Case studies are a tremendous resource in helping you develop business. Even the most risk-averse entrepreneur likes to see someone else having success with a product or service before buying it, it's just human nature. The main challenge to writing a great case study is making sure it emphasizes the job was all about the client. Sure, the purpose is to highlight your achievements, but you want a prospective client to picture the benefits your featured client enjoys.
Here are some ideas about writing case studies that will entice prospects to contact you.
Write to Interest a Highly Distracted Audience
It's tough to get, and keep, a prospect's attention as there are constant distractions interfering with our browsing experience. Even people holed up in offices and cubicles are subject to interruptions, answering phones and email and notifications from e-calendars and texts. And then there's colleagues, of course, and meetings, and my favorite: the monthly birthday celebration. Because of this constant disctration, it's important to get your prospects' attention quickly with content that has an impact. Start with a headline that will "compel the reader to read". Begin with a couple of sentences to grab them, and include subheads that are equally interesting. Assume your reader won't finish the whole thing at once. Make the content something s/he will bookmark to read later. Or, better yet, make it short enough so the reader can read it all at once and still absorb the impact you are trying to convey. It's harder to write something short, but well worth it.
Feature a Real Person in Your Case Study
Don't just write about Company X or Subject Z. If you don't lose the reader straight away with titles like these, you soon will, and they won't come back. The Content Marketing Institute's Number One recommendation for writing case studies is to interview the actual client. The reason you should avoid a secondhand approach is that it's boring. If your biggest and best-known clients refuse to be part of your case study, ask a smaller business that your prospects can identify with - they may also appreciate the free feature you're giving them. Look at it this way: Smart business owners understand they can't do everything. Smart managers are rewarded when they spend money wisely on services like yours. Present your request as a win-win for them. As CMI points out, case studies are stories. Sell the case study as an opportunity for both of you to be noticed.
Edit Quotes to Make a Bigger Impression
Case studies aren't the same as news articles, endorsements, or testimonials. You don't have to use exact quotes. It's acceptable to expand on what your customer says to pack more punch into the content while retaining the spirit of his or her words. Here's an example: Some of my clients tried to do PPC campaigns on their own and found the experience too time consuming and often frustrating. Let's say one of them tells me, "I thought PPC was a waste of money but you totally turned it around for me". It's ok for me to then start a case study with a quote like, "I thought PPC was a waste of time. Brad took over my AdWords account and now I have an inbox full of requests for quotes and my phone doesn't stop ringing". Here, the words are a bit more compelling to the prospect, yet don't change the essence of the customer's comment.
Learn About Customer Psychology
Whenever you write a case study, take some time to review recent articles on customer psychology and behaviors. This is important information, and marketers are using it more and more these days - and it can be of great value to you. Kath Pay writes about persuasion architecture in digital marketing. She discusses the impact of how graphics and other standout content placed on a webpage can influence buying behavior.
There are many things to consider when writing a powerful case study.
Do you have something you can add to this post in the comments below?