HOW TO WRITE A COMPELLING CASE STUDY
Yuqo has previously explained why quality case studies are important. The way case studies are presented is equally as important. Writing a good case study not only draws in your target prospects, it can appeal to the random reader completely outside your particular niche. The following tips will help you present a winning case study and draw more prospects into your sales funnel.
The most important thing is to make the case study a compelling story. Your prospect is the star, the protagonist who overcomes problems to reap rewards. You as the storyteller provide the plot, the challenges to overcome, and the resulting conclusion. If your case study is bland and not engaging, it reflects on you as not being interested in your own niche. On the other hand, a case study should not be self-aggrandising. Case studies are all about the prospect, not about you. Their success is the central theme, with you as the quiet coach who helps them reach their goals.
THE ARC OF THE STORY
The case study has a classic story arc with three acts, eventually resulting in the acquisition of a new client.
Act 1 is the introduction and inciting incident. This is the awareness stage. Analysis and research reports, e-books, and editorial and educational content is where the reader’s interest is sparked. Prospects experience then express the symptoms of specific challenges and opportunities.
Act 2 provides the solution to why a prospect has sought you out. This is the consideration stage where you provide expert guides, live interactions, podcasts, videos, or comparison white papers. Here, prospects have clearly identified and given a name to their problem or opportunity.
Act 3 is the conclusion. This is where prospects decide on the solution offered by you as part of their strategy. Include more hard data like vendor comparisons, product comparisons, product literature, and live demos. By this point, the prospect has decided to use your business or service to solve their problems or create more opportunities. They will envision themselves as benefitting in the same way as the clients mentioned in a case study.
SHOW, DON’T TELL
The case study may be a riveting read, but hard evidence is needed to prove your point. Data provides proof that your claims of expertise and your ability to solve problems are indeed true. Provide real world scenarios where you have solved problems for other clients that are relevant to your prospect audience. Without hard evidence, your story is just that, a story. An excellent story that includes factual proof becomes a riveting narrative that keeps on giving. Using data to illustrate key points reflects relevant challenges faced by your prospect. Data can take a number of forms; there are no solid rules other than a format that appeals your niche. Hard facts like charts or graphs, time lapse videos, or high-resolution pictures of before and after—the choice is yours.
INFORMATION IN FORMATION
Gather all your information diligently. There will be a lot of questions you will need to answer before drafting a good case study. Be honest. With little research, your prospect can discover whether your claims are true.
You will need to consider:
- Who will the case study target?
- What are the problems that need to be solved?
- How have you helped other clients solve similar problems?
- What opportunities can be created?
- How have you helped create opportunities for other clients?
- Why were your skills chosen in the past?
- What was the previous solution, how was it implemented, and how long did it take to achieve?
- What benefits have previous clients experienced because of your intervention, immediately and over time?
- Do you have testimonials from other clients?
- Do you have permission to use quotes and testimonials?
Gathering as much information as possible lets you ultimately answer three foundational questions prior to embarking on a case study:
- Who is your prospect and what is their problem or desired outcome?
- How have you helped others solve similar problems?
- Was everybody happy with the outcomes? If so, prove it!
REWARD FOR THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
If your target prospect is the protagonist in your story, then you are the lead supporting character; the co-star who aids the lead on their journey to success. You know your prospect has the need to solve real problems. You should position yourself as the helping hand to overcome their obstacles. This device is effective because it ensures your target visualises themselves as the central character. If you only talk about yourself and what you can offer, you exclude the prospect from your story. A humble tone increases your credibility in the mind of the reader. You are the indispensable sidekick. A Robin to their Batman, the Morty to their Rick.
PRESENTATION OF YOUR CASE STUDY
As mentioned, case studies may take different forms depending on where they are to be used. Written case studies feature well on Facebook, pictorial case studies use Pinterest to best effect, and videos are what YouTube is all about. With written case studies, design layout is just as important as the creative content. You certainly have visual standards for your brand, but just as a reminder:
- Use white space, headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up walls of text.
- Use visuals for clarity and brand homogeneity.
- Markup relevant data points, quotes, and metaphors (never clichés!) you want prospects to remember.
- Include videos.
- Include pictures alongside testimonials to give a face to those you’ve helped. This is proof you have dealt with an actual person.
A good idea is to present the written word as an e-book downloadable as a PDF. Gate the PDF behind a form that needs to be filled out, thereby generating more leads. With video case studies, interview past clients who have been satisfied with your service. Seeing real people giving positive testimonials goes a long way towards giving you credibility. The same can be said for the podcast case study. When presenting an infographic case study, use the long vertical format. This tells your story from top to bottom and gives you the opportunity to emphasise Key Performance Indicators as prospects scroll down. Use larger text and charts to point out where previous clients have had successes with your help.
WRITING YOUR CASE STUDY
All the research is done. Testimonials are gathered and consent has been given to use them. The relevant information is compiled and you are ready to write. It’s time to put your creative writing skills to work and craft a memorable narrative. In order to stand out, you need to create quality content. If you doubt your literary skills, Yuqo is here to help. We know how to creative captivating stories while cutting back on filler text and making your claims persuasive. Providing a streamlined narrative in your language and style with the details to support your claims, Yuqo creates case studies that inspire prospects to take action.