June 23, 2015

The Secret Behind Creating a Great Case Study

To communicate your company’s value to potential buyers, you need a wealth of strategically crafted content. After all, the more quality content you can provide, the more your target consumers can educate themselves about your products and services on their own terms. As a result, they’re likely to feel more secure and confident about choosing your business over another.

But in order to truly prove your business is the best solution for your buyers, you must provide collateral centered upon your existing customers’ past experiences, i.e., case studies and client success stories. In fact, according to new research from Starfleet Media, case studies and client success stories are the types of content that B2B companies use most. Indeed, 67 percent of respondents said they have put these types of stories to use as a digital content marketing asset in the last 12 months.

A primary reason companies leverage case studies regularly is because they enable them to leverage third-party validation in the form of customer testimonies. And while white papers and blog posts are powerful content marketing channels, they aren’t always the right platforms for addressing company-specific stories. A tactfully constructed case study will evoke a sense of urgency among potential buyers—by showing them what they are missing—in a much clearer manner than other forms of content marketing.

However, the goal of a case study is not to simply tell the tale of a successful client experience; rather, a quality case study will show its readers how a client was helped in a readable, story-like manner. As such, marketers must follow a strategic formula and heed these important tips and tricks when it comes to crafting case studies:

  • Make a blueprint: Before the story begins, ensure you have all of the information you need to craft an informative, powerful case study. For instance, interview your clients to gain insight into their perspectives, e.g., what made them team with your company, and what pain points were they experiencing before soliciting your services. Additionally, make sure you gather information about the client’s situation before and after your services were rendered.  In doing so, you can map out the flow of your story before you ever put pen to paper. When crafting case studies, it’s important to ensure you have a detailed beginning, middle and end.
  • Inspire emotion: As with any piece of quality content, you want your readers to leave feeling enlightened and inspired to take some sort of action. When it comes to case studies, marketers can take more creative liberties when describing how great a difference a particular solution made upon a customer’s business. Then, be sure to evaluate your finished piece by asking, “Does this story make me feel like I need this product or solution?”
  • Be a storyteller: A case study gives businesses the opportunity to become storytellers in a much different way than other content channels. For instance, white papers and e-books may be more centered upon presenting market research and hard facts, as opposed to compelling narratives.  With a client success story, however, you can focus on sharing the triumphant story of how your product or services positively changed the future of a specific customer. As such, write the case study almost like a story with a problem, a climax and a satisfactory conclusion for optimal results.

Leverage your own success by crafting more case studies and client success stories. In doing so, you can more effectively prove your value and dedication to future buyers. If you need a hand creating a compelling story, look no further than a third-party content creation vendor.

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