Ernest Hemingway once said, “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.” A key component of strong writing has always been the writer’s ability to bring a story to life. It’s no different in business writing. One of the greatest ways to do this is through the tested practice of case studies.
The use of case studies isn’t a groundbreaking principle. From proposals to websites to brochures, they are being used by businesses everywhere. But are they effective? Or are readers bored of the formula: the client had a problem, we flew in like super heroes with an A+ solution, and plentiful benefits ensued. While this formula can be successful, we have three tips to help you generate a memorable case study, instead of one that gets lost in the crowd.
- Find the real story. In order to successfully do this, you must speak to a real customer. Email testimonials or sales reports lack the first-hand experience needed to really capture how a product or service impacts the audience. A case study that follows the journey of a customer will be much more fluid than piecing together comments here and there.
- Elaborate on the successes. As a writer, your job is to find the areas of success and highlight them. This may even mean adjusting a quote to improve the tone or overall message. The interview is a place to gather as much information about the customer’s experience. Now, as the writing begins, direct all quotes toward a specific theme, and take the creative liberty to edit—but not entirely change—to fit the intended goal.
- Remember the audience—stay broad. While a case study focuses on specific problems and solutions for one company, the purpose is to demonstrate your expertise to all potential clients. From the very beginning, establish the challenge set forth in a way that can relate to a variety of businesses. Help readers connect the challenge in the case study to issues they may currently face.
Case study writing adds value to your business and is a relatively pain-free process. These three tips alone will refresh a stale case study into content the audience finds useful and interesting to read.
If scheduling time to interview customers and write case studies is difficult in your current business, call Red Mallard today. We partner with clients to tell authentic and winsome stories and look forward to working with you.