Why you should write a case study May 20th, 2013 0 Comments
Chat to somebody about what they do for a living and they can normally articulate it pretty well.
But when businesses write about their products and services, they often turn into jargon-mumbling loonies – forgetting that their customers don’t use phrases like ‘sustainable value’ or ‘end-to-end solution’ in normal conversation. Ever.
A case study is the perfect antidote to this phenomenon, because it’s really nothing more than a structured transcript of a conversation. And a good conversation normally makes good reading.
We don’t believe that business has to be talked about in a stuffy, formal manner. It doesn’t need to be overly-casual either, but you can still be professional without using big, complicated words.
That’s why, when we write a case study, we make a point of keeping in as many of the customer’s colloquialisms as we can.
Another reason for keeping it conversational is that it’s more believable.
People are naturally wary if you come out shouting how great your business is. But if a customer does it … well, that’s a different thing entirely.
A case study, especially one that’s honest, builds trust better than almost any other form of marketing.
What’s in a case study?
It’s not the same for all case studies, but most follow this pattern:
Before: this is where you set the scene and explain the misery your customer was experiencing prior to discovering your business.
During: this is the transition. Here you discuss why your customer chose you instead of your competitors. If you were a software manufacturer, you’d probably talk about the installation process here too – how smoothly it went, how long it took, that sort of thing …
After: the success! Oh, the success! This final third shows how your customer’s life has improved beyond recognition since using your products or services.
How do you get the ball rolling?
Getting a case study written is fairly straightforward.
1) The set-up
Contact a friendly customer and ask if they’d mind being interviewed. Tell them the process is painless, and that your writer will be in touch.
2) The questions
We’ll start drawing up a list of potential questions.
3) The interview
Once you’re happy with the questions, we’ll contact your customer and (politely, of course) arrange an interview.
4) The first draft
After the interview, we’ll retreat into our cave for a day or two to work on the first draft. This is normally sent to the customer for review, before going across to you for final approval.
5) The thanks
Asking for a logo (or imagery) to jointly brand the case study is a nice way of showing there’s something in it for them – as well as you.
6) Get it out there
Once the case study has been written, you can post it on your website / the web, hand it out at trade shows or send it to prospective customers looking for a strong reference.
Want us to write a case study for you?
We’ve written hundreds of case studies over the last few years and we’ve got the process down to a fine art. So if you’re looking for somebody to write a case study for your business, why not give us a call today?