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How to Write a Powerful Business Case Study

So, what is a case study and why do you need one? A case study is an excellent way to demonstrate a business product or service and its benefits, in particular, how it worked for one of your clients. Think of it as a longer, more detailed testimonial. Case studies can be used to convince, inform, and inspire potential clients.

“Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics of B2B marketers” (source: Boast)

Case studies normally work best for business-to-business (B2B) companies. They do take a while to produce due to the level of detail needed, but they are extremely valuable when you have a higher cost product or service as they will help convince potential clients that you are worth spending the money with.

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Writing a Case Study

Writing a powerful case study can be a challenging endeavour. It’s about more than just putting a few statistics down on a piece of paper, you need to outline your client’s issues and how you solved them. Most importantly it needs to be assembled and written in an intriguing and intelligent format.

In this article I will guide you through how to write a powerful case study by telling you what needs to be included, how statistics can be leveraged, and which case study formats work best.

What To Include

Before you even begin drafting your case study, outlining what you will be including is a critical step that will help you to get organised and focused. The outline will guide you as your write your case study, and it will ensure the presentation of your case study is smooth and nicely structured.

In your outline, you need to list all the key points and aspects that you’re going to add to your case study:

Once you have your outline, you then need to write the case study. It should be in a professional tone, easy to read, and make use of headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs. Most people that read your case study will be time-poor so they need to be able to skim read and pull out the important points quickly. Make sure it’s no longer than 1-2 A4 pages.

The Importance of Statistics

The key information you need to include in your case study, whenever possible, is data. Statistics, especially those showing increased sales, are vital to backing up your case study. After all, good business owner will not ask you how much your solution costs to implement, but how much return-on-investment (ROI) they can expect to receive – whether that is money saved through a new approach or more earned money in the future.

Examples:

“By implementing this new process, we saved the company 50 working hours a week which equates to £52k a year, and it only cost them £5k to implement!”

“By making a client’s website mobile-friendly they had an increase of 30% in visitors and £5000 more in web sales a month”

Whatever it is, you need to prove that they can expect positive results by implementing your product or service.

Due to the need for statistics, you might find that you might not be able to write a case study until 3-6 months after a project has finished as you need time for data to build up to give you some great figures. For example, if you built a new website for a client you would need to see over a few months how many new website visitors your client had after the site went live. You could then use this statistic in your case study.

Formats

Once you have your case study all laid out, the next step is determining which format you want to offer it in. The most popular are PDF, web page, video, and presentation format.

Get Inspired By Others

It’s a good idea to have a look round at others in your industry to see their case studies for inspiration, for example, this PR firm that covers all basis with their case studies: PDF, Video and web page, or this very visual web page case study from a digital agency that includes lots of details and stats.

Why Case Studies Are Important

There is an expression used by marketers that says you should “show not tell”, this means that it is better to show the benefits of your product/service in real life, rather than just generically listing benefits on a web page without anything to back them up.

While creating a case study may seem like a difficult challenge, it is definitely worth your time as it will ‘show’ the benefits to your potential clients. A well put together case study can inform and convince others to adopt your service or buy a product.