5 tips to help you create an outstanding case study
The power of a well-written case study
In the age of social media, where advertising and marketing efforts are more readily available than ever, businesses must consider alternative ways to illustrate their value to prospective clients. A key technique for showcasing your ability to clients, from government agencies to international investors, is through the use of case studies.
When done right, case studies can demonstrate the efficacy, capabilities, and expertise of your business – drawing on past experiences to reinforce the claims you make through marketing. Sitting in the later stages of the buyer funnel, case studies help inform critical decisions, helping potential clients see the value that you’ll bring to them.
By delivering a killer case study, businesses can:
- Tell a story your prospects can relate to
- Exploit past results and successes to inform and persuade prospective clients
- Justify claims with verified evidence
- Showcase processes and methodology in an accessible way
- Generate warm leads ripe for conversion
Another major advantage of case studies is that it provides an accessible form of marketing for any business. As a free tool, case studies are also perfect for B2B marketing, which often relies on building trust, reputation, and integrity.
However, with all of these advantages comes an equally large list of challenges. Collating data and placing it in an accessible and easily digestible format can be a long, frustrating, and inefficient process. Businesses may also lack the skills to convey the correct information, or may use incorrect language that introduces bias into your content. To help you, we’ve outlined five essential tips that will help you create a killer case study.
In a nutshell: five tips for creating an effective case study:
- Choose your case carefully
- Methodically showcase the process
- Actively highlight any challenges you encountered
- Use your results to sell your value
- Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials
From choosing the correct experiences to focusing on the risks that matter, these tips will ensure that your case study is clear, effective, and impressive to audiences.
Tip #1: Choose your case carefully
For any business wishing to create an effective case study, they must choose the right example to focus on. The perfect case study should clearly demonstrate the impact of your offering, with clear and unique value propositions and a benefit-led outcome.
Ultimately, you want to choose a case study that portrays you in the best possible light. This doesn’t mean that your case should be perfect the entire way through. A case that includes challenges and issues can be invaluable, which we’ll discuss later.
Tip #2: Show your process through the project
This is your chance to showcase your USP and display it in practice, outlining your approach, solutions, and communication throughout. By methodically showing the ongoing process of a project, a business can represent itself to potential prospects through data and honesty. Take the time throughout the case study to address these core areas thoroughly and in detail.
Tip #3: Actively highlight any challenges you encountered
A case study that presents key challenges and unforeseen complications often demonstrates more value than a project in which everything went smoothly. It gives potential stakeholders and clients the chance to view how you react to any unforeseen circumstances and challenges issued.
Choosing a case where vulnerabilities, challenges, or risks presented themselves can be invaluable in demonstrating clearly how you, as a business, perform when things are complex. Plus, this could end up being a key differentiator for your team or solution.
Showing how you overcame challenges provides assurance and security to those who may be tentative about choosing your business.
READ MORE: Our essential guide for marketing to government agencies
Tip #4: Show the aftermath
Always finish a case study with the results of your work –demonstrating what you helped your client achieve. Including measurable metrics is invaluable. It puts facts behind your efforts. If you don’t have any figures or data on-hand, describe the qualitative effects or highlight key changes in your client’s business.
Just be careful not to overstate your involvement. After all, it’s good practice to have your client approve what you’re writing, and they will flag anything that has been exaggerated. Keep the tone honest – and let the results speak for themselves.
Tip #5: Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials
One primary issue when creating a case study is that, without external input, they may appear biased and one-sided. Client testimonials can effectively counteract this risk. By including a testimonial within your case study, businesses can expect to improve their study in several ways:
- Testimonials generate reliability and confidence in your business
- They display that you maintain professional relationships with your clients long-term
- They eliminate any notion of incredibility or unverifiable data
- Testimonials help to solidify your reputation by showing you are trustworthy and professional
- A written recommendation boosts your chance of engagement
- They give your prospects a first-hand endorsement of your abilities
Build on your portfolio
It’s important to continue building your case study portfolio. The more case studies your clients can read, the more they’ll be assured you can deliver. Try and get a varied portfolio – showing you can deal with a range of projects and challenges. Case studies are powerful tools for any business, giving you the chance to effectively demonstrate multiple areas of your business. By following these simple tips, you can create effective case studies that enlighten potential prospects and generate leads.
For more marketing insights, why not read our blog on the importance of external collaboration? Alternatively, contact us with any queries you may have, and we’ll be in touch with a free consultation.