It’s surprising how many companies haven’t cottoned on to the fact that case studies can bring more business in the door. Far from being merely a self-congratulatory ‘look at moi’ exercise, they act as powerful advertising tools that clearly demonstrate why your business is the exact answer to a potential customer’s question. So, what’s the best way to go about creating them?
First thing to know: they don’t have to be lengthy. How long they are and what tone and style to employ will depend on where they’re going to be used. A case study for your website, for example, will use a conversational style and be just a paragraph or two. One for your tender submission or an important report should use more formal language and may well run to a page or more.
What should a case study include?
Follow this 3-step formula to create a good case study:
1. Who was the client and what was their problem?
2. What was your brilliant solution?
3. What was the outstanding result and why is the customer thrilled?
TOP TIP: Make the problem interesting and encourage people to read on by beginning with an introductory sentence or two that highlights the result. For example, ‘When John and Judy Anderson wanted to dramatically decrease their electricity bill they turned to Simply Sun. Our solar energy expertise reduced their costs by 45 per cent – and we can do the same for you.’
Be as precise as possible
It’s not enough to simply say your client was happy. That should be a given! Why were they happy? Use facts and figures to illustrate your point. ‘John and Judy Anderson saved over 45 per cent on their last quarter energy bill by switching to Simply Sun’ gives way more punch than ‘John and Judy were happy with our work.’
Keep them short and don’t be afraid to put them up front. Again, use quotes which state why the client was so pleased. Compare ‘Simply Sun did a good job’ with ‘Simply Sun were fast, efficient and tidy. Our electricity bills have almost halved – we couldn’t be happier’ and you get the idea.
Think of a compelling heading
Head up your case study with a statement or question that grabs a reader’s attention. ‘John and Judy put their energy savings towards a dream holiday’ or ‘What will you spend your solar savings on?’ both beat no title at all or a bland, ‘Case Study – the Andersons’.
Build a bank
Make a habit of creating a ready store of case studies by using the 3-step formula to jot down notes as you finish work for your clients. That way you’ll never be stuck for stories to refresh your website content or to use for marketing, e-newsletters, mail-outs or to illustrate your capabilities in tender submissions. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to do and how versatile they can be to your business.