- What Is a Case Study?
- What Mediums Can You Use for a Case Study?
- How to Write a Case Study
- Tips for Writing a Case Study
As a business owner, it’s important to build your business by earning the trust of your potential customers. To do this, you can demonstrate what your products and services can offer them via a case study. While you can always tell your potential customers how great your products and services are, having proof does a better job of convincing them of the benefits your products and services provide.
What Is a Case Study?
A case study refers to a research method that involves an in-depth evaluation of a particular case. In the business world, it refers to content that outlines a company’s success or effectiveness when dealing with a customer or client.
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Companies use case studies to not only market their company, but also to show prospective clients or customers how they’ve excelled in the past. Case studies examine company’s challenge or goal and demonstrate how the company solved it. They vary in length and focus on the various details related to a challenge, as well as the applied solution that provided a positive result. For example, you can write a case study that illustrates a positive and successful relationship between you and a client.
Keep in mind that though you can use a case study as a marketing tool, it’s different from a press release. While you can advertise new products or new features, a case study isn’t about your company. Rather, it’s about the customer’s journey and experience.
What Mediums Can You Use for a Case Study?
When you write a case study, you have several mediums to choose from. Make sure to select a medium that appeals to different types of learners and that best showcases the information you have to present. If you already have a text-based case study, you can repurpose it to fit another platform that better suits the information you’re providing. Here’s a look at some of the mediums or platforms you can use for a case study:
- Copy-based: A traditional copy-based case study effectively details your customer’s story. If you use this medium, make sure your audience can understand any industry jargon you include.
- Webpages: Publishing your case study as a webpage comes with several benefits. Not only does it let your case study reach the top of the search engine’s results page, but it also gives you an opportunity to include links to other websites or resources. In addition, you can easily share it with prospective clients or customers.
- Video: A video case study allows you to interview your client as you discuss the product or service at hand. Whether you have a properly produced video or have a sit-down chat with your client on camera, a video case study lets your potential customers to hear testimonies from the voice of your existing customers.
- Podcast: A podcast allows you to share audio of a conversation you had with a client or customer. This platform gives you the opportunity to share your customer’s experience in a genuine way.
- Infographic: With an infographic, you can present your case study in a long, vertical format. An infographic lets you emphasize key performance indicators with large text and charts.
How to Write a Case Study
When you write a case study, it’s important to follow a certain set of steps no matter the medium or platform you choose. This ensures you write an effective case study that can help your business and attract future customers. Use these steps to write an effective case study:
1. Determine Your Objective
While case studies aim to show the value of your products or services, they often focus on different objectives. Before you write your case study, determine the goal or the objective of what you’re writing about. Consider what you want to prove to your potential customers with the publishing of your case study. Here are a few examples of case study objectives:
- Increasing revenue.
- Getting into a new market.
- Generating more profits.
2. Decide On a Medium
Now that you know your case study’s objective, determine which medium best suits your objective. For example, you can have a written case study, a video case study, an infographic case study or a podcast case study.
3. Find a Case Study Candidate
The right case study candidate can help you tell a successful story. Here are some things to consider when selecting the right candidate for your case study:
- Product knowledge: When you choose a candidate, make sure they have good knowledge of your products and services. When they’re able to speak to the value of your offerings, it helps your future customers understand the benefit of doing business with your company.
- Impressive results: Select a candidate that has witnessed great results from your products and services. If they’ve experienced great results from what you offer, they’re more likely to make a strong case for your company and convey an enthusiasm that you want your prospective customers to feel, too.
- Experience with competitors: Consider including a client or customer who’s tried products from your industry competitors. If they prefer your products and can attest to their value, it may convince your potential customers to choose you over your competitors.
4. Contact Your Case Study Candidate
Contact your case study candidate and ask if you have permission to write about them. This establishes clear communication and gives you an opportunity to outline your expectations and the overall timeline of the case study. To convince them to participate, consider how they can benefit from being in your case study. Here are some ways your case study can benefit them:
- Brand exposure: Let your candidate know who the case study will be exposed to and how it can increase their overall brand awareness. If they get exposure outside of their market, it’s even more beneficial.
- Website traffic: When you add your case study to your website, you can link to your candidate’s website. When people click the link on your website, it helps increase your candidate’s website traffic. It can even help their website rank higher on a search engine’s results page.
- Discounts on products or services: If your customer decides to participate in your case study, you can offer them a discount on any of your products or services. Any type of discount shows your gratitude for their participation.
5. Send Your Subject a Case Study Release Form
If your candidate approves of your case study and its objective, have them sign a release form. This form should include information on what you need from your case study subject such as their permission to share certain information to the public. Outline not only what you need from them, but also what they can expect from you.
The release form you send can vary depending on your business and your plan for the case study once it’s completed. No matter how your case study release form looks, make sure it explains the reason for the case study and how you’ll use the case study. It also needs to detail the information you plan to include about the company such as names and logos, and what you expect from them such as their willingness to act as a reference. In addition, make sure to reference their compensation.
6. Prepare For the Interview
Start planning for the interview and set up a time to meet with your participant. To ensure a productive interview, have your case study participant fill out a questionnaire prior to the interview.
7. Conduct the Interview
Reach out to your participant to schedule an interview. The interview needs to include a series of questions related to their experience with any of your products or services. You can ask them questions like what made your product or service stand out compared to those of your competitors or how they’ve benefited since using your products or services.
8. Write the Case Study
Once you’ve conducted the interview, start the first draft of your case study. Keep in mind that it’s best to follow a chronological order to ensure your readers fully understand the impact of your product or service. Here are some of the main things you should include in your case study:
- Engaging title: Include a short but interesting case study name. Make sure it’s an attention-grabbing title, and if possible, consider using strong action verbs and percentages.
- About the subject: Include a short introduction of the person or company that’s serving as your case study participant. Doing this helps your readers connect with your participant before hearing about their experience with your product or service.
- Challenge: Write a few paragraphs that detail your customer’s challenges before they started using your products or services. As appropriate, include their quotes and an overall summary of the issues and needs of your customer.
- Goals: Make sure to include what your customer hopes to achieve when using your products or services. Summarize their goals and aim to include any that can be quantified with numbers.
- Solution: Include a few paragraphs that explain how your particular product or service helped your customer. Consider how it addressed the challenge and took on the goals you previously mentioned.
- Results: Consider the goals you outlined in the case study and how the results matched up with them. Use positive action verbs, numbers and analytics to support your case.
- Future plans: Include a section that tells readers what’s next for your case study participant. While it can include you and your business, it doesn’t necessarily have to.
- Call to action: While you don’t need to include a call to action, it can effectively wrap up your case study and encourage readers to check out your website to learn more about your products and services.
- Contact information: Conclude your case study with your contact information. This gives other companies or prospective customers a way to reach out to you if they want more information. Consider including your phone number, your website, your email and a couple of social media profiles.
9. Send Your Draft to Your Case Study Participant
After you’ve completed your first draft, send it to your case study participant. Allow them to give you feedback or suggested edits. After making final edits to the case study, send the final draft to the customer for final approval. Once it’s published, send your customer a copy of the link or platform where the case study lives.
10. Publish Your Case Study
Once you’ve completed the final draft of your case study, publish and promote it. Consider the format it’s in and publish accordingly. For example, if it’s a video, upload it to a video-sharing platform. If it’s an infographic, you can share it on a social media platform or on your website.
Now that you know the steps for writing an effective case study, consider which product, platform and participant you’d like to use for your case study. Make sure to conduct a thorough interview to set your case study up for success.
Tips for Writing a Case Study
Apart from following a certain set of steps to write a case study, there are many ways to improve its effectiveness. Use these tips to help you create a professional case study:
- Make it clear and concise. When you lay out your case study, use a clean format that makes it easy for readers to scan and understand. Use formatting elements like headers, images, bulleted lists and bold and italicized text throughout your case study.
- Update your case study. As time goes on, consider updating your case study to mention how your products and services provide long-term benefits to your customers rather than just fulfilling immediate needs.
- Be specific. When describing the benefits of using your products and services, be as specific as possible. Don’t just focus on a product and the result of using it. Instead, explain exactly how it led to the desired result.
- Use visuals and quotes: Consider featuring a few standout quotes from your participant to help boost your case study’s credibility. You can also include a visual element that helps support your overall objective.
Now that you understand how to write a case study, consider the platform you want to use and start planning. Make sure to present a story that has the potential to connect with your prospective clients or customers.