the case study has come about. They can include:
An opportunity that generates benefits such as revenue, cost-cutting, etc.
A mandatory change
A correction of wrong
For cases that deal with new opportunities or mandatory changes, the best way to represent them is by defining the current (how things are today) and the future states (how things will be when the changes are implemented).
For cases that deal with a correction of wrong, the best way to represent it is by defining the current situation and what the adverse effects can be.
Another thing to remember is that the case study must be well-formatted with bullets, numberings, images, charts, etc. so that the reader does not lose interest. Case studies should be written in a language and style that is easily understood by the target audience. This keeps the audience hooked on to your page.
3. Include Real Facts and Data
When writing a case study, nothing should be left for the customers to guess. If you are writing about an SEO project and want to highlight an increase in organic traffic, avoid saying, ‘the traffic doubled’. Say it was 1,000 per week, for example, and increased to 2,000 per week. As proof, you can take a snapshot of traffic data from both weeks and show the difference.
Solid proof increases the credibility of your information and customers will trust you when they see real, tangible results.
4. Try Different Formats
Not everyone likes reading or has the time to view a video. Consider representing the case study in different formats such as text, image, podcasts, infographics, and so on. This way you can target a larger audience and cater to the needs of all kinds of customers.
Moreover, visual data tends to get shared more compared to text-based data, so the word spreads without putting in much effort. If you are worried about creating different forms of the same case study, you can learn it by signing up for an all-encompassing digital marketing course.
A well written business case study can position you as an influencer and innovator in front of your target audience. You can promote your products/services, encourage repeat sales and achieve other goals as well. However, a weak business case study can tarnish the image of your business in many ways.
It is, therefore, a must to know how to write a compelling case study. Tell stories about how your products/services have helped other people in real life through your business case studies and support this with relevant and authentic data. Format the case study well and you should ready to spread the word effectively.
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