Compelling Case Studies Can Impress Prospective Clients
Who doesn’t like a true story with a happy ending?
People love good stories. Business people love good business stories, too.
That’s why companies large and small shouldn’t keep their good stories a secret. They should be eager to share their real-life tales of success with current and potential customers.
These stories can reinforce the value of your products and services to those who already do business with you. They can also show people who don’t know you that you can satisfy a particular need they have – and do it well.
At Kinetic, we love sharing compelling stories. If a client has a history of success on projects or provides a service that has earned praise from its customers, that’s nothing to keep secret. In fact, it may be a perfect time for a case study.
We display several case studies on our website that highlight our work, and we help clients with case studies they use to show off their projects on their website or in printed collateral. Whether you use an agency to create your case studies or write them yourself, there are some essentials to keep in mind to make your stories stand out.
Identify your subject.
What recent project deserves this special attention? What was the problem to be solved? Does it represent your best work? Your versatility? Your creativity? What audience are you trying to reach? Will this case study be of interest to that target group of customers?
Budget the time.
Writing a case study takes time – even for the short ones. You must gather facts and graphics. You may have to interview principals close to the project to get the details of the project that is now in the books. A well-written study can be an invaluable marketing tool to drive business to your company.
Find a format that works for you.
A case study can take a variety of forms. It can be short and simple – divided into three segments addressing Problem/Actions/Results or Opportunity/Actions/Successes. It is a quick snapshot of your relationship with your client involving a specific project. It can have more chapters if the story truly deserves the extra space for elaboration, such as Problem/Team Strategy/Actions/Obstacles/Result/Conclusion.
But remember that gathering additional content may require a lot more time, and your audience probably only wants a quick-read summary of what you can do for them. Invite them to call you for more details on your stunning achievements!
Focus on the facts.
The power of your case study is in the narrative. Stick to the facts. Leave the bragging and gushy language for some other time. Those reading your case study want to understand the details of the challenge at hand, how you developed and implemented a plan to meet that challenge, and how you succeeded. What tactics were employed? Sure, a little dose of drama is acceptable. Cite specific numbers and offer hard data or evidence to make your story more effective. Measurable results are essential to prove that you really did solve the problem. Share them.
Write with authority. Show you have an understanding of the industry. That builds trust. A straightforward, 1-2-3 description of your winning project will probably connect with no-nonsense customers looking for a confident, authentic partner. If your case-study client wants to comment on the strong results, great. Direct quotes from your subject may add even more legitimacy to your example and inspire a prospect to call. (Note: Be sure the client is OK with your case-study effort. They may not want you to give away any company secrets.)
Make it look great.
Your words are critical, but so is your design. Make sure the graphic designer taking on the case study has good headlines, photos and graphics to work with. Will you highlight a pull quote or client testimonial? Whether on a webpage or printed flyer, give the content appropriate white space and room to breathe.
Engage the reader with a visually-appealing design that reflects the high quality of your work. If you have more than one case study displayed on your website or in a brochure, be consistent in the design formatting.
The readers of a good case study may put themselves right in your story. They may share that common problem with you. They are looking for relief, a solution, a win. They can visualize this scenario because they’ve experienced it – or are living it today. After reading your credible case study, they very well may be motivated to call you.