Writing a case study is a great way to increase credibility with potential clients. Follow these tips to produce one that works the way it’s supposed to!
- Write a headline focused on results. As in all types of writing, the headline will either grab your reader’s attention or cause them to move on. Since the purpose of a case study is to show the value of using your product or services, you want to make sure your headline focuses on exactly that. In other words, the title should not just tell what the project is, but instead it should tell what the project achieved. For example, rather than saying “A Case Study on Company X,” you might instead say, “Company X Increases Click-Through Rate By 10%.” The second tells the reader what they might expect if they employ you.
- Begin with a concise summary. When the reader first lays eyes on your case study, they should get a brief summary of the entire thing. That means you state the problem and the solution. Bullet points are often a good idea here.
- Include client input when possible. To really up the credibility, try and get a quote from the company you’re highlighting. The quote should verify the results you’re presenting and endorse your service. Of course, this won’t always be possible. But think of it this way, which seems more legitimate? A case study about a company without any input from the actual company, or a case study from a company with confirmation from them? The latter, of course.
- Use cause-effect analysis. Once you get into the meat of your case study, you need to dissect the problem a bit. A great way to do this is to use a cause-effect analysis. In other words, don’t just tell what the problem is. Instead, dig into what actually caused the problem. The problem itself is simply the effect. Once you uncover the causes, you can explain how you went in and solved each problem to achieve the desired result.
- Cut the jargon. You’re not writing for an academic journal here. Like everything else we talk about on this blog, you’re writing a marketing piece. Sure it’s a soft-sell piece (i.e. you don’t actually come out with a call to action, but you definitely are trying to sell them on your product or service). You want to make it as easy to read as possible. Industry jargon does nothing but confuse readers and dilute your message.
Writing a case study doesn’t have to be difficult. Just make sure you follow my suggestions. Do you have any to add?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html