7 tips for making your case study more interesting

Tips-for-writing-case-studies

Take a moment to think about the times your product or service delivered exactly what your client was after.

You helped solve that niggling problem that they’d had for a while. Your solution led to a breakthrough in the way they did business.

Seems a shame not to spread the good news doesn’t it?

Whether you’re an engineer, a landscape architect, insurance company or a software developer, using a client case study to target your audience and highlight your expertise is a great idea to showcase what you’re good at.

But how do you keep your reader interested?

  1. Do your case study research before you start

Go through your client list and identify the type of company and person you’d like to work with more. 

Your goal is to highlight a client story that represents a distinct segment of your audience. 

Before you start speaking to your case study subject, you’ll want to get all the background you can on that person and their company. Can you tie your product or service to a particular area of success for your client?

To make buy-in easier, make sure you’ve got the commitment of the right person in the company.

  1. Design a short effective questionnaire

Lay out the foundations of your conversational interview beforehand by coming up with a short questionnaire. This isn’t the whole story, but gives you a jumping off point for your interview.

Fill in some of the blanks on your questionnaire where you’ve already gathered information about the person through your research.

  1. Always conduct your interview on the phone or face-to-face

A conversation will help you get all the details you need for an interesting case study. Having done your research, you should already have an angle to your story. Keep your questionnaires open-ended, for example, “Tell me about…?” or “Can you describe…?”

Make them feel comfortable and encourage a friendly back and forth conversation. The best conversation happens when you ask the question… then stop talking. Don’t fill every gap in the conversation. Let them talk and don’t interrupt.

To get them talking just write the word HOW at the top of your questions to drill down and find out more interesting details.

  1. Make sure you have all the details before you finish the conversation.

Your goal is to get each tiny detail about how they worked with you and your product or service to make your case study interesting. Details about the person’s work environment and the atmosphere in their company can paint a better picture for your reader. Why people do things the way they do? How did it feel? What was the most frustrating/exciting thing?

Leave room for surprises. As them “how has this affected you personally?”or  “If you could make one thing better, what would it be?” Answers to these question makes your case study interesting.

At the end of all your questions ask “Is there anything else you’d like to add?”.  

  1. Tell an interesting story

Don’t just rely on your questions. Think about what’s unique about this client story. What’s the ‘dramatic arc’? Make the story relatable. Use relevant photos to enhance your story.

  1. Make the important things easy to read

Few people have the time to read every word. Most likely people will skim your case study, so make sure you include the most important points in headlines, sub headings, brief pull out quotes and use highlighting. Keep it punchy. Sell the benefits (of your service/product) throughout the case study.

  1. Try telling the story in a different format

As well as the more traditional written form of case study, you might want to turn your content into a video – then remember to share it in as many places as you can, including social media, on your website and in your company brochures.  Turn your case study into a pdf so you can easily send this to your clients and prospects.

If you need some help writing client case studies for your blog or for publication elsewhere, perhaps I can help? Get in touch denise@marketingbuzz.com.au

Here are some case study examples:

Typeform 

KinHR 

Australia Post 

Survey Monkey 

Optus 

Quantum IT 

Based on Seven Secrets of Compelling Case Studies from Marketing Profs